Saturday, March 30, 2013

Texas Gun Bills Stalled In Committee

With 60 or so days left to Texas's legislative year, there are several important gun-related bills stalled in congressional committees.

HB 1872 is one such bill. The bill would allow law enforcement personnel to immediately revoke somebody's second amendment rights if they self-identified as having any sort of mental illness. This would include temporary depression (grief) after loss of a family member including divorce. According to the bill, it would require the citizen to petition a judge in order to have second amendment rights reinstated.

This is unconstitutional. It should require a warrant or sentence issued by a judge after sufficient evidence is presented in order to have second amendment protections suspended.

Luckily, this law is listed as still in committee. It needs to be voted down, hard.

Severely mentally ill people, such as Jared Loughner, who shot Gabby Giffords, and Adam Lanza, the monster who shot students and faulty at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newton, Connecticut, should have their second amendment protections called into question. Restricting them may have stopped their crimes. They may not have. Had they been intent on those crimes, they would have still acquired weapons and done their evil, regardless of the law. But restricting somebody's constitutional rights should never be done lightly. Even incarcerated criminals still have some level of First, Fourth and Fifth Amendment protections.

HB 972 is the Texas House bill to allow concealed carry on college campuses. It has been stuck pending in committee since March 14, 2013. It was filed on February 5, 2013.

The bill would allow for college students who posses concealed carry licenses (therefore passed rigorous background checks and took classes) to carry on campus. Saying "no" to this bill basically indicates advocacy for rape and other violent crimes on campus. Doing so says that the lawmaker supports leaving women unable to defend themselves.

The Texas Senate has a companion bill to HB 972. SB 182 is identical in text. It was filed on January 17, 2013. It has sat in committee since January 29th. One of it's biggest obstacles is Socialist Tyrant Democrat Whitmire from Houston.

While Texas is still eons away from recognizing the full Second Amendment rights known as "Constitutional Carry", there is a bill that comes a small step closer. Currently, open carry is unconstitutionally forbidden in Texas. HB 1194 would change that. The bill changes the wording in Texas gun laws to make carry licenses valid for both open and concealed carry. This bill has also been stuck "pending" in committee since March 14, 2013 despite several hearings with testimony in favor of passing the bill.

Constitutional Carry is the Second Amendment as written and intended. It allows for law-abiding citizens to carry concealed or openly any legal firearm, be it a handgun or rifle. This does come with some restraints, however, such as the "two action" rule. The two-action rule means the weapon needs to be configured so that the bearer must do two things in order to prepare the weapon to fire. This could be unholstering and disengaging a safety. It could be chambering a round. In the case of carrying an AR-15, there would most likely be three actions: shoulder the weapon, charge the weapon, disengage safety.

Four states, including Arizona, Alaska, and New Hampshire, currently employ constitutional carry at some level or another. Texas, who claims to be one of the most free and least restrictive states, needs to follow suit or relinquish its claim.