New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 12, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas
Wednesday, April 12, 1995 ■ Herald-Zeitung ■ 7 A
House committee approves concealed handgun bill
Measure now moves to the full House
AUSTIN (AP) — A bill that would allow Texans to obtain licenses to carry concealed handguns has moved one step closer to becoming law.
The House Public Safety Committee voted 7-1 Tuesday to forward the bill to the full House for consideration. The Senate approved | the measure last month, and Gov. George W. Bush has said he would sign it.
“People are really concerned that they want to be able to have this basic right if they want to go through the process to get a license,” said Rep. Bill Carter, R-Fort Worth, cosponsor of the bill.
“Those people who are truly lawabiding citizens, who are concerned about public safety, those are the people who will go out and go through the process and spend the money and the time to get a license,” Carter said.
Eligible applicants would have to be legal Texas residents; at least 21 years old; never have been convicted of a felony; have not been delinquent in making a child support payment; and not be chemically
dependent or of unsound mind.
They also would have to undergo IO to 15 hours of training and pass a proficiency exam. A four-year permit would cost $140.
The House committee made about 40 changes to die bill, most of which are minor. They include revising a provision concerning open records and prohibiting permit holders from carrying guns into the bar area of a restaurant.
The committee also added hospitals to a list of places where carrying guns would be prohibited.
Sen. Jerry Patterson, R-Pasade-na, the bill’s author, said he supported all of the changes except the restriction on hospitals.
“I do not like prohibited locations of any kind,” Patterson said. “It just gives an opportunity for criminals to know where to hang out to ensure the people that go there are unarmed.”
The full House is expected to take up the bill within the next two weeks, and the measure is sure to face a tougher time than it did in committee.
Group claims abuses by border patrol agents
WASHINGTON (AP) — A humane rights group’s charge that the Justice Department can’t properly police the abuse complaints filed against Border Patrol agents is groundless, a Justice spokeswoman says.
Human Rights Watch-Americas also contends the Border Patrol and Immigration and Naturalization Service, both Justice Department agencies, don’t vigorously try to weed out abusive agents.
In a report being issued today, the group claims that the Immigration and Naturalization Service is doing little to remedy its “abysmal human rights record.”
Border Patrol agents routinely abuse people seeking to enter the United States from Mexico — legally and illegally — Human Rights Watch says, citing beatings, shootings, rapes and deaths alleged to have occurred at the hands of agents.
Justice Department spokeswoman Ana Cobian said Tuesday that officials there hadn’t seen the report, but she added, “We do not believe that INS officers commonly abuse legal or illegal immigrants. ... We take every complaint very seriously.”
Human Rights Watch is advocating creation of an independent commission that would receive and investigate complaints against Border Patrol agents. The U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform, headed by former Rep. Barbara Jordan, D-Texas, also has urged establishment of a com-
Bexar County judge sent to jail Tuesday
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — A Bexar County judge, jailed for 90 minutes after being found guilty of contempt of court for refusing to grant a legislative continuance in a domestic violence case, says she has no regrets.
Court-at-Law Judge Bonnie Reed was handcuffed and jailed Tuesday. She was sentenced to 30 days in jail, fined $500 and assessed more than $ 1,400 in court costs.
“I absolutely have no regrets,” Ms. Reed said after being released.
After she was sentenced, Ms. ~ Reed’s attorneys sought a writ of habeas corpus from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in Austin. The court granted the writ and ordered her released from jail on a $100 personal recognizance bond, pending another * court hearing.
| Texas Court of Criminal Appeals J spokesman Rick Wetzel said Ms. i Reed’s attorneys, in seeking the writ of S habeas corpus, listed five claims of I improprieties by die 4th Court. Wetze! I did not disclose them.
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plaints process that could be monitored by the public.
Currently, complaints generally end up in the Justice Department’s civil rights division. The division’s criminal section received 1,322 complaints against INS personnel, including Border Patrol agents, between October 1988 and September 1994, Human Rights Watch says. Of those, only 16 cases were presented to a grand jury for possible indictment. Of the 12 Border Patrol agents indicted on federal civil rights charges since September 1983, two were convicted, the group says.
Cobian defended the internal Justice complaints process, saying, “We feel confident that the department has established a very stringent and very thorough, adequate and responsive review process.”
If you know about news in our community, call the newsroom at 625-9144.
Hl^Solms City Limits 1st Annual Menudo / Bean Cook Off
Saturday April 15,1995
For more information contact Tammy
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