I agree that what is referred to as constitutional carry is my ultimate goal. As I have said numerous times, my only concern about open-carry is the very real possibility, if not probability, that we will see a huge increase in 30.06 signs posted simply because businesses will not risk the wrath of 97% of the population. Otherwise, I'm not against open-carry.Liberty wrote:Charles,
I understand that this is a general topic that we have pretty much over done on the forums, but I like many believe that our ultimate goal should be constitutional carry.
What would be the best path too pursue this in the future?
I personally believe that we already have had more success in increasing the rights of the unlicensed, so that it would be legal for any non felon to carry concealed and openly without license or registration. Gaining this right first, and getting the public used to the idea that there are guns every where, and are a safety feature, not a public hazard. Is the dream of constitutional carry an impossible dream for Texas?
My concern with pursuing constitutional carry as the law of Texas, is that there are too many of us in the CHL community that aren't too crazy in about the idea. Some of us like the idea that our CHL is a membership too an exclusive type of club. Some of us even make a few extra bucks giving classes. While I don't doubt that most instructors believe in the 2nd amendment the support might soften when a source of their income. (and an activity that they truly love) becomes threatened.
My thought is that additional 30.06 signs will be a threat until some business gets sued because of their no gun policy and someone was denied their right to protection.
As you state, I believe we are making great progress toward constitutional carry. It was a huge victory to pass concealed-carry in 1995 and in almost every session since then, we've improved the law such that it furthers the rights of gun owners. In 2005, the first attempt at unlicensed car-carry was passed, but its "presumption of traveling" proved ineffective. So in 2007 we passed unlicensed car-carry and this too was a huge step toward greater recognition of the Second Amendment.
Licensed open-carry is the next logical step. CHL has been around for sixteen years and it will be eighteen years when the 2013 Texas Legislative Session begins. We have had unlicensed car-carry for almost four years now and it will be almost six years when the 2013 Texas Legislative Session begins. This will provide an excellent argument against the "parade of horribles" we'll surely hear again. We heard it when passing the original CHL, we heard it when we passed SB501 removing governmental authority to use 30.06 to bar armed CHL's, we heard it when passing unlicensed car-carry, so we know it's coming with open-carry. There are three key components in a plan to pass open-carry. First, the groundwork must be done long before the 2013 legislative session begins. Secondly, the bill must be very short to avoid unnecessarily opening up sections of the Government Code and Penal Code to anti-gun amendments. (It can be drafted such that it is not necessary to strike the word "concealed" everywhere it appears in statute. Plus, any necessary clean-up can be done later.) The third element is dealing with the 30.06 issue effectively to protect CHL's.
After we have had licensed open-carry for a while, we can push for unlicensed open-carry once again having a good track record on which to promote a bill. At that point, we will have had licensed concealed-carry, licensed open-carry, and unlicensed car-carry. Although we will still hear the "parade of horribles" as we always do, fewer people will be concerned because of years of positive experience with people carrying self-defense handguns.
Educating the public and winning them to our side of the issues is indispensable and this is one of the three primary missions of the Texas Firearms Coalition. As soon as the legislative session is over, we are going to be doing much more with events all over the state. To answer the question I know someone is going to ask -- yes, we will be discussing open-carry in a positive light preparing the way for better public acceptance of the concept.