AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas House of Representatives has given final passage to the bill that would allow holders of Concealed Handgun Licenses (CHL) to openly carry their handgun. The vote passed third reading by a vote of 101-42.
Normally the third reading on a bill goes without fanfare. That was not the case with this bill, HB 910. Once again, Democrat legislators tried to add contentious amendments that would restrict the rights of citizens.
Representative Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas) introduced an amendment to allow cities with over 750,000 in population to call for an election allowing residents of the city to vote on opting out of the right to open carry in that city. The motion was tabled by a vote of 97-45. Representative Jason Villalba (R-Dallas) joined with Democrats in voting against the motion to table. He gleefully told Anchia, “It was the right thing to do” in voting against the motion.
Representative Chris Turner (D-Grand Prairie) offered another amendment for cities of more than 175,000 to be able to have an election to opt out. That amendment was also tabled by a vote of 97-45. Rep. Villalba apparently no longer believed this was the “right thing to do” as he voted in favor of tabling this amendment.
Representative Harold Dutton (D-Houston) offered an amendment to clarify language about when a police officer is allowed to check whether a person carrying a handgun has a valid CHL license. The amendment reads that an officer must have some other reason than a visible firearm in order to stop the person and ask for credentials. That motion passed by a vote of 133-10.
Chairman Larry Phillips (R-Sherman), the bill’s author, told Breitbart Texas that the House and Senate have both passed slightly different versions of the bill. Leaders in the two chambers will now have to move forward on reconciling the bills and getting either the House bill passed in the Senate or the Senate bill passed in the House. This could create yet another stumbling block for final passage and the Governor’s signature making the bill become law.
For the first time in Texas history, both chambers of the Texas Legislature have passed an open carry bill. Yet, at this time, there is still not a bill passed by both houses ready to be presented to the Governor. The Senate passed it’s open carry bill in mid-March. That bill, SB 17, has not yet received a hearing in the House.