By: José Niño
Texas Constitutional Carry bill HB 1927 cleared a significant hurdle in the Senate last week after the Senate Special Committee passed the bill on a 5-2 vote without any amendments.
This move came as a major sigh of relief for Second Amendment activists who have been on edge in recent months with regards to the passage of a clean Constitutional Carry bill in the Lone Star State. Per a statement from Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, there are plans to send HB 1927 to the Senate floor next week.
Rachel Malone, the Texas Director of Gun Owners of America, noted that the bill “needs a Second Reading, which typically consists of lengthy debate and proposed amendments, then a vote.” Malone added, “The next day it should go to Third Reading, which is typically faster but still could include debate and amendments before a final vote.”
Should the bill be amended in the Senate, it will have to be kicked back to the House, which Malone explained:
“If the Senate amends HB 1927, then it must go back to the House. If they concur with the Senate’s changes, the bill goes to the Governor’s desk. Otherwise, the House can request a conference committee of both Senate and House members to hash out the language; then the bill needs another vote from both the House and Senate before the bill goes to the Governor’s desk.”
Of course, all legislative efforts that involve passing controversial legislation come with attempts by the political establishment to derail otherwise solid bills with poison pill amendments.
The purpose of including these amendments is to stall the passage of the bill, since the legislative session will end on May 31, 2021. Running out the clock is the strategy anti-Constitutional Carry Republicans will pull to avoid a public roll call vote.
Texas gun owners will have to come to terms with this reality and crank up the pressure on their Senators to ensure that Constitutional Carry doesn’t become sullied by the amendment process. Constitutional Carry has also already been killed far too many times in Texas during the last decade for activists to become complacent. We’re at the home stretch, which requires one final grassroots push for Texas to break its legislative plateau.
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.