Constitutional carry legislation in Texas is on life support, and the clock is ticking…
After significant backlash among the Republican base against Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick for blocking the constitutional carry bill passed by the House, a constitutional carry bill has now been filed in the Senate and referred to committee.
Senate Bill 2224 was filed by State Sen Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown) and allows legal gun owners to carry a handgun without a permit. It has been referred to the Senate Administration Committee, which Schwertner chairs.
“I filed SB 2224 to protect the constitutional right of Texans to carry firearms for their personal protection & the protection of their families,” announced Schwertner. “I look forward to working with my colleagues to finally pass constitutional carry in Texas and defend the Second Amendment rights of our citizens.”
However, SB 2224 is not the same bipartisan constitutional carry bill that was passed by the House, HB 1927. Some supporters of constitutional carry have criticized the senate bill for now having some of the protections for gun owners that the house bill has.
The larger concern that constitutional carry advocates have with Schwertner’s bill is that it could be an attempt to run out the clock. There is limited time left in the 87th Legislative Session, and it takes time for bills to work their way through the legislative process. By filing a completely different bill, the Senate will be starting from scratch, which could take longer than just taking up the House’s constitutional carry bill.
Meanwhile, many senate Republicans are still holding out on whether or not they will support either bill. The Texan has published a complete list on where every state senator stands on constitutional carry.
The Forty-Five News spoke to a member of Schwertner’s staff earlier this week and asked if he supported HB 1927. The staff member said that the senators office did not have an official position and hadn’t analyzed the bill yet. However, she couldn’t see that Schwertner would have a problem with the bill, affirming that, “the boss is a big supporter of constitutional carry.
Although Schwertner himself is based in Georgetown, he represents a wide swath of central Texas, and his district even includes Walker County.
Whether constitutional carry of any kind will pass at all remains up in the air at this point. However, supporters of the policy see the filing of a senate bill as a step in the right direction, while gun control activists are rallying against SB 2224.
All opponents have to do is run out the clock. Session will be over in a few weeks, and every second that goes by makes the passage of constitutional carry less likely.