The B&I Committee is the hub of influence for the Texas business community. The biggest opponents of our parking lots bills have always been business groups and every one of their trade organizations like Chambers of Commerce, Chemical Counsel, etc. vigorously oppose the bill. With 78 authors, joint authors and co-authors, HB681 will pass if it gets to the House floor for debate and vote. There are two ways to kill HB681; send it to the B&I Committee where it will be voted down or simply not brought up for a vote, or have it tagged in the House Calendars Committee. (Another option would be to load it down with unacceptable amendments essentially gutting the bill.)
At first glance, it may appear that HB681 is fine in the B&I Committee. Of the nine Members, 7 are NRA A-Rated, one is a B- and one is a C. In order to get an A-rating, one must answer the NRA Questionnaire by pledging their support of both the employer parking lot and campus-carry bills. So every one of those A-Rated Members have said they will support employer parking lots. Don't let them start with the "private property rights" argument; it's too late. But look closer. Of those seven A-Rated Members three didn't co-author HB681, but they did co-author the campus-carry bill! (If they sign on after the flood of calls, it will mean nothing.)
A plan to kill HB681 has been put in place and we need everyone to get involved in a big way. All gun rights organizations combined cannot come close to matching the money the business community can pour into defeating HB681. But we have something they don't -- VOTES! Industry can put millions of dollars into campaigns, but we can put millions of people into voting booths. Please call and fax each Member of the B&I Committee and very politely let them know that you want to see:
- 1) Quick action on HB681;
2) A very early public hearing and vote on the bill;
3) HB681 voted favorably as filed without any amendments.
It's fine if you want to send emails as well, but emails don't have near the impact of telephone calls and faxes, so please don't use email as your only method of contact. I also suggest that you call and fax every Monday morning until HB681 is voted favorably from the B&I Committee. We need to let this Committee know that this response is not a flash in the pan and they you will keep an eye on this Bill until it passes.
Here are the Committee Members, their NRA Rating and a link to their contact information:
Joe Deshotel - A: http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/me ... istrict=22
Rob Orr - A: http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/me ... istrict=58
Dwayne Bohac - A: http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/me ... strict=138
John Garza - B-: http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/me ... strict=117
Helen Giddings - C: http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/me ... strict=109
Sid Miller - A: http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/me ... istrict=59
Chente Quintanilla - A: http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/me ... istrict=75
Burt Solomons - A: http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/me ... istrict=65
Paul Workman - A: http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/me ... istrict=47
This is important folks. If you want to see a parking lots bill pass, then make the calls, send the faxes, and keep doing it until this Committee votes favorably for HB681. Get your friends and family members to do so as well and stress the importance of keeping up the pressure until the job is done. Let me say this, except for the freshmen, the A-Rated Representatives are proven friends of gun owners, so don't treat them like traitors. Like all of us, they have friends who hold opposing views on some topics and we simply need to politely let them know that they need to side with us on this issue. They can still be friends with industry on other issues.
Finally, as I always stress, be polite. If you can't, then please don't contact anyone. If our people take the OpenCarry.org approach, we'll get the same result -- NOTHING!
Edited to change the number of co-sponsors.