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Texas Senate approves use of either revolver or Semi-Auto to qualify, and adds air gun ownership allowances as an ammendment

By Mike Ward American-Statesman Staff

In a continuing push to sign-off on almost anything gun, the Texas Senate approved a bill Tuesday night to allow applicants to qualify for a concealed-handgun license to use either a revolver or a semi-automatic pistol. Under current law, Texans who qualified to carry a revolver could carry only a revolver.

“This bill says you can qualify with either, and then carry either,” said state Sen. Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls, the Senate sponsor of House bill 3142. “The marksmanship skills for a revolver and a semi-auto are the same.” The measure — passed with little debate in a late-night session — was earlier approved by the House, where it now returns for approval of a single Senate change: The Senate added wording to prohibit local governments from outlawing the possession of air guns — BB guns and Airsoft guns, among other brands — in their jurisdictions.

Estes said those local governments could still outlaw the firing of those guns.

“There was a problem where some city outlawed the possession of a BB gun,” Estes said. “A kid ought to be able to own a Red Ryder BB gun.”

Even with its current enthusiasm for gun bills — three were approved on Tuesday in the Senate — opponents are blocking the final passage of three others: one that would allow concealed-weapon licensees to carry their weapons in university buildings and dorms, and two others that would prohibit Texas local and state law enforcement officers from enforcing new federal firearms laws.

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