Keeping and bearing arms is a natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right. If Americans don’t need a license to exercise their right to free speech why do they need one for keeping and bearing arms? Because guns! Guns are lethal! The antis assert that your average citizen can’t be trusted with lethal force. Not without vetting. Training. Supervision. Government vetting, training and supervision. Oh, and licensing. After all that, then citizens can keep and bear arms. Maybe. This is the “acceptable” face of American gun rights. And it’s wrong . . .

The men who framed the Second Amendment didn’t figure Congress, the President, the States and/or the courts would interpret the phrase “shall not be infringed” as “void where prohibited by law.” Or “except for reasonable regulations.” Or “depending on the weapon type.” Or anything. America’s Founding Fathers didn’t want the government to have anything to do with keeping and bearing arms. Period.

Accepting the Second Amendment as writ is not an extremist point-of-view. It is not an anachronistic point-0f-view. It’s simple common sense. Once the government — any government — infringes on its citizens’ right to keep and bear arms bad things happen. Criminals prey on the weak and defenseless. Eventually and inevitably, the government exercises its natural tendency towards tyranny. Liberty is lost. Lives are lost, often on an epic scale.

I have one word for disbelievers: Mexico. But how about we look closer to home? One of the victims of the recent shooting at Florida State’s Strozier Library had a concealed carry permit. But not a gun. His gun rights had been infringed. The lawful gun owner acquiesced to the state-run school’s prohibition against campus carry and paid the price. As did three of his fellow students.

Ah, the antis retort, who says that he could have done anything about the assault if he had been carrying? He’s not trained! OK, he did receive some training to get his carry permit. But not enough training. He wasn’t trained to police standards. So his gun rights aren’t acceptable. At least not on campus. Why not there? It’s a college library! Think of the children!

You see how that works? Even in “the Gunshine State” the government can render the concealed carry training requirement meaningless with the stroke of a pen. In fact, Florida’s government-mandated training is meaningless; the average gun owner can defend themselves well enough without formal training. The training caveat is simply a way to make bearing arms palatable to gun muggles and poke the government’s proverbial nose under the metaphorical tent.

Yes, there is that. Once you “allow” the government to set standards for licensing – wait. Licensing? Why should gun owners be licensed? There’s no study of any kind indicating that government licensing for carrying a firearm – open or concealed – reduces the number of negligent discharges or lowers incidents of criminal firearms use. In states that don’t require a license to keep and bear arms – Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Oklahoma (residents), Vermont and Wyoming (residents) –  blood does not run in the streets.

And yet Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and its anti-gun ilk constantly rail against states that “allow” citizens to carry a firearm “without background checks or training.” They consider Americans exercising their Constitutionally protected right to bear arms [with and] without government supervision a danger. Fair enough. Constitutional carry is a threat to gun control. It tells the government and its enablers “we don’t need you, we don’t want you and we will not have you infringing on our gun rights.”

So why will Texas (of all places) move from no open carry to permitted open carry, rather making the leap all the way to Constitutional carry? Because the government doesn’t want to surrender any more control over gun rights than it has to. That and the fact that the average Texan doesn’t see the state government as a potentially malevolent force. That’s a mistake, of course. One that I hope Texans don’t learn through experience.

Thankfully, Lone Star Staters will learn that open carry doesn’t kill kids (as the malevolent Moms suggest). When open carry becomes legal, nothing will change. Except the culture. And maybe the crime rate (via OC deterrence). One more (big) state will take one more step towards the firearms freedom envisioned and protected by the United States Constitution. And one step farther away from the childish, deeply ironic notion that we need government supervision to be free.

66 Responses to Why Texas Won’t Get Constitutional Carry

  1. If Texas gets Open Carry, it will improve the status of gun culture in Texas, which is already pretty good. It’s a step in the right direction, and the right direction leads to Constitutional Carry.

    The biggest impediment to Con Carry, aside from rampant statism and witless gerbils like top cop Art Acevedo in Austin, is money. States love their license fees and trainers love their training fees.

    BTW, when I took my training class in Nevada, it was free. Yeah, that’s right, there was zero cost. Thank you Bob Irwin of The Gun Store.

    • “States love their license fees and trainers love their training fees.”

      An important point to note.

      Yet another way POTG can possibly be our own worst enemy.

      Poll Question: How many CCW Trainers would give up their fees in exchange for Constitutional Carry?

      • So appalled was I at the $200 fee for a bullshit “don’t point it anything you don’t want to shoot” class that wasted 8 hours of my life I got my NRA instructor cert just so I could teach (if you can call just common sense duh information that) anyone who needed the state mandated NRA approved course for free.

        I ran many a people through at no charge whatsoever before moving to a state that has no such asinine requirement.

        Any instructor concerned about the 2nd should be doing at least part of their load pro bono.

        • I’d still want the permit so I couldncarry u other states AND no annoying background checks. Plus we could make it a defecto permission letter for NFA items. Also we could make rules that allow permit holders to carry places prohibited to constitutional carry I.e. Bars,schools, places with signs, etc.

        • Wow, let’s continue making rights into privileges so we can create a “special people” club! If that isn’t a perfect argument against everyrhing you mentioned, nothing is.

      • Poll answer: I would. I’m a PTC instructor in Minnesota, and even though I know we will never have constitutional carry I would support it and if we really did get it, I would be just fine giving up that income. I would simply adjust my business model to accommodate the new system and offer more classes of the optional variety and ramp up my FFL expansion. I’m already working on the FFL expansion as it stands to grow the business.

      • Poll Answer: I couldn’t care less of a instructor doesn’t want to give up the revenue…

        This isn’t like losing your job to an overseas sweatshop or a high tech robot. It’s about re-growing freedom America and restoring lost rights.

        Don’t like it? Get over yourself and find a new gig.

      • I did not pay for the administrative costs to register to vote. I was not subjected to a NICS background check, and my fingerprints weren’t taken and checked to see if I was a convicted felon, or otherwise disqualified from voting. Any expense for such “investigation” of my “fitness” to vote would have to be absorbed from general revenue. The Supreme Court has ruled poll taxes to be unconstitutional interference with the voting rights of a citizen —

        “The power to tax is the power to destroy”.

        The same principle applies to the RKBA. If the people of a state wish a permit system, let them absorb the total expense of administering it out of general taxpayer revenue. That would include any mandatory training required by law. The taxpayers routinely provide education of all kinds for “free”. That should include any requirements for the exercise of any constitutionally guaranteed right.
        If the voters and taxpayers of the state consider such regulations as “useful” in providing for “public safety”, then let them pay the cost of it, for as long as they wish to have a needless expense.

      • Need to separate out the training from the “permits,” obviously. Those who need and want training should still be able to find it, from many sources. But, just as they expect to pay for their guns and ammo, there is no rational reason for people to expect to get their training “free.” Someone has to pay for the materials and time, or NOBODY would offer it to start with.

        When did Gunsight or any other training facility start offering their classes “free” to all comers?

        As with anyone else, those who conduct such training have expenses and their time is worth something as well. I have accepted many people into my classes at reduced or no fee, because of their particular circumstances, but that is a gift from me to them. I’m retired, and only put on classes occasionally rather than count on it to make a living, but I don’t begrudge anything to those who do.

        Do YOU work at your job and expect no paycheck? I seriously doubt it.

      • It’s not exactly a 1 for 1 tradeoff though. Even in states that has Constitutional Carry, IF you want a CC permit for any reason, you still have to pay the processing fees for actual physical permit (talking about AZ). Granted it’s not a lot of money, but for anyone not a LEO or Military Vet, if they want that physical CC permit card, you have to pay (generally) for a CC class as part and partial of the requirement.

    • Texas doesn’t make a lot of money when it comes to CHL licenses, in fact I believe they have said that almost all the money they make on licenses is enough to make the whole program run and not much more. In a given year you are talking a few million in revenue, something to the tune of 8m as I calculated it out for 2012, assuming everyone paid the full license fee and didn’t apply any discounts– so I imagine the real figure is far less.

      If we got Con Carry the infrastructure required for CHL licenses would of course go away, the state would see almost no benefit. For what it’s worth the state of Texas also makes quite a bit of scratch anyway: zero debt and we pay back the federal government more than they give us. Our economy is expanding at such a rate that we literally cannot hire enough people to make more homes and apartments in our major cities. So the profit from the CHL program is more like a drop in the bucket, and if the legislators really do care about our rights they’ll make that sacrifice to make us happy (and ensure reelection).

      Also for what it’s worth the legislators cleared up the language on HB 195, afterward governor-elect, Abbott, followed up even further on his promise to sign an OC bill if it came across his desk and said he supported constitutional carry.

      There’s a rally in Austin on January 14th, 2015: first day of the Texas legislative session for the year. You can count on a whole hell of a lot of people being there and practicing their legal gun rights.

      I do hope to high hell we get it, but I would be remiss to say if I am not skeptical myself. At the very least, as Farago states, I think licensed OC will happen if Con Carry doesn’t.

    • Well, everybody loves their revenue streams. No argument there. Whether the amounts in question actually determine policy outcomes? Seriously doubtful.

      Texas pulls in a whopping $15 million or so per year (as of 2013, the last year for which complete figures are available) on CHL license fees. The State of Texas has an annual budget of about $97 billion (again, 2013 figures). So we’re talking about .015% of the state budget, and that’s just revenue and doesn’t deduct for what it costs the state to administer the program. Those costs would come from the Dept. of Public Safety’s budget, which itself is a princely $1.7 billion (2012 figures for that one). I’m just not seeing a huge driver of policy decisions coming from that program.

      As for trainers, well, there are only about 3,500 or so of them (2013 figures) and many, if not most, of them aren’t even actively training. They may train the occasional family member, but very few are running regular classes, because very few are employed by ranges. Of those who are employed by ranges or have their own, this is a side gig from their regular day jobs whereby they can pick up maybe a hundred bucks or so for giving up their Saturday mornings or a couple of weekday evenings. A few hundred people scraping together basically beer money does not a massive lobby make. If they had any clout, then they would’ve blocked last year’s change in CHL training requirements. Now it’s only 4-6 hours, instead of the previous 10 hours. Training class fees in that competitive market have fallen as a result of the lower time commitment on trainers’ part. Renewal training class and proficiency demonstration requirements were dropped completely. Now folks can renew online.

      Beyond that, the state actually reduced CHL fees for some people last year. They extended the full time peace officer reduced fee ($25) to part time officers. They reduced the fee for both an original and a renewal for veterans from $70 and $35 respectively, to $25. They even authorized a whole new reduced fee of $25 for correctional officers employed by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

      If we don’t get at least licensed open carry, it will be because of that limp-spine Dan Patrick, our incoming Lt. Governor, whose office arguably has more practical power than the Governor’s in this state. He’s not an anti per se, but he’s not a RKBA champion, either. He has different priorities and our 2A rights could be an expendable bargaining chip in his legislative calculus.

    • I always thought it was that extremely half-assed law that allows cops to arrest you if they catch you with a suppressor, thus making you have to spend a lot of money in court fees to get your stuff back.

      That’s got to change in order for Texas to be free.

  2. I respectfully maintain that “legally” they can do what they want, as far as the 2A is concerned, because of the “legal” definition of the word shall. The word ‘Shall’ has the following meanings:
    An imperative command; has a duty to or is required to. For example, the notice shall be sent within 30 days. Usually ‘shall’ used here is in the mandatory sense.
    Should . Courts often interpret shall as should. For example, all claimants shall request mediation.
    May. When a negative word such as not or no precedes shall the word shall often means may. For example, no person shall enter the building without first signing the roster.
    Will . For example, the defendant shall then have a period of 30 days to object.

    “In common, or ordinary parlance, and in its ordinary signification, the term ‘shall’ is a word of command, and one which has always, or which must be given a compulsory meaning; as denoting obligation. It has a peremptory meaning, and it is generally imperative or mandatory. It has the invariable significance of excluding the idea of discretion, and has the significance of operating to impose a duty which may be enforced, particularly if public policy is in favor of this meaning, or when addressed to public officials, or where a public interest is involved, or where the public or persons have rights which ought to be exercised or enforced, unless a contrary intent appears; but the context ought to be very strongly persuasive before it is softened into a mere permission,” etc.[People v. O’Rourke, 124 Cal. App. 752, 759 (Cal. App. 1932)]
    It may seem like semantics but law is nothing but technicalities. It would seem that our cause would be better served by clearing up the definition for that one word so that all of its subsequent contradictory meanings can be removed. Then they would be forced to either deal with it or make a run at repealing it which would clearly let us know who is who. YMMV.

    • O-Hebi,

      The words of the Second Amendment are crystal clear. Court cases that “interpret” the Amendment are simply going out of their way to maintain government power where there is none. You don’t really think government would honestly limit government in any meaningful way, do you?

      The umpteen page decisions from the courts are nothing more than theater.

    • All of those words were extant when the 2A was penned, and shall was chosen for a reason. The other words may have similar meanings, but they are not interchangeable. Any arguments to the contrary are contrived.

      • What I am saying is not that you gentleman are wrong but that those words CURRENTLY can be found in the legal definition of the word shall. Right now. It is, more or less, like the way in which the word “literal” also currently has the meaning of “figurative” which is its opposite. Pure doublespeak indeed. So, in essence, what I am saying is that with its secondary, tertiary, and quarternary meanings, all contradictory to the first meaning, it leaves plenty of room to “interpret” in what ever manner the current fool in power chooses. As long as shall, technically, doesn’t mean shall then in what way are they wrong? I am in no way anti-2A. I am just trying to look at this from another angle. Or, rather, if technicalities, obfuscation, and misleading wording in laws are what got us here in this quagmire wouldn’t the truth and setting the record straight be one more tool to get us out?

        • Such obfuscation is contrived. Words have meanings, and the ones you are proffering are not the correct meanings. As you said in “literal”, or for “irregardless” being defined as meaning “regardless” (impossible, huh), such definitions may exist, but are certainly not correct. Allowing them to stand via absence of scrutiny is problematic.

        • O-Hebi,

          I understand what you are saying. We are both describing the same thing two different ways. You are describing the corrupt nature of the legal system in stark terms. And I described it as “theater”.

          Unfortunately, all the reasoned arguments in the world do no matter to corrupt governments.

    • That’s my understanding too. OC was legalized in OK in 2012, but only with a permit except in limited circumstances, such as when hunting, target shooting etc.

      • As someone who works in OK (lives in TX), yes, you do need a permit to carry a loaded handgun openly in public. And about the “blood in the streets”, obviously you’ve [RF] never been to Midwest City 🙂

        • Section 26 of the bill of rights to the Constitution of the State of Oklahoma states:
          “The right of a citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person, or property, or in aid of the civil power, when thereunto legally summoned, shall never be prohibited; but nothing herein contained shall prevent the Legislature from regulating the carrying of weapons.

          Well that’s a dangerous clause.

      • In Oklahoma, having a CCW aloows the person to OC. Which surprisingly I though I would NEVER do. But frequently I have left the house with a jacket as my firearm concealment clothing, only to have the temperature rise to the point that I’d take my jacket off. Presto! I’m an Open Carrier! Strolled into Academy, Wally World etc,, no death stares or second looks so far, I still prefer to keep my G21 concealed, so I do dress more carefully now.

  3. I watched that video of the people in the library at Florida State University. The person talking on their public address system instructed people to stay in place and wait for police to clear each floor: that is great advice if you want to make the spree killer’s job easier.

    Pro tip: leave the area as soon as you learn that a spree killer is on a rampage because a spree killer cannot kill you if you are not there!

  4. I seem to remember that Texas will deny/revoke a CCW license if you have any unpaid taxes to any govt entity. Seems like they talk a good game but are LBJ govt bullies under the covers.

  5. I would love to see OC in Tejas, though I don’t plan on doing it myself.

    And, I would even more love to see Con carry in the big T, though I would still maintain a license- mostly due to the reciprocity.

    See that, you can not like or want to do something and be ok with others not agreeing… Weird.

  6. “Ah, the antis retort, who says that he could have done anything about the assault if he had been carrying? He’s not trained!”

    Ok, was the attacker “trained”? If he wasn’t properly trained, then how did he manage to hit anyone? Are any active shooters trained? If they can be successful without training, then why couldn’t a carry permit holder without training also be successful in defending themselves?

  7. Guns are so super complex that they require special training for anyone to use in order to defend themselves, and so simple to use that they make murder easy.

  8. “Not trained to police standards.”

    Ask them what standards. Shooting unarmed black men? Sit back, enjoy the cognitive dissonance.

  9. People of the gun shoot on average way more than police. There is a reason that PD trade-ins are so desired, they are nearly new guns with more “carry” than “shooting” wear. Not to say there are no highly trained and practiced individuals in any police department, but they would be the exception, not the rule.

    In a random selection of a LEO or a CWP holder, I’d be more inclined to bet on the latter.

  10. So why will Texas (of all places) move from no open carry to permitted open carry, rather making the leap all the way to Constitutional carry?

    Because Big changes like that can only occur incrementally.
    Big leaps and Radical Chances just don’t happen over night UNLESS they are done by force at the point of a gun.

    • It’s. Because even conservative politicians in Texas are a bunch of suburban yuppies more concerned with property tax rates than protecting the constitution. If you want con carry in Texas elect people of the gun not politicians that are conservative in every aspect but gun rights. We have been a red state for awhile now and yet we are still not a con state when it should have only taken one session of conservative control.

  11. Not sure if maybe you were listing only the states that allowed open AND concealed carry without a permit, but Mississippi is now open carry WITHOUT a permit. Still need a permit to conceal, though.

    • He was talking about states that allow cc without a license. Most states (34, I think) allow open carry with no permit. Banning open carry was originally just a southern thing to prevent freed slaves from carrying, most other states have never restricted OC at any point in their history.

  12. “America’s Founding Fathers didn’t want the government to have anything to do with keeping and bearing arms. Period.”

    Constitutional Rights were originally restrictions against the Federal Government ONLY. States and localities could pass whatever Bill of Rights violating legislation that they pleased. It was only with the 14th Amendment that these rights were applied against lower levels of government as well. The Constitution, as originally ratified, did not prevent infringements on the State or Local levels. Thus, can we really say that the Founders were explicitly against any regulation of keeping and bearing arms at any level?

    • That is a patently false assumption. The 1A specifically refers to Congress, the rest do not. In that case, reference to the supremacy clause is enlightening.

      • It is not a “patently false assumption” to recognize that this is how the Constitution was interpreted for a very long period of time. See Barron v. Baltimore and United States v. Cruikshank.

        • As you stated, BvB was an “interpretation”, and a poor one at that. By the way, since you are the Constitution expert, point me in the direction of the part of the Constitution that allows scotus to make such interpretations. Look hard. (hint….it is not there.)
          I already properly supported my conclusion…with the Constitution itself, not slick legal argumentation or poor judicial review. It seems simple words straight out of the Constitution seriously contradict Barron v Baltimore, but nobody ever looked?

  13. In regards to Texas getting permit open carry versus “constitutional carry”, I would only say this: our rights weren’t all taken away at once, and we won’t get them back all at once, no matter how that may gall folks. They will have to be clawed back, bit by bit. Statists and elitists never want to let go of power, it is all they really live for, after all.

  14. I just had to asks this question in response to this: “He wasn’t trained to police standards.” How many on this blog can say they train more than most police officers on defensive gun use? Me personally, I know for a fact that I train more in one month than several local police departments train their patrol officers in any two year period. How many people are sick of hearing the notion that police are the only ones with enough training to properly operate and carry a firearm as if their employment with a police department somehow magically elevates their training above any other?

    • I am sick of the notion too.

      Old family friend used to be a cop. Never liked guns. Inherited his father’s shotgun collection. I remember seeing it and it was nice. He later sold them all. He said he would rather use his bare hands to take down someone than use a gun. Even admitted to me I knew more about guns.

      Apparently to a statist anti-gun liberal he is uber-trained and knowledgeable just because he was a cop.

  15. Long about 15 years ago I knew a lady working in a liquor store in a city just south of Houston. One day a robber came in armed with a handgun and pulling a ski mask down over his face as he did. She ran for a back room where she knew the owner kept a 2 inch .38 special revolver. She had never before even held a gun in her hand, much less fired one or been trained. She retrieved the gun just as mr. bad dude walked into the back room. She raised the gun and fired, striking him in the forehead, forever rehabilitating him. Not the recommended first time use of a handgun, but it does happen.

  16. It isn’t just FSU rule about campus carry, it is also State Statute. No University in the state of Florida could allow campus carry if they wanted to.

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