Texas Speaker of the House, Republican Dennis Bonnen claims that because Chris McNutt, director of Texas Gun Rights, stopped by his home while he was out of town [actually it was his neighborhood], he has killed the Texas Constitutional Carry bill. Even Fox News fell into the baited trap. Bonnen has been standing against the bill since day one, and just found a convenient excuse: paint the opposition as a raving lunatic. No difference than a Democrat’s overreaction to everything.
We wrote previously about Bonnen allowing the bill, HB 357, to languish in committee. It didn’t get out of committee because Bonnen and an anti-gun Chairman of the committee, a Democrat appointed by Bonnen, where the bill landed, did not want the bill to make it to the floor. Using Mr. McNutt as an excuse was ridiculous.
Fox reported that McNutt “ranted” on Facebook prior to him going to the houses of Republicans to ask them why the bill was stalled in committee. We know many people who will “rant” on Facebook. Frustration with this crop of RINOs and Democrats causes a lot of people to “rant” on Facebook or other social media. It certainly does not make McNutt a “nut.” Bonnen overreacted on purpose to make sure he looked like the good guy when he is certainly not.
Why WAS the bill stalled? It’s a question they need to answer. There are 14 states that have Constitutional Carry now and none of them have any higher crime rate because of it. Their failure to answer the question tells us that they had planned to kill the bill anyway. It’s the same tactic Democrats use: if they can’t answer the question, they blame the opposition and call them names.
Bonnen declared the bill dead on Friday April 5. It was actually dead on Wednesday, April 3, since it had not been released from committee and the Chair of that committee said he was not going to hold a hearing on it (based on McNutt’s action). They used McNutt as an excuse. Saying that McNutt was an “overzealous advocate for criminals to get a gun” Bonnen stated,
“If you want to talk about issues and you want to advocate, you do it in this building. You don’t do it at our residences. Threats and intimidation will never advance your issue. Their issue is dead.” Dennis Bonnen
As far as we can determine, there were no actual threats involved. There was a lot of unrealistic fear. The Houston Chronicle reported that McNutt arrived at Bonnen’s neighborhood and was met by Texas Department of Public Safety officers who had heard that a “gun activist” was on the way. He handed them his business card and left. He drove across the state and also stopped by to talk with gun owners and post flyers in districts represented by Amarillo Rep. Four Price and Lubbock Rep. Dustin Burrows, both of whom are allies of Dennis Bonnen. They’re all scared now. Especially since Chris wore a t-shirt with an “assault weapon” on it. Give us a break. It was the logo for the Texas Gun Rights organization.
Chris McNutt posted on The Texas Gun Rights Facebook page, this rebuttal, which reads in part:
If you’ve been paying attention to the media headlines lately, then you know that Texas Speaker of the House, Dennis Bonnen, is fabricating a media hit against me and grassroots advocates across the state.
This, of course, comes as a desperate attempt to take the heat off of himself for BLOCKING Constitutional Carry legislation.
He is trying to paint the simple act of leaving a flyer on the doors of hundreds of his constituents and donors – asking them to contact their legislators to support a bill– is somehow an act of intimidation.
Instead of taking accountability for his own actions, for blocking constitutional carry legislation, he would rather find a scapegoat to avoid the heat of his pro-gun constituents.
This deliberate act of aggression by Speaker Bonnen – by going to the media to exaggerate and fabricate lies – is nothing more than a diversion from the fact that he is betraying the pro-gun promise he made earlier this session to give Constitutional Carry a “quick hearing”.
If Speaker Bonnen and his lieutenants refuse to give HB 357 a hearing before rapidly approaching legislative deadlines, they will be responsible for killing the #1 legislative priority for Texas Gun Rights and the Republican Party of Texas.
If they insist on betraying the very same pro-gun Texans whose support they solicited last fall, we have a duty to report that to our members in their districts now, and after session is over.
But there is a silver lining in all of this. Our pressure worked, and Speaker Bonnen finally admitted publicly what we had suspicions of all along: Dennis Bonnen does NOT support Constitutional Carry.
Twelve Republicans introduced the bill for Constitutional Carry. None of them advocated for “criminals to get a gun.” They advocate for law-abiding citizens to have their rights. IF you believe in the Constitution as the basis of law in our land, then one incident of trying to reach out for answers and posting flyers should not have mattered. Painting the opposition to the RINO stance as “insane” is plain bull.
Texas should have Constitutional Carry. Remember this, Texans, when the next elections come around. Don’t let RINOs run your state.
Featured photo: Screenshot of Chris McNutt, Director of Texas Gun Rights.