Guns are big in Texas, but on Saturday the state will be a battleground of sorts in the nation's debate over when “well-regulated” becomes too regulated. The NRA is pumped up after their victory in Congress over background checks which their spokesman called, “an opening battle in what will be a multi-year war,”. The House will spend the day dueling over firearm-related bills, while the NRA holds a national convention just hours away in Houston amid protesters.
Among the bills the House will debate are HB 47 by Dan Flynn (R-Canton). The bill reduces the minimum number of hours (from 10 to 6) of the classroom instruction portion required in the handgun proficiency course for a concealed handgun license and removes the limit on the number of instruction hours. You may have seen a preview on The Colbert Report?
The “campus carry” bill, HB 972 (Fletcher/Flynn), would reverse current law and effectively legalize guns on campus across the state by forcing student bodies and faculty to individually adopt written rules or regulations prohibiting concealed handgun license holders from carrying handguns on premises. Testimony on behalf of the bill included representatives from the Tarrant County Republican Party, Texas A&M Student Government Association, Texas state rifle association, and Texas students for concealed carry on campus. Testimony against included representatives from: Texas Gun Sense, Austin Police Department, Texas Suicide Prevention Council, and the Texas Trial Lawyers Association.
HB 1349 by Larson (R-San Antonio) would prohibit the Texas Department of Public Safety from requesting or requiring a concealed handgun license applicant or holder to provide their social security number as part of application or renewal.