Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick referred the Campus Carry Bill to the Senate State Affairs Committee on Wednesday. The move comes one day following what has been seen by some as a contradictory statement about open carry legislation.
Lt. Gov. Patrick said Senate Bill 11 (SB11) already has enough votes for passage. “The bill author already has 19 Senate co-authors which, because of last week’s rule changes, is enough to bring it to the floor for passage,” Governor Patrick said in a press release obtained by Breitbart Texas. “Once passed we will forward the bill to the Texas House as quickly as constitutionally allowed.” The bill was authored by Sen. Brian Birdwell (R-Grandbury).
“I am very pleased that the Senate is poised to cast this historic vote,” the Lt. Governor stated. “Now that SB 11 has support and is moving towards passage we can focus on other 2nd Amendment issues, including Open Carry, which I have consistently supported.”
On Tuesday, some controversy arose after Patrick said there were not currently enough votes in the Senate to pass open carry legislation. The comment came during an interview between the Lt. Governor and the Texas Tribune.
During the interview, Patrick said, “Second Amendment rights are very important, but open carry does not reach to the level of prioritizing at this point. I don’t think the votes are there.”
Breitbart Texas spoke with Patrick’s communications director, Keith Elkins about this issue. Elkins explained that the Lt. Governor has been very consistent on his position on open carry legislation. He said that open carry is not something the Lt. Governor would personally chose to do, but he supports Texans’ right to do so.
Elkins said Patrick was simply speaking factually about the current situation in the Senate regarding open carry bills. He said they would encourage people wanting the legislation passed to respectfully contact their Senators and Representatives and show support for the bills.
“If the votes are there, the Lt. Governor will bring it to the floor for a vote just as he is doing with SB11,” Elkins said. It is not uncommon, under Senate procedures, for a Lt. Governor to hold a bill until there are enough votes for passage. This keeps the bill from dying on the floor.
“Kudo’s to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick for being his usual frank and open self about the lack of current votes in the State Senate for open carry,” said Kingwood Tea Party co-founder Jim Lennon in a post on Facebook. “The very definition of transparency in government is our legislative leaders telling us the truth and the score, and then allowing us the time to win the argument and then the votes.” Lennon is also a member of the newly appointed Lt. Governor’s Grassroots Advisory Board.
Fellow Advisory Board member Katrina Pierson said, “Lt. Governor Patrick simply stated the facts. It’s not unusual to see Republicans who campaign on an issue in their respective primaries, to bow out after the fact. Frankly, Gov. Patrick has has shed light on the fact that this session is no exception. It’s unacceptable that Texas is in the shadows of this constitutional issue. This is an opportunity for the grassroots to identify who those legislators are and hold their feet to the fire. I have no doubt where Patrick stands on the 2nd amendment. As for the rest of the GOP, it remains rhetoric until the bill is passed.”
Bob Price is a senior political writer for Breitbart Texas and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.
This article has been updated to add additional quotes from Advisory Board members.