Texas House passes 12 firearms bills on ‘gun day’

Chron – by WILL WEISSERT, Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas House approved a batch of bills Saturday to further soften gun laws that were already among the country’s most firearms-friendly, allowing college students to carry handguns in class, putting potentially armed marshals in public schools and exempting the state from any future federal bans on assault rifles, high-capacity magazines or universal background checks.  

Dubbed “gun day” by supporters and opponents alike, the parade of votes came as tens of thousands of members of the National Rifle Association attended the group’s annual convention in Houston. Gov. Rick Perrywelcomed convention attendees Friday with a video of him taking target practice using a semi-automatic rifle.

The 12 approved gun bills must all clear final, procedural votes before heading to the state Senate. Still, they advanced with only minimal delay, cruising past Democrat-led efforts to block or stall them. Nearly all were approved by simple voice votes.

A Democratic parliamentary point of order managed to shoot down just one, a bill by Rep. Van Taylor, R-Plano, that would have allowed the use of a concealed handgun license as valid proof of personal identification — even though obtaining such licenses requires a background check that’s not necessary to get driver licenses and many other forms of ID.

The fiercest debate in the Republican-controlled chamber came over the plan to allow students over 21 who already hold concealed weapons permits to take their handguns into college classrooms. The issue became exceedingly volatile during the last legislative session in 2011, and ultimately failed.

Pro-Second Amendment lawmakers have revived it, however. Sponsor Rep. Allen Fletcher, R-Tomball, reminded lawmakers: “College campuses are not crime-free zones.”

The measure would allow colleges and universities to opt out of the new rules annually — which has softened opposition to it among some top higher education leaders. Current law already allows universities to opt in, and the Texas A&M University System is among those that have done so.

Meanwhile, the Texas Senate has already approved a separate measure allowing college students to keep guns in their cars on campus. But the prospects for the campus carry bill passed by the House on Saturday appear far bleaker. Top Republicans have even suggested the issue will be a non-starter in the upper chamber.

The House also overwhelmingly approved a bill that attracted national attention when it was introduced by first-term, tea party Republican Rep. Steve Toth of The Woodlands. It would nullify within state borders any federal laws banning assault weapons or high-capacity magazines, or expansion of background checks for firearms owners, even though doing so would almost certainly violate the U.S. Constitution.

“There are 27 amendments in the Constitution but only one says ‘shall not be infringed,'” Toth said. “The Second Amendment is the amendment that keeps the people free.”

Rep. Armando Walle, D-Houston, raised a string of parliamentary objections to many of the gun bills, but they all failed. He asked Toth, “Is your bill political posturing?”

“We just passed by voice vote a slew of pro-gun legislation,” Walle said. “So what is this? Why do we need it?”

Rep. Gene Wu, a Houston Democrat, went further on Twitter, saying, “In case your head is too thick to understand: State law will not trump federal law.”

Conroe Republican Rep. Brandon Creighton, and several co-authors, sponsored a bill to punish by up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine police officers or government officials who try to enforce federal firearms limits in Texas.

Also passing was the school marshal measure, sponsored by Dallas Republican Rep. Jason Villalba. The marshals would be employees who already hold concealed weapons permits and are chosen by their public school district or charter schools to receive firearms training. They would keep guns locked away on campus, but have access to them in an emergency — though their identities would not be divulged to the public.

Causing fewer fireworks when it passed was a measure reducing penalties for permit holders who accidentally show a concealed handgun.

Three other successful bills reduced the number of hours of training needed to obtain a concealed handgun license and tweaked the rules for renewing or being fingerprinted for one. A separate measure that passed 136-0 reduced the concealed handgun license fee for police officers, military veterans, national and state Guard members and even some Criminal Justice Department employees, despite costing the state up to $2 million in lost revenues.

Another measure that was approved was one by Democratic Rep. Ryan Guillen of Rio Grande City that’s meant to prohibit agencies from posting “no carry” signs in cases where carrying a gun isn’t illegal and imposing fines for violators. A bill by fellow Democrat Sergio Munoz of Palmview to expand school districts’ ability to alert hunters of the location of campuses also passed.



16 thoughts on “Texas House passes 12 firearms bills on ‘gun day’

  1. Somehow I don’t think these new “Soften” gun laws will work in Round Rock, TX with the Gestapo police watching over you constantly. But that’s just me, a victim of constant Round Rock police brutality and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

    1. Surely the citizen population outnumber the criminals who are praying on round rock! Stand up take some teeth home with you.

  2. Texas is still way behind Arizona… We don’t need no stick’in permit for open-carry, or conceal carry. Welcome to the real wild, wild west! hahaha!!!

  3. Be damn careful here, folks. If you think that Texas and Arizona (or any other State’s “Representatives of The People”) are different from those in Washington, D.C., then you’re sadly mistaken.
    We have half of these “types” openly working against us, the other half is playing the “I’ll protect you and your Rights” game. YES….it’s a GAME !!!!
    Don’t believe me…just give this charade a few months.

        1. I have seen some real two faced stuff about that Joe Arpaio – if that is how his name is spelled. I heard that he is a real crooked bastard and appears that he is above board but from what I have seen and read about him he is a real bottom feader. I assume that you are talking about that sheriff involved with that prison, right.

          1. Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, He just handles the county jail facilities, not the prisons, Digger

          2. Yep, that is the one, I thought that it was a prison but I guess that it was a jail. Yes I watched a few things on that guy. He coverd up a few murders that his jailers/guards beat people to death under his direction and Joe intentionaly covered it up.

          3. Yep Smilardog, I saw that from a thumb nail from a post I did about maybe 2 months or so ago and there were complaints about some beatings that resulted in death and they didn`t give medical treatment that could have saved the lives of those that were beaten and some of the guards/jailers and inmates were on a interview and that is where I saw that about good ole boy joe – the bottom feeder. Yes even his jailers said that about joe in a interview on video.Yep there were more than just 2 or 3 beatings that killed people without reason.

  4. …don’t forget C.I.A. spook, Lt Gov Dewhurst who killed the TSA Bill for Obama. These bills must pass his desk.

  5. Dear people of Texas.

    Well, it seems there is a state in the (union). ,ha, ha, that has the where with all to finally stand up and do something.! This marks a day that will be remembered for quite some time . I could not believe my eyes when reading that the state of Texas had passed what in my eyes is a blatant act of slapping the face of Omama! ,It make me want to move to Texas.
    Thank you for keeping up such good work Texas .
    Best regards.

  6. Obliquely related to this, I would really like to see Texas get rid of the Israel-Texas day and each one of the politicians who voted for it.

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