Legislative Priorities for 2017
The Republican Party of Texas Makes
A Top Legislative Priority for 2017
The 85th Session of the Texas Legislature has begun! As many of you know, the RPT has initiated the RPT Legislative Committee to help educate our grassroots about the legisla- tive process and to empower us with regard to RPT Priorities that were passed by the delegates at the state convention, and those moved by the SREC at their recent December meeting. The eight priorities are: 1. Constitu- tional Carry, 2. Abolition of Abortion, 3. Securing the Border, 4. Article V Convention of States, 5. Replace the Property Tax System,6. School Choice, 7. Elimination of Sanctuary Cities, and 8. Protection of Religious Free- doms.A hotly contested legislative session in 2015 led to two controversial gun laws in Texas: one that allows for the open carry of hand- guns and another that permits the concealed carry of handguns on college campuses.
Now, Republican lawmakers are looking to- ward the upcoming legislative session with the hope to pass pro 2nd Amendment legislation including a Constitutional Carry bill that would give all Texans who are not prohibited by law from possessing a firearm the right to openly carry a firearm with or without a permit.House Bill 375, authored by State Rep. Jona- than Stickland, (R-Bedford), would make the licensing process and classes to obtain a per- mit optional. The idea, according to Stickland, is that Texans shouldn’t be forced to take a course and pay a fee to exercise their Second Amendment rights. If passed, Texas would be the 11th state to allow constitutional carry. Democratic legislators and anti-gun groups will vigorously oppose the Constitutional Carry proposal. Democrats have filed numerous bills to restrict our 2nd Amendment rights. For ex- ample, HB 282 and HB 391 would allow public universities to opt out of the campus carry law.
Additionally, HB 291 and HB 466 respec- tively, would ban open carry by LTCs in the City of Dallas and would allow municipalities with populations over 750,000 to “opt-out” of Texas’ open carry law. “I know there are going to be thousands of peo- ple making phone calls this session about this bill specifically,” said the Constitutional Carry bill’s author, Rep. Stickland. “But I don’t think there’s a Republican in the state of Texas who wants to go back home and explain a no vote on constitu- tional carry when it’s in our platform and an over- whelming majority of the grassroots Republican voters want it.”
We can do our part by contacting our state Senators and Representatives and telling them where we stand on Constitutional Carry and other 2nd Amendment related proposals.
Texas Sen. Brandon Creighton: District 4. The Woodlands Office Phone: 281-292-4128.
Texas Rep. Mark Keogh: District 15. The Woodlands Office Phone: 281-419-1090.
Texas Rep. Will Metcalf: District 16. Conroe Office Phone: 936-539-0068.
In Washington D.C., GOP members of Congress have re-launched a Congressional Second Amendment Caucus with the goal of advancing pro-gun rights legislation on Capitol Hill. The cau-cus was originally launched in 2004 and renamed a “task force” in 2009. Representative Thomas Massie of Kentucky is leading this third reiteration of the Second Amendment Caucus, which in-tends to lead efforts in the House to “pass mean-ingful firearms legislation” and protect against any infringement on the Second Amendment.
“The recent election results present us with a new opportunity to advance pro-gun legislation and reverse the erosion of the Second Amendment that’s occurred over the last few decades. I look forward to working with the new President and this determined group of conservatives to pro-mote a pro-gun agenda,” Massie said.