Opponents of no-permit gun carry gather at Capitol


Opponents say House Bill 1911 would make it harder for police, easier for criminals.

Bill’s author says there is nothing to fear about carrying handguns in public without a license.

Opponents of legislation allowing Texans to carry handguns without a state-issued license gathered Monday at the Capitol to press for delays that would effectively kill the bill.

State Rep. Gina Hinojosa, D-Austin, said at a news conference that House Bill 1911 would thwart a process that requires gun owners to pass a criminal background check and take a course on handling weapons before then can receive a license to carry a handgun in public.

Allowing “constitutional carry,” as permitless carry is commonly known, would make it harder for Texas police to do their jobs but easier for criminals to be armed in public, Hinojosa said.

TEXAS POLITICS DELIVERED EVERY DAY: Sign up for our Texas Politics email

“I don’t believe there is such a thing as constitutional carry,” she said. “I and many others call it ‘convict carry.’”

HB 1911 passed a House committee April 18 and arrived Wednesday at the Calendars Committee, which will determine if the legislation gets a vote by the full House.

“There is ample time for this bill to become law,” Hinojosa said.

Calandrian Kemp, whose 20-year-old son George Kemp Jr. was shot to death in 2013, said removing the licensing system would endanger public safety, placing other mothers in danger of reliving “the pain we live every day.”

Representatives of the League of Women Voters, the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas, the Children’s Defense Fund and the National Alliance on Mental Illness also attended the news conference, which ended with about three dozen volunteers with Moms Demand Action visiting the offices of Calendars Committee members to lobby against HB 1911.

The bill’s author, Rep. James White, R-Hillister, said permitless carry is nothing to fear.

To legally carry a handgun, HB 1911 requires Texans to meet the same standards required to get a license carry, White said. “You still can’t be a felon, you can’t have family violence on your record, you have to be mentally competent,” he said.

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK: Our Lone Star Politics page brings Capitol news to your Facebook feed

Allowing handguns to be carried concealed or in a holster, even without a license, would not be that big of a change, White said.

“Already, you can walk down the street with a rifle. Right now, you have guns in your automobile. Right now, you can have them in your boat,” he said. “All without a license.”

White said he didn’t have a sense about whether the Calendars Committee would schedule HB 1911 for a vote by the full House, adding that other priorities have been getting attention as the end of the legislative session approaches on May 29.

“We have a lot of big issues — CPS, the budget, mental health — that are front and center this session.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

Cross-country team cleans up overflowing trash in elderly couple’s yard
Cross-country team cleans up overflowing trash in elderly couple’s yard

A high school cross-country team in upstate New York helped an elderly couple take out the trash Saturday -- lots of it. Ann and Robert Dobson live in the Rochester suburb of Greece. For more than six years, garbage from a nearby shopping plaza has blown onto the Dobsons’ front yard, Rochester First reported "Last summer when I cleaned...
Round Rock officer struck by car, seriously injured
Round Rock officer struck by car, seriously injured

A Round Rock police officer was struck and seriously injured Sunday morning while directing traffic around a crash along Interstate 35, officials said. Round Rock police responded to a call this morning about a pedestrian walking near I-35. When officers arrived on scene, there was a body in the roadway, Round Rock police officials said. Northbound...
College student discovers true paternity in science class
College student discovers true paternity in science class

One woman got a whole lot more than she paid for in a college science class when she uncovered a nasty family secret. The unnamed student discovered that her father — the man who had raised her since she was a child and who she called “dad” for her entire life — wasn’t really her father. He was her uncle. And the...
FORECAST: Thunderstorms could bring hail Sunday morning
FORECAST: Thunderstorms could bring hail Sunday morning

The Austin area could see some thunderstorms on Sunday, with rainfall likely according to the National Weather Service. Isolated thunderstorms could produce large hail over Travis, Williamson, Bastrop, Lee, Hays and surrounding counties, with the chance of storms dwindling in the afternoon and evening hours, according to the weather service. The chance...
Traffic report for Monday, Feb. 26

Interstate 35 (Travis County): The northbound outside lane will be closed between Boggy Creek and Stassney Lane from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday through Thursday nights. The William Cannon exit will be closed as needed. The southbound outside lane will be closed between Stassney and Boggy Creek from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday through Thursday nights. Reduced...
More Stories