College Liberals Attempt to Gut Campus Carry Bill
SB 354 by Wentworth CHL on Campus On Senate Floor.
Houston, Tx –-(Ammoland.com)- Urge Your State Senator To Oppose Any “Opt-Out” Language
SB 354 Concealed Carry on Campus by Senator Jeff Wentworth (R-San Antonio)
Next week's campus gun debate could include opt-outs for all kinds of reasons such as insurance costs, liability, child care centers, etc.
The debate over allowing concealed handguns in college classrooms will be fierce in the Senate as early as Monday of next week as some lawmakers maneuver to attach amendments to allay the fears of their local colleges and universities but, in some cases, to outright gut the measure completely.
Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, said he already has agreed to some amendments to Senate Bill 354. He said included is one by Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, to exempt medical school buildings that are connected to hospitals (in a bow to the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio) and primary and secondary school buildings on college campuses from the requirement that guns be allowed.
He doesn't think any of the amendments offered by Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, to be acceptable.
Ellis, an opponent of the measure, says his amendments include one allowing public universities to opt out of the idea. He also is ready to take on the contention that allowing guns wouldn't drive up insurance rates with two other proposals: One would say if university insurance rates go up, the state would pay the cost of the increase. The other would ban insurers from raising their rates due to the gun provision.
Wentworth brought up his bill yesterday, Thursday, but pulled it back down after losing the two-thirds support required by this chamber of the Texas Legislature to debate a bill and move it forward. Once brought up and debated, a simple majority of the 31 members is required.
Sen. Eddie Lucio, D-Brownsville, said he wanted time to be sure the concerns of his constituents were addressed. Wentworth refused to wait until Monday, but then had to delay action anyway when Sen. Mario Gallegos, D-Houston, also said he wanted more time. Gallegos' departure cost Wentworth the support to move forward.
Gallegos said in a statement, “Over the past few days, I have been bombarded with calls about Senate Bill 354- from parents who have kids in public universities and colleges across our state, employees of universities and junior colleges in my district, and board members of public universities and colleges in my district who are concerned about Senate Bill 354. The debate today on Senate Bill 354 brought up some important concerns that I believe are worth taking time to look at. Today, my decision was to take more time on this important issue in order to examine all options to make an informed vote.”
Wentworth said, “I'm hopeful that we will bring it back on Monday and actually get it passed on Monday.”
SB 354 is about individual personal protection, not helping law enforcement; and anyone who believes that college campuses are crime-free has forgotten about serial killers such as Ted Bundy and John Norman Collins who used college campuses as their hunting grounds.
During Thursday's short debate, Senator Ogden (R-Bryan) quizzed Senator Wentworth about the small number of expected CHL-students and asked if Senator Wentworth actually believe this relatively small number would make a college campus safer. This could be true for the entire state of Texas, 20 million people versus 400,000 concealed handgun licensees. The issue is not only about safer campuses, the issue is about the option of personal safety currently out of reach, not only to students but faculty and staff due to Texas law and by administration rules.
The message TSRA members must communicate to all Texas Senators, especially your own senator, is “Please vote on Monday to Suspend the Rules and then Please Vote to pass SB 354 with no opt-outs or amendments not acceptable to Senator Wentworth.”
Thank those marked as a co-author but don't skip calling them. We need your help and we need it now, over the weekend, to get this done!
Contact Info for the Texas Senate
*Senator Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury) (Co-author)
*Senator John Carona (R-Dallas) (Co-author)
Senator Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth)
*Senator Robert Deuell (R-Greenville) (Co-author)
Senator Robert Duncan (R-Lubbock)
Senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston)
*Senator Kevin Eltife (R-Tyler) (Co-author)
*Senator Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) (Co-author)
*Senator Troy Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bay) (Co-author)
Senator Mario Gallegos, Jr. (D-Houston)
*Senator Chris Harris (R-Arlington) (Co-author)
*Senator Glenn Hegar, Jr. (R-Katy) (Co-author)
Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa (D-McAllen)
Senator Joan Huffman (R-Southside Place)
*Senator Mike Jackson (R-La Porte) (Co-author)
Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr. (D-Brownsville)
*Senator Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) (Co-author)
Senator Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville)
Senator Steve Ogden (R-Bryan)
*Senator Dan Patrick (R-Houston)(Co-author)
Senator Jose Rodriguez (D-El Paso)
*Senator Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo) (Co-author)
Senator Florence Shapiro (R-Plano)
Senator Carlos Uresti (D-San Antonio)
Senator Leticia Van de Putte (D-San Antonio)
Senator Kirk Watson (D-Austin)
**Senator Jeff Wentworth (R-San Antonio) (Bill Author)
Senator Royce West (D-Dallas)
Senator John Whitmire (D-Houston)
*Senator Tommy Williams (R-The Woodlands) (Co-author)
Senator Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo)
Other TSRA Agenda Legislation!
Watch for another alert to be sent out this weekend containing an update on SB 321/HB 681 (Employee Parking Lot Issue) and SB 766/HB 1595 (Shooting Range Protection).
The Brady Campaign is in Texas for the first time in a decade, trying to stop personal safety legislation at our Capitol. Stand together for personal protection and common sense.
Keep up your TSRA membership at www.tsra.com or call 512-615-4200 and join, renew, or upgrade your membership today.
Keep the Faith,Sincerely, Alice Tripp
Texas State Rifle Association
The Mission of the Texas State Rifle Association is to protect and defend the inalienable rights of the individual Texan to acquire, possess, transport, carry, transfer ownership and enjoy the right to lawful use of firearms for self preservation, for the defense of family and property and the common defense of the Republic and the individual liberties of the people. Visit: www.TSRA.com