Texas Teeters on Verge of Constitutional Carry
Eve Flanigan 05.12.21
Twenty states now have Constitutional carry, the term used when a state eliminates permitting requirements for carry of a concealed handgun by anyone who’s not prohibited by law from possessing one in the first place. Texas – a state sometimes deservedly, sometimes not, associated with gun-friendliness – currently requires a license to carry a handgun in public at all: open or concealed.
Texas is one of several states that have run Constitutional carry up the legislative flagpole in 2021, and while corporate media headlines announced midday on Sunday, May 9 that the bill passed both the House and Senate and awaits Governor Abbott’s signature, that’s not quite the case.
On the evening of that same day, Gun Owners of America lobbyist to the Texas legislature, Rachel Malone, continued to sound an alarm regarding additions to the bill by Lt. Governor Dan Patrick. Her Facebook post reads:
As you may have heard, the Texas Senate voted 18-13 last week on the Constitutional Carry bill, HB 1927.
Unfortunately, the Senate, led by Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, created some major problems.
Whenever the Senate adds any amendments to a bill already passed by the House, that bill has to go back to the House. The House can concur with the amendments and send the bill to the Governor’s desk. Or it can call for a conference committee to work out the differences, then send the final version back to the House and Senate for another full vote.
However, the Senate created a worse problem.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick was told ahead of time that at least one of the Senate amendments if adopted, would violate House rules. This would allow the anti-gunners to kill Constitutional Carry in the House on a technical violation — before the House could even decide to concur or go to a conference committee.
Despite knowing this, the Lt. Governor still pushed through his packet of amendments and refused to listen to multiple warnings.
The Senate can still fix this problem — but only if it acts quickly.
Malone’s post is followed by a call to action with contact information.
Concerns over what has been called Lt. Governor Patrick’s “poison pill amendment” arose publicly as early as May 5, when Representative Matt Schaefer posted: “No celebration yet folks! We are now reviewing amendments that were added by the Senate to look for issues that would break House rules governing the purpose of HB 1927. Our first impression has us very concerned. Will share more as soon as we can. Our goal is to make Texas the 21st Constitutional Carry state.”
On May 6, Former Texas legislator Matt Rinaldi tweeted: “So @DanPatrick’s plan to kill constitutional carry is to attach a non-germane amendment that will render it out of order in the House & blame @DadePhelan when he sustains the point of order.” (Phelan is Speaker of the House).
Texans who only watch legacy media are likely to be lulled into a false sense of security by headlines that would lead one to believe that permitless carry is a done deal, but that’s far from the case. There are only a couple weeks left before the current legislative session ends. According to some sources, if the bill fails now, there will be at least a two-year wait for reintroduction.
If advocacy group TX Gun Rights’ submission of 118,000 petitions in support of permitless carry is any indication, Texans largely support constitutional carry, but they must continue making phone calls and emailing their elected officials if that wish is to be realized in 2021.