The good news: A number of helpful bills we supported were passed by the 83rd legislature in its regular session, January-May 2013. These bills will affect CHL carrying and licensing; most went into effect September 1, 2013. See more information HERE.
The bad news: All the weighty legislation that would have offered meaningful solutions to existing infringement of the right to keep and bear arms died in the regular session.
Many bills were held hostage by the Pickett fence (chairman Joe Pickett of the Homeland Security & Public Safety committee) which was put in place by Straus. Others failed to make it through the Senate in time. Another was killed after Senator Corona added a terrible amendment. See more information on dead bills HERE.
Failure to Act:
Who is to blame? Who who could have kept these bills from dying but failed to act? We see negligence and lack of support for the right of the people to keep and bear arms displayed all the way up the chain of elected officials – all the way to the governor of Texas:
- Senator John Corona added a terrible amendment to HB 508, which had been a good CHL-related bill. Representatives who had integrity then had to vote against the ruined bill.
- Senator John Whitmire, chairman of the Criminal Justice Committee, failed to even schedule a hearing for SB 182, the campus personal protection bill.
- Representative Joe Pickett, chairman of the Homeland Security Committee called hearings for many significant bills, but refused to bring them up for a vote so they could continue in the legislative process.
- Speaker of the House Joe Straus appointed Joe Pickett as chairman. We’ve heard indications that he may have instructed Pickett not to let these bills pass through his committee.
- Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, the president of the Senate, has significant authority and influence in getting legislation through the Senate. However, he failed to pass several gun bills that had successfully passed the house, so they ran out of time and died in Dewhurst’s Senate.
- Governor Rick Perry, who has a national reputation for being a firearms supporter, had a golden opportunity to ensure that this legislation came up for a vote – and missed the mark completely. As governor, he may call the legislature back for a special session to consider whatever subjects he chooses. He did indeed call special sessions; however, he refused to add gun bills to the call. (Learn about special sessions HERE.)
What You Can Do:
Please call and email Governor Rick Perry, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, and Speaker of the House Joe Straus. Let them know your disapproval at their failure to get significant pro-gun legislation passed in Texas. Let them know specifically what bills/subjects you are talking about:
- Open Carry – remove the “concealed” requirement from Texas CHL law
- Campus Personal Protection – allow CHL holders to carry on college campuses; opt-out for private universities only
- Carry Anywhere – abolish gun-free zones (from TX Penal Code 46.02 and 46.03) for CHL holders (was HB 3142 in regular session)
- “Come And Take It” Firearms Protection – instruct that state resources and personnel may not enforce federal firearms regulations that Texas law does not also support
- Intrastate Firearms Protection – ensure that firearms and accessories made in Texas are not subject to federal regulations
Governor Rick Perry: 512-463-2000
Lt. Governor David Dewhurst: 512-463-0001
Speaker Joe Straus: 512-463-1000
Be sure to share this with others! Rally the troops and let these state officials know that we were watching and we will remember their failure to take decisive action when it was most needed.
The Second Amendment
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
The Second Amendment is about our individual, God-given right and duty of defense – personal, community, and national. A result of the events of April 19, 1775, and backed up by 500 years of British legal history beginning with the Assizes of Arms in 1181, the Second Amendment holds significant meaning for you, today. Learn about it here:
The Threats We Face
Today, we are confronted by a massive assault by the government-media complex that is aggressively challenging our 2nd Amendment Rights. They do this under guise of “protecting” us – even though it is statistically proven that gun control actually increases, not decreases, violent crime. The threat is grave: historically, a disarmed citizenry prepares the way for genocide. Learn about it here:
How You Can Help:
Step 1: Join the Alarm List
Why do we call it the Alarm List? Good question!
In colonial America, the militia was composed of several groups. The minutemen were famously able to be ready at a minute’s notice, while the bulk of the militia was the remainder of able-bodied men ages 16-50. There was another group, however: the alarm list.
The Alarm List included men ages 50-70. They were retired from normal military service; however, in the event of a dire emergency, they were ready to join the ranks and stand for liberty.
In these times, when we can use the ballot box and the soap box instead of the bullet box, you may consider yourself the alarm list. You are not a career politician, and you may not even enjoy politics, but you prize your liberty and recognize your duty to your country. So keep going about your normal daily routine at home and at work, but when you hear a call for the Alarm List to pitch in and help, know that 5 minutes of your time to send an email or make a phone call truly can make a difference.
Step 2: Call your representative
Don’t know your representatives? Enter your address here and then find the Texas State Representative & State Senator; dial the “Capitol Phone” number that’s listed. Be sure to save the number in your phone contacts so you can easily call back anytime.
When you call a representative, you will speak with an aide. Tell the aide your name and the purpose of your call. For example:
“My name is Amy Brown, and I am a constituent of Rep. _____. I am calling to urge the representative to support the Intrastate Firearm Protection Act (HB 627), the Open Carry bill (HB 700), the “Come And Take It” Bill (HB 928), and the Campus Personal Protection Act (HB 972). It is very important to me to protect our second amendment right to keep and bear arms.”
You will probably be asked your address to verify that you are in the representative’s district.
Remember that you do not have to be a skilled speaker or debater to call your representative. However, if you would like to clearly and concisely articulate your views, that’s great; do your research and be informed on the subject.
Step 3: Share through social media
We also encourage you to take a minute to send a personal email to friends and let them know your views. If you have a blog or website, share the link and explain why you think this is an important issue.
Step 4: Become a pamphleteer
Do you enjoy graphic design? Come up with your own design and send it to us or post it on our facebook page. Be sure to include the web address TexasFirearmsFreedom.com. If we like it, with your permission we’ll post it here for others to use.
Step 5: Become a coalition partner
“Posterity! You will never know what it cost the present generation to secure your freedom. I hope you make good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in heaven that I ever took such pains to preserve it.”
John Adams, 1775