Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Texas House Bill 2112

On February 22nd, Representative Diane Patrick (my representative) introduced H.B. 2112, AN ACT relating to banning handguns and certain other weapons from parking areas associated with schools or educational institutions; providing criminal penalties.

As written, this was a horrible bill that set the right to keep and bear arms in Texas back a couple of steps.

Current Texas law prohibits concealed carry on the physical premises of a school or educational institution, any grounds or building on which an activity sponsored by a school or educational institution is being conducted, or a passenger transportation vehicle of a school or educational institution, whether the school or educational institution is public or private, unless pursuant to written regulations or written authorization of the institution. (Texas Penal Code 46.039(a)(1)) Under Texas law, "Premises" means a building or a portion of a building. The term does not include any public or private driveway, street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area.(PC 46.035(f)(3))

H.B. 2112, as written, would have criminalized the act of picking up your child from school with a firearm on your person or even in your vehicle.

(a) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly possesses or goes with a firearm...

(7) in or on any real property that is owned or leased by a public or private school or educational institution and routinely used by the faculty, staff, students, or visitors of the school or educational institution, including a parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area.
Needless to say, I was very disappointed in my representative and fired off a quick email that started with:


I am writing today to let you know that I am very much against HB 2112. This bill will accomplish nothing in the way of protecting our state's most precious resource, our children. As a matter of fact, passage of this bill will put our children at a higher risk. This bill will also force the responsible parent to make a decision between obeying an immoral and unconstitutional law, or protecting their children...

I also contacted my friendly neighborhood TSRA lobbyist to pitch a bitch about this bill and learned a bit of interesting history concerning this bill and it's clones from previous legislative sessions. It seems that Rep. Patrick, being a freshman rep, was duped into sponsoring this bill. When she realized that this bill would do nothing to protect our schools or our children, she went to work and basically re-wrote the bill in such a way that the anti's are happy, and our rights are not infringed.

The new text of HB 2112


relating to the prosecution of an offense prohibiting the exhibition, use, or threatened exhibition or use of a firearm in or on school property or a school bus.


SECTION 1. Section 37.125(a), Education Code, is amended to read as follows:

(a) A person commits an offense if, in a manner intended to cause alarm or personal injury to another person or to damage school property, the person intentionally exhibits, uses, or threatens to exhibit or use a firearm:
(1) in or on any property, including a parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area, that is owned by a private or public school; or
(2) on a school bus being used to transport children to or from school-sponsored activities of a private or public school.
HB 2112 has passed both the House and the Senate and is on the Governor's desk for signing.

Granted, the acts covered by this revised bill are already against the law, but I do have to commend Representative Patrick for her work on this bill. She admitted that she was mistaken to sponsor this bill and worked very hard to turn it into something we all could live with. The particular group that had been pushing for the original test of the bill for the past six years has agreed to accept the current version of the bill and not bring up the issue again. Many freshman legislators would have not admitted to a mistake and stood their ground. With her actions concerning HB 2112, and her voting history for her first year in office, Representative Patrick is shaking out to be a friend of gun owners and the right to keep and bear arms.

H.B. 2112 as introduced.

H.B. 2112 as passed.


Fits said...

As we all say over and over again. It is already quite illegal to harm an innocent person. Good to know that some politicians are seeing through the lies, and are awakening to the fact that it isn't human life that the lieberals (intentional) are interested in saving. The converse is true. They are a society of victims who wish to create even more victims and the best way to do it is to disarm as many folks as possible.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, something just doesn't sound right. How is one "duped" into sponsoring a bill? How does said legislator not kill her own bill once she realizes that she has been "duped"? How do other more seasoned legislators that recognize this to be a bad bill, a) allow it to see the light of day outside of a committee, b) not work against it actually being passed by the house.

Which side is she on? She did nothing but equivocate to appear to be all things to all men. I'm sick of triangulating pols. Call BS, BS.

John R said...

Coffee; that is exactly how I felt a couple of months ago. I wanted the bill killed in committee, and that was one option for it's author. The down side of that option is that an identical bill would be introduced next session, and then the session after that until finally the political winds shifted and it passed as written.

Rep. Patrick is a teacher, as a matter of fact, she is a teachers teacher from UT Arlington. I was disappointed when she won the Republican Primary, but she earned the win. The incumbent was lazy and did not do much in the way of campaigning, Mz Patrick had people going door to door.

With her background as a teacher, I can see how a teachers association could convince her that "no guns in school parking lots" is a good idea. Many folks with her background would have stuck to that idea, even when shown the facts. Rep. Patrick did not. When the facts were explained to her, she very quickly saw the problems with the bill as written and had the committee table it while she worked on a substitute.

The substitute is the bill that just passed, and it does not in any way, shape or form infringe upon a free citizens RKBA.

As an added bonus, the association that had been pushing for this legislation has accepted it as written and stated that they would not continue to submit the earlier version of the bill.