Both chambers of the Texas Legislature have now appointed lawmakers to a conference committee to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate versions of House Bill 1927, or constitutional carry.
Late Wednesday evening, State Rep. Matt Schaefer (R–Tyler), the author of the bill, attempted to bring up the bill on the floor. Before being able to do so, State Rep. Chris Turner (D–Grand Prairie) called a point of order that caused about a half-hour delay in any further bill deliberation, while House leadership held discussions behind the scenes about how to continue forward. When they came back, the point of order was withdrawn and Schaefer temporarily withdrew his bill.
A few minutes later, Schaefer brought the bill back up and made a motion to not concur with the Senate amendments on the bill; he instead requested the appointment of a conference committee to work on the differences. The assigned conferees from the House are State Reps. Matt Schaefer, James White (R–Hillister), Dustin Burrows (R–Lubbock), Ryan Guillen (D–Rio Grande City), and Terry Canales (D–Edinburg).
On Thursday afternoon, the Texas Senate responded by also appointing conferees to the conference committee. These conferees include State Sens. Charles Schwertner (R–Georgetown), Brian Birdwell (R–Granbury), Donna Campbell (R–San Antonio), Brandon Creighton (R–Conroe), and Bryan Hughes (R–Mineola).
The House passed the bill in mid-April by a vote of 87-58. The Senate passed the bill with additional amendments on May 5 by a vote of 18-13 along party lines.
Now that a conference committee has been appointed, two impending deadlines come into consideration. Saturday, May 29, is the last day by which both the House and Senate can distribute copies of the Conference Committee Reports on bills, and Sunday, May 30, is the last day either chamber can adopt the conference committee reports, finally passing the bill.
There are fewer than 20 days left in the 87th Legislative Session.