Campus Carry Bill Blocked
As the legislative session winds down in Austin numerous bills are dying or are completely dead. One of those bills appears to be the so called campus-carry bill. According to the statesman.com, State Sen. Brian Birdwell says he now lacks six votes to bring up House Bill 972.
The Senate sponsor of a controversial guns-on-campus legislation declared it all-but-dead on Wednesday morning, blaming the measure’s demise on Senate Democrats who have blocked it from coming to a final vote.
State Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, said he lacked two votes to bring up House Bill 972 on Tuesday — and lacks six votes Wednesday because 25 votes are now needed instead of 21 because a Senate rule effective on Wednesday raises the number needed.
“It’s still held, still blocked,” Birdwell said. And while other senators are attaching their bills to others being passed to keep them alive, he said he had promised other senators he would not do that.
“I’m going to keep my word,” Birdwell said.
The House-passed bill was much different than a campus-carry bill that Birdwell had filed earlier in the legislative session.
Birdwell’s bill would have required public colleges and universities to allow concealed-weapon licensees to be able to carry their weapons inside university buildings and dorms, places where they are prohibited under current law.
The House-passed version allows public colleges and universities to opt out of allowing concealed weapons in buildings, on a decision by the campus president. Private schools would be allowed to decide on their own whether to allow guns.
Though the House version by state Rep. Allen Fletcher, R-Cypress, was much milder than Birdwell’s original bill, he said he supported it “even though it’s not my preferred version.
“It’s like going to bat, and instead of getting a home run, you get a double,” he said, using a baseball analogy. But with the Democrats blocking even the milder version, “even a bill that is less strong can’t get out of (the Senate) right now.”
“I would prefer it not be blocked, but it is,” he added.
Asked whether he thought the campus-carry measure might come back as an agenda item for a special legislative session this summer, if Gov. Rick Perry calls one, Birdwell said: “I believe it will seriously be considered.”
As you’ve heard me say on my radio show numerous times, this bill was garbage. Personally, I am glad that the bill is being blocked and hope that a true campus-carry bill will be introduced during a special session. A campus-carry bill that doesn’t hand over the decision making to the college presidents but instead strengthens gun rights to law-abiding and responsible Texans. Let’s get this right and not pass trash bills.