Governor Abbott signs bill to reduce handgun license fees

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But coming as it does less than 48 hours after Montana Republican Greg Gianforte assaulted a reporter, violence against journalists is no laughing matter.

After the signing, the governor tested out a few guns at an upstairs shooting range.

Greg Abbott made the gaffe while visiting a gun range in the state capital Austin, where he was signing a bill lowering the cost of a handgun license.

Abbott's office did not respond to repeated requests by Reuters for comment on his remarks.

Gianforte, who has been charged with misdemeanor assault, first denied the claims through a spokesperson. "I guess they thought this was amusing, but it was in very poor taste so we removed it immediately".

"Politicians must condemn this risky rhetoric against reporters as it can quickly escalate to physical violence like we saw in Montana", Reporters Without Borders said in a Tweet.

Peace officers and members of Texas military forces are exempt from the fee.

The legislative session ends Monday. After opening 222 new cases last year, the Texas Education Agency opened another 159 cases between September 1 and April 1, up about 40 percent from the same period last year.

The Texas Legislature approved a sweeping package of new abortion limits Friday, despite the legal challenges they're likely to provoke and almost a year after the U.S. Supreme Court dismantled a 2013 law that prompted more than half the state's abortion clinics to close. "No law-abiding Texan should be priced out of the ability to exercise their Second Amendment rights".

"Today, by signing this law, we're saying no more are we going to allow that to happen", Abbott said before signing the bill.

This report includes information from the Star-Telegram archives.

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