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Texas: NRA-Backed Campus Carry and Open Carry Bills to be Considered in Texas Senate and by House Committee Next Week!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Texas: NRA-Backed Campus Carry and Open Carry Bills to be Considered in Texas Senate and by House Committee Next Week!

Right to Hunt & Fish Constitutional Amendment Will Also Be Heard In Senate Committee

Next week will be a busy one for gun owners and sportsmen in the Texas Legislature!  The Texas Senate is expected to debate and vote on Senate Bill 11, sponsored by state Senator Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury), and Senate Bill 17, sponsored by state Senator Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls).

SB 11 removes certain restrictions in state law that prohibit law-abiding adult Concealed Handgun Licensees from protecting themselves on college and university campuses.  During the years in which the Legislature has failed to pass campus carry legislation, high-profile shootings have occurred at the University of Texas at Austin and several blocks from the Texas A&M campus in College Station, and a stabbing incident in which more than a dozen people were wounded took place at Lone Star College's Cy-Fair campus.  These locations are currently classified as 'gun-free zones,' but in reality, they are simply places where CHLs are rendered defenseless against criminals under current law.

Please contact your state Senator and urge him or her to support SB 11 and to resist any amendments that are not acceptable to the bill author, including moves to allow public universities to "opt-out" of the law and to carve out prohibited locations on campus that are not already off-limits to CHLs under state statutes.  Contact information for your State Senator can be found here.

SB 17 removes the requirement that CHLs keep their handguns concealed and gives them the option of carrying them either wholly or partially visible in a belt or shoulder holster.  Texas CHLs have earned this personal protection option that forty-three states currently allow after having established a 20-year record of law-abiding, responsible behavior.  Please contact your state Senator and urge him or her to support SB 17 and to resist any amendments that are not acceptable to the bill author, including moves to allow localities to "opt out" of any open carry law and requirements that CHLs who choose to carry openly use law enforcement-style retention holsters and undergo unnecessary additional training.  Contact information for your State Senator can be found here.

On Tuesday, the House Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety will consider House Bill 937, sponsored by state Representative Allen Fletcher (R-Tomball), and House Bill 910, sponsored by state Representative Larry Phillips, the House companion campus carry and open carry bills, respectively.  Please contact committee members and urge them to support HB 937 and HB 910 and to resist any amendments that are not acceptable to the bill authors.  Contact information for committee members can be found here.

On Monday, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water & Rural Affairs will consider Senate Joint Resolution 22, sponsored by state Senator Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe), proposing an amendment to the Texas constitution that establishes an individual right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife in the Lone Star State.  SJR 22 would ensure that wildlife conservation and management decisions continue to be based on sound science in order to preserve Texas' hunting heritage for generations to come and to protect it against future attacks from well-funded, anti-hunting organizations.  Please contact members of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water and Rural Affairs, and politely urge them to support SJR 22.  Contact information for committee members can be found here.

Please call and email your state lawmakers and let them know how important it is to pass these bills this session!

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.