Texas Constitutional Carry Bill Stalls Amid Activist Controversy

Will Texas ever approve Constitutional Carry? (Photo: Texas Gun Rights/Facebook)

Note: This post has been updated to include comments from Chris McNutt.

Seventeen states have removed permit requirements to carry a concealed firearm, but despite the Texas state legislature’s historically pro-gun stance, the Lone Star State hasn’t been one of them. And, according to recent reports, the status quo won’t be changing any time soon.

Two key Texas legislators have vowed to kill the state’s constitutional carry bill after a pro-gun activist appeared at lawmakers’ homes in Austin to protest their non-action on the legislation (HB 357).

Chris McNutt, the executive director of Texas Gun Rights, told GunsAmerica via email that he showed up at the legislators’ homes in part because Republican Speaker of the House Dennis Bonnen actively worked to stall constitutional carry from the beginning.

“The Speaker of the House doesn’t support constitutional carry and appointed an anti-gun Democrat to chair the committee responsible for gun bill, and also appointed an anti-gun Democrat to serve as his speaker pro-temp, who also happens to the the author of the ‘red flag’ gun confiscation law in Texas,” McNutt said.

McNutt also told the Dallas Morning News, “If politicians like Speaker Dennis Bonnen think they can show up at the doorsteps of Second Amendment supporters and make promises to earn votes in the election season, they shouldn’t be surprised when we show up in their neighborhoods to insist they simply keep their promises in the legislative session,”

The Houston Chronicle reports that McNutt visited the residences of at least three lawmakers, including Speaker Bonnen’s. Bonnen’s wife answered the door, and McNutt handed her his card and left.

Bonnen condemned McNutt’s actions and vowed to kill the legislation this session.

SEE ALSO: Kentucky Becomes 17th Constitutional Carry State with Signature from Governor

“If you want to talk about issues and you want to advocate, you do it in this building. You don’t do it at our residences,” Republican House Speaker Dennis Bonnen told the Dallas Morning News. “Threats and intimidation will never advance your issue. Their issue is dead.”

The chairman of the House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee, Democrat Poncho Nevárez, also decided to renege on his promise to give the bill a hearing.

“I wasn’t canceling the hearing. I was postponing it,” Nevárez told the Dallas Morning News. “But … once they started harassing, one, the speaker, and then these other representatives for no good reason, then I think it’s incumbent upon me not to reward bad behavior or make them believe that somehow this harassment led to me giving them a hearing.”

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Jonathan Stickland, also condemned McNutt’s actions, saying in a Facebook video, “It’s never OK to target their homes or personal businesses when you know they are not in town.”

Stickland admitted the bill was dead and that he’s canceling his request for a hearing.

It’s doubtful that Bonnen and Nevárez would have allowed the bill to move forward even without McNutt’s actions. Bonnen called the bill “bad policy” and though Nevárez said he might be open to the bill “with a few tweaks,” he said it’s a “mistake” to not “train everybody.”

“It becomes a license for basically any felon to carry because you can’t stop them and ask them. That’s a problem,” he told the Morning News.

***Buy and Sell on GunsAmerica! All Local Sales are FREE!***

About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over two years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco.

{ 22 comments… add one }
  • Chris McNutt April 16, 2019, 3:01 pm

    I also never saw or spoke to his wife. I went up and spoke with the DPS troopers at his house and they offered to place the flyer on his door for me. After that, I went on to my next houses in the district. In later media interviews Bonnen mentioned his wife wasn’t even home at the time. He’s been lying from the beginning and can’t even keep a consistent story.

  • Danny Mitchell April 12, 2019, 7:12 pm

    How about making it mandatory that all high school students take a firearms safety training class. No ones forcing them to buy one when they graduate but if they decide to do so they would know how to handle one safely. just like Drivers Ed.

  • Tony April 12, 2019, 6:28 pm

    We already have a Constitutional right to carry. In fact, it supercedes the U.S. Constitution, and as an inalienable right, it was a right never given by a man, or government, but as a natural right of the individual given by God. “Arms” are tools used by individuals to hunt and provide food for themselves, their families, and others. They are necessary to be utilized in the protection of their lives, the lives of their loved ones, their neighbors and fellow citizens in times of need such as domestic hostilities, hostile actions by totalitarian or despotic governments, or armed invading forces. WE THE PEOPLE own that right, both individually and collectively. Read how the framers of our Constitution thought it was almost unnecessary to even put the 2nd Amendment language into our Constitution, because it was a given. Each of the 13 Original Colonies had similar language in their own early state constitutions acknowledging the right of the individual to bear arms. They didn’t demand that this right was predicated upon the constitution, nor membership in a local or state militia. It was the presumed right of the individual, and NOT TO BE INFRINGED or taken away from the individual by a federal government, or presumably, by each state government, either. Texas seems to be dancing with this issue. Maybe it is because licensing is a form of control, or because training is a means by which the state might gain a little extra cash from the process of permitting gun owners to be “lawful.” I find this all confusing and confounding why we must now become so hard-pressed to defend what seems so obvious an absolute right against those who would have us unarmed and defenseless.

  • Jason Reel April 12, 2019, 3:10 pm

    This view point may not make me popular in a good way, but I don’t believe it’s smart to have “Constitutional Carry”. I have been a Firearms Instructor for nearly 20 years and the truth is (in my opinion) not everyone has the mindset or skill set required to carry a firearm. Passing this legislation would give everyone a free pass to just pick up and carry a firearm without any training and education whatsoever and that is dangerous for them and anyone in their environment. In teaching LTC I have the ability to observe how people use their firearms under low stress situations and I can determine whether or not they are safe or competent enough to safely carry a firearm.

    For those who seek training and education this isn’t an issue, but for those who believe all they need for their personal protection is to have a handgun with zero training, they are a danger to themselves and everyone in their environment. This also gives Instructors an opportunity to identify people with an obvious mental illness or mental handicap. Constitutional Carry offers zero buffer for identifying these potential threats to our society.

    • reptocarl April 12, 2019, 9:22 am

      Yeah? And while your training requirement prevents law abiding citizens to defend themselves what is it doing to prevent criminals from using weapons in their crimes against law abiding citizens?

    • TJ Reeder April 12, 2019, 9:26 am

      I agree with Jason, I have a background in both the Military and Law Enforcement and I’ve seen many “trained” people I wouldn’t want behind me with a loaded weapon. We all know people who own a gun that never actually take it to the range, they never shoot it and many are at a loss as to how the thing works. Training is the only way and without that we have problems. My mom spent many hours teaching me to drive, long before I was old enough to get a license so what’s the difference?

      I attended a CCW class here in Texas to get my state license, one of the ladies in the group had a FTE that she didn’t have a clue how to clear and to make it worse the “instructor” didn’t either. While he was looking thru a rusty tool box for a screwdriver to pry the case out I dropped the magazine, racked the slide and showed her why she was getting FTE ( limp wrist), she had never touched a gun and was there because of her boy friend insisting. These type of stories go on and on, we all have a few. Train and then train some more and then train.

      • b rad April 16, 2019, 10:10 am

        TJ yes i personally know many police officers that only go to the range to qualify.

    • Cody April 12, 2019, 9:40 am

      So, do you propose that the Founding Fathers were in error when they stated “shall not be infringed?” So by whose authority do you propose “reasonable” infringements?

      Or do you think they failed posterity by not stating:

      “Except as licensed and permitted by the NRA, a state controlled underclass of NRA trained sub-citizens being helpful to the job security of NRA approved state employed regulators and tax collectors, an NRA trained, licensed, permitted and submissive para-militia; the right(?) of the untrained masses, shall be subject to infringements as deemed necessary by the NRA?”

      BTW, I’m not against training, per se. I had the great fortune of my father, grandfathers and cousins to teach me how to shoot. Some of them were Veterans, and some weren’t. Nonetheless, the 2nd Amendment doesn’t require this Liberty to have a license.

    • Jeremy J April 12, 2019, 6:48 pm

      I agree with you Jason, but only if the criminals have to have training and education to carry a firearm as well. I don’t know if you watch the news in say Chicago, but the thugs are shooting and killing people up there at an alarming rate and I doubt any of them have had any training or education on guns. I wonder if back in the day people suggested only training and education being a good thing for citizen to exercise their right to bare arms. I believe there was a time not so long ago that all these trainers and educators didn’t even exist or weren’t popular to say the least. Don’t get me wrong, training is a good thing, but some of the best training is done by family and friends and it can be priceless. Dads have been teaching their kids how to shoot and gun safety for years. I taught my wife and daughters how to shoot and all the gun safety they need to know. Training would be icing on the cake, but it’s not necessary for them to carry a gun to defend themselves no more than it is for a criminal to carry a gun and commit a crime with it.

  • Albert April 12, 2019, 2:43 pm

    “It becomes a license for basically any felon to carry because you can’t stop them and ask them. That’s a problem,” A felon does not use a license to carry. When will YOU understand?

  • Brandon April 12, 2019, 12:05 pm

    The problem I see is that these “representatives” are now acting like our parents. What THEY need to understand is that they were elected to represent us, not dictate to us. They are not there to decide what does and does not get considered. They are not there to make the final decision for everyone else. Who the fuck is he to “not award bad behavior?” Fucker needs to get off his high horse and remember how he got to where he is (assuming he got there legally and in fairness, of course). Things like this should go to vote during elections, not determined by one or two asshats whether they will even consider it for the rest of us. HIS opinion on this, or any, matter should be of no consequence for the majority.

  • Dave April 12, 2019, 10:41 am

    While I believe everyone should be able to carry I also believe they should have to prove competency also. You can’t drive without training and a test. I also believe felons care about LTC as much as nuts care about Gun Free Zones. It’s the people, not the guns. Don is right, this is YEXAS. But seriously, we need to knock off the name calling and work out a better option instead of outlawing and confiscating everything you don’t like.

  • Frank April 12, 2019, 10:39 am

    Once these politicians get elected they are not accountable. For the citizens to ask for some accountability, even during off hours is something they should accept. They have little interest in doing the job we hired them to do. The response of these politicians has gone beyond gun laws. It’s unethical. When will the people we hire be accountable for their actions? Maybe never, there is no money in it.
    Make the politicians accountable or find someone to take their place.

  • Chavre April 12, 2019, 10:24 am

    I cannot believe Texas has gone this far left. Sam is turning over in his grave!

  • Michael Miner April 12, 2019, 10:07 am

    They never had any intent to pass this. Yes one jackass went to one of their homes and handed one wife a card… so what? Does this mean that any bill on any subject can be defeated this way?

    Was it a threat? If so jail him and move on.

    You can bet leftist activists will notice the event and use it. But they won’t be handing out cards. We saw what they did to Tucker Carlson and Ivanka Trump. You are inviting that to Texas if you react to it, but there was never any chance this was going to pass or even come to a vote.

  • Kevin Tubbleville April 12, 2019, 9:59 am

    Constitutional Carry is not Dodge City and the fastest gun wins. Our freedom to choose to carry should be our right by the Constitution. We should not have to pay a government body to defend our freedom. We should not have to pay a taxation without representation “fees” to a Government body. We should not have to be labled on our Drivers I.D. as a gun carrier. I see nothing wrong with a gun range instructor being paid by a Citizen to be certified just as you would now to carry. But that is it you shoot you get a certificate from the shooting instructor that you passed. Nothing more required no fees to pay every so often, no “recertifications” payments to anybody.

    • CaptMidnight April 12, 2019, 4:24 pm

      ~ PONCHO SEZ ~ Felons will be carrying & we wont be able to stop & ask them about IT.

      !. BREAKING NEWS PONCHO~ THEY ARE CARRYING RIGHT NOW ANYWAY…..DON’T CARE ABOUT LTC/CONSTITUTIONAL CARRY.

      2. YOU ARE RESTRICTING THE RIGHTS OF LAW ABIDING GUN OWNERS. OPEN CARRY TOOK THREE TRIES BEFORE IT FINALLY PASSED.

      3. LIKE THE CORPORATIONS SECTION OF THE SECRETARY OF STATES OFFICE, LTC IS A REVENUE GENERATOR, GREED GREG & THE LEGISLATURE DONT WANT TO LOOSE.

      A license is a privilege. A right guaranteed by the Federal & State Constitution is not.

  • Brent Akin April 12, 2019, 9:56 am

    I think the guy has a point. If they can campaign and knock on my door, asking for votes; it is fair to expect that I can knock on their door and ask for support for my issue. If the guy was polite, not waving a gun about, and stated his issue and left; I don’t see that being harassment any more than them campaigning at my door. I don’t think their home is somehow more sacred than mine.

  • don mccollough April 12, 2019, 8:31 am

    Does not surprise me that these dumbacrats are trying to stall this out as they want us to be like the idiots in California. This is YEXAS, and we need to get rid of all of the anti gun fools period.

  • Pat Bryan April 12, 2019, 7:11 am

    “Activist Controversy”?
    How about “Activist Screwup”.

    • Cody April 12, 2019, 9:44 am

      McNutt, did his part AFTER Bonnen told a newspaper that he was going to kill Constitutional Carry. So, when do you propose it is appropriate to hand out flyers reminding politicians of their promise to pass Constitutional Carry?
      https://www.texasgop.org/priorities/

Leave a Comment

Send this to a friend