News Roundup: Senate Bill Would Expand Gun Rights For Renters On Landlords’ Property

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelMarch 26, 2019 2:41 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

Texas senators are making progress on several bills Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick deemed a priority during this legislative session.

One of those – Senate Bill 19 – would expand the right of Texans to carry firearms. It was discussed during a Senate Committee on State Affairs hearing Monday. If this measure becomes law, landlords would no longer be able to ban tenants from keeping guns in their apartments or in commercial properties they’re leasing.

The bill’s author, State Sen. Bryan Hughes of Mineola, debated the proposal with fellow Republican, Committee Chairwoman Joan Huffman of Houston.

“You should be able to have a gun on that property and be able to get from that property to your vehicle,” Hughes said.

“But that is contradicting if and in fact what the owner wanted,” Huffman said. ”You’re saying that won’t matter anymore? Is that what you’re saying?”

“Well, we’re saying we’re trying to accommodate both interests. We’re trying to recognize that both rights are important. Property rights, and the right to keep and buy arms,” Hughes said.

The Texas Building Owner and Managers Association opposed the part of the bill involving commercial properties, arguing landlords should be able to prohibit firearms on property they own. SB 19 was left pending in committee.

Federal authorities arrested over 10,000 immigrants in Texas last quarter.

Houston Public Media’s Elizabeth Trovall reports the bulk of arrests were concentrated in Houston and Dallas.

In the Houston area, immigration authorities made some 3300 arrests in the first quarter of the fiscal year. That’s down 6 percent compared to a year ago, according to new data from Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Deportations, on the other hand, were up 52 percent locally to nearly 5,000. Dallas leads the country in immigration-related arrests, followed by Atlanta and Houston.

The bulk of ICE arrests were of people who have been convicted of crimes like drunk driving or assault.

Texans caught will small amounts of marijuana could receive a fine rather than jail time under a bill that passed a state House committee.

State Rep. Joe Moody, an El Paso Democrat, authored the measure. Under House Bill 63, if someone possesses one ounce of marijuana or less – it would no longer be a criminal offense. Instead, it would be a civil penalty and the fine could not exceed $250.

Members of the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence voted 5-4 to advance the bill Monday.

Currently in Texas, possession of any amount of marijuana is illegal.