On Wednesday afternoon, the House Committee on Public Safety reported out a committee substitute for House Bill 1893, NRA-backed legislation sponsored by State Representative Joe Driver (R-113) that would enable Concealed Handgun Licensees to protect themselves on college and university campuses. The bill passed by a 5-3 vote. Voting FOR the bill were State Representatives Driver, Tommy Merritt (R-7), Stephen Frost (D-1), Phil King (R-61) and Tryon Lewis (R-81). Please call and email our supporters on the Public Safety Committee and thank them for voting for HB 1893! Those committee members and their contact information are noted on the slate of State Representatives here.
A majority of the committee members agreed that adult students, faculty and staff who are 21 or older, who have passed extensive background checks, have completed firearms training courses and have been issued licenses by the Department of Public Safety, should be able to protect themselves in campus settings just like they are legally able to do almost anywhere else in Texas. They also felt that the right to personal protection should not be denied to a licensee just because he or she studies, works or lives on a college or university campus.
The committee substitute for HB 1893 contains language de-criminalizing the carrying of a handgun by a CHL on the campus of either a public or private institution of higher education. It also prevents public or private colleges and universities from adopting and enforcing administrative sanctions against faculty, employees and students who are CHLs that carry on campus -- except that the governing bodies of private institutions may adopt administrative rules and regulations affecting carrying by CHLs in buildings only (not parking lots or grounds) after consulting with faculty, staff and students.
HB 1893 now moves to the House Calendars Committee. This committee decides when, and IF, the bill will come to the floor for a vote by the full House of Representatives. Please call and email members of the House Calendars Committee and urge them to set HB 1893 on the House Calendar for a vote! Let them know that a majority of House members have signed on as co-authors to this bill and it deserves fair consideration by the full House. Those committee members and their contact information are noted on the slate of State Representatives here.
Lastly, co-authors on HB 1893 are indicated with a "CA" next to their names. Please take a moment to contact them and thank them for signing onto the bill. Urge them to oppose any further amendments to the bill that aren't supported by the sponsor, Representative Driver.