© 2020 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Texas Matters: The Gun Bill Veto And White Lies

Ryan Poppe | Texas Public Radio
Gov. Greg Abbott

It was on September first that over 800 new laws went into effect in Texas, including ten new gun laws that made it easier for owning and open carrying guns in the state. But there were some new bills that passed the legislature that didn’t become laws; these were the 58 vetoed bills.

One of them was House Bill 1168, which would make it a state crime to bring a gun into a restricted area at an airport. This bill did not prevent guns from being carried in airport terminals.

This law was for secure areas like the tarmac or airport ramp. The bill was overwhelmingly passed in both houses. But it was shut down by Governor Greg Abbott’s veto. 

In the last month, Texas has seen two mass shootings, and pro-gun state officials appeared to be on the defensive about their record of full support for the gun lobby. In response to the shooting deaths, Abbott issued eight executive orders. They focused largely on bolstering the ability of law enforcement to respond to and prevent future shootings. They aimed to improve reporting channels and close "information gaps" when members of the public or law enforcement worry that a person might be a threat.

Also, the House Democratic Caucus formally requested that Abbott call a special session to address the mass shootings.

The last time Abbott called a special session was in 2017 to pass a Bathroom Bill and other items.

Dallas State Rep. Rafael Anchia wrote House Bill 1168 – the guns in airports bill -- and said the governor’s veto made Texas less safe.

Anchia is the state representative for District 103 in Dallas. The Democrat is also the chair of the International Trade & Intergovernmental Affairs Committee. 

White Lies Podcast

Most everyone knows about the Civil Rights struggle in the South and the brutality of Bloody Sunday.

On March 7, 1965, police on horseback charged, bull whipped and beat peaceful civil rights workers who were marching for voting rights on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama.

What followed is another story. It's about the beating death of James Reeb, a white Unitarian minister from Boston who came to Selma in support of the demonstrators for voting rights.

Three white men -- Elmer Cook, William Stanley Hoggle and Namon O'Neal "Duck" Hoggle -- were arrested and charged with murder in Reeb's killing. They were acquitted in a sham trial.

Reeb's killing would be considered another civil rights cold case and be filed away in the history of the country. But after a four year investigation, reporters working with NPR uncovered new evidence in the case -- they identified a fourth attacker who "admitted his involvement" in the murder. The reporting is outlined in a podcast called “White Lies.”

Chip Brantley and Andrew Beck Grace are the investigative reporters behind the podcast.