While grassroots gun activists have had their hands full with establishment House Speaker Dennis Bonnen and his successful campaign to kill pro-gun legislation, gun control is surprisingly on the move in Texas.
Last week, HB 545 was voted out of the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee 7-2 with three Republicans voting alongside four Democrats. This bill was authored by anti-gun Homeland Security and Public Safety Chairman Poncho Nevarez, who played a significant role in killing Texas’s Constitutional Carry bill HB 357.
In an email, Lone Star Gun Rights called for its members to oppose this bill.
According to LSGR’s Senior Editor Derek Wills, HB 545 “would make it a crime for any Texan to lend, sell, or gift their firearm to anyone who has ever received “mental health” treatment by court order, even if they are ignorant of that fact.” The gun rights activists adds that courts in Texas “can order mental health treatment without any official diagnosis or even the commission of a crime.”
Wills argues that HB 545 “does not adequately utilize due process” and is effectively a “de facto red flag back door.”
Red flag laws have become the gun control legislation of choice for gun control activists since the Parkland shooting in 2018. Solid pro-gun states like Florida have passed this gun control legislation, while Republican legislators like Senator Lindsey Graham are currently working to draft red flag legislation in Congress.
Gun rights have not progressed much in the 2019 legislative session as the Texas political establishment has done everything in its power to roadblock Constitutional Carry legislation. It even has gone as far as to launch a dubious smear campaign against gun rights activist Chris McNutt for peacefully block walking in Bonnen’s district.
The legislative session is quickly coming to a close and it looks like gun rights activists will have another disappointing legislative session that does not see Constitutional Carry at least receive a roll call vote in the Texas state legislature.
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Dallas County Commissioners Vote to Place Limits on Activist Judge Clay Jenkins’ MASSIVE Power Grab
On Tuesday, April 7, 2020, Dallas County commissioners voted to restrict County Judge Clay Jenkins’ emergency powers.
They argued that they were unaware of certain sensitive decisions taken by Jenkins.
These Commissioners voted to have Jenkins inform all four of commissioners and allow them to meet up before deciding to impose more restrictions on essential businesses. On top of that, they required him to obtain a majority vote before extending the shelter-in-place order beyond April 30, 2020.
Ever since March 19, Jenkins has issued a number of orders which included limits on group gatherings and a shelter-in-place order that compelled non-essential businesses and services to shut down two weeks ago.
On April 3, 2020, commissioners approved the extension of the disaster declaration until May 20. Additionally, Jenkins announced on Twitter that he would extend stay-at-home orders until April 30.
The restrictions were weakened after a four-hour meeting. Jenkins even hinted before the vote that the originally proposed restrictions were “dangerous” and would keep him from acting decisively during a pandemic.
“We’re just not going to be able to get things done if we stop and have a two- or three-hour meeting every day on things like whether or not people should solicit at your home or not,” Jenkins said before the vote took place.
Commissioner John Wiley Price, who represents a large portion of southern Dallas, declared that there’s been a “throat choke” on his constituents during the past few weeks.
Price said he was “incensed” by decisions Jenkins took unilaterally.
“If you can confer with 250 people every day, or every other day, then you can confer with us,” Price said to Jenkins.
Price has advocated for pawn shops and check-cashing businesses to be reopened, saying people in the communities he represents would benefit from the re-opening of the economy.
Jenkins ordered on April 6, 2020 that those businesses could open up their doors provided that they implement certain social distancing policies and follow consumer protection measures laid out in his amended order.
Commissioner J.J. Koch, who put forward the amendment to restrict Jenkins’ power, said he was of the opinion that it was “prudent” for commissioners to vote on these issues together.
“It’s a little bit concerning that there are still pieces that have to be addressed this late in the game at such a rapid pace,” Koch stated. “We shouldn’t be in this place.”
Commissioner Theresa Daniel said her colleagues need to be in the loop when it comes to making decisions due to the resources they can offer.
“What I see in this is not that we are putting barricades or barriers to progress or addressing issues that must be addressed,” Daniels commented. “We agree with you and appreciate all those efforts, but we are a part of this county, we are a part of these decisions, and we have not been kept in the loop.”
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