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Don H writes:
Barring any special sessions, which Governor Abbott has suggested are not planned, the Texas 84th Legislature is a wrap. With the Governor signing HB910 and SB11 into law today, Texas will soon be a licensed open carry and concealed campus carry (with some restrictions) state. So how did gun owners fare overall? Let’s look at the numbers . . .

There were a total of 6276 bills introduced in the House and Senate (11356 if you count congratulatory and other resolutions). Of those 6276 bills, 1323 passed and were sent to the Governor. To date he has vetoed four.  By my count, the legislature considered 33 firearms or hunting-related bills. They broke down roughly like this:
  • 4 for licensed open carry
  • 2 for constitutional carry
  • 5 involved either easing restrictions on places to carry or allowing someone who inadvertently brought a gun to the airport to leave without penalty
  • 5 would have negated or established state supremacy over federal firearms laws
  • 6 which reduced requirements or fees, expanded privileges or gave exception to certain groups to carry, qualify with or purchase firearms
  • 2 involving hunting
  • 1 use of force
  • 2 regarding CHL licensing (minimum age and minimum caliber)
  • 5 that would create restrictions (Mag size, universal background checks, blah, blah, blah…)
  • 1 that would make it okay for a kid to chew a pop tart into the shape of an L or gun….
Of those 33 bills (by my count), seven passed and went to Governor Abbott’s desk. So all in all, with a 21 percent pass rate, gun bills averaged pretty much the same passing rate as all other bills. Given that several of the firearm-related bills (as well as general bills) were duplicates or had companion bills in both houses, that’s not too shabby, since they passed through a system designed to kill bills.
In addition to HB910 Licensed Open Carry and SB11 Campus Carry Lite, the legislature passed:
  • HB554 – Which allows persons who have inadvertently brought a firearm into the secured area of an airport to leave without penalty.
  • HB1376 – Which reduces CHL fees and duplicate qualification requirements for corrections and parole officers.
  • HB2135 – Allows retired and families of deceased LEOs to purchase their duty sidearm. This has already been signed by Governor, effective 9/1/15.
  • SB273 – Prohibits government entities from wrongfully excluding licensed firearm carriers from public buildings.
  • SB473 – Basically cleans up the law on NFA items to follow Fed law.  Already signed by Governor, effective 9/1/15.
Congratulations Texas!  You have five hundred days or so until next session. Choose your reps carefully, pick your battles and start laying the groundwork now for the 85th Legislature. The battle continues.

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    • Yup, SMU sent out an email last week before it was even passed reminding us we are to be defenseless at all times on campus. They even brag about being weapons free since 94. the closing line:

      “Thanks to each of you for the important role you play in maintaining a safe and welcoming campus for all.”

      Please tell me how I am safe again…

      • I suspected they wouldn’t allow carry on campus regardless of the law. I may not agree, but they are a private entity so they can do what they want. My gun will stay in my car. Plus, I’m only on campus a few hours per week for my grad program.

  1. “Choose your reps carefully, pick your battles and start laying the groundwork now for the 85th Legislature. The battle continues”

    Congratulate, knock one back, walk the ground for the next battle. Move pieces in the board, make them react to you and prepare to win.

  2. Yay! What a great day!

    Thanks to all who worked for this and for the encouragement from y’all in other states.

  3. Now let’s start pushing for decriminalizing the carrying of weapons. I much prefer constitutional carry but, given the historical statist nature of the Texas legislature, we stand a much greater chance of achieving de facto constitutional carry by dramatically reducing or eliminating the penalties associated with carry violations.

    • Did any republicans vote against these bills? Is there a quick summary somewhere of who needs to be removed and when the elections are? I realize that a responsible adult SHOULD be learning everything there is to know about state politics, but I’d rather clip my toenails with a chainsaw. I just want to know who voted against my rights and when I can vote against them.

      • Strauss hand picks the Calendars Committee and puts pressure on them to keep bills off the floor. Senate Bill 476 required CLEO sign off on NFA transfers…it passed the Senate and was killed in the House by the Calendars Committee refusing to schedule it for a vote. Strauss and all Calendar Committee members need to be replaced with actual freedom loving Americans.

      • Generally following this session, TSEA will publish a list of all the gun bills with the names and votes. Look for it in the next month either online or in your monthly magazine if you are a member and if you are not a member and live in Texas, JOIN! TSRA is THE organization you need to be involved in. This is the frontline.

  4. See that, slave states? It CAN be done. Elections, grass roots, lawsuits, you name it. Freedom can be reclaimed, inch by agonizing, nail biting inch, but you must work for it. We stil have a long way to go ourselves, but we’re advancing.

    Firearms freedom is the premier proxy for all other rights. Win on this, and the rest will follow. Show the rest of us that you’re serious about fighting, that you’re down for the struggle, and assistance will pour in from around America. Sit on your collective butt, and you’ll continue to be ridiculed as slave states.

    • Problem with your logic is, Texas has a strong pro-firearm culture that the laws did not reflect. It is relatively easy to change laws towards the values of the prevailing culture.

      The slave states, for the most part, do not have such a culture, or where they do in some areas, they are completely outvoted by the prevailing culture elsewhere.

      • Fair enough, Steve, but his point still holds. How does one GET the culture needed to effect change in the laws, after all?

        Work. And relentless commitment to a truthful, moral cause. Use cognitive dissonance to advantage. People WILL see that what they are being “told” and what is reality don’t match.

        It always happens…eventually. Throughout history, no propaganda has lasted forever.

        • Agreed, culture *can* be changed.

          The point is, if it isn’t changed, purely political action is pointless. The representatives are going to reflect their electorate to some degree.

          Not to say that something pushed down by fiat (a supreme court decision, say) won’t eventually push the culture.

  5. The disturbing issue I see today is how different one State is to the next. Reciprocity should be but is not part of Federal law. The USA is not United as it once was. More like 50 separate Countries under a central Federal Gov’t.

  6. Congrats, TX! Maybe I’ll OC the next time I visit. I just gotta get new holsters for some of my prettier handguns.

  7. Sb 473 the link is bad in the story. Reading the damn bill made me think AP ammo had just been banned, but it only applies to handgun ammo. Scared me for a sec 🙂

    • Texas law prohibited NFA items, but followed Fed laws. SB473 inserted a paragraph that cleans it up to say that they’re okay if you follow fed law. Basically, it’s a clean up/clarification bill.


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