On Wednesday, 12/7, Lone Star Gun Rights conducted an exclusive interview with State Rep. Jonathan Stickland (R-92) about his flagship Constitutional Carry bill, the LTC fee-reduction bill, and his preference of handgun. The half-hour interview aired in its entirety on Michael Cargill's Come And Talk It this past Sunday, and shed some light on Rep. Stickland's strategy for getting Constitutional Carry passed this session. You can listen to the entire podcast below. The first half of the interview begins at the 25:00 mark and the latter half begins at the 53:30 mark, though I recommend the entire show.
Almost immediately, Rep. Stickland set the tone of the interview. He was asked why the bill had such a hard time last session getting out of committee. Holding nothing back, Rep. Stickland said that "the liberal House leadership" doesn't want to force "members to [take] a vote" on Constitutional Carry. The leadership's act of "hid[ing] behind the procedures and the rules" to "stop it from coming to the floor" last session is a damning confirmation of the common belief that Speaker Joe Straus and Chairman of the Homeland Security & Public Safety Committee, Rep. Larry Phillips (R-62), did everything in their power in 2015 to ensure the demise of Constitutional Carry.
Switching the focus to this session, Rep. Stickland said he feels confident despite the obstacles. "We've got enough Representatives who have already said they support the bill to challenge the ruling of the Chair this go around." This means that once the bill is out of committee, should Speaker Straus order it to be tabled (where it will die), Rep. Stickland has enough allies to overrule Speaker Straus on the House Floor. This is not a sure thing, however. "We will need grassroots support in making them do the right thing and follow the actual rules," Stickland said, "but if they do, we can get this thing onto the floor. And I'm convinced that Republicans can't afford politically to vote 'No' against this bill."
Speaking on Lt. Gov. Patrick's bill to eliminate the fees to obtain an LTC (SB16), Rep. Stickland praised the bill, but also said he would be more than happy to use it as a catalyst for Constitutional Carry, saying, "I'm going to use whatever bill I can as a mechanism to get Constitutional Carry on there." This leaves liberty-loving conservatives with an extra out that was not available last session. Moving to amend SB16 to include Constitutional Carry could help alleviate the biggest obstacle, getting it out of committee. With as much press as SB16 has already received, plus it's blessing from Lt. Gov. Patrick, the NRA, and TSRA, successfully getting a Constitutional Carry amendment into that bill would almost ensure its passage.
Rep. Stickland's passion truly radiated as the interview went on. It was apparent by his level of excitement and his belief that Constitutional Carry will pass this session. While it will not be without its fair share of hurdles, Rep. Stickland is without a doubt laser-focused and totally committed to returning our Constitutional rights back to Texans. There is zero doubt that he was speaking from the heart when he asked, "[With] all of these different States that have passed Constitutional Carry, why are Texans not leading on this issue?... I think people are sick and tired of us following along. They want us to be leading."
A profound question indeed. Why is Texas not leading? We have the reputation of being the most pro-2nd Amendment State in the Union. Unfortunately, 11 other States have beaten us to enacting Constitutional Carry. We are so thankful to have Jonathan Stickland spearheading Constitutional Carry as his "number one priority" in the Texas House. It is imperative that we make our voice of support heard. Call or email Rep. Stickland to show him you have his back 100%. If you haven't already, sign our Constitutional Carry petition.