The guns-in-saloons bill has stalled in the state House tonight with lawmakers fighting over whether they should set a curfew for customers to surrender their weapons. The sponsor, Rep. Curry Todd, thinks handgun carriers should have to give up their guns at 11 p.m. "The NRA was OK with this," Todd told the House.
The House voted 62-29 to add the curfew to the bill. But many Republicans objected even to this restriction on Second Amendment rights, and Rep. Brian Kelsey then offered an amendment to strip the provision. After Todd could muster only 32 votes to table that amendment, he withdrew the bill from the floor. He said he'd try again next Monday.
The House had been expected to adopt the bill by a large margin. There are 46 sponsors, and a cocky Todd said at one point, "If I asked all the co-sponsors to come up here, there wouldn't be anybody in their seats."
He claimed his bill would curtail shootings presumably because criminals would quake in fear of all the licensed gunmen ready to spring into action. "I challenge anyone to tell me where they've had a shooting in a restaurant in any state that's passed this law," he said.