Page 1 of 1

Action Item: SB664 - UPDATED 3/4/05!!

Posted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 12:16 pm
by Charles L. Cotton
UPDATE 3/4/05:

SB664 has been assigned to the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, but no public hearing has been scheduled. Senator Ellis sits on that committee, so it could ordinarily be a "friendly" committee for his own bill. However, all of the Committee Members other than Sen. Ellis have an A or better rating from TSRA, so we need to let them hear from us. The Texas Senate is a close-nit group, so it will take some input from constituents to kill a Senator’s bill in his own committee.

In addition to the scope problem I covered in earlier posts, I think it is also important to point out "why now?" After ten years of exemplary conduct on the part of CHL's, why was this bill even written? There is no problem to correct. And Senator Ellis, please don't start with the "we want to be proactive" garbage. Being "proactive" by infringing on my right and ability to defend myself and my family is no virtue!

SB664 is unnecessary, overly-broad, and an affront to the most law-abiding segment of Texans - CHL holders.

Here is the contact information for the members of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee:

Senator John Whitmire - Chair
District 15
Capitol Office: CAP 1E.13
Capitol Address: P.O. Box 12068
Austin, Texas 78711
Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0115

Senator Kel Seliger - Vice Chair
District 31
Capitol Office: EXT E1.712
Capitol Address: P.O. Box 12068
Austin, Texas 78711
Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0131

Senator John Carona
District 16
Capitol Office: CAP 4E.2
Capitol Address: P.O. Box 12068
Austin, Texas 78711
Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0116

Senator Rodney Ellis - SB664 Author
District 13
Capitol Office: CAP 3E.6
Capitol Address: P.O. Box 12068
Austin, Texas 78711
Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0113

Senator Juan “Chuy� Hinojosa
District 20
Capitol Office: CAP 3S.3
Capitol Address: P.O. Box 12068
Austin, Texas 78711
Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0120

Senator Steve Ogden
District 5
Capitol Office: CAP GE.4
Capitol Address: P.O. Box 12068
Austin, Texas 78711
Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0105

Senator Tommy Williams
District 4
Capitol Office: CAP GE.7
Capitol Address: P.O. Box 12068
Austin, Texas 78711
Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0104

[Original post]
I posted a separate note on this recently filed Senate Bill by Rodney Ellis. As stated, the bill was filed on 2/22/05 and has not yet been assigned to a committee. In all likelihood, it will go either to the Criminal Justice Committee where Sen. Ellis is a member, or to the Jurisprudence Committee where long-time anti-CHL'er Sen. Royce West is a member.

This is a very bad, very dangerous bill! It is grossly over-broad and the language used is far more dangerous than it appears on the surface.

In a rare response to a bill at this early stage, please contact your Senator and let him/her know that you strongly oppose this bill. Call, fax, send emails and if you're in Austin, visit their office and leave a message if they are out. There are only 31 Senators and we must let all of them know this bill must not pass.

At first glance, it appears that all Sen. Ellis is trying to do is keep guns of out of police stations, so the bill will get the support of people who routinely support our position on firearms. In truth, the bill is one of the more cunning traps I've seen in years, with a scope far broader than anyone other than it's author would imagine.

Please make those contacts now, and spread the word!


Posted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 5:20 pm
by HighVelocity
Can you be more specific about the faults in the bill? If I am questioned about why I oppose it I want to be able to reference specific points.


Updated 3/2/05

Posted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 11:37 pm
by Charles L. Cotton
Hi Gary:
I'm at NRA HQ for a meeting, so I'll post more information when I get back to Houston on Wednesday.

UPDATED 3/2/05:

Senator Ellis wants everyone to think SB664 will merely prevent CHL’s from carrying guns into police stations. The true scope of this bill is far broader. It will render off-limits entire buildings if any portion of it is used “for� official business of a covered agency or peace officer, not merely buildings used “by� peace officers.

For example, if an independent DNA testing lab doing DNA testing for a covered agency has a single office in a Houston high-rise office building, the entire building will be off-limits to CHL’s. I am sure Sen. Ellis will deny this, but that is how the bill is written.

Another example of the sneaky language is the inclusion of part of the definition of “premises� in the definition of “Law Enforcement Facility.� This does two things. First, it does not exclude parking garages, which are buildings. Secondly, if the definition of “premises� is ever changed (i.e. clarified), then this bill/statute will not be effected since “Law Enforcement Facility� will be separately defined.

The bill also includes within its scope literally every peace officer/agency listed in over 35 sections of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. For example, it will include railroad cops, investigators for the Texas Board of Medical Examiners and even certain “security� personnel!

When you combine the broad definition of “Law Enforcement Facility� with the huge number of agencies covered, the result will be a staggering increase in the number of off-limit locations in Texas.

Senator Ellis has always been vehemently opposed to the CHL statute and I’m sure it’s no accident that he is carrying this bill. In my opinion, this is the one of the most dangerous bills CHL’ers have faced in years. And one of the biggest dangers is the fact that it was crafted in such a way as to truly camouflage its true effect and many people may support it erroneously thinking it merely covers police stations and sheriff’s offices.

This is a really bad bill. It is no exaggeration to say that, if it passes, Texas will see a huge increase in prohibited locations, not just police departments with jails!


Posted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 12:19 pm
by dolanp
Just wrote all of the criminal justice members, thanks for updating.

Posted: Sat Mar 05, 2005 11:28 am
by Stephen A. Camp
Hello. I contacted Alice Tripp with TSRA and was advised:

"If there is enough logical pressure put on Senate Criminal Justice Committee, Senator Whitmire (the Chairman) could decide that the bill has no merit and a waste of committee time. We have to convince the committee that there are enough tools currently in the law to take care of law enforcement concerns and needs without adding new laws and new restrictions to confuse CHLs. But we have to tell them what the current law is.... they don't know."

I have done so and will get others to do the same thing.