Texas legislature: Assault rifle reform falters, Texas House approves internet gambling

It was "do-or-die" day for a pair of ultra-high profile legislative measures in the Texas House.

On the table, is the controversial proposal to put approval of internet sports gambling on a statewide ballot for voters to decide.

State Representative Jeff Leach argued Texans are already betting $8 billion a year online and outside the law.

SUGGESTED: Texas House panel OKs bill raising age to buy semi-automatic rifles days after Allen mall shooting

"Every single one of these Texans, every single one of them are criminals, they are criminals under Texas law and I think we should pass this bill to let them come out of the shadows and let us safely and carefully regulate this," said Leach, a Plano Republican.

"We are talking about helping sports teams, billionaires and lining their pockets with our votes as some of our children and getting further addiction on their device," said State Representative Matt Shaheen in opposition.

The measure needed exactly one hundred votes for passage and drew 101.

On the issue of gun control, allies of the Uvalde families looking to raise the minimum purchase age of semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21 attempted to attach their measure, via amendment, to another firearm regulation bill.

The last-ditch plea was packed with emotion.

"Had this been law last year at this time those teachers those kids would be alive today. Full stop," said State Representative Joe Moody, a Democrat from El Paso.


Houston House member Armando Walle read the name and age of each child and teacher killed at Robb Elementary.

But the bid to raise the age of semi-automatic rifle purchase was challenged by Houston-area State Representative Briscoe Cain on a technicality and the amendment was withdrawn, pre-empting a vote of the full House.

Meantime, the measure aimed at legalizing online sports betting will now be considered by the Texas Senate.