Politics

Kory Watkins' Favorite Open Carry Gun Bill Suffers a Setback

Sometimes, something happens that gives us hope that some small amount of justice lives in this world. Today was one of those times, because Texas House Bill 195 was referred to committee.

Yeah, yeah. That's extremely wonky, but you take your hope where you can get it.

HB 195 is the so-called "constitutional carry" bill. Bedford Republican Jonathan Stickland's proposal would allow for the open carrying of handguns and the elimination of all firearm licensing requirements. It's the version of open carry being fought for by Kory Watkins, the leader of Open Carry Tarrant County, and his minions.

So far, in promoting HB 195, Watkins has intimidated a Texas House member -- Poncho Nevarez -- in his office, accused any Texas legislator who doesn't support unlicensed open carry of treason (punishable by death) and has been given an audience with the upper-level staff of Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick.

And then came today, when Watkins' baby took the next step in the legislative process required for it to become law. HB 195 was assigned to the Homeland Security and Public Safety committee. The co-chair of that committee? Poncho Nevarez.

Stickland, as one might expect, told the Houston Chronicle that he sees a conspiracy. Sending the bill to Homeland Security and Public Safety was "definitely orchestrated to kill the bill."

Nevarez saw things differently.

"I don't think anybody thinks that much of Rep. Stickland to try to hurt him," he told the Chronicle. "That bill was DOA the minute he put his name on it."

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Stephen Young has written about Dallas news for the Observer since 2014. He's a Dallas native and a graduate of the University of North Texas.
Contact: Stephen Young

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