Politics
5:39 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Lawmakers Debate Handgun Measures

Lawmakers considered two handgun-related bills today.

Under a bill by Rep. Lon Burnam, D-Fort Worth, out-of-state concealed-carry handgun permits would not be valid in Texas. At a public hearing today, John Woods of Texas Gun Sense said out-of-state businesses are marketing permits to Texas residents as an easier way to get a concealed handgun license.

“They advertise on Facebook and Google,” Woods said. “It would be better if there were a more substantive requirement.”

Gun rights advocate Rachel Malone testified against the bill, saying concealed handgun carriers increase public safety.

“More guns being carried out on the streets by the people equal less crime,” Malone said. “And more CHLers are going to reduce crime.”

The bill was left pending in committee.

A second bill would allow school board members and superintendents to carry concealed handguns at school board meetings. Rep. Dan Huberty, R-Houston, says those officials need extra protection.

“It’s our responsibility to make sure that if you wanted to be a school board member, and you wanted to be able to carry a gun, and your superintendent or the majority board prevented you from doing so, I think that’s a shame, and all this does is give you, as a legitimate concealed handgun license holder, the ability to do that,” Huberty said.

One gun rights activist spoke against the bill, saying if guns are allowed on campus, it should not be limited only to public officials. A representative of the group Moms Demand Action told the committee the issue is a slippery slope that could lead to even more guns at school.