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Texas: Lieutenant Governor Patrick and Senate Republicans Take the Lead on Advancing Pro-Second Amendment Legislation in Austin!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Texas: Lieutenant Governor Patrick and Senate Republicans Take the Lead on Advancing Pro-Second Amendment Legislation in Austin!

This week, the Texas Senate passed Senate Bill 11, sponsored by state Senator Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury), and Senate Bill 17, sponsored by state Senator Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls).  Both bills were passed by a vote of 20 to 11.  These landmark "campus carry" and "open carry" bills now move to the Texas House for consideration.  The House Committee on Homeland Security & Public Safety held hearings this week on 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, however neither have received formal action yet.  Gun control advocates are pulling out all the stops to defeat these important bills in the House, so be on the lookout for important action items from your NRA-ILA in the coming weeks!

Senate Bill 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.  The Senate rejected amendments 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.  Click here to pledge your support for Senate Bill 11, campus carry in Texas.

Senate Bill 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.  The Senate rejected amendments 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.  Click here to pledge your support for Senate Bill 17, open carry in Texas.

Also this week, the Senate passed Senate Bill 273, sponsored by state Senator Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels), on a 26 to 5 vote.  SB 273, if passed by the House, would complete unfinished business from last session and provide much-needed clarity for CHLs in Texas.  This important legislation imposes civil fines on state agencies, cities or counties that improperly post 30.06 signs prohibiting CHLs from public property which is not off-limits to them under the Texas Penal Code.  It also gives the Attorney General or local district attorney the ability to sue to collect those civil penalties if the offending agency or political subdivision failed to remove the signs after having been notified of a violation.  The House companion measure, House Bill 226, sponsored by state Representative Ryan Guillen (D-Rio Grande City), was reported out of the House Homeland Security & Public Safety Committee this week and has been sent to the House Calendars Committee.  

Please thank the Lieutenant Governor for his leadership role in prioritizing these issues and the following Senators who supported both SB 11 and SB 17:

 

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick
[email protected]
Comment line: 512-463-5342 

Senator Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston, SD 7)
[email protected]
512-463-0107 

Senator Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury, SD 22 - sponsor of SB 11)
[email protected]
512-463-0122

Senator Konni Burton (R-Colleyville, SD 10)
[email protected]
512-463-0110 

Senator Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels, SD 25)
[email protected]
512-463-0125 

Senator Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe, SD 4)
[email protected]
512-463-0104

Senator Kevin Eltife (R-Tyler, SD 1)
[email protected]
512-463-0101

Senator Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls, SD 30 - sponsor of SB 17)
[email protected]
512-463-0130

Senator Troy Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bay, SD 24)
[email protected]
512-463-0124

Senator Bob Hall (R-Edgewood, SD 2)
[email protected]
512-463-0102

Senator Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills, SD 9)
[email protected]
512-463-0109

Senator Don Huffines (R-Dallas, SD 16)
[email protected]
512-463-0116

Senator Joan Huffman (R-Houston, SD 17)
[email protected]
512-463-0117

Senator Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham, SD 18)
[email protected]
512-463-0118

Senator Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound, SD 12)
[email protected]
512-463-0112

Senator Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville, SD 3)
[email protected]
512-463-0103

Senator Charles Perry (R-Lubbock, SD 28)
[email protected]
512-463-0128

Senator Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown, SD 5)
[email protected]
512-463-0105

Senator Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo, SD 31)
[email protected]
512-463-0131

Senator Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood, SD 11)
[email protected]
512-463-0111

Senator Van Taylor (R-Plano, SD 8)
[email protected]
512-463-0108

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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.