By: José Niño
Constitutional Carry is making unprecedented progress in the Texas State Legislature. The Lone Star state broke a major legislative plateau after the State House approved Constitutional Carry bill HB 1927 on April 15, 2021.
Constitutional Carry, as a reminder, is the pro-gun policy that makes it so law-abiding citizens don’t have to ask the government permission to exercise their Second Amendment rights.
HB 1927, however, bill still faces many considerable obstacles. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, who previously called for universal gun registration in 2019, will apparently be a major obstacle for this bill.
There have been rumors that Patrick was the person responsible for organizing a behind-the-scenes anti-Constitutional Carry press conference held by several police chiefs on April 13. Patrick is suspected of getting anti-gun police chiefs to band together against HB 1927, based on his historically lukewarm views of Constitutional Carry. Additionally, according to a recent article in the Houston Chronicle, Patrick said Constitutional Carry doesn’t have the votes in the Senate.
HB 1927, Texas’ Constitutional Carry bill, is now scheduled for a hearing today in the Texas Senate Special Committee on Constitutional Issues.
The clock is ticking for Second Amendment activists in Texas. The 87th session of the Texas State Legislature will end on May 31, 2021. The first step is obviously to get the bill out of committee, where Constitutional Carry bills have routinely died in the past. No matter the outcome, the principal goal is to bring Constitutional Carry to the full Senate for a roll call vote.
Despite Patrick’s disparaging comments on Constitutional Carry, grassroots activists were able to put enough pressure on Patrick and his Senate colleagues eventually to have HB 1927 referred to a committee where the bill at least has a chance of being voted on.
At the moment, Committee Chairman Charles Schwertner is the leading co-sponsor of HB 1927, which augurs well for the passage of this bill. But there’s no guarantee that HB 1927 will be approved. During the last decade, Texas Second Amendment activists have learned the hard way how sluggish and outright devious Texas Republican legislators can be on issues they are supposed to champion.
HB 1927 received solid bipartisan support, with seven Democrats voting for the bill. Republicans have no excuses for not passing HB 1927, given the bipartisan nature of this bill. Continued pressure from the grassroots is a must, especially considering how it’s played a critical role in clearing a major hurdle in the State House.
All the progress Texas activists have made will go to waste if they become complacent at this point in the game. When in doubt, it’s always best to turn up the heat on the political class. Pressure is the only way to ensure they vote in accordance with their constituents’ interests.
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.