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TX lawmakers approve marshals bill

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Saturday was 'gun' day at the capitol. The Texas house met and looked at several different bills dealing with guns.

One of them is called the Protection of Texas Children Act or HB 1009. The house voted to pass the bill, which allows public schools in Texas to designate one employee from each school to receive special training and to have a concealed handgun on campus.

State Representative Jason Villalba, the bill's author, says the legislation creates a new subset of law enforcement officer, called school marshals, who will serve as the last line of defense should an armed attacker threaten the lives of children in public schools. The marshal program will be optional for school districts, while the bill has bi-partisan support. Many on the left say arming school employees goes too far.

"It's the wrong response to what occurred in Newtown, to what occurred in Aurora, Colorado, what occurred at the University of Virginia. It's the wrong response," said democratic Representative Garnet Coleman of Houston.

"Texas is taking a tremendous step forward in protecting our Texas kids. I have a young child in a public school so I know how important this is. What we did today was mirror the federal air marshal program into schools," said republican Representative Jason Villalba of Dallas.

The house also voted to allow students, 21 and older, to carry concealed handguns on college campuses. That bill will have its 3rd and final reading on Monday.

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