By: José Niño
After being passed in the Texas Senate earlier this month, Constitutional Carry bill HB 1927 has hit somewhat of a snag due to several amendments added on to the bill that have made the bill unpalatable to both activists and Republican legislators alike.
Because of the addition of these amendments, the bill was kicked back to the Texas House. A Point of Order was called in the House regarding the amendments, which subsequently led to the formation of a Conference Committee to iron out the amendments slapped on to the bill.
Five House members and five Senate members are now tasked with crafting language that both chambers can sign on to. From there, the House and Senate must vote “yes” on the conference committee report and send it to Gov. Abbott’s desk.
With a conference committee being set up, there are two key deadlines that should be considered. May 29, 2021 is the day when the House and Senate publish copies of the Conference Committee Reports on bills. May 30 is the last day either chamber of the state legislature can vote on the conference committee reports.
GPM was able to reach out to several grassroots activists in Texas for their thoughts on the current state of HB 1927. Chris McNutt, Executive Director of Texas Gun Rights, had this to say about Texas leadership’s decision to stall the passage of Constitutional Carry:
"Constitutional Carry is on life support after Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and weak-kneed Senators caved to liberal interests by adding ill-advised amendments to the bill. Instead of going directly to the governor's desk, Constitutional Carry is now stuck in conference committee as the house and senate try to come to an agreement on bill language. With legislative deadlines quickly approaching, they must act fast to get the HB 1927 to Gov. Abbott's desk. No excuses. No delays. No compromise! If this bill dies, Lt. Gov. Patrick and the Senators who initially refused to publicly support constitutional carry without amendments will be to blame. And all of them will be up for reelection in 2022."
Similarly, Justin Delosh, founder and Legislative Director of Lone Star Gun Rights, also commented on the current struggles HB 1927 is facing:
"I think it's a shame the Senate didn't want to pass the cleanest Constitutional Carry bill possible and decided to add unnecessary amendments. It's even more of a shame that Dan Patrick and a handful of liberal Republicans decided to use these amendments as a mechanism to kill Constitutional Carry completely. If Constitutional Carry does not pass this session, you can blame Dan Patrick. We have very short legislative sessions every two years, and it's a shame that in Texas we're still playing games instead of giving Texans more freedom."
Indeed, time is running out. For the past decade, grassroots activists have experienced disappointing legislative sessions where political leadership has routinely killed Constitutional Carry legislation. This time around, the Texas Senate added several complicated amendments and attached strings to HB 1927 to make the bill unpassable.
Activists will have to hold the line and demand that members of both chambers come to an agreement to pass HB 1927 without any strings attached or amendments that prevent it from being a true Constitutional Carry bill.
José Niño is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Sign up for his mailing list here. Contact him via Facebook, Twitter, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control, here.