Twelve Texas Republicans introduced HB 357, permitless carry, last year. In this new legislative session, it is reportedly being held up by the Republican Speaker of the House Dennis Bonnen with the help of an anti-gun Democrat. The anti-gun Democrat, Alfonso “Poncho” Nevarez, also happens to be in charge of the Homeland Security and Public Safety committee, where the bill is currently sitting. And time is of the essence.
The bill must be advanced to a floor vote prior to April 3, or it will die in committee. Gun rights advocates are not happy with it languishing there without being voted on as a priority.
HB 357 reads, in part:
Sec. 46.032: Carrying of handgun. Except as otherwise provided by this chapter or other law, a person 2 years of age or older who is not prohibited from possessing a firearm under section 46.04 or other law is not prohibited from carrying a) a concealed handgun; or b) a partially or wholly visible handgun in a holster.
The bill removes the requirement of a license for carrying a handgun. As we have reported previously, there are 14 states with permitless or Constitutional carry. It would be great to see Texas among them.
Gun rights advocates are unhappy that HB 357 has languished in committee without a floor vote. They are hoping that it will be heard on March 27 or that week, but there are budget hearings set for that day, so anything can happen…or nothing at all.
Texas Gun Talk stated,
“Call Speaker Bonnen’s office today at 512-463-1000 and demand that HB357 be made a priority in the House, and that it is on him to ensure a record vote on the House Floor! We only have until April 3rd to get it out of the HSPS Committee before time runs out! If it is not out by then, then HB357 will die without a floor vote! If there is no floor vote, then there is no record of who supports and who opposes Constitutional Carry!”
The gun rights supporters asked that people be polite and professional when calling.
The Democrat Chairman of the HSPS committee is known to be anti-gun. He has the nickname of Poncho “Panic Button” Nevárez,” according to information we received.
As we have noted before, the divide between rural areas and metropolitan ones is becoming more and more obvious, particularly with gun rights. The State of Texas has always been one of the standards of Freedom in the United States, primarily because of their history of fighting to obtain it against overwhelming odds. A Constitutional Carry bill being passed would go a long way to sealing that idea into the minds of law-abiding Texans.
Featured photo: Screenshot via Flickr: The Texas House of Representatives – “SAN JACINTO BATTLE FLAG, the centerpiece of the podium. The flag is believed to have been painted by artist James Henry Beard in late 1835 as a gift for the Newport Rifles, a 52-man company.”