- Associated Press - Monday, January 26, 2015

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Pushing to keep their issue at the forefront but promising to stay peaceful, gun rights activists rallied Monday at the Texas Capitol to support open carry of handguns without a license.

A similar rally by a different group two weeks ago raised tensions after a confrontation between activists and a lawmaker resulted in House members voting to make it easier to put “panic buttons” in their office to call security.

On Monday, the most notable sign of protest at the Open Carry Texas rally was the sight of gun holsters stuffed not with weapons but with bananas, rolled-up copies of the Constitution and cans of hairspray to protest restrictive gun laws.

The holster on Jason Green’s right hip carried two bananas, with “Smith” written on one of the peels and “Wesson” on the other.

“I want to call attention to the ridiculousness of the laws in Texas,” said Green who’s from Texarkana. “It’s a little silly, bananas, if you will, that I can’t carry a handgun at my side.”

Texas hasn’t allowed open carry of handguns, with or without a license, since right after the Civil War. Lawmakers are considering several open carry bills this year and most of them would require a license similar to current concealed handgun requirements.

Monday’s rally was to support the right to carry handguns without a license, also called “constitutional carry.”

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IMMIGRATION LAWSUIT

Texas says two more states have joined its coalition suing over the Obama administration’s executive action on immigration, meaning 26 states are now part of the case.

New Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Monday that Nevada and Tennessee have officially become part of the coalition.

More than half the states are now fighting the order in a federal court in Brownsville.

Announced in November, the president’s unilateral move is designed to spare millions of people living illegally in the United States from deportation. The lawsuit accuses the White House of “trampling” the Constitution.

A federal judge heard arguments Jan. 15 but didn’t immediately rule on an injunction the coalition is seeking. It would suspend Obama’s action until the lawsuit makes its way through the courts.

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ON DECK

Both chambers will be in session on Tuesday but continue to have light agendas. On Monday, lawmakers officially set new Gov. Greg Abbott’s first State of the State address for Feb. 17 at 11 a.m. in the House chamber.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY

“It’s a little silly, bananas, if you will, that I can’t carry a handgun at my side,” gun rights activist Jason Green of Texarkana, who stuffed with two bananas the holster he wore on his hip during Monday’s rally.


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