Texas Senate Committee Recommends Passage of Constitutional Carry

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)-  Lt. Governor Dan Patrick’s efforts resulted in the creation of the Senate Special Committee on Constitutional Issues. The committee hearing started at 9 a.m on 29 April 2021. Lt. Governor Patrick and other Republicans were and are receiving intense pressure to pass Constitutional Carry. It was listed as one of the top eight priorities in the Texas Republican Party Platform and by Republican Chairman Allan West.

While Lt. Governor Dan Patrick worked to set up the special committee, he was in negotiations with various Texas law enforcement agencies and associations to see if they could find a way to support Constitutional Carry. Some amendments were offered to gain support of law enforcement.

Two amendments which were mentioned were these:

  • An amendment that creates a mandatory five-year sentence for felons in possession of a firearm.
  • An amendment that would allow law enforcement to ask prosecutors in adjoining counties to prosecute when prosecution by a local prosecutor was refused.

While Lt. Governor Patrick was working the Senate, Governor Abbot committed to signing HB1927 if it came to his desk. The Commitment of both Lt Governor Patrick and Governor Abbott to Constitutional Carry had been questioned. Both have committed to passage of the bill, possibly with amendments favored by law enforcement.

The committee hearing was live-streamed.

Tara Mica of the NRA was the first invited speaker and did an excellent job.

While this correspondent did not watch the entire 10 hours of the hearing, in the opinion of this correspondent, the star of the committee hearing was Rachel Malone of Gun Owners of America.

Rachel is the Texas representative of Gun Owners of America. Rachel fielded the questions put forward by the committee members with competence, eloquence, and flair. Rachel has been working to pass Constitutional Carry in Texas for several years.

Ray Hunt of Houston Police Union moved to a “cautious neutral”, because of a possible amendment to create a five-year mandatory prison sentence for a felon in possession of a firearm. Hunt said the bill will not change metal detectors at the capitol, where a License To Carry (LTC)  will still be required. University carry will still require an LTC.  Officer Hunt stated when police see the LTC, we feel safe. Officer Hunt seemed to state police wanted to be able to stop handgun carriers, just because they were carrying a handgun, without reasonable suspicion of a crime.

The police wish to be able to go to other adjacent counties to prosecute when the county district attorney refuses to prosecute. Officer Hunt said the police had difficulty with the Harris County prosecutor refusing to prosecute felons in possession cases.

Senator Hinojosa told Officer Hunt he would only be able to obtain the amendments if the bill went to the floor of the Senate. He implied, if Hunt wanted to kill the bill, the committee was the place to do it.

Sheriff Brian Hawthorne of the Sheriff’s Association also came out in a cautious neutral position on the Bill. He said a large majority of sheriffs were in favor of the bill, but his association was only willing to occupy a neutral position because of concerns of some of the members. He could not take a position on hypothetical amendments until they were put forward to all the members of the association.

Sheriff Hawthorn said the Association was neutral on the bill, leaning toward it with small changes. He said most guns are stolen from cars, if people can keep their guns with them, the numbers stolen will be lowered. He particularly wanted lockboxes to be available at courthouses, to help keep people from leaving their guns in their cars.

Sheriff Hawthorn said the numbers of sheriffs in favor of the bill are high.

The committee was run extremely well run. It was done politely. Everyone who wished to speak had a chance to do so. One person testifying said she knew the bill would pass the subcommittee, this was just a formality, but she wanted to be on record opposing the bill. This correspondent noted roughly equal numbers supporting and opposing the bill.

The last testimony occurred about 7 p.m. Over 10 hours of testimony was given, with over 180 people testifying.

No amendments to the bill were passed in the committee. Any and all amendments may be considered on the floor of the Senate.

The bill came to a vote very shortly after the long hours of testimony. Five of seven senators voted to recommend passage of the bill and move it to the floor of the Senate. Those five senators were:

  • Charles Schwertner, R, District 5
  • Brian Birdwell, R, District 22
  • Dawn Bukinghan, R, District 24
  • Brandon Creighton, R, District 4
  • Bob Hall, R, District 2,

The two senators voting against the bill were:

  • Juan Hinojoso, D, District 20
  • Eddie Lucio, D, District 27

The creation of the Special Committee on Constitutional Issues was key in moving this bill to the floor of the Texas Senate.  It may be the key to the passage of Constitutional Carry in Texas. Lt. Governor Dan Patrick deserves credit for this.

It seems likely the bill will be passed in the Senate and signed by Governor Abbott. It this happens, Lt. Governor Patrick and Governor Abbott will both deserve credit for listening to their base and supporting the bill.


About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

Dean Weingarten

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Roland T. Gunner
Roland T. Gunner
5 months ago

Anti 2nd Amendment law enforcement needs to shut up, sit down, do their job, and stop trying to influence our politics. Their job is to enforce the law, not make the law.

Bubba
Bubba
5 months ago

Amazing how conservative video fail to load on a regular basis.
Left wing and Hiddin’Biden videos always load instantly. Fu Libtard Google, Twitter and Facebook. Tired of this censorship. We need a new platform that cannot he corrupted by the left.

Arny
Arny
5 months ago

The amendment concerning a felony should be if the felon used a firearm to commit such felony. To broad a brush IMO.

GomeznSA
GomeznSA
5 months ago

A felon in possession is already violating FEDERAL law so the addition of a state charge is not needed. If the persecutor in Harris County is refusing to charge for that crime then he/she/it (ya never know over there) is being – at best – derelict in their duty to the public, which is grounds for removal for malfeasance. As to coppers ‘wanting’ to be able to stop folks for open carrying – under current law, it falls under the desire for folks in the theological place of eternal punishment wanting ice water. Can’t happen now without articulable facts and… Read more »

Roland T. Gunner
Roland T. Gunner
5 months ago
Reply to  GomeznSA

Also, if a prosecutor declines charges on a citizen, it is unethical for the investigating officer to shop around for another prosecutor. Especially in another county! In my agency, shopping around for a griendly prosecutor was common, but unethical; and it remains so today.

Neanderthal75
Neanderthal75
5 months ago

I wonder why the fella JSN or JNG that believes that the majority of cops are going to side with the federal tyrants when they come for our guns is not in here commenting on what the sheriff’s association representative said before the committee?

He said that the number of members in the sheriff’s association, that is to say sheriff’s, in the state of Texas were for constitutional carry not against it!

I am eager to hear what he has to say on this issue.

Cheers from the oil patch in Central Wyoming

Finnky
Finnky
5 months ago
Reply to  Neanderthal75

Supporting a bill which will make their job easier is a far cry from refusing to enforce a law. I listened to a large part of the hearing. Enough to make me putty legislators who have to sit through this type of thing, particularly while having to appear interested and respectful of all speakers. I heard several LEO give impassioned speeches about “blood in the streets” or risk to LEO. Don’t know if it was majority or not. Anti speakers spoke of deaths in mass shootings including both Sutherland Springs and West Freeway. Tragic as each of those deaths are,… Read more »

Roland T. Gunner
Roland T. Gunner
5 months ago
Reply to  Finnky

That whole “officer safety”, “make our job more difficult” thing by law enforcement is total horseshit.

Grigori
Grigori
5 months ago

Editor: Why are all of my replies and comments going into the review bin?????

Arny
Arny
5 months ago
Reply to  Grigori

Yeah I was under the impression we had free speech here. But my comments go there also. Usually when attaching a link. But occasionally without. I can’t even comment on other sites. So much for 1A. lol

Ryben Flynn
Ryben Flynn
5 months ago

Meanwhile in South Carolina, 5 Republicans joined with the Democrats in rejecting an amendment for Constitutional Carry to the Open Carry with Training Act. (The Senate is 30-R, 16-D) The CC Act is also a separate Bill which is not likely to pass. From USNews: “senators debating a bill that would allow people with concealed weapons permits to carry their guns on Wednesday rejected an attempt to get rid of the requirement for the permits. Senators voted 25-21 against the so-called constitutional carry amendment after several hours of debate on Wednesday.” The Open Carry With Training Act is expected to… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by Ryben Flynn
Finnky
Finnky
5 months ago
Reply to  Ryben Flynn

Progress is incremental. Once you achieve licensed carry, demonstrate that (as in experience of other states) private citizens are safer, more law abiding, and often more effective than police (from simply already being there). Projections of doom and gloom fall flat, and you can point to the growing list of constitutional carry states in order to advance yourselves. Texas first went with CHL (concealed handguns only), before going to LTC (open or concealed carry). Sounds as though you are skipping that first step. Good for you as under CHL one could be charged with brandishing for failure to completely conceal… Read more »

Old Ch.E.
Old Ch.E.
5 months ago

Passed it 18 – 13. Party lines I assume.

Dee
Dee
5 months ago

I guess my letters to Dan Patrick and Allan West may have push this bill over. You can thank me later Will. But we will see how things progress! Remember we still dealing with Texas Republicans.

Grigori
Grigori
5 months ago

I wish Texas the best of luck! A lot of our “Republican” Senators in SC killed Constitutional Carry for us, today. I hope a list of who voted how gets published. We might still have a chance to get Open Carry with a permit. Better than nothing but not what we hoped for.

Grigori
Grigori
5 months ago
Reply to  Grigori

I agree 100% about Keel! I left another comment yesterday that got thrown into the “review” bin. Probably won’t be restored until weeks after this story has disappeared from the feed. I mentioned how former Chief Stewart went and spoke against Constitutional Carry and how awful it was going to make things for the current crop of snowflakes in LE if it passed. I question how much SLED or whoever pays Stewart or his consulting firm to go spew that blather. I wonder if that is even legal. I know we used to say “we don’t make the laws, we… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by Grigori
swmft
swmft
5 months ago
Reply to  Grigori

what we need is to put the shoe on their foot disarm all sheriffs, only local police have guns sheriffs have mace baton and taser nothing more let the gas out of them

Grigori
Grigori
5 months ago
Reply to  swmft

Sometimes, for “some” LE I would agree. Not sure why you want to pick on the Sheriffs. While we do have a lot of crooked Sheriffs in SC, as everywhere, Sheriffs are usually most inclined to support The Constitution, depending on where you are. Police Chiefs frequently are the ones who do the bidding of their liberal mayors and councils to naysay our right to keep and bear arms.

Roland T. Gunner
Roland T. Gunner
5 months ago
Reply to  Grigori

Make all heads of LE agencies elected by vote of the people, so they are not beholden to a msyor, city council, or any one else but the electorate.

Grigori
Grigori
5 months ago
Reply to  swmft

I don’t know where my comments keep going. This is my second attempt at responding to your comment. I am not sure why you want to single out the Sheriffs for special treatment. While SC has plenty of crooked Sheriffs, we do have a few decent ones. Across most of the country, Sheriffs are usually the first ones to stand up for our rights, be they our gun rights, or just rights, such as the right to assemble or not wear a face diaper. There are exceptions such as Griffis in Ector County, Texas who I would call a pig… Read more »

Roland T. Gunner
Roland T. Gunner
5 months ago
Reply to  Grigori

I’m afraid most sheriffs support of 2A is still only lip service, when push comes to shove.

Finnky
Finnky
5 months ago
Reply to  Grigori

Accept victory graciously, even though it is not complete.

Then turn around and work to finish the job. Life is a journey and you’all Just took a big step!

Roland T. Gunner
Roland T. Gunner
5 months ago
Reply to  Grigori

That is happening here in Texas right now. It has taken way too much political pressure to get out supposedly conservative governor and lieutenant governor to support us.

Grigori
Grigori
5 months ago

As a retired LEO, I have a problem with the focus in my state, Texas, or elsewhere, on whether or not police administrators or organizations support Constitutional Carry. I’ll share a clue, guys. It is NOT about you! It is not about whether or not you like the idea. It is not about whether or not it makes you feel safe. It is about doing what the Supreme Law Of The Land says and restoring rights to citizens which were long ago, wrongly usurped by the states. When you put on the gun and badge, you were hopefully aware there… Read more »

Roland T. Gunner
Roland T. Gunner
5 months ago
Reply to  Grigori

Also a retired LEO; and That was very well said. I am in full agreement.