Monday, June 01, 2015

TX: Campus Carry Passes; now to Governor Abbott

The campus carry bill passed the last hurdles in the Texas House and Texas Senate today, 31 May, 2015.  The bill was significantly altered during the debates in the House and in the conference committee, primarily because it was held up in the House calendars committee until near the end of the legislative session.  This  gave the minority of House Democrats leverage to insert restrictive amendments as a trade off to running out the clock.

House Speaker Joe Straus is widely given responsibility for control of the Calendars committee; he appointed the members, who are seen as Straus loyalists.  In 2013, Straus gathered 11 Republicans and at least 65 Democrats to seize the Speaker's position.  In 2015 Straus was elected to the Speakership with only 19 opposing votes, though  Wikipedia states that it was the first  recorded vote for speaker since 1976.  Speaker Straus has great control over what bills pass, and what bills die in committee.  In his first term as speaker, it is reported that more Democrat bills become law than Republican bills.

The campus carry bill, SB11 is expected to be signed by Governor Abbot in a few days, but the provisions of the law will not go into effect until August 1, 2016 for four year colleges, and August 1, 2017 for Junior colleges.

SB 11 allows officers in colleges to create rules and regulations for the concealed carry of handguns by license holders.  Those have to be presented to the governing body, such as a Board of Reagents.  This language was added in the conference committee, and seems to dilute the effect of SB 11 even more than the House amendments, which did not give administrative officers in colleges this power, but required a 2/3 vote by governing bodies.   

 It is hard to be sure exactly how the law well come out, as I have yet to see a final version of the text that will be sent to Governor Abbott.  It is a win for second amendment supporters.   A Texasguntalk forum member said that it was a "toe in the door".

Open carry is still prohibited on college campuses.

30.06 signs will be required where concealed carry by license holders is forbidden.  

The passage of campus carry seems almost a by-product of the social movement to restore second amendment rights know as "open carry".
The movement became the strongest social movement in Texas since the Civil Rights era, as over 2,500 open carry marches were organized and conducted all around Texas.  The movement created activists that defeated many Republicans and some Democrats, leading to the supermajorities of Republicans in the House and the Senate, and to the landslide victory of conservative Republicans around the state.

Activists eagerly watched the play by play of State politics on live feed over the internet, and were outraged at each motion and vote that they saw as vindication of their mistrust of politicians and the legislative process.  With each vote and procedure, the phone lines and email servers lit up with activists applying pressure to their representatives and senators.

I am convinced that it was grass roots activism that pushed this bill through, as flawed as it finally was.  The education that those activists received during this legislative session will not go away.  It is all recorded for posterity, and it will have effects on the next election cycle and the next legislative session.  A powerful political force has been created, and will have effects on Texas politics for decades.

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch


Wireless.Phil said...

How will they know who already has a gun?
Home searches next?

The Firearm Risk Protection Act.
Bill would require gun owners to have liability insurance or pay $10,000 fine

Anonymous said...

I just don't see how a legislature can give control of a guaranteed federal constitutional right to a board or other group of people to say what is or is not permitted concerning that right. anywhere a citizen goes that right goes with them. makes no difference what right it is. I wonder how the board of regents would respond to the students passing rules that forbid the regents to speak.

Anonymous said...

Why is someone fear of being around guns more important than my fear of being without a gun?

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure that I concede to the idea that automobile insurance only affects a privilege. We have freedom of movement and the constitution does not include a definition of how we accomplish that movement , foot, bicycle or car, Is it a right or not to drive. Nothing in the constitution limits how we can move around the country with our rights intact. But The second amendment is a guaranteed written right. How can they pass a law that someone may not be able to afford to buy insurance to exercise the right to carry. The right to carry is insurance by it's self for personal safety. In Arizona the cops can not stop you just because you are carrying to find out if you are carrying so how will they find out if you have insurance or not. Should we be required to submit to a tattoo on the end of our noses?, where do the infringements stop? The Egyptians required a pierced ear with a gold ring to identify a slave. How much are e going to put up with before we make it clear to the morons of this world to leave our gun rights alone. My grand father many generations past formed the militia that fired the shot heard around the world the first time this started. I could not be more proud of that grand father. I hope he would be proud of me. I'm not putting up with it anymore than he did. If they want my guns they will get them when I have no ammo left and every other weapon I have left has been used.