Tuesday, July 24, 2018 | 9:00am | Texas Capitol | 1100 Congress Ave, Austin | Room E1.036
The committee will hear invited testimony and public testimony on the Red Flag proposal in which a family member or other person could report an individual as “potentially dangerous” and have them taken to court for possible firearm confiscation. See the official hearing call at bit.ly/2urFJsy
Preferred action: Attend the hearing and register your position. Testify for 2 minutes or submit written testimony. You can do it even if it’s your first time!
Alternate action: Contact each of the committee members and tell them you oppose the red flag proposal. If you call, you’ll talk to a staff member; ask them to pass the message along. Stay courteous -- remember, an armed society is a polite society. Use the phone numbers below or send emails through this contact form.
Where do I park? Capitol Visitors Parking Garage, 1201 San Jacinto, Austin (corner of San Jacinto and 12th)
Can I carry in the Capitol? Anything legal outside the Capitol is also legal inside. If you’re a license-holder, bring your license and you’ll go through the “Card Entry” line. Otherwise you’ll use the metal detector (no carrying guns without a license…..yet. But knives aren’t restricted inside the Capitol).
How do I get to the hearing room? Once you’re inside the Capitol, go down the elevators in the North wing to Level E1. From the elevators, walk down the corridor, past the outdoor rotunda, and you’ll see E1.036.
How do I testify? The Senate uses paper cards for witness registration. Inside the hearing room, look for those cards on a table in the back. Fill one out, check the box for the type of testimony (oral and/or written), and take it up to the clerk sitting at the front of the room. If you’re only giving written testimony, hand it in at that time. If you’re giving oral testimony, you’ll need to wait until you’re called.
Begin your testimony with “Hello, my name is ________, I’m representing [myself], and I’m here to speak [in opposition to] the Red Flag proposal.” Then give your thoughts and reasons. The timer will cut you off after 2 minutes. Committee members may possibly ask you questions after that time if they want to hear more.
You can usually register to give testimony as long as the hearing is still in progress. Typically witnesses are called in the order they register - register early if you want to go first! Pick one important point to make and tell a personal story or give statistics and facts to emphasize that point.
How long will the hearing last? Likely several hours, possibly all day or into the evening. There won’t be breaks - be prepared to stay. If you can’t stay, at least sign in and give the clerk written testimony.
Chair - Sen. Larry Taylor: 512-463-0111
Vice Chair - Sen. Joan Huffman: 512-463-0117
Sen. Brandon Creighton: 512-463-0104
Sen. Kelly Hancock: 512-463-0109
Sen. Don Huffines: 512-463-0116
Sen. Eddie Lucio: 512-463-0606
Sen. Charles Schwertner: 512-463-0105
Sen. Royce West: 512-463-0123
Sen. John Whitmire: 512-463-0115
Red Flag proposal: this would allow family members and others to file a petition seeking removal of firearms from a person they believe is potentially dangerous.
*The Red Flag proposal is dangerous because it forces people into court of law without any probable cause of a crime having been committed.
*Our justice system is supposed to prosecute and punish people who have broken an actual law, not those who are thought to be likely to commit a crime in the future. Wading into predictive judicial action is very dangerous.
*Any hampering of the ability to keep and bear arms should only come through a criminal conviction or a professional diagnoses of a mental illness. Any other hindrance or barrier can be abused or misapplied.
*A vengeful relative who dislikes guns could report someone’s gun ownership with a personal opinion that they are unfit to own guns.
*This would set a dangerous precedent for lowering thresholds for stripping people of other Constitutional rights.
An alternative proposal:
We recommend ending gun free zones for law abiding Texans -- the least expensive and most efficient way to harden schools and provide responsible adults a fighting chance at protecting themselves and students and mitigating harm from inevitable attempts at violence.
Instead of looking only at law enforcement-based solutions, look at reducing barriers for everyday Texans who are teachers and volunteers in schools to be able to carry a firearm if they choose. Let’s find solutions that increase safety without reducing freedom.
Join Rachel Malone, Texas Director for Gun Owners of America, on an informative conference call. We’ll cover attending a hearing, talking points for Red Flag issues, and action items even if you can’t come to the hearing.
Wednesday, July 18 | 6:30-7:30pm
Call: (515) 604-9912 | Access Code: 140414#