Vote on Texas bill to make voting tougher blocked by no quorum

A bill that would let Texans carry concealed handguns without any permit passed the state's legislature on Monday and headed to the desk of the governor who has promised to sign it. When Governor Greg Abbott signs the measure into law, Texas will become the 21st state, and the most populous, in the United States to have some form of permitless concealed carry, according to the National Rifle Association. Rep. Matt Schaefer, a Republican who authored the bill, which gun rights advocates call a "constitutional carry" law, had earlier called it the "strongest Second Amendment legislation in Texas history." The bill protects "the right of law-abiding Texans to carry a handgun as they exercise their God-given right to self-defense and the defense of their families," Schaefer wrote on Twitter. Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican representing Texas, wrote on Twitter: "This is excellent news for law abiding-Second Amendment loving Texans." The bill that passed includes compromises that address concerns of the law enforcement community, including getting rid of language that would have prevented a police officer from questioning a suspect based solely on the fact that they were carrying a gun. Everytown for Gun Safety, an advocacy group that works for tougher gun regulations across the U.S., blasted the bill. "These representatives have abandoned their oaths of office to represent our interests," said Elizabeth Hanks, a volunteer for Moms Demand Action, the grassroots wing of Everytown, in a written statement. Sponsored by Mutual Funds Sahi Hai Manage risk with proper planning! Be it Mutual Funds or Cricket, one must take calculated risks depending on their investment objective, time horizon and risk appetite. See more "We're putting them on notice – we'll stop at nothing to make sure Texas voters know just how much danger these representatives have put them in," she added.

Democrats in the Texas House of Representatives boycotted a legislative session late Sunday, blocking a vote on an election reform bill critics say would make it harder for Blacks and Hispanics to vote.

With just over an hour before a midnight deadline to pass the measure, Republican members of the House said that Democrats had walked out to deny the House a quorum for a vote.

The Texas House went into recess until 10 a.m. local time on Monday – beyond the midnight Sunday deadline to pass legislation in this session.

A vote on the measure is certain to pass the Republican-dominated house. Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who strongly supports the bill, said in a late Sunday emailed statement that the bill would be added to a special legislative session planned for this fall.

Supporters of the legislation said it is needed to bolster election security. The country’s second-most-populous state already has some of the most restrictive electoral laws in the United States, even without the pending bill.

The proposed bill states that the changes “are not intended to impair the right of free suffrage” but are necessary to “prevent fraud in the electoral process.”

Republican U.S. Representative Michael McCaul of Texas told CNN’s “State of the Union” that the intent is to “give the American people more trust in our elections.”

Democrats and civil rights groups argue that such legislation disproportionately burdens or discourages voters of color, as well as the elderly and disabled.

There were no substantial allegations of fraud in Texas in last year’s election and Republicans maintained their three-decade grip on all statewide offices.

Republican state lawmakers across the country have pursued more stringent voting restrictions following former President Donald Trump’s false claim that he lost the 2020 election because of widespread election fraud.

So far, 14 other U.S. states have enacted 22 laws this year that make it more difficult for Americans to vote, according to a report released on Friday by the Brennan Center for Justice.

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