Texas took a giant step closer to allowing concealed handguns in public college classrooms late Tuesday, with House lawmakers giving their preliminary approval, barely beating a midnight deadline.
A final House vote Wednesday would set up negotiations with the Senate, which has passed a similar bill. A compromise would have to be sent to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott by June 1 to be signed into law.
The so-called "campus carry" bill appeared destined to fail when faced with the approaching deadline with more than a 100 amendments lined up in a Democratic effort designed to kill it. But the amendments were abruptly dropped with about 25 minutes to go and the chamber's Republican majority forced a vote that was approved 101-47.
Gun rights groups call it a critical self-defense measure.