HOUSTON- A local family says a mixture of alcohol and guns led to a shooting that forever changed one woman's life. That's why they're supporting a proposed bill that will likely stir up the gun rights debate.
The bill would make it illegal to be intoxicated while carrying a firearm in Texas.
State Representative Gina Hinojosa, (D) Austin, tells KHOU the bill she plans to file would make it illegal to carry any type of firearm while intoxicated. The current law only regulates handguns.
"While we do have a strong culture of gun ownership in the state, we also have a strong culture of responsible gun ownership and that's something that needs to be reflected in our laws," said Hinojosa.
"My question is how come alcohol and guns aren't the same as drinking and driving?" said Donna Howard, a mother who knows the pain of what can happen when alcohol and guns mix.
Her daughter Shelby was shot in the face last September. Her boyfriend is facing charges.
"Her life will never be the same, she has three kids," said Howard.
The laws are different depending on the state. In New Mexico and Oklahoma, you can't carry any firearm under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In Louisiana and Texas, the law is looser. It only applies to handguns. In Arkansas, there's no law.
"I don't really want to take guns away from anyone, that's not my intention," said Howard. "It just needs to be tougher on those who are not responsible enough to hold alcohol and handle a firearm."
You don't actually have to harm anyone to violate this proposed law, you could just be carrying. The bill is expected to be filed sometime in the next two weeks.
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