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Texas Republicans are vowing to defy any new federal gun rules. Experts say it's largely a symbolic gesture.

Texas Republicans are vowing to defy any new federal gun rules. Experts say it's largely a symbolic gesture.

Federal calls for action after recent mass shootings have put Gov. and GOP state lawmakers . Now they’re laying the groundwork to block federal gun regulations through legislation that would make Texas a “Second Amendment sanctuary state,” prohibiting state agencies and local governments from enforcing new federal gun rules.But legal experts say the move is largely symbolic, and that its practical effect would be to make it harder — but not impossible — for federal officials to enforce new gun control measures.The push to steel Texas against federal rules comes amid several instances of gun...

April 19, 2021
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Texas Republicans have long pushed to allow “constitutional carry” of guns. Proponents say this year is their best chance.

Texas Republicans have long pushed to allow “constitutional carry” of guns. Proponents say this year is their best chance.

, our daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news.Texas Republicans have long taken pride in the state’s reputation as a bastion for gun ownership — but time and again they’ve stopped short of passing a law allowing handguns to be carried without a permit.This year, however, proponents of what Republicans call “constitutional carry” say they have the best shot in the Legislature they’ve had in years. The momentum follows a shake-up in House leadership, who handed influential positions to supporters of the legislation, and comes as the practice is gaining...

April 6, 2021
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At least 57 people died in the Texas winter storm, mostly from hypothermia

At least 57 people died in the Texas winter storm, mostly from hypothermia

, our daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news.At least 57 people died in Texas as a result of last month’s winter storm, according to preliminary data the state health department released Monday.The largest number of deaths — at least 25 — occurred in Harris County, the Texas Department of State Health Services reported.The deaths occurred in at least 25 counties between Feb. 11 and March 5, the state agency said. The majority of verified deaths were associated with hypothermia, but health officials said some were also caused by motor vehicle wrecks,...

March 15, 2021
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Lawmaker pushes to allow concealed weapons in Texas public schools

Lawmaker pushes to allow concealed weapons in Texas public schools

, our daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news.Six years after Texas passed a controversial measure allowing licensed gun owners to carry concealed handguns on college campuses, one Republican state lawmaker is pushing to expand the law by allowing licensed adults to carry weapons in public and charter schools.The bill’s staunchly pro-gun author, state Sen. sees the move as a logical extension of , which passed in 2015 over the passionate pleas of Democrats, gun control advocates and some university officials who feared increased violence.Hall's bill...

March 11, 2021
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2 million Texas households without power as massive winter storm drives demand for electricity

2 million Texas households without power as massive winter storm drives demand for electricity

 Editor's note: See this story for the latest updates on the .Here's what you need to know:The state’s electric grid operator lost control of the power supply Monday morning as 2 million Texas households didn't have heat or other electric appliances working at home while a massive winter storm delivered freezing temperatures across the state.When the state’s grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, began implementing rolling blackouts at 1:25 a.m. Monday, the outages were intended to be implemented on a rolling basis — up to 45 minutes per affected area, according to the...

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February 15, 2021
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Dan Patrick makes "Star Spangled Banner Act" a legislative priority after the Mavericks go 13 games without the national anthem

Dan Patrick makes "Star Spangled Banner Act" a legislative priority after the Mavericks go 13 games without the national anthem

, our daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news.Texas Lt. Gov. announced Wednesday that requiring the national anthem to be played "at all events which receive public funding" will be among his top legislative priorities this session.The "Star Spangled Banner Protection Act," which has not yet been filed, comes as the Dallas Mavericks are under attack by some GOP Texas lawmakers seizing on a that team owner Mark Cuban decided to stop playing the national anthem before home games this season. The team will resume playing the anthem before games, the NBA...

February 10, 2021
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Despite insurrection, there may be more guns in the Texas Capitol this session

Despite insurrection, there may be more guns in the Texas Capitol this session

, our daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news.There won't be fewer guns in the Texas Capitol this legislative session. But there might be more firearms tucked away in boots, holsters, bags and desks under the pink dome, already reputed to be one of the most armed state capitol buildings in the country.The recent and threats of right-wing extremist violence have prompted calls in some states to curtail legal weaponry in statehouses, but in keeping with Texas' embrace of firearms, no new rules are expected.Texas is one of at least eight states with on...

January 26, 2021
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Texas-based anti-vaccine group received federal bailout funds in May as pandemic raged

Texas-based anti-vaccine group received federal bailout funds in May as pandemic raged

Texas-based anti-vaccine organization Informed Consent Action Network was among five anti-vaccine groups that collectively received more than $850,000 in federal loans from the Paycheck Protection Program, . The organization received $166,000 in May 2020, according to founder Del Bigtree.poses a significant and ongoing challenge for health authorities trying to overcome mistrust within communities of color, by the anti-vaccine crowd and general uncertainty nationwide. Doctors and scientists say the coronavirus vaccines currently available in the United States are .“At a minimum, it’s a...

January 18, 2021
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Bill filing for 2021 Texas session begins with legislation on abortion, police stops and redistricting

Bill filing for 2021 Texas session begins with legislation on abortion, police stops and redistricting

, our daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news.The 87th Texas Legislature won’t gavel in until January, but state lawmakers on Monday got their first chance to file legislation for what’s expected to be a particularly tough 140-day stretch at the Capitol next year., the first day to pre-file legislation, more than 530 bills had already been filed in the House and Senate. Thousands of bills are expected to be filed throughout the legislative session, though only a fraction of them will make it through both chambers and end up on Gov. ’s desk.State...

November 9, 2020
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“It’s like walking into a ghost town”: Under tight pandemic restrictions, college football returns to Austin

“It’s like walking into a ghost town”: Under tight pandemic restrictions, college football returns to Austin

On game days in Austin, Jon and Julie Amberg perch in a shaded courtyard with a perfect view of Bevo Boulevard, the hourslong street party that invites thousands of Texas Longhorn fans to dance, drink and celebrate the team’s mascot, a live steer named Bevo, as he arrives at the stadium.This year, the Ambergs, season ticket holders for more than a decade, were among a handful of people quietly milling outside Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium as handlers escorted Bevo from his trailer a few hours before kickoff – without any fanfare.“It’s like walking into a ghost town,” Julie Amberg...

September 13, 2020
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