BG Reads | News You Need to Know (September 4, 2019)

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[BG PODCAST]

Episode 51 - Austin's Land Development Code Revision with Team Lead Annick Beaudet (LINK TO SHOW)


[AUSTIN METRO]

Council’s Judicial Committee addresses THC testing and marijuana enforcement under House Bill 1325 (BG Blog)

During the Austin City Council’s Judicial Committee meeting on September 2, members listened to testimony about THC testing and marijuana enforcement under House Bill 1325.

House Bill 1325 legalized hemp and hemp-derived extracts, such as CBD oil, with less than 0.3% THC… (LINK TO STORY)


Safety concerns top of mind for residents at St. Edward’s University homelessness panel discussion (Community Impact)

Throughout the summer, Austin’s city leaders and its homeless service providers have held panel discussions to hear questions from the community about how to address the issue of homelessness.

On Sept. 3, in a panel discussion at St. Edward’s University, audience members made it clear—both with questions written on note cards and passed to moderators and with questions shouted angrily at the city leaders on stage-that public safety is on the top of their list of concerns.

About 30 minutes into the Sept. 3 event, the discussion was delayed when members of the audience shouted down the panelists angrily, with some recording video of the scene on their phones… (LINK TO STORY)


Commissioners must find replacement to head family violence court (Austin Monitor)

It’s probably not a position most voters spend time thinking about, but members of the Travis County Commissioners Court stressed the importance of County Court #4 as they discussed appointing somebody to fill the vacancy created by departing incumbent Judge Mike Denton.

The court, which was set up 20 years ago, deals almost exclusively with misdemeanor charges related to family violence. Granting emergency protective orders to abuse victims is a critical component of that work. The court also connects victims with services and directs offenders to treatment programs aimed at solving the underlying problem, such as substance abuse, mental illness or past trauma.

“Those aren’t the kind of cases you can say, OK, we’ll do that next month,” said Denton, who showed up at the Commissioners Court to provide guidance on selecting his successor… (LINK TO STORY)


[TEXAS] 

Texas gun debate is rekindled after second mass shooting in a month (Houston Chronicle)

Republican lawmakers in Texas are yet again resisting pressure from Democrats to enact gun restrictions after a man went on a shooting spree while driving between Odessa and Midland over the weekend, killing seven people before he was shot and killed by police. It was the second mass shooting in Texas in just one month, and lawmakers from both parties are pledging that something will be done.

In Washington, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — who Democrats have accused of stalling a bill the House of Representatives passed earlier this year to expand background checks for firearm purchases — said on Tuesday he’d be “happy” to bring to the Senate floor any legislation supported by President Donald Trump. McConnell told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt that the administration is “studying what they are prepared to support, if anything” and he expects to hear what that is next week when lawmakers return to D.C… (LINK TO STORY)


Odessa Shooter Bought Gun At Private Sale, Had Been Blocked In 2014 Over 'Mental Health Issue' (KUT)

The gunman in a West Texas rampage that left seven dead obtained his AR-style rifle through a private sale, allowing him to evade a federal background check that blocked him from getting a gun in 2014 due to a “mental health issue,” a law enforcement official told The Associated Press.

The official spoke to The Associated Press Tuesday on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation. The person did not say when and where the private sale took place… (LINK TO STORY)


[NATION]

Walmart Announces It Will Stop Selling Handgun Ammunition (NPR)

Walmart says it will discontinue the sale of handgun ammunition and publicly request customers refrain from openly carrying firearms in stores even where state laws allow it.

The announcement comes just days after a mass shooting claimed seven lives in Odessa, Texas, and follows two other back-to-back shootings last month, one of them at a Walmart store.

The Bentonville, Ark.-based discounter said Tuesday it will stop selling short-barrel and handgun ammunition, including .223 caliber and 5.56 caliber used in military style weapons, after it runs out of its current inventory. It will also discontinue handgun sales in Alaska, marking its complete exit from handguns and allowing it to focus on hunting rifles and related ammunition only… (LINK TO STORY)


The Bingham Group, LLC is an Austin-based full service lobbying firm representing and advising clients on municipal, legislative, and regulatory matters throughout Texas.

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