A TTAG reader writes . . .
HB 1927, the Texas constitutional carry bill, passed the House on April 16. It was then sent to a Senate committee that — after hearing a full day of public testimony yesterday– voted to send the bill to the Texas Senate floor for a vote.
Certain law enforcement personnel have spoken out against constitutional carry in a less-than-convincing manner. As reported by KRIS Six Corpus Christi . . .
“So we all know Texans are some of the most proud and responsible gun owners in our nation,” said Chief Eddie Garcia of the Dallas Police Department. “And as such, they all support efforts to ensure that we keep firearms in the hands of law-abiding Texans of sound mind, with proper training and proficiency.”
“This begs a simple question, at a time where violent crime is rising, and police, community relations are estranged do we really want to inject more firearms into this complex equation,” said Chief Stan Stanridge of the San Marcos Police Department.
These statements evince a narrow view of the permit system and its effects. Chief Garcia seems to think, for example, that keeping the permit system would somehow prevent violent criminals from getting their hands on guns, while passing the bill and upholding the Second Amendment would make it easier for such violent criminals to obtain firearms.
However, HB 1927’s removal of the permission slip requirement wouldn’t legalize firearms possession for prohibited persons. Nor would keeping the permit requirement institute some sort of ambiguity-infested “sound mind” standard for those who carry.
What is most flawed about these kinds of statements from law enforcement is the failure to adequately consider the constitutional infringements at play here. Chief Stanridge’s question reveals his real reason for opposing constitutional carry: preventing Texans from carrying.
Chief Stanridge admits this is a time in which violent crime is rising, making the permission slip requirement even more egregious and burdensome, as it prevents Texans from defending themselves and their families against the very criminals he says he’s concerned with. Burdens that fall disproportionately on lower income Texans.
Law-abiding Texans who decide they want to carry a firearm have to endure the delays involved in financing and receiving the permission slip, not to mention navigating the red tape involved to do so.
These flawed arguments against constitutional carry aren’t new. Similar objections have been raised in the past by Lt. Governor Dan Patrick. As reported by the Texas Tribune . . .
Ahead of the 2015 session, he said he did not think there was enough support among lawmakers or the public, a sentiment he reiterated in 2017 while citing law enforcement concerns with “anyone being able to walk down the street with a gun and they don’t know if they have a permit or not.”
This circular sentiment assumes that a permit is needed in the first place. In fact, it illustrates how gun control laws manufacture criminals because the only criminality addressed by a law requiring government permission to carry is that which the law itself creates: carrying a firearm without a license.
Such a law does nothing to prevent violent crime, while promulgating criminal prosecutions for doing no more than exercising one’s constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.
It stands to reason that the real problem held by those expressing these views is with “anyone being able to walk down the street with a gun.” However, the Second Amendment has already settled this question with respect to the people. A fact that has been recognized by 20 other states.
Overall, the arguments discussed shows that certain politicians, law enforcement personnel — and even a few firearms instructors — at best consider the Second Amendment a second class right, or at worst refuse to recognize the right it protects at all.