Less than a day after a bill that would raise the age to legally purchase semi-automatic rifles unexpectedly passed through Committee, Texas IAF leaders learned that Representative Guillen (from Rio Grande City) appeared to be actively suppressing House Bill 2744 from being heard on the floor. Delayed submission of the Committee report resulted in the bill missing a crucial deadline for it to put on the Calendars schedule for Thursday -- the last day to hear new bills.
Leaders from across the state held an emergency press conference calling on Guillen and the Texas House Speaker to allow the bill to be heard, and for Calendars.
“Guillen and Burrows should...let the representatives vote their conscience on the House floor. Overwhelmingly, Texans support increasing the age limit of when people can buy assault weapons,” Rev. Minerva Camarena-Skeith from Central Texas Interfaith asserted.
“We’re very, very angry at what’s going on, with them holding this bill hostage,” Valley Interfaith leader Rosalie Tristan of Raymondville told the Rio Grande Guardian.
“We know that there’s five hours left to go before this bill — which is a small step but it is a beginning of a good step — will die,” said Sonia Rodriguez of COPS/Metro Alliance. “Something has to be done and it has to be done now.”
After the deadline was missed, COPS/Metro leaders announced "it's not too late for Speaker Phelan to bring it to the floor for debate and vote."
"How many more children have to die before we act?" demanded TMO leader Bishop John Ogletree.
[Photo Credit: Blaine Young, Texas Tribune]
'Raise-the-Age' Gun Bill Misses Crucial Deadline, Texas Tribune [pdf]
Valley Interfaith: Guillen is 'Actively Suppressing' Assault Rifle Age Bill from Reaching House Floor, Rio Grande Guardian [pdf]
Raise the Age Gun Bill in Peril as Texas House Deadline Looms, KXAN [pdf]
Lubbock and Valley Legislators Block Assault Rifle Age Limit Bill, HB 2744, from Reaching the Floor of Texas House, Texas IAF [pdf]