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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 31, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas Friday March House ready to tackle gun control issue n WASHINGTON AP Char mainc Klaus a grandmother from Watcrford used a handgun to wound an assailant who had shot and killed a clerk in her store David Joo a gun merchant defended himself with firearms during the 1992 Los Angeles riots They are among eight witnesses who were to tell similar stories at a House subcommittee hearing today as the Republicancontrolled Congress opens its attack on gun control laws Republicans have made repeal of the ban on assaultstyle firearms that was part of last years billion anti crime law a top priority Democrats including President Clinton have pledged to fight GOP attempts to undo gun control laws The House plans to vote in May on legislation to repeal the ban And Sen ate Majority Leader Bob Dole a consistent guncontrol opponent told a National Rifle Association official in a recent letter that he hoped to have such a bill on Clintons desk by sum mer The eight witnesses arc new voices from a broad crosssection of the coun try that havent yet been heard in the debate said Rep Bill McCollum R chairman of the House Judiciary subcommittee on crime McCollum said the focus of the hear ing was the need for firearms for self defense It will address the question What are the legitimate uses of We have some rea sonable responsible effective gun laws in place Gun laws that are helping to save lives and prevent needless Sarah Brady weapons of different types in this coun try he said in an interview Thurs day Two later hearings will deal with the Second Amendment right to bear arms and enforcement of existing gun laws There are voices on the other side of the ramparts too Outside the Capitol on Thursday activists Sarah and James Brady began a campaign to preserve gun laws including the one bearing his name It was the 14th anniversary of the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan that left James Brady then the White House press secretary partially paralyzed for life And Rep Charles Schumer planned a news conference today with victims of the Long Island Railroad shooting to protest efforts to repeal gun control laws We have some reasonable respon sible effective gun laws in Sarah Brady said in launching a nation wide Campaign to Protect Sane Gun Laws Gun laws that are helping to save lives and prevent needless Noting Doles pledge to the NRA and efforts to repeal local gun laws in several states she said This attack on Americas gun laws is Also speaking was Sen Diannc Fcinstein who successfully pushed for the ban on assaultstyle weapons and said recently she would launch the mother of all filibusters if Dole moved to repeal it James Brady cited government sta tistics indicating that his namesake law which requires a fiveday waiting peri od and background checks for handgun purchases screened out some criminals in its first year Foes of the Brady law say it is easi ly evaded expensive for law enforce merit agencies to enforce and the right to bear arms Members of the House Firearms Legislation Task Force meanwhile said a proposal would be introduced soon that would move away from gun control and focus on stopping crime Gun control is asserted Rep Steve Stockman RTexas Now were going to focus on people While noting the planned House vote on repealing the assaultstyle weapons ban McCollum said there were no Republican plans to change the Brady handgun law Texas Briefs Widow With Three Children Denied Because Deputy Killed On Way To Work HOUSTON AP A widow with three children has been denied work ers compensation benefits because the Harris County attorneys office ruled that her deputy sheriff husband was not on duty when he was killed in a traffic mishap on his way to work Harris County Sheriff Johnny Klevenhagen said that Ricky Yates 43 was considered on duty at the time even though he had not reached his assigned location Yates who was riding a department motorcycle was killed in a headon collision with a pickup truck Jan 25 1994 Sheriffs Lt Conroy Yates immediate supervisor said he also considers that Yates was on duty because he had called Yates the night before and told him to go to work ear ly and to do some traffic control work in Humble before reporting to his assigned patrol area But Senior Assistant County Attor ney Crowther contends that since Yates was not yet at his job site and was not engaged in county or law enforcement duties when he was killed his widow and three children are not eligible for the benefits Man With AIDS Virus Accused of Using Deadly Weapon In Sexual Assaults AUSTIN AP A man accused of killing a Mexican teenager who was doused with water and forced to remain outside as temperatures fell is now accused of using the AIDS virus as a deadly weapon in two sexual assaults on the girl Indictments accuse Jose Najera who has the human immunodeficiency virus of using a deadly weapon in sexual assaults on Maria Escalante 16 The alleged deadly weapon is his penis and bodily If convicted Najera would face up to life in prison Prosecutors said Thursday that the fact that the alleged deadly weapon stems from the AIDS virus may be groundbreaking in Texas Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle said the unusual step was taken because the facts warranted it and said the charges are justified Fortune Cookie Pays Off For Couple AUSTIN AP It was all in the cards or in this case the cookie for the latest Lotto Texas winners Barbara Turnbulls desire to use a fortune cookies sixnumber combi nation to play the game brought her and her husband Scotty twice the luck and two winning tickets The Turnbulls of Nocona bought one ticket for last Saturdays lotto drawing using the numbers 29 40 and 46 and Mrs TurnbulPs friend thinking she had forgotten to play bought Mrs Tumbull another handed me a lotto ticket she had bought for me saying Here you forgot to buy your I just looked at Scotty and said So I blew two dollars instead of Mrs Tumbull said Thursday as she and her husband collected two lumpsum pay ments of A third winning ticket with the num bers was sold in Mesquite but the win ner has not yet claimed his or her prize lottery officials said Voucher Proposal Doesnt Have Support in House Committee AUSTIN AP A proposal to allow thousands of disadvantaged stu dents to obtain public money to attend private schools didnt have enough support to pass the House Public Edu cation Committee But the panel acting informally without taking a roll call vote agreed to other measures Thursday to increase school choice and loosen state control of public schools Committee members also said the proposed pilot program for private school vouchers will come up again when the House debates an education overhaul bill The choice and control issues are being worked on as part of that bill 1 expect it to pass on the House said Rep Kent Grusendorf R Arlington He said committee senti ment was probably 54 against vouch ers His voucher proposal is similar to one in a bill that passed the Senate Monday Texas Senate Finance Committee proposes budget AUSTIN AP The Senate Finance Committee has unanimously endorsed a proposed twoyear state budget of billion putting aside a House plan that would spend about billion less Education and human services would get more money under the Sen ate proposal than the House bill The full Senate is expected to consider the measure Monday We paid particular attention to those programs for people who literal ly cannot help themselves for instance the multiply handicapped that have to have said committee Chairman John Montford DLubbock We paid a lot of attention to public and higher education I feel bottom line it is a responsi ble nofrills he said Thurs day A conference committee was expect ed to work out differences between the House bill and the one ultimately passed by the Senate The Senate proposal represents a billion or percent funding increase over the current level It comprises billion in gener al revenue funds which include sales and corporate franchise taxes billion in federal funds and billion from other sources The House version comes in under the latest estimate of available general revenue for the next two years while the Senate proposal is about bil lion over that estimate Montford said The Senate plan also includes more federal funds that would be leveraged by increased state spending Montford said his bill anticipates that the state comptrollers May general revenue estimate will show more mon ey is available He emphasized that leaders remain committed to a nonew taxes budget We are going in a little long We understand that We posture a lot of these issues for conference commit Montford said 1 am confident that when we get this budget to con ference we will write a bill within available The final budget figure is expected to be somewhere in between the House and Senate proposals Montford noted that the House ver sion also contains an 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