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Perry urges fight against gun control

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Texas is the focus of two big gun shows. One is going on in Houston with the NRA holding its national convention. The other "show" will be here in Austin Saturday at the state Capitol.

The National Rifle Association convention opened Friday with an attempt to put a new face on the gun control debate.

"Are you proud of your freedom, stand up and be counted," urged NRA Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre.

Among those standing with the NRA was Governor Rick Perry. A high impact introduction for the Texas governor was played on a giant video monitor. With rock music blaring through the hall images flashed across the screen of Perry firing a semi-automatic rifle at a melon and several metal targets. From the video range to in person on stage -- voiced welcomed the group back to the Lone Star State by declaring he is," still a proud life time member of the NRA.

During his speech Governor Perry said there are "no easy fixes" to gun violence. In promising to protect gun rights Perry described efforts for gun control as misguided.

"And intentionally or not, by keeping guns out of the hands of those who use them properly and legally they're only making it easier for those to prey on the defenseless," said Gov. Perry.

That idea - is also the driving force behind legislation under consideration at the state capitol. Saturday in the House chamber debates will be held on several bills that could allow gun possession on college campuses as well as expand the opportunity to arm school employees.

"I believe that our measure does provide the best opportunity for Texans to protect school children," said State Representative Jason Villalba.

The Dallas Republican has drafted what's known as the School Marshal bill. It would establish a new statewide standard for school districts to essentially create an undercover security force. Those individuals could come from the ranks of Vice Principal, teachers and even custodians.

Rep. Villalba says the School Marshals would not be retired police or volunteers.

"Not unless they're already an employee of the school. So we don't somebody coming there just to be that person because remember this school marshal is confidential in nature," said Rep. Villalba.

State law already allows school districts like Harold ISD to have armed employees. But it's up to individual school boards to decide who gets to carry bullets along with their textbooks - and what type of training is necessary.

"It's not the volume; it's the quality that matters right," said State Representative Mark Strama.

The Austin Democrat says he understands the call for upgrading campus safety, especially after recent school shooting incidents. But Strama plans to go into Saturday's debates urging caution.

"What are making its way to the floor tomorrow in general, are things that escalate rather than deescalate the amount of weaponry on campus and I'm OK with trained law enforcement personal being on campus but beyond that I think we go too far," said Rep. Strama.

Not all the gun legislation up for debate tomorrow is focused on schools. One bill would prevent state authorities from enforcing any new federal law that bans or restricts firearms gun accessories or ammunition that run contrary to Texas law. Another bill would reduce the number of hours of training that's required to get a concealed handgun license.

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