“Law-abiding Texans should not have to beg the government for permission and pay a fee to exercise their God-given right to self-defense.”
This was the opening line of coalition letter sent by 78 grassroots organizations and leaders from around the state, petitioning Governor Greg Abbott to add Constitutional Carry to the agenda for the special session of the legislature. Read the letter by clicking the images below.
Under the rules of the special session, the legislature can only pass bills requested by the governor.
On Monday morning, Reps. Jonathan Stickland and Matt Rinaldi joined National Association for Gun Rights President Dudley Brown at a press conference announcing a renewed effort to pass the bill during the remainder of the special session. Watch the conference by clicking here.
Stickland and Rinaldi authored the bill during the regular session, but it died in committee. Brown blamed it on “[Speaker] Joe Straus and his cronies.”
There are about a dozen Constitutional Carry states – including two additions this year – in which people who can legally purchase guns can also legally carry them. There are no additional requirements, such as licenses or fees.
Aside from the existing states, about a dozen others have considered or are considering the same legislation this year.
Brown believes Texans are more pro-gun than the laws of the state reflect. In fact, he said he had never seen a groundswell of support for the legislation like it anywhere else in the country.
In 2015, Texas passed open carry, but left the license requirement in place. Brown called it a “joke,” saying that his home state of Colorado doesn’t require a license for that, despite being controlled by a Democratic governor, and a Democratic House of Representatives.
Brown also called the 2017 bill which lowered the licensing fee a “ruse” and said that “Governor Abbott has a chance to prove his pro-gun credentials.”
Stickland echoed Brown’s charge that the death of Constitutional Carry during the last two regular sessions of the legislature was orchestrated, “directly by the Speaker’s team.” He elaborated:
“The reason it was stopped in the committee process is because they know we have earned the votes, and we have the votes to pass this bill on the floor with no compromises in it, and they have to kill it before it gets to that point.”
Rinaldi donned a “20-for-20” lapel pin, affirming his commitment to help pass all 20 of Governor Abbott’s special session agenda items. But he said:
“the one area where we’re missing an item on the call is Second Amendment rights. So what I think is that we should add Constitutional Carry to the call, and hopefully by the end of this special session, I’ll get a chance to switch my pin to a ‘21-for-21’ pin which I will happily do.”
Following the conference, the National Association for Gun Rights, along with Texas Gun Rights and Lone Star Gun Rights, took 80,000 petitions to the governor’s office asking him to add Constitutional Carry to the call of the session.
The governor’s office has not responded to the letter or the petitions at this time.
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