Texas Open Carry Bill Sent To Senate Floor

A Senate committee on Monday approved an open-carry bill that had been stripped of a House amendment seeking to ban police stops to check for concealed handgun licenses.
House Bill 910 next goes to the full Senate for consideration.

The Senate voted along party lines two months ago to approve a similar bill.

Sen. Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls, said the amendment was removed from HB 910 at the request of Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, who is chairwoman of the State Affairs Committee. The committee held a public hearing before approving the bill Monday.

HB 910 had been amended on the House floor to bar police from stopping or detaining people with a holstered handgun solely to determine if they have the required concealed handgun license.

The amendment was added on the House floor last month by Rep. Harold Dutton, D-Houston, who said police have no business stopping citizens engaged in a legal activity.

“We don’t let the police stop every car just to figure out who does and who doesn’t have a driver’s license,” Dutton said. “I think the same principle applies here.”

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo and other critics have said the amendment would handcuff police in dealing with potentially dangerous situations.

Source: http://www.statesman.com/news/news/open-carry-bill-to-be-stripped-of-police-stop-amen/nmJYB/

Texas Lawmakers Debate Open Carry Monday

This legislative session opened looking like it would be the most firearms-friendly in years.

Republican Rep. Larry Phillips’ open carry bill will be considered Monday morning by the Senate State Affairs Committee.

Considering the Senate has already passed its own bill allowing so-called “open carry,” the House’s proposal suggests guns are poised to move back to the top of Texas lawmakers’ agendas. Phillips’ measure would allow licensed gun owners the right to open carry in most public places, sans businesses that have rules against it.

Gov. Greg Abbott and the Legislature’s strong Republican majority have pushed open carry as an important gun rights and self-defense measure. Most Democrats have opposed it, noting concerns from police in the state’s largest cities and gun control advocates about public safety.

Some in the state are even pushing for “constitutional carry” – a move that would allow anyone who legally owns a handgun to carry it openly. Last month Republican Rep. Jonathan Stickland offered an amendment for just that.

Source: http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2015/05/17/texas-lawmakers-debate-open-carry-monday/

House Bill 422 Action Needed

House Bill 422 (HB422) would take important steps towards blocking the enforcement of federal gun control in the state of Texas. (learn more here)

**HB422 passed thru committee 5 – 0! Help get the bill to the House floor by 5/14**

YOUR ACTION IS NEEDED NOW. It doesn’t matter where in Texas you live, take these actions today. HB422 now goes to the House Committee on Calendars.

1. Call the Committee Chair Todd Hunter at (512) 463-0672. Respectfully urge him to move this bill forward and vote YES.
2. Call the other members of the committee. Be strong, but respectful. Urge each of them to take action to move this bill forward and vote YES on HB422.

Eddie Lucio (512) 463-0606
Roberto Alonzo (512) 463-0408
Bryon Cook (512) 463-0730
Sarah Davis (512) 463-0389
Charlie Geren (512) 463-0610
Helen Giddings (512) 463-0953
Patricia Harless (512) 463-0496
Dan Huberty (512) 463-0520
Eric Johnson (512) 463-0586
Ken King (512) 463-0736
Lyle Larson (512) 463-0646
Four Price (512) 463-0470
Debbie Riddle (512) 463-0572
Eddie Rodriguez (512) 463-0674

3. Call Back – any NO or UNDECIDED – in ONE day. If they say YES, be sure to thank them and, if possible, announce their committed YES vote to email and social media contacts. If they say no, politely ask them why. Get the information from them and contact us.

4. Spread the Word. Share this information widely by facebook, twitter, email and other social networks.

5. Donate. We cannot succeed without your help – and without the financial resources to get things done. We accept no government grants, and have no corporate backers. We’re standing up against the entire gun control establishment and need the funding to take them on more and more aggressively – so liberty can win.

Source: http://www.shallnot.org/texas

Texas Committee Passes Bill to Ban Bulk Sharing of Concealed Carry Lists with Feds

Yesterday, a Texas state House committee passed bill that would ban the state from providing bulk lists of concealed carry permit holders to the federal government, something that agencies have requested elsewhere, and could potentially be used to harass or persecute lawful gun owners. The vote was 7-2.

Introduced by State Rep. Dwayne Bohac (R-Houston), House Bill 2359 (HB2359) would protect the Texas Concealed Handgun Licensing registry from being harvested by the federal government in bulk. The bill reads, in part:

The department, in response to a bulk request made by a federal criminal justice agency, may not provide to the agency a list of individuals licensed to carry a concealed handgun…

“We just believe that CHL holders [are] private to the state of Texas and should remain the property of the state and our local law enforcement agencies,” Rep. Bohac said.

HB2359 received its first hearing in the House Homeland Security & Public Safety Committee on Apr. 14. Rep. Bohac testified in favor of his bill.

“Currently, [the Department of Public Safety] must disclose to federal and state criminal justice agencies whether a named individual or individuals named in a specified list whether or not they’re a CHL license holder,” Bohac said during the committee hearing. “Items open to disclosure by DPS are the person’s name, date of birth, gender, race, zip code, telephone number and e-mail address.”

“HB2359 prohibits DPS from releasing bulk lists of unnamed individuals who are CHL holders to a federal criminal justice agency,” Bohac said.

HB2359 is an important measure because the federal government has already shown its willingness to collect this information from state agencies. It was revealed in 2013 that the Missouri Highway Patrol released a confidential list of concealed pistol licensees to the federal government at their request. It is unknown if this type of information sharing is going on in other states, but HB2359 would put an end to any such collusion taking place in the Lone Star State.

The bill will now be sent to the House Calendars committee for scheduling on the House floor.

Source: http://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2015/05/texas-committee-passes-bill-to-ban-bulk-sharing-of-concealed-carry-lists-with-feds/

Bans on “Assault Weapons,” Firearm Magazines Can Be Based on Feelings, Rules Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals

In a stunning 2-1 decision published today that upheld a City of Highland Park, Illinois ordinance (§136.005 of the City Code) that prohibits the possession of so-called “assault weapons” and “large‐capacity magazines,” Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Frank Easterbrook held that

[a]nother constitutional principle is relevant: the Constitu‐tion establishes a federal republic where local differences are cherished as elements of liberty, rather than eliminated in a search for national uniformity. McDonald circumscribes the scope of permissible experimentation by state and local gov‐ernments, but it does not foreclose all possibility of experi‐mentation. Within the limits established by the Justices in Heller and McDonald, federalism and diversity still have a claim. Whether those limits should be extended is in the end a question for the Justices. Given our understanding of exist‐ ing limits, the judgment [of the trial court, which held that the gun control ordinance was constitutional] is AFFIRMED.

Adding insult to injury, the majority found that “[i]f a ban on semi‐automatic guns and large‐capacity magazines reduces the perceived risk from a mass shooting, and makes the public feel safer as a result, that’s a substantial benefit.”

In his dissent, Judge Manion found that

[b]y prohibiting a class of weapons commonly used throughout the country, Highland Park’s ordinance infringes upon the rights of its citizens to keep weapons in their homes for the purpose of defending themselves, their families, and their property. Both the ordinance and this court’s opinion upholding it are directly at odds with the central holdings of Heller and McDonald: that the Second Amendment protects a personal right to keep arms for lawful purposes, most notably for self-defense within the home.

***

Unlike public life where the cities and states have broad authority to regulate,the ultimate decision for what constitutes the most effective means of defending one’s home, family, and property resides in individual citizens and not in the government. The Heller and McDonald opinions could not be clearer on this matter. Heller, 554 U.S. at 635; McDonald, 561 U.S. at 780. The extent of danger—real or imagined—that a citizen faces at home is a matter only that person can assess in full.

To be sure, assault rifles and large capacity magazines are dangerous. But their ability to project large amounts of force accurately is exactly why they are an attractive means of selfdefense. While most persons do not require extraordinary means to defend their homes, the fact remains that some do. Ultimately, it is up to the lawful gun owner and not the government to decide these matters. To limit self-defense to only those methods acceptable to the government is to effect an enormous transfer of authority fromthe citizens of this country to the government—a result directly contrary to our constitu-tion and to our political tradition. The rights contained in the Second Amendment are “fundamental” and “necessary to our system of ordered liberty.” McDonald, 561 U.S. at 778. The government recognizes these rights; it does not confer them.

Read the rest of the article: https://www.firearmspolicy.org/news/blog/breaking-bans-on-assault-weapons-firearm-magazines-can-be-based-on-feelings-rules-seventh-circuit-court-of-appeals/