Democrats use technicality to stall open carry, fracking bills

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – A technicality raised by House Democrats has stalled – at least for a couple of days – two of the Texas Legislature’s top conservative causes.

It delayed planned House approval Tuesday of open carry of handguns, and a push to prohibit local ordinances banning hydraulic fracturing.

Lawmakers had braced for hours-long debate on both.

But just a few minutes into discussion on the bill authorizing licensed Texans to carry their handguns in plain sight, San Antonio Democratic Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer objected under House rules.

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Republicans immediately convened committee hearings to fix both bills. They will now be eligible to return to the floor Friday, though exact dates haven’t yet been set.

The urban fracking ban proposal came after voters in Denton approved a much-watched local ban on fracking there.