WE NEED THIS!
A Renewed Call For Open-Carry In Texas
A vote in Oklahoma is expected to renew the push here in Texas for an open-carry law. It's unclear whether the governor of Oklahoma will sign off, but yesterday the state house voted overwhelmingly to approve allowing gun owners with permits to openly carry their weapons in public.
There's been a movement for years here in Texas for the state's conceal carry law to be changed to allow licensed owners to carry handguns in plain sight, but it's always faced opposition from those who believe allowing it would be intimidating to those who don't own guns. Others worry the wrong people could wrestle away a person's gun.
But, thousands in Texas have signed a petition aimed at pushing lawmakers to allow law-abiding citizens to carry their guns in plain sight. The debate will no doubt heat up ahead of the next legislative session here in Texas in January.
Last go around both the Senator and Representative in my district said they'd support it if it came to a vote and the Govenor said he would sign it if it hit his desk. Believe it got pushed aside due to the eminent domain bill.
It never made to to a vote because of the voter ID bill and the Dems slow-motion filibuster (known as "chubbing") that ran out the clock. That procedure killed many fine bills.
If the frustration that I sense in the electorate is any sign, there will be fewer democracts in the Legislature when it is sworn in than there are now. The Obama wave voters won't likely be turn out but tea party and conservatives will.
Assuming Governor Henry signs the bill, we have at LEAST these pro-open carry events happen since our Legislature adjourned:
1) Arizona enacted Vermont/Alaska style "constitutional carry" -- no license needed, openly or concealed.
2) Iowa passed a shall-issue law. In theory, someone with a license could open carry since the license is a "non-professional permit to carry weapons" but due to the may-issue nature of the law this could -- and probably would -- get your permit revoked. As a result, Iowa was defacto non-open carry. Now with a shall issue law, that can change.
3) The national park ban has been lifted and there was an open carry rally at a park in Virginia just across from DC.
4) Oklahoma passed open carry.
5) Arkansas at least had a committee vote on open carry last session and a bill will almost certainly be introduced again.
6) Connecticut has had to admit that their permit allows open carry and issued very specific instructions to their troopers on how to deal with open carriers.
7) A federal court in New Mexico found that since open carry isn't illegal in that state, the police cannot use this as a lawful reason to seize anyone. The carrier either won his civil suit or it will now be allowed to go to trial since the immunity claims have been defeated.
8) Enough UOC is occuring in CA that a legislator has filed to a bill to restrict it. Whether that succeeds or not, Californians are exercising their rights with newfound zest.
9) The USSC has take upa case where, presumably, they will decide if the 2nd Amendment applies to the States through the 14th Amendment.
10) Many articles and other media mentions about open carryhave raised its stature, including one where the author confirmed that Mass. state police agreed that with a class A LTC, one can open carry in MA.
11) Starbucks didn't cave to anti pressure and corporate policy is that legally armed customers -- both concealed and openly -- are welcome in their stores.
Frankly, I am ASHAMED and SADDENED that Texas finds itself in this situation, but I'm determined to do all that I can to change it. With our Legislature only meeting every other year and for a limted number of days, we could do nothing but sit back and watch these events unfold. Soon we'll be able to do something about it.
As per my previous statements here, I intend to work with the TSRA to help them understand that open carry isn't radical and it doesn't threaten the other the goals that they have for the session. Assuming my prediciton about R's gaining seats in November is true, there is no better time than now to press ALL pro-2A legislation. We should have a Legislature that, over all, is pro-gun and -- assuming Perry wins -- we have a governor who has a demonstrated pro-gun, pro-freedom record. I can't forsee Rick Perry vetoing any pro-gun legislation that would come before him.
There may come a time for compromise later and I'm all for pragmatism when you have to ability to absolutely make progress by setting aside a sticking point. Right now and the beginning of the session is definitely NOT that time. Lord knows that Texas gun laws are a mess of general prohibitions and a million small exemptions. We ought to be bold and propose real, positive change that frees Texans from a confusing web of rules that allows for too many different interpretations by different law enforcement and court officials.
So, all my Lone Start neighbors now matter where you are in the state, saddle up and let's make sure that Austin knows that we've been watching current events. The pro-Open Carry wave that has been sweeping the country needs to splash hard in Texas and do so this session. We need to start NOW while folks are up for election. We need, as members, to contact TSRA and tell them that the time for open carry has arrived in Texas and not working on it this session is not acceptable. They know better than we do that it sometimes takes several sessions before an idea makes its way into law and we cannot wait any longer. We, the dues-paying members, want open carry on the agenda and we aren't taking no for an answer.
If oklahoma can pass an open carry bill by veto proof majorities, surely Texas can pass a bill by a simple majority, no?
Mike wrote:It actuallywill require2/3s of the state Senate. This is not a constitutional requirement but a procedural one. The rules of the senate require a 2/3rd vote for any bill to be brought up outside of the scheduled order. By tradition -- and it is only a tradition not a requirement or a rule, though it has been adhered toon all but afew very controversial matters like redistricting--the lead bill is a "blocker" bill. It serves no purpose other than to make ALL bills require 2/3rd vote because they all appear in the order behind the blocker.If oklahoma can pass an open carry bill by veto proof majorities, surely Texas can pass a bill by a simple majority, no?
Given what happened last time with voter ID and since the Legislature will have to deal with redistricting this session, it will be interesting to see if the Lieutenant Governor (who is the Senate leader) keeps with the status quo or charts a new course.
Given the generally pro-gun nature of the Senate, getting the 2/3s to take up most 2A bills isn't a problem. Unfortunately OC has, in the past, been seen as controversial. A key R state senator (David Wentworth of San Antonio) is on the record as not supporting it, at least last session. I think we have some convincing to do. Luckily, with all of the positive developments to point to I would hope that he could be convinced to vote to allow it to the floor even if he ultimately voted against the bill.
go to the texas legislature website, look up YOUR state representative and your state senator. (not your US senator or US rep) and send them an email asking them for their support. Let them know it is an important topic to you, your family and your neighbors. It will take 10 minutes. Give it a try. I do it once a week. This won't happen unless we push for it
And for god sakes, VOTE!