By Dan Zimmerman via TTAG and republished with permission
The good news from here in the Lone Star State is that HB 1927, a bill that would eliminate the need for Texans over 21 to get a state permit in order to carry a firearm, was passed out of committee recently and is scheduled for full House consideration tomorrow, followed by a vote.
We talked to the GOA’s Rachel Malone who, as always, has her finger on the pulse of the Texas legislature. The bill’s progress in the lower chamber can be chalked up to the fact that Dennis Bonnen is no longer sitting in the Speaker’s chair.
Bonnen was no fan of constitutional carry. Current Speaker Dade Phelan, on the other hand, ensured that the current bill would get full consideration at the committee level and has now scheduled HB 1927 for a floor vote.
If the constitutional carry bill passes the House, as expected, that will force the cautious Senate’s hand, pressuring them to consider the bill. But the latest effort to pass constitutional carry in Texas hasn’t gotten as far as it has without some vocal opposition.
As always, the usual suspects are screaming BLOOD IN THE STREETS at the prospect of constitutional carry. The same groups — Bloomberg’s red-shirted minions and big city police chiefs — have warned of parking lot shootouts and fender bender gun fights in almost every one of the 20 states where constitutional carry is now the law. Strangely, none of their apocalyptic predictions have come true. Anywhere.
HAPPENING NOW: Police association members and chiefs from Dallas, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio are holding a news conference at the Capitol to speak out against a bill allowing permitless carry of firearms. #txlege pic.twitter.com/CLLD7IPJvu— Reena Jade Diamante (@reenajade) April 13, 2021
But also joining the bought-and-paid-for activists and the politicized cops in speaking out against Texas constitutional carry is a group of Texas license to carry (LTC) instructors who claim they care about safety…but are likely much more worried about their bank accounts than they are about Texans’ right to keep and bear arms.
From the Dallas Morning News (paywall). . .
Three instructors and several law enforcement officers, including Dallas police Chief Eddie García, called on lawmakers Tuesday to reject the legislation, which they branded as dangerous.
“The last thing we need is untrained individuals out in public carrying guns that don’t know what the hell they are doing,” Raul Camacho, who teaches the course Texans are currently required to take in order to carry a handgun, said at a news conference outside the Capitol. …
At the Tuesday news conference, Lon Krieger said the handgun licensing process is important because it requires people to take a four-hour course on firearm laws, safe storage and conflict resolution.
“What’s the downside of being trained?” said Krieger, one of three firearms instructors featured at the event. “There’s a downside of people walking around with dangerous weapons who don’t know how to use them.”
Krieger and his fellow Quislings are worried they’ll lose business if a state permit is no longer required. But as has been seen in other constitutional carry states, plenty of gun owners still get training and permits even when it’s no longer required. There won’t be any shortage of business for them.
There had actually been more LTC instructors expressing their opposition…until, that is, they found out that their names would be made public. The bill’s opponents had earlier claimed that 54 instructors had signed onto a letter in opposition to constitutional carry.
But that letter never materialized. Throwing in with Everytown and allowing your name to be publicly associated with efforts to maintain state-mandated fees and hurdles to lawful gun ownership isn’t a good a good look for a firearms instructor.
Here’s a Gun Owners of America press release regarding the LTC instructors’ opposition . . .
Rachel Malone, Texas Director of Gun Owners of America, responded to License to Carry (LTC) instructors who are opposing efforts to restore the right of self-defense in Texas, stating:
“Earlier today, a small contingent of License to Carry instructors sided with Bloomberg-funded organizations and opposed pending legislation to restore Texans’ right to carry a handgun without having to obtain a permit. We find it unconscionable that anyone in the firearms community would betray our liberties based on an obvious financial interest.
“As Chair James White and Representative Matt Schaefer stated earlier today, ‘Experience shows that residents will continue to voluntarily seek out training and licenses in permitless carry states, recognizing the benefits of instruction as well as acquiring and maintaining a license, for reciprocity with other states while traveling and other purposes.’
“We agree with Wallace Dunn, President of the Texas Concealed Handgun Association, who stated: ‘Training should not be a condition to exercising a constitutional right.’
“And we applaud instructors such as Jerah Hutchins, firearms instructor, GOA member, and Director of Training at Tier One security company, who stated: ‘Supporting Constitutional Carry as an LTC instructor is the difference between capitalism and greed. As instructors, our job is to teach and influence Texans to be responsible gun owners. This can be accomplished without an infringing licensure.’
“While Gun Owners of America encourages gun owners to obtain quality training, we would hate for any Texas gun owners to give their hard-earned money to the tiny fraction of instructors who actively fight against their core values. We urge our members to seek training from those who advocate in favor of our liberties and support Constitutional Carry.”