Bill of the Week
Special gun privileges for lawmakers?
House Bill 1463Filed: Feb. 17, 2011
Author: Rep. Tim Kleinschmidt, R-Lexington
In a brief burst of sanity this week, the Texas Senate turned its back on San Antonio Republican Sen. Jeff Wentworth's "guns on campus" bill after hearing opposition from a plurality of senior university administrators and campus cops. Their logic was simple: The solution to too many guns is not more guns. So what does the freshman representative from Lee County want? To allow lawmakers to take their guns wherever they want. Texas law allows judges, court officers, and prosecuting attorneys with concealed handgun licenses to take their shooting irons into public places normally off-limits, such as churches, sporting events, and bars. Kleinschmidt's bill, heard April 4 before the Homeland Security and Public Safety Subcommittee on Law Enforcement, would add legislators and statewide elected officials to that list of armed officials. In what may be the most galling and gruesome aspect of this bill, Kleinschmidt cited events like the Jan. 8 shooting of Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords as a reason why he fears crowds and feels the need to be armed around voters. It seems handguns are in more abundant supply in Lexington than shame.