As the NRA Convention lit up the town of Houston on Saturday, the Texas House of Representatives would not be outdone and put on their own 2nd Amendment extravaganza. On Saturday May 4, 2013 the Texas House approved 12 gun bills that will be sent to the Texas Senate after clearing final procedural votes.
This all happened on "Gun Day" which was a moniker pinned by opponents and proponents alike. "Gun Day" lived up to its billing and may go down in history as one of the greatest legislative sessions ever in the Texas House.
The Austin American-Statesman reports:
"On a day when the nation's strongest Second Amendment lobby group was gathered in Houston, the Texas House on Saturday tentatively approved a dozen pro-gun bills — including a highly controversial measure that would legalize concealed weapons in buildings on college campuses.
Another bill would thwart enforcement of new federal gun restrictions in Texas, a move intended to target firearms laws proposed by the Obama administration.
Saturday's votes were on a wide array of legislation that would provide state training for new school marshals to protect students from shooting attacks, exempt concealed weapons licensees living in remote rural areas from electronic fingerprinting rules, allow for an inadvertent display of a concealed pistol, shorten the amount of classroom instruction required to obtain a concealed handgun permit and allow for renewal of handgun licenses on the Internet.
While most passed quickly with voice votes, disagreement erupted over the so-called campus carry bill and federal restrictions."
The controversial "Concealed Campus Carry" bill is inclusive of carrying concealed weapons into campus buildings. Students over 21 will have the right to carry a concealed handgun into their classrooms if this bill becomes law. Opponents of the legislation point to the risk of increased violence on University campuses.
Proponents of the bill argue that only 9300 of the state-wide 584,000 handgun licenses are held by people between the ages of 21-25 and many of those are military veterans.
The other highly controversial measure is one that will prosecute local and state officials for attempting to enforce federal firearms limits. Police officers or other officials who attempt to enforce federal firearms limits would be prosecuted and face a maximum of a $4000 fine and up to 1 year in jail.
There were three separate bills in all that limited the number of course hours necessary to get a concealed carry permit.
Another measure reduced the concealed handgun license fees for police officers, veterans and guard members. This passed unanimously despite projections that it will cost the state $2 million in lost revenues.
A common sense measure that prohibits the posting of "no carry" signs where it is not illegal to carry, and fines those who post such signs, passed on Saturday as well.
A bill introduced by Democrat Sergio Munoz which allows school districts greater flexibility in communicating with hunters in regard to campus locations also passed.
In all it was typical Texas style and showmanship at its finest. Where some of these measures stand in the upper chamber is unknown but one thing is for certain… Texas is as pro-2nd Amendment as any state in the nation.
Well done Texas. It seems that you understand the meaning of "Shall not be infringed."