Texas Legislature
5:14 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Bill To Prohibit Enforcement Of Federal Gun Laws Dies In Senate

House Bill 928 would criminalize any police officer enforcing a new federal gun law in the state of Texas, and it immediately struck tensions between Sen. Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls, and Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston.

"I could be for this if you take an amendment I’m going to offer to your bill," said Ellis. "I’m going to offer an amendment to close the 'gun show loophole.'"

"The criminal background checks at gun shows would doom this wonderful bill that we are trying to do right here," replied Estes.

Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, was concerned that the bill was proposing that state law trumped federal laws and mandates. Davis argued with Estes on the Senate floor about the constitutionality of the bill.

"So a municipality would not be able to use their police resources, for example, to enforce a federal law?" asked Davis.

"Not to extend resources to support a federal law that is not a state law," answered Estes.

After several minutes of silence, Estes decided the bill would not pass and pulled down the legislation.

The original bill passed by the House would have tied up the state’s attorney general by mandating that his office be the lead prosecutor anytime a city was caught enforcing a new federal gun law.