A measure to make it legal to carry concealed handguns in college classrooms was likely shot down for good Thursday evening in the Texas House.
After the controversial “campus carry” measure stalled repeatedly in the Senate, state Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, had finally attached the proposal as an amendment to a must-pass fiscal matters bill. When that bill reached the House late Thursday, state Rep. Mike Villarreal, D-San Antonio, was ready with a point of order, a parliamentary tactic lawmakers frequently use to stall measures they oppose.
By correctly noting that the gun amendment was not pertinent to the rest of the bill, Villarreal knocked the entire bill back to the Senate, where the amendment will likely be stripped.
“Here’s a novel idea. Let’s give students financial aid instead of firearms,” Villarreal said.
With just ten days left in the session, multiple House sources said they believed the measure was officially dead.
“I hope that’s not the case but it’s looking pretty bleak right now,” said state Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, one of the lead authors of the measure in the House.
It was the second time in two days that a proposal backed by nearly every Republican in the Republican-dominated Legislature was dealt an apparent fatal blow. On Wednesday, a Senate panel opted against a ban on so-called sanctuary cities, which critics say provide safe haven to illegal immigrants across Texas. In both cases, the measures found trouble in the Senate where 21 Senators in the 31-member chamber must agree to bring a bill up for debate.
Advocates say allowing guns on campus is about self-defense and gun rights. Opponents, including many higher-education officials, worry that guns would lead to more campus violence and suicides.
Wow, Texas gun rights this legislative session have been dealt a few blows this last week. SB 321, which everyone thought was a done deal is in limbo due to differences in the House and Senate versions. HB 2756 never made it to the floor due to the House Calendar Committee. There was some talk of attaching HB 2756 as an amendment to SB 905, but I’ve not heard the most recent status on whether or not it actually made it or not. And now Campus Carry is in jeopardy…