When Gov. Greg Abbott announced that he would be calling lawmakers back to Austin for a special session of conservative reforms, many grassroots activists were thrilled with the ambitious agenda of twenty items he assigned lawmakers.
But Texas gun owners are rankled that a major issue, constitutional carry, was left off the list.
“Governor Abbott has failed Texas gun owners,” blares an email from Texas Gun Rights, a state affiliate of the National Association for Gun Rights. “Instead of fighting to restore the gun rights of Texans, Abbott decided to leave Constitutional Carry off of his agenda during the call for a special session.”
Despite being the top priority of the Republican Party of Texas and Texas’ pro-gun reputation, constitutional carry failed to pass in either chamber and never even received a vote in the Texas Legislature this session.
In the Texas House, Homeland Security & Public Safety Committee Chairman Phil King (R–Weatherford) sabotaged the legislation by bottling it up in his committee until he knew it would die. Meanwhile, no law to enact constitutional carry was even introduced in the Texas Senate, though State Sen. Don Huffines (R–Dallas) expressed we would sponsor the legislation if it passed the House.
Since the regular session ended a number of Second Amendment groups including Texas Gun Rights, Open Carry Texas, and Lone Star Gun Rights have been calling on Abbott to ask lawmakers to pass constitutional carry in a special session.
“Governor Abbott still has time to stand with Texas gun owners and put Constitutional Carry as a top priority for the special session,” said Chris McNutt, TXGR’s legislative director.
Those efforts were reinforced last week when newly sworn in Republican Party of Texas Chairman James Dickey delivered a letter to Abbott asking him to include constitutional carry as well as other RPT priorities on his call.
While Abbott has, until now, refrained from calling lawmakers back for a special session, previous governors such as Rick Perry often added issues to their call after the session had been announced.
Abbott’s office did not respond to a request for comment on the issue.