L. Neil Smith’s THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 924, May 28, 2017
Texas RKBA Legislatine Status
by A.X. Perez
Attribute to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
First the good news: The Texas State Legislature has passed Senate Bill 16, which lowers the fee to get a license to carry a handgun in public from $140.00 to $40.00, and House Bill 1935, which gets rid of the concept of illegal knives. Unless the Governor vetoes them, these bills will be the law of the land in Texas effective 1 September 2017(25 May is the deadline to veto SB 16, 18 June, say the 19th to be pessimistic, the last day to veto HB 1935, follow up notes will be sent.)
These laws are not perfect. For example, HB 1935 bans knives with blades over 5.5 inches in gun free zones. However, they are better than what was going on before.
HB 790, removing double edged knives from the definition of illegal knives died without getting voted on in the floor. Then again, HB1935 kind of obviated it out of existence. You can carry a double edged knife less than 5.5 inches long almost anywhere in the Lone Star State beginning 1 September, assuming Governor Abbott doesn't veto HB 1935.
Now the bad news: Both HB 375 and HB1911, getting rid of the requirement to have a license to pack a heater, died. HB 375 was killed in the Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee. The Calendar Committee did not forward HB 1911 to the floor, so the bill died there.
Now the really bad news: Once it became obvious that HB 375 was not going to pass Committee and HB 1911 was our only chance to get permitless carry every gun rights organization shut up. The NRA, the Texas State Rifle and Pistol Association, and all other establishment organizations stopped their kings and aces. This was their Bill. Gun Owners of America, Texas Open Carry, Lone Star Gun Rights shut their mouths. and other backers of HB 375 failed to transfer their support to 1911 once it became clear 375 was dead. Only the National Association for Gun Rights expressed any support for HB 1911, and that at the last second.
The leader of Knife Rights helped broker an amendment that saved HB 1935 from dying over a tragic murder on the UT Austin Campus, testified before the Texas House to get the bill passed, and came back to Texas to testify before the Senate Criminal Justice Committee a week later (he wasn't called). Neither the Establishment types who wanted HB 1911 nor the more radical gun rights groups fought this hard for 1911 once it became obvious it was the only game in town. Make of this what you will.
The Texas State Legislature adjourns Sine Die on 29 May. I have been following the bills listed above since January. There have been other weapons rights bills and other bills affecting liberty and other special interests before the legislature at this time. They most likely won't meet again until January 2019. This makes it easy for us Texans too keep them under scrutiny. It is imperative that those of you living in other states whose legislatures meet more frequently watch over your legislators and the people you were trusting to advocate for you. It is life and death that we all do this over Congress.
Addendum: Governor Abbott of Texas signed SB 16 on 26 May, 2017. Texans will now only have to pay $40.00 to get and renew a license to carry a handgun. Originally the bill called for reducing the cost of a license to pack to gratis, but was amended to cover administrative expenses.
There was a bit of a kerfuffle when the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence took exception to a wisecrack by Governor Abbott regarding carrying heat and dealing with reporters. I must point out that licensing reporters to go armed legally for $40.00 will do more to defend freedom of the press than requiring we all go unarmed and at the mercy of politicians reporters criticize.
I would also like to suggest that the leaders of the Brady Campaign improve their sex lives since they appear to lack a sense of humor. (Futuantur si iocum de se ipsis non tolerent.)
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