Turn Out to Austin to Support the 2A!
Can you join me at the Texas Capitol this Wednesday? I need to fill the room with a pro-gun presence to help support pro-gun bills and OPPOSE gun control bills.
Let me be clear: we are still disappointed at the unacceptable stalling of substantial gun legislation.
Bills such as Constitutional Carry (HB 357) and School Carry (SB 2146) are still languishing without a hearing, and I’m appalled that even with a Republican-controlled legislature I’m being told there’s not a chance of repealing this infringement on your gun rights.
I want you to know that I’m not giving up. Those liberties are worth fighting for every single day.
But in the meantime, I have another chance to take a stand for gun rights. And I need your help.
Some are good. HB 2286 by Rep. Oliverson gets rid of the Texas suppressor ban and says our own state officials may not enforce federal anti-suppressor laws. HB 3016 by Rep. Schaefer fixes language on open carry in cars.
And some bills are bad. HB 1236 would effectively repeal the campus carry law that Texas just passed in 2015. HB 2280 is a frivolous bill to shrink the 30.06 and 30.07 signs and give DPS rule-making power over what constitutes a legally-valid sign.
We all know that the other side will bring out their worn-out reasons for why campus carry is a terrible idea because of all the blood in the streets. We’ll hear the same tired excuses for curtailing our rights — ideas that don’t make liberal states safer and will never make us safer.
I’ve heard far too much of that useless rhetoric at the Capitol this year. I’m ready to fight it hard this Wednesday and I hope you are, too.
Here’s what you can do!
- In-and-Out Option: If you only have a few minutes, this is for you. Show up on Wednesday (sometimes 7-10am is best; up until 1pm may still work). Use your tablet to connect to Capitol wifi as soon as you’re close enough (or go inside and use the kiosks). Register your opinion on each bill (https://hwrs.house.texas.gov) and then leave. (This URL will only work when you’re within reach of the Capitol wifi.) Text me at 512-937-3006 if you’re having trouble.
- Silver Level: If possible, stay and sit in the hearing room as a pro-gun presence. This is HUGE in boosting morale and letting the reps know we’re there watching. If you can’t stay all day, pick a 2-hour block and show up for that. We’ll be in Room E2.016 and E2.014.
- Gold Star Level: Testify! Speak your opinion. You’ll get 2-3 minutes. Tell your relevant story or pick ONE important point and show it through examples or statistics or logic. For more info, watch my Learn to Testify video: https://youtu.be/mNqopQOF_eU
Please also join the Facebook Event Page so you can connect with me and visit with others who are going. If you need to carpool, please mention that on the event page and we’ll try to connect you with folks in your area.
Parking and Getting Inside
- Park at the Capitol Visitors Parking Garage ($12 max per day), 1201 San Jacinto, Austin, TX
- If it’s full, look for other lots or street parking — or park farther away and grab a Lyft in.
- There are 4 main entrances to the Capitol: north, south, east, west. The east is closest to the parking garage.
- If you have an LTC, you may carry inside. Bypass the regular line and go straight to the sign that says “card access” next to the metal detectors.
- If you don’t have an LTC, you’ll need to go through the metal detector — but it’s not like courthouses and airports. Anything legal outside is legal inside.
- Capitol floorplan map are right here
Bill Numbers and Positions
Homeland Security Committee:
- YES on HB 3016 by Krause (clearly states LTC holders can open carry in car in a holster not on your person)
- YES on 3231 by Clardy (strengthens preemption; protects against zoning gun stores out of existence)
- NO on HB 1236 by Goodwin (effectively bans campus carry, saying that public campuses can opt out)
- NO on HB 2280 by Goodwin (shrinks the 30.06 and 30.07 sign and gets rid of most of the language)
See the full hearing list here: http://bit.ly/2uzl5Hd
State Affairs Committee:
- YES on HB 2286 by Oliverson — gets rid of the Texas suppressor ban and says our Texas folks won’t enforce federal anti-suppressor laws
How to register your position:
You can use either your own tablet or the Capitol kiosks.
- Use your tablet to connect to the Capitol wifi as soon as you’re on the grounds — go to http://hwrs.house.state.tx.us and follow the instructions. Be SURE to go through all the screens.
Sometimes that link works on a phone or laptop but not always.
- Use the kiosks inside. Go down the elevators (north wing of the Capitol) to E2. Walk down the corridor until you see a wide hallway intersection and a hearing room on the corner. Go down that hallway, and the next intersecting hallway will have kiosks.
Helpful Hint: Create an account before you get to the Capitol (www.txlegis.com > House Witness Registration > Create an account)
- You can register your position on a bill right up until the testimony has ended for that individual bill. Since we don’t know the order, we can’t tell you the time. It could be 9am, it could be 9pm. Your gamble!
- You have to be physically present at the Capitol (it requires the person filling out the form to affirm that this is them, and they are physically present).
- The committees meet from 8-10am, then take a break for session (usually lasts 2-3 hours but there’s not an ending time), and then reconvene. During the break time, join us in passing out handouts to committee members’ and other legislators’ offices to help give them background info on these bills and on Constitutional Carry.
- Watch the livestream here. It will be available during the hearing.
I’ll be honest. It could be a long day — we might be there through the evening. There are 33 bills in one of the committee rooms and we don’t know in advance the order of the bills or how long each one will take. A lot of that depends on how many people (like you!) show up to give comments.
But if you can show up — even if it’s not all day — that truly makes a difference. You’ll be sitting face to face with the committee of 9 people who have complete authority to decide if these bills will move forward or not. That’s what we need.
If you have questions, please call or text — 512-937-3006. I look forward to seeing you and your carload of friends this Wednesday!
Texas Director, Gun Owners of America