Constitutional Carry is Officially Dead in Texas
Establishment Gun Lobby Provides Cover for Spineless House Speaker
Put a fork in Texas’s Constitutional Carry bill, HB 357.
On April 5, 2019 State Representative Jonathan Stickland cancelled his request for a committee hearing on his Constitutional Carry bill.
Stickland’s withdrawal of Constitutional Carry came after a Fake News outrage swept the state during the past week.
An otherwise peaceful block walking campaign conducted by Texas Gun Rights activist Chris McNutt recently drew the ire of House Speaker Dennis Bonnen.
BLP reported how McNutt peacefully left flyers in the districts of House lieutenants like Four Price and Dustin Burrows, and even in Bonnen’s district.
However, this was too much for the gatekeeping House Speaker who went as far as to say that McNutt’s peaceful actions were a demonstration of “insanity” and accused him of being an “overzealous advocate for criminals to get a gun.”
Even establishment gun lobbies like the Texas State Rifle Association (TSRA), a state affiliate of the NRA, provided cover for Bonnen in an email condemning McNutt’s actions and dismissing Texas Gun Rights as a “fringe gun group”.
In a podcast hosted by Derek Wills of Lone Star Gun Rights, National Association for Gun Rights (the parent organization of Texas Gun Rights) Political Director Chris Stone defended McNutt’s actions and set the record straight.
Stone asserted that “advocating for Constitutional Carry is not a fringe issue. It is the number #1 gun rights issue in every state legislature across the country.”
One of the silver linings of this encounter was Bonnen’s anti-gun Freudian slip.
In a Facebook post, Bonnen revealed his opposition to Constitutional Carry saying that Texas Gun Rights activists “want anyone – including criminals – to be able to carry a gun without a license and proper safety training.” This runs counter to the Constitutional Carry legislation in question, which only applies to individuals who are able to legally own a firearm.
Bonnen’s talking point, which could pass up as language employed by anti-gun organizations such as Moms Demand Action, did not faze the TSRA in the slightest. They have still stood by the establishment House Speaker.
As BLP covered before, no-compromise gun rights activists in the Lone Star State fear that the political class in Austin is playing a dangerous game by not passing Constitutional Carry.
The more Texas kicks the can down the road, the more it leaves itself susceptible to anti-gun onslaughts. 2018 already saw Florida, a traditionally pro-gun state, fall to gun control pressure.
Will Texas be next?
The future remains unclear.
However, NAGR’s Chris Stone promised that the gun rights organization plans on “doubling down” the pressure on Texas politicians who refuse to follow through with one of the main planks of the Texas Republican Party platform—passing Constitutional Carry.
Regardless of what happens in the 2019 legislative session, the 2020 primary season is bound to be heated now that establishment Republicans in Texas have shown their true colors.