The committee is comprised of seven Republicans and six Democrats, with Rep. Ryan Guillen (R-Rio Grande City) as chair and Rep. Jarvis Johnson (D-Houston) as vice-chair.
Gullien also serves as chair of the Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee, which has taken up firearm-related policy in past sessions.
In particular, during the 87th session of the Texas Legislature, gun rights activists saw the passage of their flagship legislation, deemed “constitutional carry” which allows those who are legally able to own a gun to carry it under certain circumstances without a license.
Notably, Guillen, voted for constitutional carry while he was affiliated with the Democratic Party, but soon switched his affiliation and joined the Republican Party in 2021.
In a press release regarding the committee, Phelan noted his inclusion of several members who served on the Robb Elementary Investigative Committee, as well as members whose districts have experienced a mass shooting.
Phelan issued a statement regarding the committee, saying, “The Texas House intends to do everything in our power to keep children and classrooms in our state safe.”
“While there are many factors related to this wide-ranging issue that our chamber will discuss during the legislative session, such as mental health, social media and school safety, a necessary component to this conversation will be related to firearm safety.”
The seven Republicans include:
- Guillen, Chair
- Rep. Dustin Burrows (R-Lubbock)
- Rep. Mark Dorazio, (R-San Antonio)
- Rep. Sam Harless (R-Spring)
- Rep. Justin Holland (R-Rockwall)
- Rep. Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa)
- Rep. Ellen Troxclair (R-Austin)
The six Democratic members are:
- Johnson, Vice Chair
- Rep. Rhetta Andrews Bowers (D-Garland)
- Rep. Terry Canales (D-Edinburg)
- Rep. Vikki Goodwin (D-Shady Hollow)
- Rep. Tracy King (D-Laredo)
- Rep. Joe Moody (D-El Paso)
The jurisdiction of the committee extends to all legislation relating to the “possession, use, sale and transfer of all firearms and ammunition, as well as any associated criminal offenses and penalties.” And as of publication, 43 bills have been referred to it by Phelan and are awaiting hearings.
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Matt Stringer is a reporter for The Texan who writes about all things government, politics, and public policy. He graduated from Odessa College with an Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies and a Bachelor’s Degree in Management and Leadership. In his free time, you will find him in the great outdoors, usually in the Davis Mountains and Big Bend region of Southwest Texas.