When he was elected, Texas Governor Greg Abbott made it clear that he’d sign a bill legalizing the open carry of handguns. Texas is only of just a small number of states where the open carry of handguns is presently illegal.

Unfortunately, despite a number of competing open bills being proposed, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is saying that they simply don’t have the votes to get an open carry bill passed.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick cast doubt Tuesday on the possibility that a bill legalizing the open carry of handguns could pass during the current legislative session.

“Second Amendment rights are very important, but open carry does not reach to the level of prioritizing at this point,” he said. “I don’t think the votes are there.”

Patrick, whose comments came during an interview with with Texas Tribune CEO and Editor-in-Chief Evan Smith, also left open the fate of another red-meat measure: repealing in-state tuition at Texas community colleges and universities for children of undocumented immigrants.

On Tuesday afternoon, state Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, the author of a bill that would lift the state’s handgun licensing requirements, issued a statement in response to Patrick’s comments on open carry.

“If Dan hasn’t had anyone bring this issue up to him, let me make it clear, I am bringing it up to him now,” Stickland wrote. “We need to protect the 2nd amendment rights of Texans, and it’s embarrassing that we haven’t in the past.”

Patrick’s announcement comes two weeks after members of Open Carry Tarrant County issued what many considered a veiled threat against a Democrat lawmaker who would not support the legislation, which resulted in “panic buttons” being installed in offices of the Texas state legislature.

Prior to the beginning of the session, many people had speculated that the passing of an open carry bill of some sort was a fait accompli. Now it appears to be a dead issue this session.

We have to wonder if the double murder committed by one open carry activist and the more recent threatening behavior from Open Carry Tarrant County in the legislature has simply spooked lawmakers who don’t want to put a vote of any kind on the record out of fear of being targeted for their vote.

Do I think that they would be in actual danger if one of the bills came up for a vote?

No.

But it isn’t my butt that is hanging out there if they are wrong, and politicians aren’t generally know for their courage.

We’ve warned open carry activists around the nation that while their cause my be just, their tactics are horrible and prone to backfiring. Open Carry Texas seems to be cognizant of this fact and has greatly matured in how they handle themselves within the past year. If open carry does eventually get passed in Texas, I think they will have played a significant roll in getting it done.

Open Carry Tarrant County, on the other hand, has apparently learned nothing.

It’s a shame to think that their immature antics may have delayed justice in Texas yet again.