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Thread: Rep George Lavender will sponsor Texas open carry bill

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    Rep George Lavender will sponsor Texas open carry bill

    I just received an email reply from my newly elected state representative, Charles Lavender, saying he will sponsor an open carry bill in the upcoming session.

    Details to come as they're available.

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    great news - makes sure you and he are on the right sheet of music re vocubulary.

    Does "sponsor" mean introduce the bill? Or just support the bill by signing on as a sponsor?

    We need the bill to be drafted and introduced - legislators often rely on legislative services staff to do the final drafting, but need to understand what the goal is and make sure they do it right - then he needs to introduce the bill.

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    Regular Member B.D. WALKER's Avatar
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    Thatz great news. Who is this Rep and how do we let him know how interested we are in what he is trying to do?

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    His website is transitioning from campaign site, to legislator site, so there's not much there at the moment. But, it does include his email address.

    http://www.georgelavender.com/

    I'm going to send another reply with my suggested language. I like simplicity, and striking at the root: instead of trying to conjure up an exemption for OC, simply change PC 46.02 so that it only applies to an intentionally concealed handgun.

    Yes, I want Constitutional Carry, but this is the easiest and cleanest way to add legal OC in Texas. I would grudgingly accept licensed OC, but I don't think we need to add that half step. The 81st Leg. eliminated the penalty for failure to produce a license with ID, based on the logic that unlicensed car carry is legal with no requirement to disclose. Since unlicensed carry is already legal in Texas, there's no reason to not expand it to include OC.

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    Regular Member B.D. WALKER's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    The Reps name is George Lavender and not Charles Lavender; based on the link above. That explained why I couldn't find him.

    I would definitely email him with my ideas and support.

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    Rep George Lavender will sponsor Texas open carry bill

    Oh, duh! Sorry. I can't edit the original thread title, but future replies will have the correct name.

    Here is my last message to him:

    I believe trying to further twist and convolute PC Chapter 46 by adding an exception for open carry will add unnecessary complication. Instead, I suggest modifying four sections of Code:

    Penal Code 46.02(a) is amended to read, "A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries CONCEALED on or about his or her person a handgun, illegal knife, or club if the person is not:"

    Penal Code 46.01 is amended to add: "(17) "Concealed" has the meaning assigned in Government Code 411.171."

    Penal Code 46.035(a) is repealed, and subsequent paragraphs are renumbered accordingly.

    Net effect of the changes: it is only carrying a concealed handgun that would require a license, and the penalty for licensees failing to conceal is removed. There would be some subsequent housekeeping required, but the entire penal code needs a good stiff broom when it comes to things that look like conflicts but really aren't. For example, many people still believe it is illegal to carry in a church, hospital, or amusement park, even though those places are only off limits if they post a PC 30.06-compliant sign. The law was changed in 1997, but some instructors still teach the law incorrectly, and some students still come away misunderstanding a law that has been established for 13 years now.

    I really appreciate your willingness to take on this issue. I'm sure there will be objections by many "pro gun" people who are more worried about fallout than they should be. I'm not a lawyer or lobbyist, just an ordinary guy who has spent the last 15 years seriously studying gun laws in Texas and advocating for the rights of all law-abiding Texans to be legally armed as they go about their daily lives. If there is anything I can do, any way I can help, or any research or insight I can offer, please don't hesitate to contact me. All my information is included below.

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    Regular Member B.D. WALKER's Avatar
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    "Penal Code 46.02(a) is amended to read, "A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries CONCEALED on or about his or her person a handgun, illegal knife, or club if the person is not:"


    Why doesn't Penal Code 46.02(a) just simply be removed. In other words allow people to carry any way they choose; with or without a license. I would assume anyone who is carrying a firearm on there person now has a permit?

    The permit classes do not have to go away, there are some people who would really benefit from them (those that want to defend themselves but know nothing about guns to start with. The change that needs to be made is not make these licenses mandatory.

    You have a good idea; But I think that we would just be trading one form of restriction for another. I do believe in taking baby steps if the need be.

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    Regular Member rushcreek2's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    KBCraig - I like it. It is short, sweet , and DO-ABLE. It would place TEXAS in good company with states like Colorado, NM, LA, and soon to be Oklahoma. Such a proposal just might be agreed upon this go-around even with the redistricting task and the border issue. It's consideration shouldn't engender much debate except from the usual suspects. Passage would achieve THE GOAL - resolving a constitutional conflict and making Texas an open carry state finally.

    It would enhance the value of the CHL program by adding curriculum options like open carry issues that should be covered in classes (situational awareness, retention, and use of discretion). Probably law enforcement will be inclined to support it because it positions TEXAS pretty much within the norm of most states. The 30.06 signeage guidelines should be alright as is. If they don't want you CC'ing - they sure don't want you OC'ing. The existing exceptions provided in 46.02 would then allow for unlicensed concealed carry under those existing specified circumstances, and I believe the 46.15 travel issue would be less "strained" given a legal OC option.

    Probably the biggest task will be to synchronize ALL of the existing provisions of Chapter 46 with the CONCEALED handgun concept as opposed to the existing HANDGUN concept. This is a good "candidate" I think. I' m sure there will be other good ideas forthcoming soon, but simplicity is definitely a requirement for any proposal to have any chance for consideration. 2011 is probably a good year to maintain a low legislative profile at the State Capitol given the border issue and redistricting. The KEY ISSUE to be emphasized is the urgency to deal with this particular constitutional conflict.

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    subscribed to thread.... with excitement

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    I am crapping myself with anticipation and excitement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by B.D. WALKER View Post
    "Penal Code 46.02(a) is amended to read, "A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries CONCEALED on or about his or her person a handgun, illegal knife, or club if the person is not:"


    Why doesn't Penal Code 46.02(a) just simply be removed. In other words allow people to carry any way they choose; with or without a license. I would assume anyone who is carrying a firearm on there person now has a permit?
    I support repealing all of Chapter 46.

    I don't believe in making timid nibbles; what I proposed is pretty huge. It would allow unlicensed OC, just as we now allow unlicensed (but concealed) car carry.

    If we're lucky, we get it all. More likely, we'll wind up with licensed OC, if we get any OC at all.

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    Regular Member B.D. WALKER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KBCraig View Post
    I support repealing all of Chapter 46.

    I don't believe in making timid nibbles; what I proposed is pretty huge. It would allow unlicensed OC, just as we now allow unlicensed (but concealed) car carry.

    If we're lucky, we get it all. More likely, we'll wind up with licensed OC, if we get any OC at all.

    I agree... The request is a long shot but that wouldn't stop us from pressing on. At least let us get some sought of real and constructive OC; even if it is licensed for now. It would be a very great step in the right direction.

    I am hoping once the bill is drafted we could get a chance to see it to probably give our input. But most importantly let the bill be filed, thatz the first step...

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    He can't submit a bill until he's sworn in on January 11, so we'll have to wait a bit to see the final form.

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    I don't think so. If a rep needs to wait till they are sworn in to file a bill, then how did Rep Simpson that filled the campus carry file it? He was newly elected and managed to file that bill during the early filing process. We might just see it after all; if we are lucky.
    Last edited by B.D. WALKER; 11-21-2010 at 10:36 PM. Reason: mistake

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    Sorry, but I don't believe what politicians say. I believe what they *do*. If he actually files it, and agressively sponsors it, only then will I believe. We'll also see if all of the other "will do" reps will actually backup their claims that they would support such a bill. Some have already come out and said they won't support it if it's not endorsed by the NRA and/or TSRA. Why THAT makes a difference, I don't know. If it's supported by their constituents, that should be all that matters.

    Yeah, I'm cynical, and mostly because politicians have promised us stuff before and failed miserably at delivering.
    Last edited by jsimmons; 11-22-2010 at 08:03 AM.

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    Everyone living in Texas should be sending short polite emails to their state rep and sen (that's STATE, NOT FEDERAL) to introduce a bill to legalize open carry in Texas.

    Keep it simple and short - nobody like to read a letter that shows somebody did not take the time to make it SHORT!

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    I know him

    He and his family used to own a bowling center in Longview Texas years ago that I also worked at for over 4 years. I will send him a letter and see if that will help, though he may not remember me. He was a very upstanding man if I remember (and I was a teenager back then). His family is from Texarkana. Will send him an email though and ask also about his position. Later....

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    I would support the Repeal of: Texas Penal Codes 46.02, 46.03, AND 46.035.
    We are Talking about TEXAS '... for cryin' out loud'!

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    Simply amending 46.02 to read "CONCEALED handgun", and 46.035 to delete paragraph (a) with remaining provisions of 46.035 left intact to begin with paragraph (a).

    It's that short & sweet. It would be a blueprint for a "bridge to nowhere" and accomplish NOTHING during this upcoming session to attempt to tackle anything more. There are too many concerns embodied in 46.03 and the remainder of 46.035. Let's agree on the MAIN GOAL - legalized open carry in Texas - and most importantly START CONTACTING OUR LEGISLATORS.

    A bit of thoughtful reflection would reveal to any objective mind that section 46.02 is archaic and redundant law left over from the Reconstruction Era. Other provisions of the penal code more than adequately address offenses with weapons. Section 46.02 is a DISARMAMENT provision - period - and it unreasonably infringes upon the right to keep and bear arms. It SHOULD BE repealed, BUT it will be better to let it die the proverbial " death of a thousand cuts" than to take on the daunting task of convincing people that this "time honored" provision of the law is unconstitutional, ineffective in preventing crime, and may I suggest - stupid ?

    The "quintessential handgun" is now a tool of arms that has been extended federal protection under the the Second Amendment. This is WHY the 82nd Texas Legislature absolutely MUST AMEND section 46.02 to read "CONCEALED handgun" during this session. This will resolve that constitutional conflict, and repeal of paragraph (a) of section 46.035 is required to complete the transaction for constitutionality.

    This is a clear target for the legislature to address this next session. The passage of these simple amendments will restore much needed constitutional integrity to Texas law - and I predict that the social consequences will range from negligible to undetectable.
    Last edited by rushcreek2; 11-22-2010 at 02:21 PM.

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    Below is the e mail I sent to Mr. Lavender

    On Sun Nov 21 19:05 , sent:


    Mr. Lavender,

    First off, I am a Texan however I don't currently live in your district. Recently there has been a rumor floating around that you may be open to introducing a bill that would modify the Texas penal code to allow the open carrying of handguns. Because after all it is, and has always been, legal to openly carry a long gun in Texas.

    I would like to urge you to support this effort. For 15 years now Texans have enjoyed the right to carry concealed handguns but many fear the confusing language in the penal code that pertains to failure to conceal. This open carry bill would offer protection for law abiding Texans that have a CHL as well as offer a means of protection for Texans that currently do not have, or can't afford, a CHL.

    With the current Republican advances in the TX House and Senate, the political climate is right for the restoration of a right that has been infringed in Texas since Reconstruction after the Civil War. I urge you to please file this bill and support it on it's journey to becoming law.

    Thank you for your time and I look forward to your response.






    Below is his response:



    Jason,
    I will carry an open carry bill. We will need a lot of help to get enough votes, so please help us get it passed.
    Thanks,
    george







    What we need to do is call/write/email all our state reps and senators and make sure they know it's important to us! Never be a better time. What say you?!?!?

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    I see the folks over at the CHL forum are mostly lukewarm to downright hostile, although there are some supporters for the concept. They just don't like anything that is initiated by "those OC people".

    Funny... two years ago they resented the "outsiders" at OCDO. This year a Texas resident and Texas state rep work together to introduce an OC bill, and they won't support it because it's connected to OCDO.

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    I see the folks over at the CHL forum ....
    Got a link? I'd like to at least see what they have to say, after taking my blood pressure meds.

    Are you aware that the LSCDL has been talking with Rep. Lavender?

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    Regular Member B.D. WALKER's Avatar
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    I am in support of these pro-gun groups as much as the next guy, I'm even a member of the NRA. But some of these gun groups or some of their members are not really backing up fully the open carry bill.

    If they are not going to be committed to the cause then they should stay out of our way and let those that are really trying to see things through to do there thing.
    And the voice of reasoning shall never be denied...

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    Quote Originally Posted by B.D. WALKER View Post
    I am in support of these pro-gun groups as much as the next guy, I'm even a member of the NRA. But some of these gun groups or some of their members are not really backing up fully the open carry bill.

    If they are not going to be committed to the cause then they should stay out of our way and let those that are really trying to see things through to do there thing.
    There lies the rub. They have their own agenda, and if our agenda starts to gain on their agenda, they will actively try to sabotage our efforts. A properly-worded constitutional carry bill will not only satisfy us, but it will also satisfy their agenda, r.e. campus carry and parking lot storage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KBCraig View Post
    I see the folks over at the CHL forum are mostly lukewarm to downright hostile, although there are some supporters for the concept. They just don't like anything that is initiated by "those OC people".

    Funny... two years ago they resented the "outsiders" at OCDO. This year a Texas resident and Texas state rep work together to introduce an OC bill, and they won't support it because it's connected to OCDO.
    The TexasCHL forums are run buy a guy from the TSRA. What did you expect? TSRA doesn't have a favorable opinion of OCDO. Right now, they're all over there ringing their hands over minutia regarding CC. If we had constitutional carry, the CHL forums would have much less traffic, and that would diminish Mr. Cotton's importance in the grand scheme of things, and he won't stand for that.
    Last edited by jsimmons; 11-23-2010 at 06:20 AM.

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