Texas Lobbyists Get their Guns in Capitol

| by OpenSecrets

They say that nothing can get between a lobbyist and his targeted lawmaker. And when they say it in Texas, they really mean it. 

A new state law is causing slowdowns at the entrance to the state capitol building, and frustrated lobbyists are taking up arms in an effort to maintain quick access to state representatives. Visitors to the Capitol must all now pass through security checkpoints to secure entry.

The only people exempted, reports the Houston Chronicle, are state lawmakers, properly identified state employees -- and Texans who carry a pistol with a proper concealed handgun license. Just the license alone will suffice, as it’s enough to gain that person access to an express lane that bypasses the laborious checkpoints. 

The new law was enacted in the wake of an incident earlier this year, when a man opened fire on the steps of the Capitol after visiting a state senator.

A spokeswoman for the Capitol’s security team said that Texans licensed to carry handguns are exempted because they have already passed the necessary background checks to give them the legal authorization to carry a gun.