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Texas House Leader Joe Straus Dropping Ball on Gun Rights

Gun Rights  March 05 2013
 — By CJ Grisham
Texas House Leader Joe Straus Dropping Ball on Gun Rights


There are just under 90 legislative days left to enact pro-gun reforms and protections in Texas. Unlike many states, our legislators only meet for a few months every two years. They aren’t paid except for the actual days they are in session. Every one of our lawmakers have second jobs outside of their role as representatives or senators.

If lawmakers fail to meet deadlines – AGAIN – Texans will be subject to another two years of anti-gun attacks from the Obama administration and bureaucrats at all levels, without any protection. Nearly every neighboring state has least introduced nullification legislation that strengthens Texas laws and makes it clear to the federal government that our rights will NOT be infringed here.

Despite pro-gun dominance in the Texas Legislature, what have lawmakers done to protect your Second Amendment rights?


So far, 18 states have introduced bills under the Second Amendment Protection Act, which is “a state-level bill that renders all federal gun laws, regulations, rules, acts, orders etc. – null and void within the borders of the state.” Meanwhile, Joe Straus has sent pro-gun reforms to die in meaningless committees. With the gun-grabbers working overtime in Washington D.C., lawmakers in Austin have wasted nearly half of the legislative session without lifting a finger or passing a single bill to protect our Second Amendment rights.

Some could easily say that we don’t need laws that recognize laws, especially the highest law of the land. Perhaps Joe Straus is so weak-kneed that he’s been lulled into this false sense of security. If our lawmakers fail to act, all of President Obama’s unconstitutional Executive Orders, and any of the new Feinstein-Manchin-McCarthy gun control proposals that make it out of Congress will be used to squash the gun rights of Texans.

Here are the bills that we Texans need to contact our representatives and demand they co-sponsor and support them. Demand that these bills be brought to a vote. Put pressure on the committees to move them along.

Campus Carry, HB-972/SB-182: Campus carry is an urgently needed bill to protect the rights of students, staff, and visitors at Texas colleges and universities. But this year’s version needs help. The bill, as written, is hardly worth the title of campus carry.

It’s more like the Campus Checkerboard Act, as it would turn Texas colleges and universes into checkerboards of “criminal safezones” making law-abiding students and staff criminals for stepping in a dorm or other “gun free” area of campus.

Firearms Protection Act, HB-553: This is one of several bills that would render all new unconstitutional Executive Orders and federal Laws relating to firearms, accessories and ammunition unenforceable in Texas. This legislation would offer gun owners in Texas the most protection against anti-gun federal schemes, but all of these bills are still lodged in the “Select Committee on Federalism & Fiscal Responsibility.” We need to put pressure on each member of this committee to get off their tushies and give these bills a vote.

Open Carry, HB-1194: Q: What do Texas and California have in common? A: Openly carrying your firearm is ILLEGAL. HB-1194 would legalize the practice of open carry, as it is in 43 other states. However, as written it would put Texas on par with states like Maryland and Massachusetts which require you to get a government permission slip first. This bill is stalled in the Public Safety Committee where it may not move, much less be fixed, without your help.

Constitutional Carry: Constitutional Carry is simply the idea that if you can legally possess a firearm for self-defense, then you can carry it concealed without having to first beg for government permission. It’s the law of the land in places like Alaska, Wyoming, Arizona and Vermont. Sadly, this bill hasn’t even been introduced in Texas this year. Seriously, in TEXAS!!

What can you do? In addition to contacting your state representatives, leave Speaker Joe Straus a Facebook message or give him a call at 512-463-1000. OR DO BOTH!! Urge him to quit his anti-gun stall tactics and bring pro-gun bills like campus carry, open carry, and the Firearms Protection Act up for a vote. Remind them that with the assault on your right to keep and bear arms moving forward in Washington, passing the strongest versions of these pieces of legislation is more important than ever. Let them know you’re tired of all the lip-service. Insist they stand up for Texas gun owners and pass REAL pro-gun reform THIS legislative session.

If you don’t know who your legislator is, click HERE (and shame on you).

We shouldn’t be following the lead of other states when it comes to gun rights. This is the state of the Alamo, damn it! We need to lead from the FRONT!!!

(10) Readers Comments

  1. CJ, the only hope we have is to take matters into our own hands at the local level. We cannot count on the legislature in Austin to do the right thing. After all, they re-elected Straus as Speaker despite all our best efforts and in flagrant carelessness of our repeated warnings about him.

    So, I suggest to my fellow patriots in Texas that they ask their City Council Members to pass a Resolution protecting their Second Amendment rights in their town. City Council Members are our closest elected representatives and they have a duty to listen to our concerns and act accordingly. We did it in League City, TX, and other cities are following suit.

    Read about it here: http://www.heidifortexas.com/link_round_up_for_league_city_s_second_amendment_resolution

    • Heidi, thank for sending that. If you don’t mind, I’m going to write a separate post linking to that so others are aware.

  2. Rep. George Levander has also filed an open carry bill (HB 700), which is also sitting idle in the Homeland Security / Public Safety committee.

    Should we also be putting pressure on Rep. Joseph Pickett (chair of that committee) to at least pass them through his committee?

  3. Homeland Security and Public Safety only began holding hearings LAST Week. The Senate has not yet held a public hearing. This is NOT behind past schedules. Bill filing ends tomorrow and things crank up after that.

    Nothing in the statement above is true. Not a word. NAGR mailed a letter attacking CHL on Campus to every Texas House and Senate office. Now he’s attacking other the Texas Speaker and bills have not yet moved in either Chamber which is normal for this time in session. NAGR is extremely misinformed and that’s being kind. This also lists a version of Open Carry only recently filed and not HB 700, the comprehensive version worked on by Rep. Lavender. All our pro-gun legislation is alive and well and all stands a good chance. All opinions are welcome but not out-right lies. The statement above isn’t an opinion, it’s a harmful and unfounded lie. Alice Tripp, lobbyist, TSRA

  4. I will retain my skepticism of Straus and this Legislative body’s ability to LEAD. We are behind other states on Second Amendment issues, border security, and many others that require bold Tenth Amendment leadership. The last time a fundamental Bill of Rights issue made its way through the House processes – the 4th Amendment protection bill – it was killed in the final hour of the Special Session by Speaker Straus. Contrary to excuses from the Lege concerning Straus’ actions, the facts are plain. To kill the 4th Amendment legislation, Straus performed dishonorably.

    1. The Speaker’s actions went against the broadly demonstrated and demanded will of the People.

    2. He also went against the “will of the House” – which had previously passed the no-brainer bill unanimously before it fell apart in the Senate, thanks to Dewhurst’s buffoonery.

    3. He went against the will of the Governor, who had prioritized the issue for the Special Session.

    4. The Speaker had to manipulate the clock and quorum to avoid voting on the bill when it finally came to the floor in the final minutes, and then he lied about it to the People.

    We have ZERO confidence, based upon Straus’ history and the weakness of a legislative body that caved to him in his re-election bid for Speaker, that fundamental Bill Of Rights measures will make it to the floor for an up or down vote. We are all aware of how processes and committees are used to kill good and necessary bills. This is not our first rodeo with Straus nor the jokers who keep re-electing him as Speaker.

    • I agree and continue to maintain my belief Straus should NOT be speaker. He wasted the last legislative session by ignoring demands to pass pro-gun legislation, including open carry.

    • By the way Heidi, I’m speaking before my City Council tonight about passing a resolution.

  5. Open carry will not happen in this state. Sad to say but its true

  6. Pingback: Alvin City Council Passes Resolution to Protect 2nd Amendment Rights 5-0! » Alvin TEA Party Patriots - Fiscal Responsibility * Limited Government * Free Market

  7. Maybe there is hope.

    AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Lawmakers bid a breezy farewell Monday to the legislative session, but before they had time to pop the cork on any celebratory champagne Gov. Rick Perry summoned them right back to work.

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