Gun debate continues as Tarrant County lawmaker introduces controversial bill

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by TODD UNGER

Bio | Email | Follow: @toddWFAA8

WFAA

Posted on February 7, 2013 at 11:30 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 8 at 12:47 AM

ARLINGTON -- In the same week that a Tarrant County lawmaker introduced controversial new gun legislation, the Arlington branch of a background check company said it is seeing record number of applicants for concealed carry licenses.

Every week, up to 300 applicants come through Kimberly Allen's IdentoGO office. The majority are there to get their photo taken and fingers scanned, so they can eventually get their concealed carry license through the Texas Department of Public Safety.

"We're seeing almost double over a year ago," Allen said. "They're afraid the laws will change, and they're doing it for protection."

The sharp increase comes at the same time that gun rights and gun laws continue to be a hot-button issue around the state.

Earlier in the week, Republican State Representative Matt Krause introduced legislation in Austin that would effectively allow Texas to ignore federal gun laws, if the laws were more restrictive or stricter than what Texas law reads.

"The federal government has the ability to enforce gun regulations. If they wanna do it, they've got to use their own resources and people,"  he told News 8 in a Skype interview from the capitol. "Texas isn't going to help with it."

There is speculation about whether the bill will gain any momentum.

Marsha McCartney, the president of the Texas chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence said in a statement, "I am not sure that HB928 is a serious bill. I AM sure that Rep. Krause knows that the bill he has filed is unconstitutional. It seems to me that it is a waste of time and what our lawmakers should be concerned with is how to reduce gun violence."

E-mail tunger@wfaa.com

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