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NRA Defying Gun Rights Activists?

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Yesterday, the National Rifle Association posted an alert about two guns bills in the Texas Legislature, urging its members to support them – SB 16 by Sen. Robert Nichols and HB 1911 by Rep. James White. But many gun rights activists were incensed that another significant piece of legislation was omitted.

SB 16 lowers the License to Carry fee to $40. HB 1911 is a Constitutional Carry bill.

But the other Constitutional Carry bill, HB 375, filed by Rep. Jonathan Stickland, was not mentioned in the alert at all, even though it will be heard in committee on Tuesday alongside HB 1911, and even though it was the first bill of its kind to be filed this session.

Stickland was the first legislator to submit a Constitutional Carry bill in Texas history, or at least since carry permits became required and the term “Constitutional Carry” came into use in the early 2000’s.

For those who missed our write-up on Constitutional Carry, click here

Constitutional Carry restores the right of any law-abiding Texan to carry a firearm for self-defense without first seeking the government’s permission or paying a fee. It has always been the law in Vermont, and is the law in a dozen other states and rising.

Last session, Stickland filed HB 195 which died in committee without a hearing.  The NRA was virtually silent on the bill throughout session.

This session, Stickland refiled the bill as HB 375, and the NRA apparently intends to remain silent again.

They have instead thrown their support behind HB 1911, a bill which only two of the state’s six main gun rights organizations are supporting. We’ve tracked the groups’ Facebook pages for alerts, and found the following data (as of March 24, 2017):

The two bills will be heard in the House Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety at 8:00 am, in room E2.014. They are the only bills scheduled to be heard in this committee that day.

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