3. Concealed Handgun Fees
Another house bill of interest aims to reduce concealed handgun licensure fees from the current $140 to $95. HB 2759 by Representative "Doc" Anderson is one of several bills this session aimed at lowering barriers to legal carry in Texas. This phenomena stands in stark contrast to the push in Washington D.C. to restrict gun access.
Currently, Texans must be 21, pass state and federal background checks and complete 10 hours of training to get a concealed hand gun license. It is many legislators' hope that this bill will allow more law-abiding citizens to go through the process and be able to protect themselves and others.
4. Ticket Scalping
When a Texan buys an event ticket, does that ticket have to be used by them personally or are they able to resell it for profit? There have been a couple of bills filed this session that pertain to ticket scalping and which would formally legalize the practice of reselling tickets in Texas.
Scalping was brought into the spotlight last month when resold tickets to the Houston
Rodeo began to fetch well above their original price, some selling for as much as $11,000. Rodeo organizers reacted by cancelling 5,000 of the tickets they believed to be scalped, subsequently reselling them at their original prices.
Many owners of the cancelled tickets felt cheated and as if the free market had been infringed upon by the organizers. These individuals and many others will most likely be supportive of the two bills mentioned above, while others will argue that scalping ultimately rips off the average fan who has to pay inflated prices. What do you think?
5. Texas Vietnam War Memorial Ground Breaking
On Monday, the state broke ground on a long-awaited Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument. There are already monuments on the Capitol grounds to honor those who served in the Korean War, both World Wars, the Spanish-American War, the Civil War and at the Alamo.
A ceremony accompanied Monday's ground breaking at which the names of the 3,417 Texans killed in the war were read aloud. In addition, a "hero tag", similar to a dog tag, was dedicated for each of the 3,417. The tags will ultimately be entombed within the bronze monument.
It is common knowledge that veterans returning home from the Vietnam War were not always treated warmly. I am proud that they are finally getting a small amount of the honor they deserve. My colleague Senator "Chuy" Hinojosa, a Marine Vietnam veteran, said it best Monday when he stated, "I finally feel like I am welcome back home."