TTAG Texan reader/reporter DH writes:
For those of you unfamiliar with the unique ways in which the Texas Legislature works, sine die (the end of regular session) is a month away. Legisltive deadlines are approaching. Every day that goes by without action on one or more pending bills brings us closer to another session without expanding 2A rights in the state . . .
In the House, HB910 (Licenses Open Carry) authored by Phillips passed floor vote. It’s been delivered to the Senate. It has not been referred to the Senate State Affairs Committee. No action has been taken on the bill since 4/21. HB937 by Fletcher (Campus Carry) was voted out of committee and sent to the Calendars Committee, It has languished there without being scheduled for floor vote since 4/15.
In the Senate, SB11 (Campus Carry) by Birdwell passed the Senate floor vote and was sent to the house. And there it’s sat since 3/20 without being referred to the Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee, chaired by Rep Phillips. SB17 by Estes (Licensed Open Carry) has suffered a similar fate, since 3/18.
There are slight differences in both House and Senate versions of both OC and Campus Carry bills. Either one house must adopt the language of the other without amendment or they must conference and decide upon a version to go to the floor again in both houses. The bottom line: these bills need to go to the appropriate committee in the receiving side and/or one house needs to decide to accept the other’s version and roll with it.
This process is designed to kill bills, not pass them, and the clock is running out.
If these bills do not pass during regular session, they could be considered during a special session. For that to happen, Governor Abbott would have to identify OC as one of the reasons for calling the session, specifically. With that in mind, OC supporters should take this opportunity to respectfully remind – not intimidate, badger, scare, etc. – their legislators that OC was a campaign platform of the Texas GOP. Otherwise, nothing.