Lawmakers in the Texas House on Monday will give final approval to a bundle of 12 radically pro-gun bills (PDF), clearing the way for guns to be brought onto school campuses and into classrooms by students and teachers.
All the bills were easily approved by voice vote on Saturday, according to Austin-based KXAN-TV. A total of 15 bills were being considered, but the state’s Democratic minority managed to block one measure that would have let concealed carry permits serve as a legally valid form of identification.
The bills that passed include a measure still controversial among Texas Republicans: letting college students over 21-years-old carry weapons in classrooms. A prior effort to pass that allowance failed in 2011.
Lawmakers also approved letting schools select employees to carry concealed weapons on campus, and easing the standards for concealed carry permits. The bulk of the bills were targeted at easing restrictions on concealed carry weapons, such as making permit fees cheaper, preventing agencies from asking for detailed information on permit renewals, and restricting fingerprint registries for gun owners.
The package of bills also includes a measure that declares all federal gun laws null and void in Texas, which is flatly unconstitutional. Several other states have passed similar “nullification” laws in anticipation of new gun control regulations that ban assault rifles, require background checks for all purchases and limit ammunition magazine capacity.
While the bills still have one more procedural vote to go in the House, all of them are expected to clear that final hurdle in a formal vote Monday afternoon before the Senate takes up debate. The Senate has already approved a bill that would let college students stow firearms in their vehicles on school property.
This video is from KXAN-TV, aired Monday, May 6, 2013.
Photo: Flickr user gordontarpley, all rights reserved.