‘Open carry,’ fracking bills return after technical delay

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Two of the Texas legislative session’s most-watched bills are again scheduled for debate and likely passage — three days after a technicality raised by Democrats temporarily derailed them.

The Texas House had been poised to vote Tuesday on allowing licensed Texans to wear handguns in plain sight, overturning a Civil War-era ban on “open carry.”

Also up was a bill banning municipalities from passing ordinances limiting hydraulic fracturing and other oil and gas exploration activities.

But San Antonio Democratic Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer raised a House rules objection that returned both bills to committee.

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They’re both back on the House floor Friday — and Democrats will raise more technical objections.

In the GOP-controlled chamber, outnumbered Democrats often try stall tactics on bills they oppose. Most aren’t as successful as Tuesday’s.