The 2013 Texas Legislative Session began on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 and it will end 140 days later. The first several days were spent taking care of administrative matters. Appointments have been made to the various committees in the house and senate and committee chairman and vice chairman have been selected by the Speaker of the House and the Lieutenant Governor.
Pre-filing of bills will begin in November and a lot of people are under the misconception that pre-filing a bill manning said it will be considered a earlier in the legislative process. This is incorrect as the order in which bills are filed do not control when they will be considered either in committee are on the floor. There are tactical reasons why some bills or pre-filed and others are not, but the lack of pre-filing does not indicate the lack of interest in the bill. Often, pre-filing simply gives the opposition more time to go on our support.
It is never possible to predict the exact number and subject matter of firearms related bills that will be filed during any legislative session. However, in all likelihood of 2013 Texas legislative session will see bills filed dealing with campus security (a/k/a campus-carry), amendments to the Texas concealed handgun law in terms of eligibility, training requirements, and administrative procedures, along with tweaking of the employer parking lot bill. Open-carry of handguns will probably see some activity during the session, but whether that will be introduced as so-called licensed open-carry (CHL’s only) or unlicensed open-carry is unknown.
Regardless what the 2013 Texas legislative session may bring, you can keep up with what’s going on in Austin by frequently checking the Bill Status Report here TexasShooting.com and on the TFC website. The Bill Status Report will list every bill filed in the Texas legislature that deals with firearm ownership and usage, laws dealing with self-defense and offense a property, and any other subject matter that directly or indirectly impacts Texas gun owners. The report will contain the author of the bill, the brief description of its purpose, the status of the bill in the legislative process, and whether or not the bill is supported or opposed by the Texas Firearms Coalition. Sometimes a bill is covered for informational purposes only, and the TFC remains neutral on the bill. A condensed version of the Bill Status Report is also available on www.TexasCHLforum.com along with reports from every Texas legislative session from 2005 onward.
To increase the ability to notify Texas gun owners of critical legislative is calls-to-action, the TFC will launch a new e-mail/eNewsletter system when its new website is launched in the coming weeks. Critical information and calls-to-action will still be posted on the www.TexasCHLforum.com web site. All Texas gun owners are strongly encouraged to register for TFC e-mail blasts and eNewsletters and get their friends and families to do likewise. The importance of the ability to generate thousands of phone calls and faxes to elected officials cannot be overstated.
Please make it a priority to stay informed as to what is taking place in Austin by frequently checking the TFC Bill Status Report.