Author Topic: Texas House Speaker declares 'constitutional carry' gun bill dead after gun-rights activist shows up  (Read 369 times)

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Offline mystery-ak

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Texas House Speaker declares 'constitutional carry' gun bill dead after gun-rights activist shows up at his home
By Louis Casiano | Fox News

  Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen declared Friday that a “constitutional carry” gun bill was dead after a gun rights activist showed up at his Houston-area home to advocate for it.

Chris McNutt, executive director of Texas Gun Rights and a supporter of the legislation that would allow Texans to carry firearms without a license, showed up to Bonnen’s home in Lake Jackson on Wednesday to question why the bill had stalled, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Bonnen, a Republican, was in the state capital of Austin but his wife teenage sons were inside the home. He said McNutt's actions were a demonstration of "insanity" and called him an "overzealous advocate for criminals to get a gun."

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Offline Elderberry

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Showdown at the J.W. Marriott: What the Bonnen-McNutt Tussle Signals about the Political Wars to Come

The hard-right faction that tried to take down former House Speaker Joe Straus is now signaling that it’s found a new enemy in House Speaker Dennis Bonnen.

In the pantheon of lawmaker-involved squabbles, what happened at the J.W. Marriott hotel in Austin on Wednesday night probably doesn’t rank higher (lower?) than the time Borris Miles whipped out a gun at a party, or the time Bob Bullock pulled a gun on a journalist, or the time last session that Matt Rinaldi allegedly threatened to shoot Poncho Nevárez, or countless other historical examples of pointless macho posturing because this is Texas and that’s what we do. But Wednesday’s events certainly belong in the rankings.

The Texas Tribune has the full rundown of what apparently happened. At a Republican spring fundraising dinner, House Speaker Dennis Bonnen found himself sitting close to pro-gun activist Chris McNutt, who had previously been intercepted by Texas state troopers after making an uninvited house call at Bonnen’s family residence while the speaker was in Austin. McNutt says he was handing out fliers, but others took his repeated visits to lawmakers’ homes as an implied threat, which is not an unreasonable thing, given the way gun rights activists have behaved at the Lege in recent years. Both men were at the fundraiser as guests of Darlene Pendery, a GOP megadonor who has been heavily involved in party infighting in recent years.

In Pendery’s account of the confrontation, Bonnen was looking for a fight—he confronted McNutt when he didn’t have to, and the situation escalated. Pendery blames Bonnen for turning her expensive experience at the fundraiser, for which she purchased three VIP tables for 30 guests at a cost of $75,000, into a “horrible night.”

In Bonnen’s telling, he approached McNutt and politely but firmly asked McNutt never to visit the homes of lawmakers again. McNutt gave him a letter. Then things got weird: One of Pendery’s guests, according to Bonnen, “handed the speaker a Kool-Aid packet,” then threatened a “physical altercation,” at which point Bonnen left the fundraiser, skipping his upcoming speech.

For what it’s worth, Bonnen has a well-deserved reputation as a man with a temper, and gun activists like McNutt have a well-deserved reputation for making threats and causing ruckuses. But what actually happened at the fundraiser is less interesting than how it came about.

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