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Texas House Speaker Joe Strauss (courtesy

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.

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    • Joe Strauss is the personification of a RINO. He’s a classic statist, a comfortable member of Austin’s “political class”, and a Republican only by convenience and not by conviction. He’s the kind of guy who deep down thinks that people who want to carry guns for self protection are a bit loony.

  1. House of (D) werkin’ it’s magic again. People worry about someone getting their hands on Forms 4473 in the event of an invasion/civil unrest/overblown government, etc., etc., etc.. I’ll be going after voting registrations. If we’re going to do anything goes, we are going to do my version.

    • THIS! I won’t be hiding. For the first time in my life, I’ll turn the hunters into the prey. A lifetime of being attacked, hunted, fleeced, assaulted… Not just every waking moment, but even when I’m asleep. Pretending to be caring and compassionate while spending every ounce of effort in constant savage barbarism against anyone who dares to disagree with their agenda… Today it seems like there are too many of them, but when comes the inevitable collapse they’ve engineered, there will not be enough to sate my thirst for their blood. There is nothing in the world I want more…

      • It’s funny til it ain’t and I’m an a-hole until I’m right.

        Can I get a BWA HA HA?

        • I should have completed that statement: “I’m an a-hole until I’m right, and then you are.”

  2. So here in Texas we had a pretty big shift toward even more conservative, tea party based legislators being elected over the last two election cycles. They replaced Democrats as well as what most people would have considered more established Republican candidates. Most folks considered that would be a good thing for gun rights.

    But the Texas system of legislation (140 day sessions every other year) and many of the basic rules of the House and Senate make killing bills a whole lot easier than passing bills. Now we have so many freshman and sophomore members, who have a lot of great ideas and good intentions, but who don’t know how to work the system nearly as well as the incumbents. Many seemed to have just expected to push through the bills they were sure they had the majority on. And in many cases, they were just plain outmaneuvered by more savvy politicians, much to the detriment to all Texans.

    • Seems to me that the state GOP should be educating incoming pols on stuff like this… unless of course, the org is run by those who aren’t sympathetic to our side.

      • The problem is that there is a big split between the Moderates and right in House GOP. The far right primaried out a lot of the experienced mods, who would be voting party line right now, but helping craft a better fight. Straus will give these guys the opportunity to fail, in order to consolidate position and bring them into fold. Many are actually crediting Straus with saving this bill at last minute… So if this does make it to Gov, who looks stronger…Straus or Patrick?

        • No question there, the Senate has been moving much faster than the House, even with the large number of first and second term senators.

  3. 100 amendments ? Wow, so that is how to kill a bill while letting it pass ? Politics is amazingly stupid sometimes.

    • That is what the Hughes Amendment to FOPA was about, but it passed and got signed. Hughes was trying to kill it by vote or veto.

  4. “…came to the floor [..] with over a hundred pre-filed amendments…”

    It’s not super clear in that sentence, but I’m guessing that these amendments were from the Dems and their fellow travelers in the GOP to stall, yes? If so, why was the other side not prepared for this?

    My limited impressions of these things is that the pro-freedom side, politically speaking, does not seem to use every trick, tactic, etc to get their bills through, whereas the anti-freedom side do. So what seems to happen over and over is sweeping changes towards statism and halting, tentative shuffles towards freedom… *sigh*

    • Amendments can be pre-filed or from floor. The Dems were doing what is called chubbing, which is filing amendments then asking each author questions to eat up clock. Some are them withdrawn, some go to vote. They were doing this all day leading up to vote. Rep Phillips realized that there was too much on calendar and tried early on the day to suspend normal rules and take items out of order, but failed to get the 2/3’s he needed. So the Dems chubbed away on bills leading up to this. When they realized it might jeapordize some of their bills, the stopped and loaded up SB11 with amendments. The Dems agreed to withdraw most for the concession they got. The Repubs were simply outplayed and relied far too much on having a majority.

    • Most of the pro-freedom folks are relatively inexperienced, not career politicians who’ve been playing the game for decades like the statists. It’s not surprising when they’re outmaneuvered like this. Another good argument for term limits for legislators.

  5. Mean while, right next door in New Mexico, I continue to OC my 1911 in most public places and businesses without need of a permit.

    I don’t even need to wear hip waders for the non-existent rivers of blood in the streets.

    I continue to be amazed that we as a species ever climbed out of the mud and landed on the moon.

  6. Open the Pod Bay Doors, Hal. Time to drop another “Fact Bomb”.

    Campus Carry is a dead end issue in the short term. Wed have better luck repealing the NFA then passing college carry .The reason why , insofar as this veteran re-attending college is concerned, boils down to this.

    Parents understand the point of home defense, and even concealed carry about town what with ISIS hanging around. But guns in the hands of strangers around their son/daughter , hundreds to thousands of miles from home? Nofreakingway…..The facts may be that the average Frat boy can’t get a permit anyways, CCWs don’t cause violence, etc. Parents don’t give a rats fart about any of that.Even gun guys who should know better often default to the mindset of ” no one’s packing a gun around my daughter”. And that’s that.

    Maybe in ten years after some cultural changes in parental perception of firearms take place. Right now it makes a snowballs chance in hell look like a sure thing.Add in the intimate association between state governments and state universities plus the general on-campus repudiation of human reality, and it means not expecting State U to start honoring carry permits anytime soon.

    • Parents need to know that, at least in my experience, campus security consists of writing parking tickets, apartment security is non-existent, and there’s nothing stopping their little girl from getting raped except her own ability to protect herself. Unless they live in some special high security building, single women are completely on their own. No one will ever be there to protect them when they go to the grocery store after a night class or late shift. That’s something I had to learn on my own. No one ever warned me.

      I know this bill only applies to 21 and older, but there are a lot of older students out there now.

      • Well said, Julie. Large campuses with vast parking lots and scattered buildings are especially dangerous. Schools routinely lie to parents and students about their ability to provide security. As soon as you enter a parking lot after a night class or late night studying at the library, you’re on our own. More than a few faculty members and students are armed despite the anti-gun prohibitions. Just don’t tell anybody and nobody will care.

        • Yes, you’re right that’s what it’s come to. I try to always obey the law, but this is a law that just has to be disobeyed.

  7. A mockery of elected representation, willful disregard for lawful self protection and the end of government for and by the people.

  8. “TTAG reader DH horites:”

    WTF? Horites?

    “The Horites, (Hebrew: Horim, חרי) were a people mentioned in the Torah (Genesis 14:6, 36:20, Deuteronomy 2:12) inhabiting areas around Mount Seir which was in Canaan (Gen. 36:2,5). Mt. Seir seems to have been named after one Seir, who the land of the Horites – “the land of Seir” – was named after (Genesis 14:6).”

    I’m a bit confused here…

    • Maybe they forgot the “W” – Whorerites? (peoples inhabiting the region of the “red light”) Or maybe Whore rites (maybe they practice rituals?) or Whore rights as in Whores need to open carry too. . . when they’s up-the college so’s they don’t get unpaid sex-rape from the fraternites (a/k/a getting “Rolling Stoned”).

  9. I’d rather it just die and wait two years to try again than pass this bad law and never get around to fixing it later.

  10. What a mess. At least they beat that deadline last night though.

    Joe is my rep. I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to contact his office again? I haven’t played all the emotional arguments in my toolbox.

    Also, I don’t know why healthcare facilities get these carveouts. What’s
    so special about them? Most have crappy security and no way to stop criminals from entering.

      • Yes!

        I think the best thing they can do is let it pass to the Senate as quickly as possible, stack the decks in the conference, and bring back the bill you want for up/down vote.

  11. Was it the Democrats or the House leadership that stalled the bill until this late in the session?

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