gun control

Augustas Didžgalvis / CC

AUSTIN — The Texas Legislature has approved fines for governmental entities that post signs prohibiting the carrying of concealed handguns in areas where licensed Texans are allowed to carry them.

Authored by Tea Party-backed Republican Sen. Donna Campbell, the plan passed both chambers with little debate, despite opposition from some municipal groups.

Saturday’s House approval 116-23 sends it to Gov. Greg Abbott to be signed into law.

Local governments and other official entities would be fined if they post signs that might intimidate license-holders who are within their rights to carry weapons.

Drunk Driver / CC

AUSTIN — Texas took a major step toward allowing the licensed open carry of handguns, with Senate approval coming late Friday night after a fierce debate over restricting police powers to ask people carrying guns if they are legal. The open carry bill was expected to easily pass the Republican-majority chamber but got tangled in a bipartisan move to add a ban on police from stopping people solely because they are visibly carrying a handgun.

The vote came less than a week after a biker shootout in Waco killed nine, an incident that was raised several times in the debate.

The bill still needs a final vote in the House, which passed a nearly identical version last month. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has pledged to sign an open carry bill into law. Supporters of the police restriction came from both sides of the aisle, Democrats who thought it would prevent harassment of law-abiding citizens and racial profiling of minorities, and Tea Party-backed conservatives and libertarians who thought it would protect against the unreasonable search and seizure of licensed handgun owners. 

Flickr user David Trawin (trawin) / cc

The Texas Senate gave preliminary approval to a measure that would add handguns to the list of items students are allowed to carry in their college backpacks. An initial vote on the bill went down along party lines 20 to 11, with the Republican majority holding strong.

Currently, college students and faculty that have a license to carry their concealed handguns in public are not allowed to carry them on many state college campuses. The bill by Granbury Republican Sen. Brian Birdwell would allow these licensed gun owners to carry their handgun and textbooks in the same backpack while on a state college campus.

Texas Senate Approves Open Carry Of Handguns

Mar 16, 2015
Joey Palacios / TPR News

AUSTIN — The Texas Senate has given preliminary approval to allowing licensed open carry of handguns in the state. The first major gun-rights vote of the legislative session came Monday after more than two hours of debate. A final vote to send the bill to the House is expected Tuesday.

Texas has allowed concealed carry of handguns since 1995, but a recent push for open carry has been taken up by new Republican leaders such as Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

Flickr user David Trawin (trawin) / cc

An in-person and online threat against the Legislature has both lawmakers and troopers at the State Capitol on edge. On Thursday, the Texas Senate’s State Affairs Committee will hear invited testimony over two gun bills being fast-tracked through the legislative process.

On the opening day of the legislative session, gun owners supporting open carry legislation went from office to office, hoping to get lawmakers to pledge their support for an open carry bill. But Eagle Pass Democratic Rep. Poncho Nevárez, who was cornered in his office by the group, has his concerns.

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