News Roundup: Unlicensed ‘Constitutional Carry’ Dead This Session, Bill Sponsor Says

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Alexandra HartApril 8, 2019 12:25 pm

One of the biggest backers of the unlicensed carry of handguns in Texas concedes his bill will not become law this legislative session.

State Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, says he was unable to secure a public hearing in a timely manner for the measure supporters call “constitutional carry.”

Rep. Stickland is also criticizing the behavior of gun rights activists who were unhappy with the slow movement of the bill.

“There is never a time or place to physically threaten an elected official with violence,” he said in a video posted to Facebook. “It is never okay or helpful to your cause to curse out their staff. It’s never okay to target their homes or personal businesses when you know they are not in town.”

This comes after House Speaker Dennis Bonnen told a Brazoria County news outlet called The Facts that Chris McNutt with the group Lone Star Gun Rights visited the homes of some state lawmakers, including Bonnen’s, to push for passage of the bill.

Vice President Mike Pence paid a visit to Houston Friday to speak about the crisis in Venezuela, and the influx of migrants at the border.

As Houston Public Media’s Elizabeth Trovall reports, before his speech at Rice University, Pence stopped by Immigration and Customs Enforcement offices in Houston.

During his Houston visit, the vice president reiterated President Trump’s decision this week to back off shutting down the border with Mexico.

Texas Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn had urged the president to reconsider that threat, saying it would devastate the Texas economy.

Pence assured them the White House will consider other steps like tariffs against Mexico first.

The vice president also met with top officials from ICE – and says their hard work is keeping Texans safe. “We’re particularly proud of your colleagues,” Pence said. “Just this week in the Dallas office of ICE-Homeland Security Investigations arrested more than 280 people in the largest worksite operation at a single in the last ten years, upholding the laws of our land.”

Pence also urged Congress to act in response to the rise in families arriving to the US-Mexico border. Last month U.S. Customs and Border Protection said they were on track to apprehend more than 100,000 migrants at the border.

A home once occupied by boxing legend Jack Johnson has been heavily damaged by a fire.

The Galveston home was in the process of being renovated when the blaze broke out, causing an interior wall to collapse.

Johnson began his boxing career in Galveston and went on to become the first black heavyweight world champion in 1908. He was convicted in 1913 for traveling with his white girlfriend, under a law that made it illegal to transport women across state lines for “immoral” purposes.

President Trump posthumously pardoned Johnson last May for that conviction.