Saturday, February 14, 2015

TX: Campus Carry and Open Carry Pass Senate Committee 7-2

Texas moved a bit closer to passing campus carry and open carry bills out of the Texas Senate yesterday, February 12.   The Senate has been the bottleneck for these bills because a  super majority is needed to get them out of the Senate.  That majority used to be 21 votes out of 31.   It was amended early this session to become 19 votes out of 31.   It is still a high hurdle, but Lt. Governor Dan Patrick heads the Texas Senate.  He has promised to pass both campus and open carry.  I am convinced that he is working hard to do so.  Here is a statement that he posted on his facebook page:
OPEN CARRY AND CAMPUS CARRY PASS OUT OF STATE AFFAIRS TODAY 7-2 All Republicans voted yes. We are now one step closer to passing these two bills out of the Senate.


to Senators Birdwell and Estes for building support for their bills and moving them forward. Also a big thank you to Chairman Huffman, the Senators, and the people who traveled to Austin to testify on these bills. It was a very long day for all.

When session began Sen Birdwell already had 19 co-authors for his Campus Carry bill. He has been working on that bill for years and was within one vote of passing it last session out of the Senate.

On the other hand, Senator Estes had few co-authors just a few weeks ago. Over the past 3 weeks he gathered nearly a dozen co-authors and gained full support on the committee.

I promised we would pass Open Carry and Campus Carry. I worked on the bill as well, but 100% of the credit goes to the Senators as always.
Open carry activists continue to push hard for constitutional carry.  Comments at the facebook page show that support.
Matthew StringerCampus carry is great, however we really want constitutional open carry! Not this liberal licensed carry junk. I do not want to pay a tax and trade a right for a privilege! Honor the GOP platform and constitution! 
 Yesterday at 7:09pm
Dan Patrickthe votes aren't there yet

The  disarmists in the media, particularly the Texas Tribune, seem to be the only real opposition.   Former Governor Perry did not do his presidential bid or the open carry movement any good when he voiced a personal preference for concealed carry.  From the
Perry said he was “not necessarily all that fond of this open carry concept,” adding that those who carry guns ought to be “appropriately backgrounded, appropriately vetted, appropriately trained.”

“We license people to drive on our highways,” he said. “We give them that privilege. The same is true with our concealed handguns.”

But also, he said he prefers concealed handguns for “a more practical reason.”

“I don’t want the bad guys to know if I’m carrying," he said. "I don’t want to be the first person shot if something’s going down.”
This bit of Internet mythology does not hold up to investigation.  Most attackers simply target someone else if they find an armed person at the scene;  and concealed carriers can and have been attacked because the attacker did not know that they were armed.   It may be that former Governor Perry and the Texas Tribune have stopped constitutional carry in Texas for the moment, but legislative politics are fluid.   With the help and support of legislative leaders like Dan Patrick, much may happen.  The next month or two will be very interesting for second amendment supporters.

The bills that passed the Senate committee are SB11, campus carry with a requirement to conceal the weapon on campus; and SB17, a licensed open carry bill.  The only senators voting against the bill were the two Democrats. Here is a link to committee testimony video.  Both bills are scheduled go in front of the entire Senate on next Tuesday, 17 February.  That is the crutial vote, it appears.  19 votes are necessary out of 31.  There are 20 Republicans in the Senate

Definition of  disarmist 

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