Watch CBS News

Bill to raise the age to buy AR-style rifle to 21 won't make it to full House for a vote

House Committee approves HB2744
House Committee approves HB2744 03:01

AUSTIN ( – A bill to raise the age to buy an AR-style rifle to 21 won't be debated in the full House.

The Calendars committee, which schedules bills for a vote, did not place it on the legislative calendar for House members to consider.

Gun reform activists were encouraged Monday after the House Community Safety Select committee approved House Bill 2744 on the last day legislation could be approved by a committee.

Republican State Representative Jeff Leach represents Allen and discussed the deadly mass shooting with CBS News Texas Tuesday. "There's a lot we don't know, but the one thing we do know, as a State Representative for Allen, this affected my community, my constituents. One thing I do know is this is happening way too much and it doesn't have to be this way. It hasn't always been this way."

Leach said if there's something that can be done to prevent another mass shooting, the House should consider it. "I know you'll see us have those debates publicly, openly, transparently, in front of the people of Texas. That's what they expect, deserve, and demand and we're going to deliver on their behalf." 

We spoke with Leach before the Calendars committee decided not to send the bill to the full House for a vote.

When asked if he spoke with Speaker Dade Phelan or Representative Dustin Burrows, R-Lubbock, chair of the Calendars committee, Leach said, "I'm not on the relevant committees to decide what gets on the floor or not."

Leach said he believes people on both sides of the gun debate can work together. "I'm going to vote for any bill that protects our constitutional rights our second amendment rights to protect ourselves and our families. I'm not going to waiver from that. I don't think I have to waiver from that to also keep guns out of the hands of people who don't need them, want to break our laws, want to do harm and inflict violence, that's where I'm on this issue."

Democratic State Representative John Bryant of Dallas, who tried to force a vote on House Bill 2744 Monday expressed doubt Tuesday about the bill's chances of passing. "I'm not confident at all. I think it's unlikely. It would not have a chance at passing the House unless we take extraordinary measures."

That would include suspending the rules.

If that were to happen and the bill makes it to the House floor for a vote, it still faces an uphill climb.

The magic number for a bill to pass is 76 votes. 

Bryant said, "I'm not confident we'll have 76. We'll need 12 Republicans to do it. I think it's possible, I think there are many Republicans who would support us, but for their fear of the Republican primary."

During the past year, polls in Texas have shown that a majority of residents, including Republicans support the idea of raising the legal age to buy an AR style rifle to 21 and Red Flag laws.

Find out more about how the legislature works and who represents you here.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.