guns

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. 

Augustas Didžgalvis / CC

AUSTIN — The Texas Senate has approved a plan that would allow shoppers to buy guns, ammunition and hunting supplies without having to pay sales taxes during the last weekend in August.

The state already designates annual sales tax-free weekends for the purchase of some school supplies and energy-efficient appliances. Sen. Brandon Creighton’s plan would extend the same exemption to firearm purchases.

The Conroe Republican noted that Louisiana established in 2009 a tax-free weekend for guns, ammo and hunting supplies during the first weekend in September.

This Week On Fronteras:

-- The families and classmates of 43 missing Mexican college students traveled across the U.S. to raise awareness for their situation.

-- A movement is underway to prevent suicides by freeing immigrant mothers and their children from detention centers.

-- From New Mexico, here’s some stereotype defying information about gun violence.

-- The best bilingual teacher in the U.S. hails from Dallas.

-- A talk with the directors of the new border documentary, Western.

STOCKTON, Calif. — Police in Northern California say at least three people are dead and four people are wounded in a shooting at a grocery store.

Stockton police say one person was killed Tuesday night at the store in Stockton and another two died at a hospital. The Stockton Record reports the victim who died at the store was a woman. She was found on a sidewalk outside. Some of the wounded victims were found inside the market.

Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

This week on Fronteras:

-- Texas lawmakers are fast-tracking laws that would allow licensed residents to carry guns more openly and on college campuses.

-- National attention on the police shooting deaths of young black and brown men prompts student lessons on how to be safe.

-- An Iraqi immigrant is shot and killed in Dallas. The killing raises disturbing questions.

-- The history of frontier guns and why people feel a connection with firearms.

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