It appeared the Texas House Democrats had tacked on enough superfluous amendments to the “campus carry” bill to run out the clock and kill the legislation last night, but an abruptly-called vote saw the bill passed along party lines… warts and all:
With 21 minutes left before a mid-night Tuesday deadline, the chamber voted 101-47 vote – largely along party lines – to give preliminary approval to a bill that would allow people with concealed handgun licenses to carry their firearms on public college campuses and universities.
The perennial proposal is commonly known as “campus carry.”
The passage of Senate Bill 11 was a vote few saw coming because 30 minutes earlier it was foregone conclusion that House Democrats would run out the clock with parliamentary procedures.
In addition, it was a compromise a good number of House members seemed unhappy with, mainly because an amendment to the bill would allow each college and university decide whether to allow firearms on its campus, a compromise the Senate had rejected in mid-March when the bill first came up for a vote.
Another House amendment would also require private colleges and universities to implement the proposed law.
Rep. John Smithee, R-Amarillo, said he doubts the legislation would be effective because many university presidents and chancellors had spoken against the campus carry legislation.
Don’t think that the battle is over, however.
It is unlikely that the Senate will agree with the “opt out” amendment. This sets the stage for a situation where five senators and five representatives will have to meet in conference in an attempt to iron out the differences in the House and Senate bills.
If a compromise cannot be had in conference, the legislation is dead.
If common ground can be found, the House and Senate will be forced to vote on the compromise legislation again, before the session expires on Monday.
Will thy be able to do so? That’s anyone’s guess.