Reflections on the 2009 Texas Legislative Session

Relevant bills filed and their status

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Reflections on the 2009 Texas Legislative Session

#1

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Tue Jun 02, 2009 11:56 am

We will do a postmortem sometime within the next 30 days or so. Everyone is exhausted and we need to take care of other matters before we meet to go over this session.

There were a number of factors that resulted in the loss of our two high-profile bills -- campus-carry and employer parking lots. The new Speaker of the House revamped a number of committees, including the most important one for our legislation. House Law Enforcement Committee became House Public Safety with additional members and a new chairman and vice-chairman. This had a great impact on all bills in that committee, including ours. The Calendars Committee is always a problem and it was again this session. The nasty fight over Voter ID had a huge impact on many bills, including ours. When the Democrats “chubbed” the Local & Consent Calendar to prevent getting to Voter ID on the House Major Calendar, their efforts doomed a large number of bills when time ran out. Then there was the long delay in getting a hearing in the Senate on the campus-carry bill and a greater delay getting a vote on the bill.

I am as mad as anyone about the parking lot and campus-carry bills. However, the calls by some to vote against all incumbents, or even some specific Senators or Representatives is both premature and possibly counter productive. In spite of losing parking lots and campus-carry, we still passed important pro-gun legislation, killed every anti-gun/anti-hunting bill that was filed this session and prevented the filing of other anti-gun legislation. (For example, an attempt to repeal the Motorist Protection Act was a major threat avoided.) We did this with the help of some people who did not support our two flagship bills. When we think of replacing incumbents, we do so with the presumption that their replacements will vote lock-step with everything we want, but that's politically naive. It simply won't happen. The political reality is the two bills we lost were both highly controversial and pitted friends against friends. This puts Senators and Representatives in the position of taking a lot of flack from their strongest financial supporters, as well as the general public in their districts.

There is no question that the employer parking bill would effect hundreds of thousands of Texans, while campus-carry would impact only a relative handful of CHLs who are attending college or are employed by colleges. Nevertheless, both bills were important and both had powerful opponents. The employer parking lot bill was opposed by every business and industry group who collectively provide millions of dollars to campaign coffers and spend millions of dollars on lobbyists. They had full time lobbyists in Austin every day fighting to kill the bill! The campus-carry bills had their own powerful opponents, but the highest hurdle was the irrational, emotionally charged “fear factor” tactics used by our opposition to generate thousands of calls in opposition to campus-carry. Remember, there are only about 350,000 CHLs in Texas out of about 22 million Texans. It’s not fun to do the math, but it’s necessary if we are going to honestly evaluate the fate of campus-carry this session.

While none of us are happy about not passing the parking lots bill or campus-carry, we must recognize that we passed legislation that will have a direct impact on many Texas gun owners. Provisions that were added to the DPS Sunset Bill are very significant. Many thousands of people will now be eligible for a CHL; changes in processing of CHL applications will result in a streamlined procedure that should reduce delays; no longer will there be a penalty for forgetting to display your CHL to a LEO; class scheduling by CHL instructors will be much easier due to the repeal of the TR-100 requirement; instructors will be able to renew their certification on the Internet (every other renewal); and a bad check or credit card reversal will not result in revocation of your CHL unless you don’t make it good within 30 days of being notified by DPS. These are just the provisions added to the DPS Sunset Bill and there are other pro-gun bills that passed.

I’m not saying that some Senators or Representatives will not see their NRA/TSRA grades lowered, or that we will not withhold support and/or endorsements. I am saying that decision will not be made based upon emotion, but after careful deliberation.

So what can we do to make the 2011 session better? That too will be the subject of many conversations and evaluations, but one thing is certain. We need more TSRA members in 2011 – many many more. We currently have about 39,000 TSRA members, 300,000 Texas NRA members and Texas sells about 1 million hunting licenses. If we can go into the 2011 session with at least 200,000 TSRA members, then the drastic increase in membership will not go unnoticed in Austin. It would be even better if we could tout a ten fold increase in membership (390,000) since the 2009 legislative session. These numbers would be staggering and attributable to the refusal to pass our flagship legislation. Is this level of increase possible? You bet it is. Will it happen? I’ll do everything in my power to make it happen and I hope you will help. I can’t go into detail now, but I have some programs to help us reach this goal. Hopefully, I can unveil it in the next few weeks.

For now, let’s take a step back, rest, and objectively evaluate what when well, what didn’t, and what is politically feasible next session.

Chas.
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Re: Reflections on the 2009 Texas Legislative Session

#2

Post by joe817 » Tue Jun 02, 2009 12:52 pm

Excellent post and good food for thought. Thank you Charles.

I agree, increasing our numbers, by increasing the membership in TSRA and NRA is of paramount importance. and your numbers are certainly achievable. It will take increased exposure to the general public, perhaps advertising, but achievable for sure.

Does the TSRA and NRA display at all the major gun shows in the state? I honestly don't know, as I've been out of the gun show circuit for so long. That's one great way of increasing membership....a sign up booth. I have several more ideas, but I'll wager that they have already been thought of, or implemented.

I'd love to volunteer my efforts and abilities, if I knew who to contact.
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Re: Reflections on the 2009 Texas Legislative Session

#3

Post by Purplehood » Tue Jun 02, 2009 1:01 pm

Just joined the TSRA.
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Re: Reflections on the 2009 Texas Legislative Session

#4

Post by A-R » Tue Jun 02, 2009 1:24 pm

Thank you, Charles, for all your hard work, your informative updates, and for this web site.

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timdsmith72
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Re: Reflections on the 2009 Texas Legislative Session

#5

Post by timdsmith72 » Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:32 pm

austinrealtor wrote:Thank you, Charles, for all your hard work, your informative updates, and for this web site.
:iagree: :tiphat:


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Re: Reflections on the 2009 Texas Legislative Session

#6

Post by shawn » Tue Jun 02, 2009 4:02 pm

I recently joined TSRA as well as already being an NRA member.

I appreciate the updates. The parking lot bill was one I watching closely, but as you say we did make some progress which is good.

Look forward to your action plans on growing TSRA.

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Re: Reflections on the 2009 Texas Legislative Session

#7

Post by ELB » Tue Jun 02, 2009 5:11 pm

joe817 wrote: ...
Does the TSRA and NRA display at all the major gun shows in the state? ...
When I go to the SAXET show in San Antonio, the NRA has an active sign-up table right at the entrance. Can't say I remember seeing a TSRA table. The NRA one is always very noticeable.
joe817 wrote: ...
I'd love to volunteer my efforts and abilities, if I knew who to contact.
Go to the NRA and TSRA websites. There are email links there, and often links specifically for volunteering. The NRA has volunteer organizers/leaders for areas within the state -- if you contact the NRA HQ, they should get your name to the NRA guy in your area. Altho frankly I would (and shall) concentrate on working with the TSRA people, at least in prep for the next legislature.

And of course, there's this "Project One Million" business -- can't quite remember the name of the guy who's running it -- dang, it's right on the tip of my tongue..ummmm :mrgreen:
Charles L. Cotton wrote: We currently have about 39,000 TSRA members, 300,000 Texas NRA members and Texas sells about 1 million hunting licenses. If we can go into the 2011 session with at least 200,000 TSRA members, ...
Shoot, if we could just get the Texas NRA members to sign up with TSRA, we'd meet Charles' goal and then some... :banghead:
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joe817
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Re: Reflections on the 2009 Texas Legislative Session

#8

Post by joe817 » Tue Jun 02, 2009 5:20 pm

Thanks for the input ELB. I'll do just that. :thumbs2:
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Re: Reflections on the 2009 Texas Legislative Session

#9

Post by KRM45 » Tue Jun 02, 2009 8:40 pm

I'll bet my son was one of the few in his daycare that was a TSRA member. He will finish Kindergarten this week, and probably still one of the few members in his class. For $3.00 a year, I guess I could sign up his whole class. :coolgleamA:


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Re: Reflections on the 2009 Texas Legislative Session

#10

Post by longtooth » Tue Jun 02, 2009 8:49 pm

I am a life member of both NRA & TSRA. Ladies & Gents, if I can do it on a country preacher's income you can too.
Our Forefathers pledged their lives, their fortunes & their sacred honor.

It is time to pledge up.
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Re: Reflections on the 2009 Texas Legislative Session

#11

Post by 74novaman » Wed Jun 03, 2009 12:00 am

longtooth wrote:I am a life member of both NRA & TSRA. Ladies & Gents, if I can do it on a country preacher's income you can too.
Our Forefathers pledged their lives, their fortunes & their sacred honor.

It is time to pledge up.
:iagree: I'm a poor college kid, but as soon as I have any kind of extra money, first purchase will not be another gun or anything else "fun". It will be a life membership to both NRA and TSRA.

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Re: Reflections on the 2009 Texas Legislative Session

#12

Post by fireball » Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:56 am

Thank you Mr. Cotton and all of the other good folks that worked so hard to help out the citizens of Texas.
I say on the next legislative session we go for the whole enchilada, licensed open or concealed carry of our choice anywhere, anytime,anyhow a licensed Texas peace officer is allowed to carry. We have consistantly proven that we are law abiding and trustworthy. Why beat around the bush and get turned down piecemeal. The current elected Austin crowd has been hiding behind the various committees and calenders to get around an honest for or against vote for any handgun legislation. As far as I am concerned, they all no voted our wishes and do not deserve our consideration on the next elections. This time show them what we really want.
God Bless the Great State of Texas

Fireball

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Re: Reflections on the 2009 Texas Legislative Session

#13

Post by GaryAdrian » Wed Jun 03, 2009 10:08 am

I am both a NRA and a TSRA member and I do see NRA sign up booths at gun shows. Can we also get TSRA sign up booths at these gun shows like the one in Pasadena?
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Re: Reflections on the 2009 Texas Legislative Session

#14

Post by Pete92FS » Wed Jun 03, 2009 10:40 am

I would also like to pass along my Thanks for you keeping us informed on these important issues.
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Re: Reflections on the 2009 Texas Legislative Session

#15

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Wed Jun 03, 2009 11:36 am

fireball wrote:Thank you Mr. Cotton and all of the other good folks that worked so hard to help out the citizens of Texas.
I say on the next legislative session we go for the whole enchilada, licensed open or concealed carry of our choice anywhere, anytime,anyhow a licensed Texas peace officer is allowed to carry. We have consistantly proven that we are law abiding and trustworthy. Why beat around the bush and get turned down piecemeal. The current elected Austin crowd has been hiding behind the various committees and calenders to get around an honest for or against vote for any handgun legislation. As far as I am concerned, they all no voted our wishes and do not deserve our consideration on the next elections. This time show them what we really want.
God Bless the Great State of Texas

Fireball
Unfortunately, the more high profile or controversial bills you have in one session, the greater chance you will lose all of them. We got other things passed, but those in the public eye (parking lots & campus-carry) went down. It has been this way for many years and it isn't going to change. That's why it is important to time your bills and get the right "mix."

Chas.
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