TTAG reader DH horites:
When SB11 came to the floor last night at 9:30 pm, with over a hundred pre-filed amendments, I thought it was DOA. I stopped watching the clown circus at 10pm and went to bed as the Dems and a few particular Repubs ran the clock out. So to be honest I haven’t scrubbed the amendments carefully. But what we know is this: the Texas legislature passed a watered-down campus carry bill with a host of amendments on second reading with ten minutes to spare . . .
It had to get to second reading by midnight; that was the deadline for Senate bills to be voted on in the House before end of session. No one is happy with the deal that was cut.
In short, SB11 allows universities to carve out “gun free zones,” excludes medical schools and requires private universities to comply. It basically emasculates the bill. Everyone won, but everyone lost. So on to the third reading and final passage in the House.
There’s good news and bad news.
Campus Carry still has to go to final House passage. There’s an opportunity to amend. But there’s also a lot of other business that needs to get done. We’re at the point where the Dems have a slight advantage over the GOP numbers, and that is time. They just have to stall. A lengthy floor debate doesn’t do anyone any good.
SB11 is crap and I don’t see it changing much on third reading. So, let’s presume it goes back to Senate in somewhat current form and look at the other possible outcomes.
1. Senate adopts it as is. Not likely. It’s a very different bill than the one passed by Senate.
2. The bill is now subject to a quick conference. At the conference, lawmakers can undo everything done in the House. You’ll see Speaker of the House Joe Straus’ [above] true colors based on whom he send to the committee. If he wants to kill the bill dead, it will die here. Bottom line: conference could save the bill (eliminating the carve-outs) or kill it. Whatever goes back to floor will split along party lines (plus or minus a few in the House) and likely pass.
3. It dies.
So all is not lost. We could discuss for hours how we got here, but the bottom line is that for us it’s about our civil rights. For the leaders in House and Senate, it’s about who is running the show. One thing to remember: most of the Dems in both House and Senate have a number of sessions under their belt, while the average Republican has one previous session. For about a third it’s their first. Defenders of firearms freedom have simply been outplayed.
Click here to read The Austin Stateman’s version of events.