Rachel Malone of Texas Firearms Freedom writes:

After a season of plot twists, Constitutional Carry in Texas is dead. Activists fought hard, as did the few legislators who took a stand for the strongest gun rights legislation filed in the House. Texas made history, moving the issue farther along than ever before. And yet, as the session rushes to a close, deadlines have passed, but the bill hasn’t.

This announcement begs the question: who’s to blame? Although it’s fair to say that House and Senate leadership hold responsibility for not pushing forward the #1 priority of their party, I’m going to lay the blame squarely in the lap of Chairman Phil King of the Homeland Security & Public Safety committee.

After giving HB 375 a public hearing in February, he reportedly promised numerous times to schedule a vote moving the bill along. The vote never happened. The bill still sits in his committee, having passed House deadlines to be moved forward.

There was another unlicensed carry bill that also moved in the House this session: HB 1911. Since it was completely re-written several times during the legislative process, it’s hard to understand what the bill even was supposed to do. I joined many others with concerns over the bill.

Yet even HB 1911 could have been a vehicle for implementing meaningful change. It, too, died. After moving out of King’s committee one day too late for House members to force it to the floor for a vote, it sat in the Calendars committee and was never scheduled for second reading.

Constitutional Carry is not the only issue being targeted. This session, very few bills of substance on ANY issue have passed in Texas. In fact, the Republican-controlled legislature has managed to pass only one or two of its party’s eight legislative priorities. The others, including the number one priority of Constitutional Carry, are all dead.

You may hear glowing reports of the efforts of “gun rights champions” who have given us SB 16, which HAS passed both chambers. It will reduce the fee for a five-year license from $140 to $40, effective September 1.

While a positive move toward reducing the financial barrier to obtaining an License to Carry, this bill should by no means be considered an acceptable substitute for Constitutional Carry. It is simply a different issue.

Many of us are highly disappointed, disgusted, ashamed and angry. I believe we have good reason for such feelings. Yet, at the risk of sounding Pollyanna-ish, I’d like to remind us to look for the good, because there is a lot to be found.

I want to thank everyone who took a stand for HB 375, the “Constitutional Carry Act of 2017.” Specifically, note the names of the approximately 165 Texans who drove to the Capitol on February 28 for the hearing and registered their support. Their sacrifice is not to be glossed over. They have my deepest respect and appreciation. They give me hope.

Also, let your eyes linger over the representatives who signed on to the bill. Joint authors: Stickland, Schaefer, Rinaldi, & Leach. Coauthors: Biedermann, Cain, Hefner, Isaac, Keough, Krause, Lang, Metcalf, Shaheen, Swanson, Tinderholt, White, Wilson, Zedler.

One day, those names will be joined by many others who will jump on the Constitutional Carry bandwagon — after it becomes popular. Don’t forget those who paved the way. Don’t forget how fortunate we are to have these champions at the Capitol.

Many of you made phone calls, wrote e-mails, shared information, and showed up for events. Your efforts are not in vain. You and your dedication are one of the finest things this session has given us. Don’t underestimate the value of building a community forged through shared struggle.

Although we didn’t get a bill passed this session, all of your involvement puts us in a much stronger position for next session.

We may have to wait two years, but that gives us plenty of time to do a few important things. Like replace a few people in next year’s primary election. Or get out on the range and teach more people to shoot so they have a reason to stand with us next time around. Or feed our community the antidote to governmental overreach: personal responsibility.

When 2019 rolls around, let’s be ready.

78 Responses to Texas Constitutional Carry R.I.P.

  1. The truth is, most political hacks (D, R and I )will never trust it’s citizens. Control of the serfs, the theft of THEIR money and staying in power is far more important.
    Obey little ones. Freedom and Liberty is over rated. Just ask the slobs in Cuba, N Korea and kalifornia.

    • Get a clue Texas is not the home of firearms freedom. It is Minnesota with a southern accent. In fact Minnesota is more likely to get permitless carry before Texas.

      • I never understand why Texans go on and on about what a great state Texas is for gun owners. It wasn’t that long ago they got concealed carry at all and they have to take classes in the type of handgun they intend to carry, revolver or autoloader. That’s ridiculous. They just got open carry and go on and on about it like it is some great thing while many states have always had it. It was never illegal. There is very little public land for hunting or shooting in Texas and what they call hunting there is…well most people would not call shooting an elk in a pen hunting.

        There are a lot better states for gun owners than Texas.

        • JimBo

          “It wasn’t that long ago they got concealed carry at all and they have to take classes in the type of handgun they intend to carry, revolver or autoloader. That’s ridiculous.”
          Replace “they have” with they had, jackass!
          BTW, you want to hunt here in Texas, buy your own damn ranch!

        • The testing criteria for revolver vs autoloader has been deleted for a few years now. It is now a general handgun qualification.

          Texas isn’t as strong as AZ or some other states on firearms friendliness, but it’s well ahead of the national average.

        • Or you can get your ranch passed down to you from your daddy like most of the other $70,000 pickup driving, $500 boot wearing, federal farm and ranch bill taking, CRP program abusing, complaining about not having any money while living in a 3 story Victorian style ranch house, $100,000 tractor owning, limitless bank credit line having farmers and ranchers in the state.

        • Having moved here from Reno, Nevada, in 2013, I was extremely disappointed about how Texas wasn’t as gun friendly as I thought it would be. Then Abbott gets elected and I’m thinking “Yay! That will change.” I had hoped for Texas to rival Arizona or Alaska by now in gun laws, but as it currently stands, even Nevada has better gun laws. With the exception of Nevada’s liberal cesspools of Las Vegas and Reno, a person can open carry in Nevada without a permit.

        • Texas government is designed not to do anything, so reform takes forever. As an example, the governor has less power than the Lt. Gov.

  2. Thanks, everyone for the great efforts.

    Keep your powder dry – we’re going again in a couple of years.

  3. Well shit… its time to vote out a bunch of legislators. Worthless sons of bitches.

    I’m ashamed to be a Texan today.

    So we’ll be forced to get fleeced for bullshit and intrusive police style background checks just to get permission to do things criminals don’t care about.

    F$&* this.

  4. Texas, Florida, and South Carolina have extremely anti gun Republicans. Florida is king of anti gun Republican controlled states. Scum.

    • Yeah Florida is one hell of a dirty fight politically. So many liberals and RINOs I’m still amazed it managed to go red last November. I moved here from GA for work, and I miss the firearms freedom GA had. It’s really tricky trying to figure out who’s really conservative and who’s a RINO. But at least there is still a strong conservative base that can still win here after all the northern influence. I like to think of Florida politically as: “It don’t matter where you’ve played before, old Floridas a brand new game.”

  5. Of course…of course , of course. As the free states in the rest of the nation move toward constitutional carry, Texas takes the opportunity to prove once again that its packed to the rafters with A-holes. Meanwhile, Tennessee just voted pretty overwhelmingly to legalize silencers (federal restrictions still apply). Google “Tennessee silencer” then hit the news button.

  6. lol, consitutional carry, indeed. Carry, constitutionally. It’s time we start putting these damnable dogs down whenever they think they have a right to our rights. Trust me, it wouldn’t take long to correct the issue. We’d have to hang together, though, or we’d surely hang together.

    • Most people’s lives do not revolve around guns. I say that as I guy who spends a lot of time with guns. We all need to leave our bubble occasionally.

      • Except the state GOP platform had constitutional carry as one of their top priorities. Abbott, as the de facto party leader by token of being the top state official, had a responsibility to use his political leverage to make sure it happened. “Most people’s lives don’t revolve around guns” might be a true statement, but the party has an obligation to actively pursue the agenda items on its soapbox, or run the risk of being painted as worthless busybodies who need to be replaced because they’re not actually working, like they were elected to do.

        • It may be in the platform but Texas aren’t into guns the way TTAG readers are.

        • Then don’t make it part of the platform, if you have no intent of actually doing anything about it. That’s my point. If it’s what you campaign on, you better be actively trying to do something about it. Otherwise you’re all hat and no cattle.

  7. Texas is more Fudd culture than gun culture. Guns are for protecting your property and hunting. Sure they will give you a license if you are willing to jump some low hurdles but they aren’t all that hot about letting Joe Citizen carry a gun for self defense in public. I think the great disappointment in the failure to go furthet is based on Texas myth rather than Texas reality.

    • It is hard to imagine Texas not going democrat soon. That is why I didn’t/don’t even consider moving there.

      • It’s a long way from being blue. Texas hispanics have been there a long time and there are a lot red voters among them. The legislature and state government are solidly Republican but as I said their gun culture is not what most people think it is. The mid and Mountain West are the real heart and soul of gun culture.

        • Well, I used the word ‘imagine’ because I realize I may be overly pessimistic. Also I did choose one of those mountain states – WY, which I am way less pessimistic about, and bought a shooting range that I intend to put a house on next year. Thanks for setting me straight and more optimistic about TX though. I like good news.

      • Won’t happen in your lifetime APM or for a long time afterward! Still working at getting rid of the yankee carpetbaggers.

  8. SB 16 was the Texas legislature’s way of telling y’all: “we ain’t lettin’ you off your chain, but here’s a bone to keep you happy.”

    • Alf, I mean Ralph, please enlighten us all on the Constitutional carry you enjoy in your home state, how long it’s been in effect, etc,
      Thank you

  9. 2019!?!? You Texans really should consider using those guns for more than safe weights. The tyrany of this whole system is getting completly out of control…

    • Good job. That law that was in place that didn’t prevent that stabbing will now continue to not prevent crimes! A great victory for safety over freedom.

      Any law that restricts freedom (which is every substantive law) but does not clearly benefit society should be overturned.

  10. I’m very new to Texas, but I plan to be here for a while. I’m kinda pissed this didn’t go anywhere, but at the same time, I didn’t lift a finger to do anything about it. Now that I’m settled in, however, I will never again sit on the sidelines and watch something like constitutional carry die.

  11. Much of Texas’ legal structure was put in place at a time when Texas politics was a liberal Democrat bastion. State government operates on that institutionalized structure and numerous vested interests, including the elected political class (regardless of party affiliation) like things just as they are. The poster child for the “republican” (small “r” intentional) legislature is Speaker Of The House Joe Strauss, a thoroughgoing progressive RINO who repeatedly wins support of his colleagues. Until he’s gone, constitutional carry is essentially dead in Texas.

  12. I think I might have to give up on Texas.

    Too much of an anti gun police state. And people here obviously don’t care enough aside from the very few of us.

    • When you say “I think I might have to give up on Texas”, it shows us that you probably never belonged here in the first place. We are making steady strides in the right direction. Politicians are by-and-large scum regardless of where you live. Somewhere William Travis, Stephen F Austin, Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett, and other proud Texans are shaking their heads right now.

  13. You want to make a difference? Primary Joe Straus. Drain that particular piece of the swamp, replace him with a real 2A supporter, and things could change drastically.

  14. We need to remember the legislators mentioned above and do whatever we can to support them in the future. It’s the only way we’re going to get rid of Straus and his cabal of “good old boys”. I’m proud to say that Matt Krause is my state rep, so far he’s about as solid as they come. Jonathan Stickland reps the district adjacent to mine, and he’s a good one, too.

  15. Most members of the legislature realized that few of their constituents knew or cared about Constitutional Carry. The bogus sense of urgency and bull$#it that was successful in enacting open carry during the 84th session of the Texas Legislature didn’t work during the 85th session. As predicted, once law makers saw that almost zero handgun carry licensees took advantage of the open carry option they came to the realization that passing OC for the sake of a statistically insignificant number of constituents was a waste of time and effort. Lawful Texans who aren’t licensed to carry handguns can still carry any legal firearm in their vehicle without restriction. The group that would have benefited most from Constitutional Carry were the few open carry obsessed individuals who still can’t open carry because they can’t be licensed to carry due to delinquent child support, unpaid property taxes, or some other disqualifier.

    • The major legacy of Open Carry in Texas was a host of new locations and business reacting by banning all forms of carry where concealed carry had previously been allowed. The few nice protections against accidentally printing could have easily been included in the bills that drastically reduced the duration of ccw courses and their cost for new & renewed licenses.
      Now, the only real ‘burden’ for carrying a firearm is proving you can hit the broad side of a barn, whereas Constitutional Carry would have seen another explosion of newly restricted businesses no longer able to assume even rudimentary proficiency and responsibly from armed patrons.

      • Bull$#it. Most Texans who carried concealed before open carry was an option still carry concealed and very few businesses with no 30.06 signs posted before OC became legal installed them after 1-1-16. Most businesses that opted not allow OC either posted the 30.07 signs or simply give verbal notice that open carry is not allowed on their premises, but still allow concealed carry. You’re obviously unaware that printing is not a violation of LTC statutes in Texas which is why it’s never been an issue in Texas. The reason OC is a rarity in the Lone Star State is because most folks who carry a handgun for defensive purposes either know it’s tactically unwise or want to avoid the “look at that dumbass” stares that open carry attract.

        • Hate to break it to ya Teddy but printing was illegal as hell and vehemently enforced in certain jurisdictions, thus one of the reasons open carry was passed.
          Come on down to Texas and give me your best “Look at that dumbass stares”, Please!

        • You’re full of $#it Valdez, “printing” never was a violation of Texas concealed carry statutes and had absolutely nothing to do with the legalization of open carry here in the Lone Star State. Low information open carry out of staters pretending to Texans are so easy to bust. Too funny!

        • Ted, the law [Penal Code (PC) Sec. 46.035 (a)] was amended only 4 years ago and previously provided that it was a Class A misdemeanor if a license holder carrying a handgun on or about his person intentionally failed to conceal it.
          Intent was never defined in the statute, which at the time left it entirely up the the discretion of the officer whether or not to fuck you over.

          But, please, continue to curse at people who “don’t know Texas laws”.

      • syous, no licensed carrier has ever been arrested and charged with the offense of “printing” in the great State of Texas because it’s not a violation of the law, never has been, if someone told you otherwise they’re lying to you.

        There are many States where LE can charge someone criminally if an officer observes a licensed carrier with a handgun printing through clothing, but Texas ain’t one of them, never has been, if someone told you otherwise they’re lying to you.

    • I’m Legal and today and every Friday I make a point to open carry all day long while running errands, shopping, having lunch with one of my city living Lady friends in the metroplex called DFW. Never has been a problem, other than having to run the coyotes off upon returning to the table at lunch after having to excuse myself. Damn yankee horndogs have no respect but soon learn some and end up sending drinks to the table afterwards as a token of apology. Just wish we could imbibe while packing ?

      • Legally speaking, you can as long as you don’t get drunk. Drunk is not defined. There is disagreement as to whether or not the .08 BAC applies. The other definition is “not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol” or whatever else.

        • Can’t swear to it but the general consensus is .02 BAC.
          Back in 97 the older than me fart putting on the course allowed anything over .00 was a offense.

        • Say TX, Thanks for the legal advise! Just saunter into a restaurant, order up a adult beverage and imbibe while openly carrying.
          Let us know how that works out for you.

      • Valdez why don’t you share the names of these establishments in DFW that serve alcohol and allow open carry. Are they bars or restaurants? I’m sure all the open carry obsessed crowd here in Texas would love to know about them. Too funny!

        • Restaurants, you know its illegal to carry in a bar, which i chose not to step foot in for my own reasons!
          As far as sharing…. Find your own! Would hate to have to embarrass a azzhat that feels he has to give a open carrier a “Look at that Asshole” stare!

        • Let me get this straight, this alleged restaurant is where you allegedly OC and where “Damn yankee horndogs” allegedly are hitting on your woman? That’s something you’d expect to happen in a bar! Sounds like a real classy joint! All too obvious why you can’t come up with a name Valdez. Too funny!

        • Ted…
          Right now I’m at home enjoying a Macanudo Churchill and sipping two fingers of Codigo 1530 extra anejo. I’m really enjoying your bedtime questions/stories!
          If you would like to have a in depth discussion I’ll be visiting a young friend of mine by the name of Steven Gern at the H.D. Dealer in Corinth tomorrow. Look it up. All Patriots are welcome!
          You’ll know me when you see me coming, as I’ll probably be one of the few wearing a cowboy hat….and open carrying.
          Looking forward to meeting you!

        • So now you pivot from open carrying at an alleged unidentified bar like restaurant in DFW where “Damn yankee horndogs” hit on your woman to a Harley Davidson dealership in Denton County? Do they have a snack bar? If nothing else you’re an entertaining bull$#itter Valdez. Too funny!

  16. Speaker of the House, Joe Strauss and who ever is in charge of Calendars, that’s who you go after. They control all legislation in Texas. If you’re gonna play in Texas you gotta understand, Straus and Calendars are the leaders of the band! You can have all your State Reps and State Senators on board, but if those two aren’t with you it ain’t gonna happen. Pure and simple facts when attempting to understand Texas legislation. They have wielded unheard of power in the state of Texas for a long time. Of course you have to remember that what works to get stuff passed for you works for the other view and when something doesn’t work for you, it may well not work for the other guy next time. Carefully pick yer poison, lay out your plans, have multiple contingency plans, and be ready to move quickly. The ground work must be well laid, well played, and well thought out. Going off half cocked and not cocked and locked is a grave mistake in any matter, legislation or self defense.

    BE as sly as snakes, but as innocent as doves. Been living in Texas for 57 years, got here as soon as I could. Wouldn’t think of leaving, no offense to any of the other “Fine” states mentioned above. Glad you got constitutional carry. We’ll get it right one day, when someone really comes in with the correct game plan and we are all in unison.

  17. Texas needs to quit acting like they’re at the forefront of the Gun Rights Movement… they’re not.

    • The posts from folks who obviously don’t know $#it about Texas gun laws are hilarious! FYI Mechano, Texans can legally carry a loaded concealed handgun in their vehicle without any type of carry license and can carry a loaded rifle or shotgun in their vehicle and just about everywhere else in public without restriction. Too funny!

        • FYI I have a LTC.

          I don’t need an LTC to carry about 90% of the time (not counting when an LTC doesn’t allow me to carry anyway) because of all the places I can carry without a license.

          To be fair, I don’t need a license to carry in my office, and that is probably not the case for most people.

        • Over the years I’ve known a lot of people including family members who after going to the trouble and expense of obtaining a LTC eventually grew tired of carrying on their person but still liked having a concealed handgun within reach in their vehicle.

          I personally believe that concealed carry on your person is the only tactically smart method of carry.

          There are numerous states allowing licensed carry where possession of a loaded handgun in a vehicle by someone without a LTC is a serious criminal offense often times a felony, Texas isn’t one of them.

          It’s also legal in Texas to carry a loaded rifle or shotgun just about anywhere in public without any type of license or restriction.

          Unlike Texas many other states have strict criminal statutes mandating that firearms transported in a vehicle must be kept out of reach, unloaded, and locked away with ammo stored separately.

          So, if all you want to do is keep a handgun (or long gun) in your vehicle, a LTC is not required in the Lone Star State. If you want to carry a handgun in Walmart a LTC is not hard to get in Texas and is about to be a lot cheaper. For deadbeats who don’t pay their child support or property taxes, you can’t get a LTC in Texas.

    • What the hell are you talking about? Texas isn’t a sentient being with a personality, it is a state. It doesn’t “act like” anything. I don’t remember ever seeing any Texans make such a claim. Maybe people in other states are sore because many businesses are packing up and relocating here (as are many conservatives in blue leaning states) or because Gov. Abbot hasn’t been afraid to tell Federal bureaucrats to suck an egg, or perhaps a Texan stole your girlfriend. Whatever the matter, I don’t recall seeing anyone here claim we were the tip of the spear in advancing Gun Rights. Frankly, I wish all of the politicians and Police Chiefs that weren’t born here would GTFO. That would be a great start to speeding up the process.

  18. I don’t get why so many people insist that Texans are going around saying we have the best gun laws. I’ve never noticed this; I’ve never done this.

    I’m also confused by all the people who histrionically act as if Texas is as bad as New Jersey, California, and Hawaii. I’ve always said Texas gun laws are somewhere in the middle of the pack of pro-gun states. Gun laws have changed so much in the last ten years that that may no longer be the case, but I’m not sure. Time for some googling …

    Guns and Ammo placed Texas at 15 out of 51 (because D.C. often counts as a state) in 2015.* The Brady people gave Texas an F in there 2016 scorecard ranking Texas 34 out of 50 having been 33 out of 50 in 2015.** Looks like we are still in the middle of the better half. Not quite top quarter.

    *http://www.gunsandammo.com/network-topics/culture-politics-network/best-states-for-gun-owners-2015/.
    **http://gunlawscorecard.org/. I like the Brady rankings because they give both a relative rank and an absolute rank.

    • I forgot to mention that I believe that a lot of the reputation Texas gets for being a “cowboy state” is just the view of other people who don’t know anything about Texas. “Don’t Mess With Texas” is an anti-litter campaign. A friend went to school out of state and, a bunch were making fun of the “Don’t Mess With Texas” thing as if Texans were going around starting bar fights because people bad mouthed Texas. A family member used to make fun of Texas talking about how we all rode horses and lived in the middle of nowhere. He got lost the first time he visited my hometown (also his sisters grew up owning and riding horses).

      Now, I will admit many Texans have an unusual* pride in Texas.

      *Unusual in that most people don’t seem to be proud of their home state.

  19. Most Texans including myself are satisfied with our lenient State firearms regulations, Residents who continually obsess over gun laws in the Lone Star State are mostly those on the fringes like the Chipolte Ninjas and open carry obsessed, child support and property tax deadbeats, Austinites and other big city liberal democrats, or transplants from out of state like the Battleground Texas losers who’d love nothing more than f***ing up Texas the way Californian refugees f***ed up Colorado when they moved en masse to the Rocky Mountain State.

  20. Taking a $100.00 off is to spend on ammunition. Texas is not the best but not the worse either. I’d stil rather live in Texas than any other state. And live Texas Hill Country than any other part of the state.

  21. Stephenville, Fort Davis, Sulphur Springs, Lubbock, Atlanta, San Angelo, Beeville, Athens, Rockport, San Augustine, there are so many great places to live and diverse landscapes in the Lone Star State!

  22. CONSTITUTIONAL CARRY IN TEXAS DEAD…. YESSSSSSS!!! Most of those who want it are Idiots who can’t keep themselves out of trouble.. too dang bad for them. Act like responsible adults…and then you can carry. haha

  23. FLAME DELETED…..You want to carry a handgun get a license and get the training and shut up. Every state that allows handguns qualifies as a gun friendly state so just because a state wants to ensure some type of training is accompanies that license, who cares, just get the freakin $ 40.00 (for 5 years) license.

    So tired of the “just because we don’t have constitutional carry or permitless carry we are not a gun loving state”…blow me. FLAME DELETED

  24. Please help me understand how Constional Carry where you do not need training and do not need to take a proficiency test, where you earn a license to carry is better than opening the right to carry up to anyone, even those who shouldn’t be carrying. I mean I am just trying to get me head around this kind of thinking. I am not sure I disagree with it I am saying I just do not understand it at this time. So if one of the leaders of Constutional Carry would please contact me I would appreciate it.

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