Measure Could Make its Way to House Floor for Consideration
As we reported earlier this week, state Senator Jeff Wentworth (R-San Antonio) successfully amended language allowing concealed handgun licensees to protect themselves on public college and university campuses onto Senate Bill 1581.
SB 1581, authored by state Senator Steve Ogden (R-Bryan), would reform finance methods for higher education and was passed in the Senate with the Wentworth amendment. Early this morning, the House Appropriations Committee reported out SB 1581 with the Wentworth language intact after defeating an amendment by state Representative Diane Patrick (R-Arlington) to strip the campus carry language from the bill by a 15 to 5 vote!
Below is how members of the House Appropriations Committee voted on the anti-Concealed Handgun License amendment offered by state Representative Diane Patrick. Please be sure to contact those members who voted against her amendment and thank them for their support. Their contact information can be found here.
House Appropriations Committee members voting in support of NRA’s position:
Representative Angie Chen Button (R-Richardson)
Representative Warren Chisum (R-Pampa)
Representative Myra Crownover (R-Lake Dallas)
Representative Lance Gooden(R-Forney)
Representative Susan King (R-Abilene)
Representative Dee Margo (R-Austin)
Representative Doug Miller (R-New Braunfels)
Representative Geanie Morrison (R-Victoria)
Representative John Otto (R-Dayton)
Representative Jim Pitts (R-Wasahachie), Chairman
Representative Debbie Riddle (R-Houston)
Representative Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown)
Representative Mark Shelton (R-Fort Worth)
Representative Paul Torres (R-Austin)
Representative John Zerwas (R-Simonton)
House Appropriations Committee members voting against NRA’s position:
Representative Jimmie Don Aycock (R-Killeen)
Representative Drew Darby (R-San Angelo)
Representative Helen Giddings (D-De Soto)
Representative Ruth Jones McClendon (D-San Antonio)
Representative Diane Patrick (R-Arlington)
This fight is far from over! The House Calendars Committee must now set SB 1581 for consideration by the full House. This is the same committee that failed to set House Bill 750, state Representative Joe Driver’s (R-Garland) campus carry bill, for floor consideration before its Thursday's deadline for the House to act on House bills. Also, it's clear from the actions in today's committee meeting that if SB 1581 is set for a House floor vote, there will be an attempt to strip the Wentworth amendment from the overall bill.
It is critical that you begin calling and e-mailing your state Representative this weekend urging them to support the rights of law-abiding Texas CHLs by protecting the campus carry language in SB 1581. Contact information for House members can be found here.
Please also contact House Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) at (512) 463-1000 and by e-mail here urging him to support the rights of law-abiding Texas CHLs by protecting the campus carry language in SB 1581.
Also this week, the Texas Senate passed House Bill 716, sponsored by state Representative Sid Miller (R-Stephenville) and state Senator Troy Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bay), to allow a qualified landowner or landowner's agent, as determined by Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) commission rules, to contract or participate as a shooter or observer in a helicopter to take depredating feral hogs or coyotes under the authority of a permit issued by TPWD.
This means a properly-permitted landowner or helicopter owner could contract with third parties to ride on this aircraft and participate in feral hog or coyote management operations. This would help the landowner control these populations, while reducing cost to the landowner. The Commission would retain authority to ensure that these operations are run in a safe and effective manner. The measure now returns to the House for concurrence with Senate amendments.