The Speaker of the Texas House is doubling down on his opposition to constitutional carry legislation, taking aim at what he calls “fringe gun activists.”
In a post to his Facebook page on Sunday evening addressed to his “friends and neighbors,” House Speaker Dennis Bonnen (R–Angleton) again rehashed his telling of a recent event in which gun rights activist and State Director of Texas Gun Rights Chris McNutt knocked doors in Bonnen’s neighborhood, urging his constituents to request Bonnen ensure the bill receives a vote.
Media reports following the incident painted a picture of a hostile activist banging down Bonnen’s door, leading to the legislation’s death. Body-cam footage later obtained from Department of Public Safety officers stationed outside Bonnen’s home, however, revealed a different story, showing a polite McNutt engaging with DPS and respectfully explaining the issue. Officers even offered to place one of his flyers on Bonnen’s door.
But despite that video, and little evidence to the contrary, Bonnen has instead decided to ramp up his opposition to constitutional carry—or the permitless carrying of firearms.
“These individuals — many of which do not even live in our district — are making a last ditch effort to manufacture support for legislation that would allow anyone — including criminals — to carry a gun without a license and proper safety training,” Bonnen says in the post.
In reality, the issue is far from “fringe,” with the Republican Party of Texas voting overwhelmingly for the past six years to name constitutional carry a legislative priority, placing Bonnen at the “fringe” of grassroots Republicans for opposing the effort.
According to the Texas Gun Rights, 31 states have some form of unlicensed open carry.
When asked what pro-gun legislation he has helped support this session, Bonnen offered the following reply:
House Bill 302, which prohibits landlords from telling tenants they can’t have guns in their rented property, and House Bill 1177, which allows Texas to openly carry without a license when evacuating from a disaster area. We have two more bills on the calendar for consideration in the coming week, including House Bills 3231 and 2363. HB 3231 preempts cities from adopting patchwork ordinances that restrict the ability to regulate firearm transportation and storage across jurisdictions and HB 2363 allows guns and ammo to be stored together in foster homes (rather than separately, as current law states).
The full Facebook post can be read here: