Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is not the most authoritative figure on constitutional carry given his ambivalence about the proposal. He now claims that the permitless carry bill recently approved by the House lacks the necessary support to sail through Senate.
“If we have the votes to pass a permitless carry bill off the Senate floor, I will move it," Patrick said in a statement. "At this point, we don’t have the votes on the floor to pass it. I plan to meet with law enforcement who oppose permitless carry and with [gun rights groups] who support it to see if we can find a path that a majority of senators will vote to pass.”
Some of the law enforcement leaders who have spoken against permitless carry include Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia who says that the 'bill does not make officers more safe." The Texas Police Chiefs Association has also spoken against constitutional carry.
Lt. Gov. Patrick had echoed similar remarks in 2017 about police officers being weary of "anyone being able to walk down the street with a gun and they don’t know if they have a permit or not.”
It's evident that Patrick is trying to dissuade senators from supporting the bill and encouraging undecided lawmakers to oppose the bill. Being the Senate leader, Lt. Gov. Patrick has powerful influence on the bills that Republican senators prioritize.
The 31-member Senate has 18 Republicans, the exact number required to pass major bills. This was after altering the rules and lowering the number from 19 to prevent the least represented party from blocking legislation.
Thus, every Republican Senator must support the proposal if all Democrats vote along party lines.
Similarly, the proposal would only pass if the number of Democrats who crossed the party line equaled that of Republicans who would oppose the bill.
According to the Texas Tribune, Sen. Kel Seliger said he was still on the fence while his team researched the issue. He also said that he supports every pro-gun proposal by default except the constitutional carry.
According to Sen. Seliger, the current system that requires Texans to obtain the government’s permission to exercise their constitutional rights is okay.
When a constitutional carry bill was finally approved by the House State Homeland Security committee, the proposal (HB 1927) passed with 87-58 votes on the House floor.
You can click the link to send Lt. Governor Dan Patrick a custom postcard urging him to prioritize Constitutional Carry!
Link to postcards >> https://www.lsgr.live/store/Postcard-to-Lt-Gov-Patrick-p158378407
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