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Thread: Texas Representative Debbie Riddle Still Supports Open Carry!

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    Video: http://www.news8austin.com/shared/vi...destlist=62281

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    Lawmakers defend right to bear arms at work
    2/17/2009 8:45 PM
    By: Catie Beck




    It's a known fact among state lawmakers that some of their colleagues carry guns at the Capitol. Rep. Debbie Riddle (R-Tomball) supports the concept and also supports an open-carry law.

    "It's a matter of safety for the members of the House," Riddle said.

    Any citizen with a permit has similar rights at the Capitol.

    "A citizen carrying a concealed weapon with a permit can come in to the Capitol and walk around and visit legislators at their offices," Sen. Juan Hinojosa (D-McAllen) said.








    Capitol Security

    News 8 Austin's Catie Beck asks lawmakers about state Capitol rules on guns, and why they're different for elected officials.







    Citizens may be allowed to carry guns on to Capitol grounds, but their privileges are not the same as legislators. Members can and do carry guns on to the House and Senate floors, without restrictions. Citizens who visit those areas by way of the gallery have to pass through a metal detector and cannot enter with a gun.

    "I don't think that people who have a permit to carry a concealed weapon should be restricted from bringing a gun in to the gallery," Hinojosa said.






    Citizens who visit those areas by way of the gallery have to pass through a metal detector.

    Riddle disagrees and said it's because the Department of Public Safety guards know the lawmakers but typically don't know the public.

    "The difference is pretty elementary...we are well known," Riddle said.

    The state spent about $3 million last fall to put barricades in place to prevent unauthorized vehicles from getting too close to the Capitol, but many are wondering how much safer that's actually making things on the inside.


    Washington, New Mexico and Hawaii are among other states that allow guns on Capitol grounds because they are considered "public places." Nevada leaves the decision up to directors of public buildings.






    "The big challenge for DPS is not protecting against someone with a handgun, it's someone who comes in and wants to blow people up," Chairman of the House Administration Committee Rep. Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth) said.

    Geren also said screening the public serves a purpose, but he's not in favor of the metal detectors.

    "I'm thinking these will probably be there until the end of session and then we will relook at the policy," Geren said.

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    Lone Star Veteran Ian's Avatar
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    You can carry concealed firearms into the capital? I was told by DPS that it is prohibited because it is considered a government court. Maybe they thought I was talking about past the metal detectors into the chamber. For the majority part of the capital you aren't required to go through metal detectors. (Sounded like BS to me and I know that getting legal advice from a law enforcement agency is not a good idea)

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    No posted 30.06 signs means it's fair game, and I've been there twice in the past year and was told by DPS that it's OK.

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    Ianmtx wrote:
    You can carry concealed firearms into the capital? I was told by DPS that it is prohibited because it is considered a government court.
    So what "court" would a legislature be unkless it was impeaching the Governor

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    Tex4OC wrote:
    No posted 30.06 signs means it's fair game, and I've been there twice in the past year and was told by DPS that it's OK.
    Likewise in Washington. General rule here is, if its public property and you don't have go through metal detectors to get there, your good to go, OC or CC. Exactly the way it should be. IMHO

    For Hawaii the rule is all such confetti since the general public is all but banned from carrying firearms in any way. And unless you area PI or politician/celebrity, don't even THINK about asking for a CPL there.

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    Mike wrote:
    Ianmtx wrote:
    You can carry concealed firearms into the capital? I was told by DPS that it is prohibited because it is considered a government court.
    So what "court" would a legislature be unkless it was impeaching the Governor
    Like I said, I figured it was BS they were feeding me because they didn't know the law.

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    Personally, I don't have a problem with being disarmed if the entity disarming me (in this case, the State of Texas) takes sufficient steps, such as the posting of metal detectors and armed state troopers at each entrance, to provide for my security; however, I wonder how this action jibes with Texas Penal Code section 30.06(e), which states:

    "It is an exception to the application of this section that the property on which the license holder carries a handgun is owned or leased by a governmental entity and is not a premises or other place on which the license holder is prohibited from carrying the handgun under Section 46.03 or 46.035."
    My best guess is that they're acting (whether legitimately or not) under the authority of Texas Government Code section 411.207, "AUTHORITY OF PEACE OFFICER TO DISARM."

    The questionable application of TX GC 411.207 to the legislative floors of the Texas Capitol may have something to do with Rep. Geren's suggestion that the metal detectors will probably be removed at the end of this session.

    Again, I don't have a problem with Texas using state troopers and metal detectors to secure the legislative floors of the Texas Capitol; however, if they decide to keep this policy, I'd like to see them implement a secure gun check so that CHL holders can check their guns at the door. I appreciate the fact that they've taken steps to ensure our safety on the legislative floors, but they need to allow us the means to resume carrying as soon as we exit the secure area, both as a matter of personal protection and as a matter of convenience.

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    Douva wrote:
    Personally, I don't have a problem with being disarmed if the entity disarming me (in this case, the State of Texas) takes sufficient steps, such as the posting of metal detectors and armed state troopers at each entrance, to provide for my security; however, I wonder how this action jibes with Texas Penal Code section 30.06(e), which states:
    "It is an exception to the application of this section that the property on which the license holder carries a handgun is owned or leased by a governmental entity and is not a premises or other place on which the license holder is prohibited from carrying the handgun under Section 46.03 or 46.035."
    My best guess is that they're acting (whether legitimately or not) under the authority of Texas Government Code section 411.207, "AUTHORITY OF PEACE OFFICER TO DISARM."

    The questionable application of TX GC 411.207 to the legislative floors of the Texas Capitol may have something to do with Rep. Geren's suggestion that the metal detectors will probably be removed at the end of this session.

    Again, I don't have a problem with Texas using state troopers and metal detectors to secure the legislative floors of the Texas Capitol; however, if they decide to keep this policy, I'd like to see them implement a secure gun check so that CHL holders can check their guns at the door. I appreciate the fact that they've taken steps to ensure our safety on the legislative floors, but they need to allow us the means to resume carrying as soon as we exit the secure area, both as a matter of personal protection and as a matter of convenience.
    Personally, I don't really feel the need to carry in the capital anyways seeing as there is a DPS trooper literally every 20 feet.

    As far as the metal detectors, that's only in the actual chambers, a very small part of the capital.

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    Ianmtx wrote:
    Personally, I don't really feel the need to carry in the capital anyways seeing as there is a DPS trooper literally every 20 feet.

    As far as the metal detectors, that's only in the actual chambers, a very small part of the capital.
    The problem comes from where do you store your firearm if you are not taking it into the capital, or there is no where within the capital for you to store your firearm?

    You leave it in the car where it can get stolen?

    You leave it at home, effectively disarming yourself for the duration of your trip?

    The best control of a firearm is positive control. Positive control in your possession, or in the monitored possession of a lock box as we have here in our capital and courtrooms. Locked in a car is a poor second. Few people have the means to rig a secure gun safe in their vehicle, and whereas the vehicle in a lot of situations can still be stolen itself.

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    While I regard the Texas Department of Public Safety in the highest category of policing agencies in the world today, that still leaves your fate in the hands of another.
    Being prior service, that kind of faith in another has to be earned, just like respect.
    From day to day you don't know whether that public servant has your or his best interests at heart, but you can always count on yours.

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    Mike wrote:
    Video: http://www.news8austin.com/shared/vi...destlist=62281

    Print: http://www.news8austin.com/shared/vi...destlist=62281







    Lawmakers defend right to bear arms at work
    2/17/2009 8:45 PM
    By: Catie Beck




    It's a known fact among state lawmakers that some of their colleagues carry guns at the Capitol. Rep. Debbie Riddle (R-Tomball) supports the concept and also supports an open-carry law.

    "It's a matter of safety for the members of the House," Riddle said.

    Any citizen with a permit has similar rights at the Capitol.

    "A citizen carrying a concealed weapon with a permit can come in to the Capitol and walk around and visit legislators at their offices," Sen. Juan Hinojosa (D-McAllen) said.








    Capitol Security

    News 8 Austin's Catie Beck asks lawmakers about state Capitol rules on guns, and why they're different for elected officials.







    Citizens may be allowed to carry guns on to Capitol grounds, but their privileges are not the same as legislators. Members can and do carry guns on to the House and Senate floors, without restrictions. Citizens who visit those areas by way of the gallery have to pass through a metal detector and cannot enter with a gun.

    "I don't think that people who have a permit to carry a concealed weapon should be restricted from bringing a gun in to the gallery," Hinojosa said.






    Citizens who visit those areas by way of the gallery have to pass through a metal detector.

    Riddle disagrees and said it's because the Department of Public Safety guards know the lawmakers but typically don't know the public.

    "The difference is pretty elementary...we are well known," Riddle said.



    "I'm thinking these will probably be there until the end of session and then we will relook at the policy," Geren said.
    This piece is spot on. I was at the Capitol yesterday and entered the galleries. I had to pass through the detectors. It is also true that, had I not been on a trip sponsored by my employer, I could have carried everywhere else in the building.

    The detectors aren't what makes it illegal to carry in the galleries. They post 30.06 signs as is allowed for "meetings of governmental bodies". These two parts of the penal code, combined, mean that a CHL holder can't carry. At least they do it right at the capitol and don't try to block off the whole building like some local city halls do.

    As for carrying on the floor, it appears that they do NOT post the member enterences. No 30.06 = no problem under the "meetings of a government body" subsection. Of course, troopers guard the member enterence, so other folks can't use it.

    Finally and most on topic for the original post, I'm not at all sure that Rep. Riddle will still introduce a bill. As explained in another thread by her chief of staff, she has been warned by our brother-in-arms at other organizations that open carry is so controversial that it could harm the chances for campus carry and parking lot carry. She still supports the concept, but she doesn't appear ready to potentially jeopardize those other issues. I think that our job is to convince her thatwe don't have to rob Peter to pay Paul. Open carry does not HAVE to make those other items more difficult to pass. If anything, it could set up strawman that the anti's could vote against while making the other proposals seem more reasonable. Obviously that's not my view as I want OC to pass, but one step at a time and that means getting a bill introduced. At least then there is a chance.

    SA-TX

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    If Rep Riddle was still in support of the open carry some type of effort

    would of been done to present this bill. Regardless of the conceal carry

    on college campus, or parking lot carry. Something would of have at least been brought up by her. :?

    Even if they do pass this Bill can you imagine how many signs are going to go up

    that you can not open carry at practically every place you go. So all in all

    the only place you will be able to open carry is in your vehicle or home. If this

    law passes business owners, city officials , that oppose this open

    carry are going to be coming up with all sorts of rules, signs, and documents to throw this opencarry off and not allow it in many place. So then it just comes down to just

    opencarry on your property and in your car, and home, then if youget offyour car

    it goes back to concealing it again because where ever it is you are at, they are not going to allow any open carry.

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    cowman wrote:
    Even if they do pass this Bill can you imagine how many signs are going to go up

    that you can not open carry at practically every place you go. So all in all

    the only place you will be able to open carry is in your vehicle or home. If this

    law passes business owners, city officials , that oppose this open

    carry are going to be coming up with all sorts of rules, signs, and documents to throw this opencarry off and not allow it in many place. So then it just comes down to just

    opencarry on your property and in your car, and home, then if youget offyour car

    it goes back to concealing it again because where ever it is you are at, they are not going to allow any open carry.
    Huh? Do you see no-gun signs "practically every place you go" in the 44 states where it is legal? No, of course not.

    Time for Texas to join the vast majority of the nation on open carry rights.

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    SA-TX wrote
    The detectors aren't what makes it illegal to carry in the galleries. They post 30.06 signs as is allowed for "meetings of governmental bodies". These two parts of the penal code, combined, mean that a CHL holder can't carry. At least they do it right at the capitol and don't try to block off the whole building like some local city halls do.
    Ah, that makes more sense. Though, I suppose they could even do away with the 30.06 signs and let the DPS officers give verbal notice.

    I've kind of gone back and forth on the current applicability of the "meetings of governmental bodies" clause of 46.035, given the preemption clause that was added to 30.06 in 2003; however, after careful examination, it does appear that posting governmental meetings 30.06 is still legal.

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    cowman wrote:
    If this

    law passes business owners, city officials , that oppose this open

    carry are going to be coming up with all sorts of rules, signs, and documents to throw this opencarry off and not allow it in many place. So then it just comes down to just

    opencarry on your property and in your car, and home, then if youget offyour car

    it goes back to concealing it again because where ever it is you are at, they are not going to allow any open carry.
    This is not whats happening in the other states that OC has become common. There will always be a small percentage of businesses that will scream and close the shutters at the site of a gun, but attitudes will change as it becomes more and more common. We are seeing the that very attitude change here in Washington. The more law abiding and responsible citizens that people get used to seeing every day, the easier it gets.

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    SA-TX wrote:
    The detectors aren't what makes it illegal to carry in the galleries. They post 30.06 signs as is allowed for "meetings of governmental bodies". These two parts of the penal code, combined, mean that a CHL holder can't carry. At least they do it right at the capitol and don't try to block off the whole building like some local city halls do.

    As for carrying on the floor, it appears that they do NOT post the member enterences. No 30.06 = no problem under the "meetings of a government body" subsection. Of course, troopers guard the member enterence, so other folks can't use it.
    SA-TX is spot on. For those not familiar with Texas law, here's how it works:

    No government property (state, county,municipal, or independent taxing authority) is off limits for concealed carry unless the legislature specifically bans guns there (as they did for prisons and school buildings). Any place that isn't statutorily off-limits is perfectly legal.

    The only exception is that the legislature authorizes local governments to post 30.06 notices at meetings of governmental bodies. That only applies to meetings, not to buildings.

    The legislature being in session is a meeting of a governmental body. I don't think they post 30.06 signs, but the trooper manning the metal detector is going to give you a binding 30.06 verbal notice when you fail to clear the detector.

    This is why the capitol is okay for carry, but the meeting chambers are not.



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    KBCraig wrote:
    I don't think they post 30.06 signs, but the trooper manning the metal detector is going to give you a binding 30.06 verbal notice when you fail to clear the detector.

    This is why the capitol is okay for carry, but the meeting chambers are not.

    They DO post 30.06 along with the text of 46.035(c). If you look at the picture that is a part of the news story you can see the detectors.

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    SA-TX wrote:
    KBCraig wrote:
    I don't think they post 30.06 signs, but the trooper manning the metal detector is going to give you a binding 30.06 verbal notice when you fail to clear the detector.
    They DO post 30.06 along with the text of 46.035(c). If you look at the picture that is a part of the news story you can see the detectors.
    *shrug*

    Okay, but either the sign or the verbal notice are equally binding. I was mostly trying to explain the concept that only the legislature can restrict guns from government property in Texas, and how meetings of government bodies are the only exception that allows (but doesn't require) a 30.06 notice in a government building.


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    The Count now is 57,871!:celebrate:celebrate:celebrate

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    I emailed State Representative Debbie Riddle Feb 18, 2009. I got a response back from her Chief of Staff Jon English, Sunday, February 22, 2009. Attached is the email i received.

    Michael Wiren
    Dear Mr. Wiren,

    Thank you so much for your e-mail. It is unfortunately true that Rep. Riddle does not believe it is likely that she will file an Open Carry bill this session. It's not because of a fear that there is a such thing as too many Second Amendment bills, but rather the nature of Open Carry.

    First of all, Open Carry is unlikely to pass this session. Even amongst Second Amendment supporters, it takes things a step further than most members appear to be comfortable with. It does not seem rational to set aside other important legislation to wage a losing battle to expand your already existing ability to carry a handgun.

    Secondly, the bill has already caused damage to other Second Amendment legislation. Confusion over Open Carry and opposition to it has made it more difficult to get momentum on other important bills. It would definitely be in the best interest of other Second Amendment legislation to shift support for Open Carry into other bills such as allowing students to carry on campus and the right to have a gun in your car at work. These bills do have a good chance this session, but the Open Carry controversies and confusions are cramping those chances.

    Finally, there is a smaller concern that existing CHL rights are not as secure as we might believe them to be in the currently changing political climate. While it remains unlikely, an Open Carry debate carries the possibility of inviting amendments to current CHL statutes that could complicate your existing right to carry a handgun, most especially if the legislature continues to trend to the left. The simplest way to put it is there is very real risk but practically no chance of any reward for pushing the bill. There is absolutely a time and a place to introduce a bill simply on principle, but this session represents neither.

    In the meantime, HB 1301, HB 410, HB 267, and SB 729, all important Second Amendment bills, can use all the support they can get this session! Please encourage your friends and neighbors to show their support for these bills, and let me know if you need any more information on them. They're excellent pieces of legislation and I think we can get all of them passed if we work together.

    Thank you again for your e-mail. Please always feel free to contact us regarding this or any other issue. Our door is always open to you!

    Sincerely,

    Jon English
    Chief of Staff
    State Representative Debbie Riddle
    phone: (512)-463-0572
    fax: (512-463-1908
    P.O. Box 2910
    Austin, TX 78768-2910
    jon.english@house.state.tx.us

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    paragod49 wrote:
    I emailed State Representative Debbie Riddle Feb 18, 2009. I got a response back from her Chief of Staff Jon English, Sunday, February 22, 2009. Attached is the email i received.

    Michael Wiren
    Dear Mr. Wiren,

    Thank you so much for your e-mail. It is unfortunately true that Rep. Riddle does not believe it is likely that she will file an Open Carry bill this session. It's not because of a fear that there is a such thing as too many Second Amendment bills, but rather the nature of Open Carry.

    First of all, Open Carry is unlikely to pass this session. Even amongst Second Amendment supporters, it takes things a step further than most members appear to be comfortable with. It does not seem rational to set aside other important legislation to wage a losing battle to expand your already existing ability to carry a handgun.

    Secondly, the bill has already caused damage to other Second Amendment legislation. Confusion over Open Carry and opposition to it has made it more difficult to get momentum on other important bills. It would definitely be in the best interest of other Second Amendment legislation to shift support for Open Carry into other bills such as allowing students to carry on campus and the right to have a gun in your car at work. These bills do have a good chance this session, but the Open Carry controversies and confusions are cramping those chances.

    Finally, there is a smaller concern that existing CHL rights are not as secure as we might believe them to be in the currently changing political climate. While it remains unlikely, an Open Carry debate carries the possibility of inviting amendments to current CHL statutes that could complicate your existing right to carry a handgun, most especially if the legislature continues to trend to the left. The simplest way to put it is there is very real risk but practically no chance of any reward for pushing the bill. There is absolutely a time and a place to introduce a bill simply on principle, but this session represents neither.

    In the meantime, HB 1301, HB 410, HB 267, and SB 729, all important Second Amendment bills, can use all the support they can get this session! Please encourage your friends and neighbors to show their support for these bills, and let me know if you need any more information on them. They're excellent pieces of legislation and I think we can get all of them passed if we work together.

    Thank you again for your e-mail. Please always feel free to contact us regarding this or any other issue. Our door is always open to you!

    Sincerely,

    Jon English
    Chief of Staff
    State Representative Debbie Riddle
    phone: (512)-463-0572
    fax: (512-463-1908
    P.O. Box 2910
    Austin, TX 78768-2910
    jon.english@house.state.tx.us


    Well, there is always next year. Keep our heads together and go with the flow and we'll get what we want. If we push, we will just make our friends regret helping us.
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    My opinion, we got thrown under the bus by TSRA and SCCC. They didn't like our bill. It was too much too fast for them and they didn't want to see anything happen to theirs in the confusion. It's might convenient that Rep. Riddles office felt there were more important 2nd amendment bills to consider first.

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    I dont suppose that we will find someone else to sponser the bill

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    DKSuddeth wrote:
    My opinion, we got thrown under the bus by TSRA and SCCC. They didn't like our bill. It was too much too fast for them and they didn't want to see anything happen to theirs in the confusion. It's might convenient that Rep. Riddles office felt there were more important 2nd amendment bills to consider first.
    In some ways it is true that open carry was "thrown under the bus" but really I don't see what choice TSRA and SCCC had. We didn't work within the process and so if it was going to come down to an "ours or theirs", they -- rightly -- weren't going to let their bills be damaged. I still debate just how much actual damage the discussion of OC really did, but there was some PERCEPTION of damage and some confusion about what various bills would allow. Basically, I think TSRA and SCCC viewed OC as an anchor the they didn't want associated with their bills. They did all they could to distance themselves from the effort and said so when asked.

    The lesson to learn is how to win. TSRA knows how to win. SCCC knows how to win because they engaged TSRA and got their endorsement and support. We tried to bypass the gatekeeper that's not wise. Like it or not, TSRA plays that role. We should have been working with them for months. We should have been gently pursuading them to do all that they could for us. After all, when we can't get solid A+ pro-2A legislators to support us and carry a bill, you can't call it anything but abject failure. We needed TSRA's tacit approval if not outright blessing and we didn't get it.

    If we want open carry in Texas, we'll understand the rules of the game and play to win next time. I'm not criticizing anyone in particular. I'm a novice at this too and didn't know any better.

    Now isn't the time for blame. We need join the TSRA and work to ensure that the next thing that they take on after campus carry and parking lot carry is open carry (licensed open carry if necessary). Even if we have to take baby steps like making intentional failure to conceal a Class C misdomeanor or not even a crime while the license is still nominally a "concealed" license is an improvement. Liberals know that incrementalism works and in Texas, it has been a proven winning formula for better a better CHL environment, too.

    Just my view, SA-TX

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    I agree.
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