OC (courtesy khou.com)

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.

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86 Responses to Texas Permitted Open Carry Languishing in the Legislature

  1. Once again, we see that Texas just isn’t the gun-lover’s paradise that Texans like to pretend it is.

    When is Texas going to wake up and push through “Constitutional Carry” for both CCW and OC?

    Stupid, hardcore left-coast blue states like Oregon and Washington have always allowed OC, without a permit.

    • Its not the Texans that are pretending, it the wannabees that move here every week. The Texans are busy trying to make it a reality.

      • “. . . the wannabees that move here every week.”

        Those of us who live in free-States have to awaken to the jeopardy of slave-States in the Union. Can we recognize what is going on in Texas?

        The slave-States are failing states. Progressives have to emigrate from the States whose economies they have destroyed. Where are they going to move to? Another failing state? No! Of course not!! They will move somewhere that has jobs and prosperity. So, they can implant their same Progressive policies somewhere else. Parasites kill their hosts and then find a new health host to infect.

        This is why those of us who live in free-States must compel our Congress-critters to pass National Reciprocity so as to start the process of inoculating the voters in those states against hoplophobia. We can’t stop their emigration; we can, however, reduce the number of emigrants who are anti-gun.

      • If it’s recent leftist transplants that is supposedly brining down the state, then why is OC only on the table now?

        • Because it’s not “recent”. This migration has been going on for decades. As with Colorado, there are those who are fleeing the mess they created and then voting in a way that is turning their new states into the same mess they fled.

      • Immigrated or not, they’re there now, and their opinions count. So those of us in states that do not have the “reputation” for gun rights are still left questioning where Texas is on the firearms scale. Low-middlin but moving to meet it’s reputation? Or in the midst of being overrun?

    • I read an article, in which a Democrat in the Texas senate revealed that several key republicans there don’t really want OC, and that they’ve been relying on the democrats to kill it in times past. They knew if they openly opposed it they’d probably lose their seats. Since 2/3rds rule was changed in the senate, the democrats couldn’t stop it, and the republicans who secretly oppose it have found now good excuse to prevent it from reaching the governor’s desk… until now it seems.

      Isn’t it nice to know that both sides do seem to work together to play their constituents like fools, and keep themselves in office?

    • Texas is a big intrusive Government kind of state. They just happen to like guns and business.

      This is a subtle but huge difference between Texas and a truly small government state like North Dakota.

      If you don’t believe me, try video taping the cops in TX and see if they are any different than those in MA, CA, NY or NJ.

      Or how about Government funded religion in TX schools? Hmm. Evolution is dogma per TX curriculum.

      In summary, TX Government is just as huge, oppressive, and evil as any other large states’ Government. They just happen to agree with many of our positions.

      Don

      p.s. Oh yeah. Texas courts have absolutely no respect for our 4A rights, and nether do their police. The mere presence of legally owned guns represents a threat of physical violence”. This allows texas police to serve warrants in a “no knock” fashion, even if the judge who issued the warrant requires a knock and announce.

      http://www.westernjournalism.com/texas-court-throws-2nd-4th-amendments-under-the-bus/

    • We Texans aren’t the ones pretending it’s a firearm owners paradise… it’s the antis who use it as some sort of mating call that claim it is.

      But still a shit load better than the tainted smelly ballsacks of California, New York, New Jersey, etc etc.

    • GFY. No one here has ever pretended that, so stop lying. I’ve been working for YEARS to try to get campus carry passed. I don’t need your heckling from the sidelines.

    • You know what it truly is? Texas has extremely permissive laws on what counts as defense. What good is your ability to carry openly if the second you open fire on someone for stealing your TV is the second the state reams you because it was only property that was stolen and the perp was running away so your life was not in danger?

      No, seriously, we have Stand Your Ground, Castle Doctrine, and our Defense of Property lets us shoot people trying to steal our stuff, even if they’re running away (especially if it’s nighttime) as long as you’re reasonably sure you’re not going to get it back (which is…all the time, pretty much).

      Let’s not forget the point of guns is that they are *defensive* tools. We can always fight to expand carry (as is currently happening). But the highest priority is always your ability to actually use them.

    • Ya’ll are more than welcome to come on over to ARIZONA. We’ve still got room for ya. Here you can open carry, no worries. Here your CCW will be reciprocated, and hell, ya’ll don’t even need that CCW, ’cause over here, you can legally carry concealed WITHOUT a permit.

      We’ll be wait’n for ya

  2. Looks like the TX legislature is eager to enjoy 2 more years of OC demonstrations. Two more years for gun rights advocates to plan their tactics for removing Antis from among their State representatives and senators. Two more years to count victims of campus violence.
    All this will be accompanied by 2 more years of national news debating OC and campus carry in TX. Regardless of the local political forces in play, the other 49 States will be apt to PERCEIVE OC as INEVITABLE in TX; perhaps campus carry as well. When a civil-right becomes recognized as inevitable it turns into a self-fulfilling prophecy.
    If my theory is correct, OC in TX might turn out to drag the nation – at glacial speed – to accept guns in the public square.

    • Look it isnt over yet. I got some updates yesretday. Tsra told me open carry is going to pass. Thay are combining oc and campus carry together.By doung so thay have to vpte in the house or senate. Its called a procedural move.I talked to both bill aurhers and they to said it was gping to pass. Anyway if ir doesnt pass LtGoverner Dan PATRICK is at falt I have said at the beginning dont trust Dan PATRICK. I have known him for a long time and I promise you he is not gun friendly.You feel for his BS and pretending to be a CHRISTIAN we should have elected Jerry Patterson. He was spot on about Dan.If thay dont pass open carry vote the sob out of office.

    • Hang our heads in shame for allowing Nanny-starters and wacko “Moms” to walk away with a victory.

      • If there’s one thing a leftist has never experienced, it’s the concept of shame.

        Ergo, attempting to shame them is useless.

    • Carry real looking toy guns in holsters. Saturate the police. Primary ever single person that stood in the way of this. If they can’t even do licensed open carry, the whole Texas legislature needs to be cleared out.

      • Need to pursue this idea.

        First, figure out whether a case can be made for disturbing the peace – or some such petty charge – for carrying a realistic-looking gun. Need to check each municipality before pulling this stunt.

        Now, let’s suppose that the constabulary can make some such charge stick. Then, figure out how to thwart it. Carry a banana in a holster? Carry what is obviously a small child’s toy gun in a holster? Something – anything – that will demonstrate the point without getting arrested.

        Then, switch to “blue-guns”. Do some publicity first to notify the public in the particular municipality that a “blue-gun” is a replica; it doesn’t really shoot. Maybe tool-up with replicas in other colors: pink; green; etc. Change colors. (Requires some investment in toys, replica guns; but these could be passed-around from one city to another to defray the cost.)

        Then, finally, switch to replicas that are not obviously nonfunctional; e.g., AirSofts or more realistic toys. The constabulary will have lived through the obviously faux-guns; now they will be facing guns that are not-so-obviously replicas. Are they going to want to start making an issue of it now?

        If the police sit back and do nothing to harass or arrest people OC’ing replica guns, in 18 months Texans will have gotten used to seeing what-appear-to-be OC’ing of handguns. There might be some confusion as to whether OC might have passed among the public that isn’t paying close attention. One minute they hear of the debate on OC – the next minute, someone walks by with an AirSoft in a holster.

        What will the Anti’s do? They can call a press conference and screech about OC of toy guns and look foolish. Or, they can remain silent. When the bill is introduced in the next legislative session the Antis can screech about how OC will scare the horses and hoplophobes; however, if OC of AirSofts has become a common occurrence and there have been no stories of frightened horse or hoplophobes, the Antis’ protests will ring hollow.

        • “Carry a banana in a holster? Carry what is obviously a small child’s toy gun in a holster?”

          I recommend carrying a large transparent plastic squirt gun. The transparent plastic will make it obvious that it isn’t a functional firearm. Or they could just go straight to (opaque) blue plastic training handguns. And, at the appointed time, paint the blue plastic training handguns black.

      • Absolutely. Even if you lack the energy to figure out who you should vote for, you can look up the incumbent and vote for anyone else. Fire them ALL, if this is the truth, as I have not heard anyone yelling about it, therefore each and every one must be complicit. And be ready to fire them all again next time.

      • You have got to be kidding. Not getting OC would be pretty awful, but not worth moving to Oklahoma over.

        • As a Northern transplant who has lived in both, Oklahoma is just a geographically North-er Texas.

        • Not even close, Grindstone. I’m 1 hour by truck, then 2 by boat from marlin, and sailfish. 1 hour from trophy bass fishing. 30 minutes from trophy whitetails, exotics, waterfowl, and quail. I will admit I like the pheasant hunting, and green head shooting in OK though. OC just isn’t that big a draw for me. 😀

  3. Man, I’ve been saying this for weeks. It’s bothered me that mainstream media (and even TTaG on several occasions) had made the passage of open and campus carry sound like such a sure thing. People who weren’t really paying attention got complacent. We each have a responsibility as citizens to understand the legislative process, and be willing to act to see the things that matter to us, progress. Patrick and Straus should be ashamed of themselves for letting their political egos and pettiness get in the way of legislation that many Texas constituents have vocally expressed support for.

  4. Texas legislature at its finest. No problems getting the State Pie through all the hoops, but something important to many residents…..nah!

  5. Typical politicians. They say one thing then do another. Campaign platforms mean nothing but a way to get a job.

    • Especially since now a majority of them can claim (truthfully) that they voted for OC. Yet it didn’t happen.

      Nebraska, with one house in its legislature, sometimes looks really good.

      Bicameral legislatures at the state level are basically imitations of the Federal system, fundamentally pointless ones. The federal system was done the way it was done to allow both state and popular representation, (though the 17th amendment destroyed that), but state bicameral legislatures serve no such purpose.

      They just let the politicians get what they REALLY want–the other house can vote it down, so you can safely vote yes like your constituents want, even though you really want to vote no. Or there will be two bill so both can pass their chamber but still die because of stuff like this.

      • Don’t the bicameral legislatures serve the same purpose at the state level? To ensure that there is still representation in less populous areas of the state? So that 1 major population center can’t just rule a state.

    • And in TX, you really have to ask “why”, and most answers are not appetizing. Remember, legislators’ salaries are $7500 a year. So what is the big attraction, hmm?

  6. Personally, I don’t believe Texas deserve OC. I think their radical rifle toting minority has ruined any chances of getting this through. Come back in a few years when y’all grow up.

    • So let’s see…

      Deny Person A his rights, because Person B is a jackass?

      Isn’t that our very complaint about the gun grabbers, wanting to pass laws that injure lawful gun owners, to (ineffectually, but that doesn’t matter for this point) hit criminal gun use?

      Logic fail, here.

      • Steve – In politics it’s all about optics. The entire country hears the MSM reverberate the stories of the radical few. Bad optics. And since when is politics – logical?

        • I agree with that. It’s still no reason to tell Texans, all Texans, that they deserve what they are getting. There is absolutely nothing you can legally or morally do to prevent your neighbor from acting like a jackass, yet(from the way you talk) you deserve to be punished for it.

    • If you think the majority of people who carry in Texas are like those OCT nutjobs, you are flat wrong. Most people I know in Texas can’t stand those “in your face” tactics and think that the leadership of those groups might be working for the antis, since they’ve been so successful in being the force to stop open carry in Texas.

      • I’ll point out here that even OCT is mostly NOT nutjobs, but of course the few that were, who seem to be concentrated in Tarrant County, got all the media attention. (OCT has urged its members to stop doing some particularly stupid/bad-looking things.)

      • HP – radical rifle toting minority is not the majority. But from the MSM broadcast perspective where most people get their (low) information, they are the loudest ones. I believe in zero gun laws. I believe in the Constitution with it’s plain and simple language. I don’t believe shall not be infringed means reasonable restrictions. But if Texans wants to expand their natural, civil, and Constitutionally protected gun rights, the maybe they should do what they are known best for and go big. Letting a small radical faction get all the press isn’t the way to go.

        • Feeling some obligation to hide is not the way to go, either. Personally, I’d like to intimidate churches so that they would keep their silliness out of my face, but I am aware that is not in accordance with their RIGHTS! Somehow the American people have forgotten that carrying a gun is also among their rights, and they need to be reminded. A correct minded government will fire offending LEOs until there is no response to SWATting, and looney moms can just scream themselves silly, but soon enough a man with a visible gun would be as common in Texas as a church.

    • What’s wrong with OCing a rifle? /it wasn’t 10 years ago you heard the same “radical” argument from CCers claiming the OCers are going to ruin it… Cowards. Tubgirl gun owners; crap in your own face before anyone else does, then you can claim you didn’t lose…

    • How does a Texan define “polite”? If it were me I would define it as get off your arse and get ‘er done or git another job.

        • You’re right, it’s the same guy.

          He deserves to not be allowed to open carry, and because he’s here on TTAG, we don’t deserve it either. Using his “logic.”

      • I haven’t been following what each and every senator has been doing, and for all I know she could actually be trying to do that very thing (albeit rather unlikely)… If I knew for a fact that she was trying to stall progress of the bill, the tone of the letter would be very different.

        You can be personable and insistent at the same time.

        Also, to correct my earlier post, *sent.

      • Just sent mine to the Lt. Gov. He’s the most important one re moving legislation along. Abbot made a specific commitment to sign this kind of bill, I think once it gets to his desk he won’t be able to do otherwise.

  7. I guess if Texas had more ISIS attacks
    ( which very well may happen)
    the legislature start doing their duty and get off their ass and pass some
    more decent gun-rights legislation.
    How?
    Get Pam Geller to hold some of those Mohammad Cartoon Rallies closer to
    State Capitol.

  8. Just throwin’ something out here, it’s not supposed to be a hand grenade and I ain’t saying it is the correct way to look at it–but do any of you think it might be at least in part a function of _permitted_ OC not being very much to get excited about to a lot of people? I mean, people who don’t have a permit have nothing immediate to get passionately behind ( I know, baby steps and all–that’s why I said “immediate”); and as you can see from this very forum, a significant percentage of folks who do have permits do not care for OC themselves for tactical or practical or political or other reasons. And again, I know, solidarity with the 2A community and all that, but with no perceived personal skin in the game, it’s hard to be as passionate about it as one might otherwise be, no? Or no? To tell the truth, being pretty much surrounded by no-permit OC states whose streets are NOT flowing with gunshot-spilled blood, the idea of knocking yourself out to get OC only with the gov’t issued permission slip seems kind of–I dunno, but it’s not real inspirational. OK, I’ll toss this out and let the flames roll in…and maybe some statistical evidence or polling or something to show that I’m off in left field here.

    • There are currently over 800,000 CHL holders in Texas. Ya think some of those would like to be free to not have to be so damn careful to not flash or print. For those who don’t live in Texas, it gets really hot and windy. This is not about parading around toting a handgun in best hand craved leather holster. It’s about freedom of choice, and comfort.

      • Well, yes, I think “some” would. But–Accidental, momentary “flashes” are not really a problem, in the criminal-law sense, as far as I know. I really don’t see OC as an answer to a problem with criminal liability for momentary “flashes” or “prints”; it just doesn’t seem to be that big of a problem (Does anybody here know of anyone who has been arrested because the wind blew his coat back or some such?) And again, of those 800, 000 CHL holders, how many are interested in OC? And how many are really worried enough about an inadvertent peek that they are full-on behind permitted OC for that reason? I know there are some, but as a percentage of the gun-owning community, how big is it? As a percentage of the voters as a whole? I don’t know but it seems like a possibility to me that the really passionate [permit-only] OC people are something of a “niche” even within the POTG, or at least might be seen as such by those politicos who themselves aren’t personally interested in the subject. In my opinion, it would be an entirely different story if OC was a way to carry as the Constitution sets out, without fees, class requirements, and gov’t-issue permission slips.(BTW, my state rep is one of the co-authors of the OC bill, my state Senator is a co-author of the campus-carry bill, I fully expect both the vote correctly in this issue).

        • “entirely different story if OC was a way to carry as the Constitution sets out, without fees, class requirements, and gov’t-issue permission slips”
          THAT WILL NEVER happen in Texas without permitted OC first. And no, an accidental display is not subject to arrest, that was changed with reduction of mandatory number of CHl classroom hours Senate Bill No. 299 (SB 299 )amends Texas Penal Code Section 46.035, Subsections (a) and (h) to protect Texas Concealed Handgun Licensees against charges of unlawful display of a handgun if they accidentally or inadvertently display their firearms in plain view of another person in a public place. It is further amended to include a defense to prosecution if at the time of the commission of the offense, displayed the handgun under circumstances in which the licensee would have been justified in the use of force or deadly force. This law becomes effective September 1, 2013. My point is OC freedom to make the choice

        • If it is important enough for antis to get their panties in a bunch over it, and for our legislators to lie to us about it, then it is important to me to get it passed or fire all of TX government to the last man, until it is done.

  9. If you haven’t emailed your Rep, Senator, Lt Gov and Speaker, I suggest doing so soon.

    The easiest path by far, is for the Senate to adopt HB910 without amendment.

  10. All right, I just fired off some e-mails. Thanks for keeping me informed. TTAG and social media are great tools to help us get our rights back.

  11. This doesn’t surprise me. First Florida, the Texas, and another state I can’t recall. The legislatures, most often their Senate, are stopping all these bills.

    • You may be thinking of Colorado, where the Dems kept control of the state house by a whisker thin margin (a race that took days to count, threw the swing seat to the dems). It would not have mattered, though, with Chickenhumper still in the governor’s mansion.

  12. Okay, fine. Let the bills time-out and expire. Then file suit in federal court. Remember, a state must allow people to keep and bear arms in order to exercise their Second Amendment right. And since the courts have established that states cannot charge a fee in order to exercise a fundamental right, the federal court is compelled to strike down Texas law which bans open carry. And voila, constitutional open carry in Texas without any licenses, permits, or fees.

    Pro tip: have your largest organized firearms rights group in Texas share this tidbit with the Texas legislature. The Texas legislature will then face two options:
    (1) Pass permitted open carry and retain some level of control and revenue.
    (2) Or, let the bills expire and the courts strike down Texas law which prohibits open carry … and lose control and revenue.

    I am pretty confident that this will provide the incentive that the legislature needs to pass licensed open carry.

  13. FWIW, Texas budget, sales and property tax reform, school finance, charter schools, OC, campus carry, gun tax holiday…pretty much everything has been stalled for the last couple of weeks…doesn’t make it right though.

    • Do we know what the holdup is? I’m sure I’ll hear eventually from TSRA, but I’ve seen nothing in the news.

  14. You can see here in Florida how easy it is to kill a bill.
    Just let it sit in a committee and not be brought up for a vote.
    The reps go home and act like they supported it. But so and so in party “A” kills it in committee.
    Another example of representatives on the state level who don’t work hard enough. Nor more importantly long enough per session.
    It all makes me sick about all levels of local government.
    It becomes a blame game and nothing gets done.
    Texas is no different.

  15. At 5 this evening I got a notification that both SB11 and SB17 were referred to the House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee, chaired by Rep Phillips who also authored HB910 on the house side. Coincidence or not, it occured after people started emailing their reps.

    • Yeah, just when I was planning to call Phillips’ office (not my rep) and ask WTF?, I got that notice too. I hope this gets things back on track.

  16. This is not at all surprising. Joe Strauss, the Speaker Of The House, is a known statist liberal who nonetheless was kept in place by representatives who also claim to be conservative and tea-party supporters. Dan Patrick has already shown that he’s a weasel pretending to be a conservative. The Texas legislature has always shown itself to be a statist preserve. Doesn’t look like much has changed with the new occupants.

  17. The House had the first reading of SB17 yesterday, and it was referred for review to Public Safety

  18. If the author would call me before writing an article about this, they could get the actual facts. Open carry will pass and they are moving as expected. We were the main lobbyist got the bill and achieved 80 signatures on it. Politics on this one are working themselves out.

  19. TERRY WHO CALLED YOU AND TOLD YOU OPEN CARRY IS GOING TO PASS. I HAVE LOOKED AT THE CALENDERS IVR LOOKED AT THE COMMUNITYS I CANT FIND NOTHING. LET ME KNOW PLEASE. I CALLED BOTH AUTHORS AND TSRA ALL THREE SAID IT WAS GOING TO BUT SOMEONE BETTER GET IT ON THE FLOOR OR IT WILL DIE.

  20. I would just like to be contacted if or when the bill might be reality and passed into law. I was under the impression, being born and raised in Texas, that our state would kinda blaze the trail on the right to openly carry our firearms. Just somewhat disappointed in our state that this seems not the case.

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