Rally Behind HB3218

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Rally Behind HB3218

#1

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:21 pm

There are other bills we need to pass and I don't mean to diminish their importance with this post.

In light of what's going on in Austin, I cannot overstress the importance of everyone actively making calls and faxing letters to their own Representative and all members of the House Homeland Security & Public Safety Committee if we want to finally remove the unnecessary and potentially dangerous off-limits areas to Texas CHL's. HB3218 admittedly has an uphill battle, but we owe it to our fellow Texans and to Rep. Springer to diligently work for its passage.

Bills that are considered controversial often take more than one session to pass, but unless a sizable percentage of CHLs make their support know in Austin this session, it will be harder to convince someone to file the bill in 2015. Remember, I shopped this bill with a number of Senators and only a freshman Representative was willing to step up for Texas CHLs and take on a daunting task. Thank you Rep. Springer!

Chas.

Homeland Security & Public Safety Committee:
Rep. Joseph Pickett - Chairman (512) 463-0596
Rep. Allen Fletcher - Vice-Chairman (512) 463-0661
Rep. Philip Cortez (512) 463-0269
Rep. Tony Dale (512) 463-0696
Rep. Dan Flynn (512) 463-0880
Rep. Tim Kleinschmidt (512) 463-0682
Rep. George Lavender (512) 463-0692
Rep. Kenneth Sheets (512) 463-0244
Rep. Ron Simmons (512) 463-0478

[Here is another copy of my latest article, in case some people aren't following the calls-to-action. The original is posted on the Texas Firearms Coalition website.]
Time to Recognize Exemplary Conduct wrote: By Charles L. Cotton

Representative Drew Springer (Republican), in his first term has filed a bill that will be counted among the most important bills ever filed in Texas on behalf of Texas Concealed Handgun Licensees (CHLs). HB3218 finally recognizes and rewards CHLs for an eighteen year track record that is the envy of the nation. As noted below, Texas CHLs are almost sixteen times less likely to commit a crime than is the general public and seven times less likely to commit a crime as are Texas peace officers. This is not a momentary blip on the radar screen nor an abnormally good reporting year. These numbers are typical for Texas CHLs.

There is no greater use for a firearm than the preservation of innocent life. It is time to remove artificial, unnecessary and potentially deadly restrictions on the most law-abiding of Texans allowing them to defend their lives and the lives of their families everywhere in our great State.

History of Concealed Handgun Licensees in Texas

The time has come for the Texas legislature to reduce the number of locations that are “off-limits” to CHLs. At the time Senate Bill 60 passed in 1995, it was considered by some as both a revolutionary and radical concept. This opinion was even held by some of the Bill’s supporters in the Texas Legislature. Due to this uncertainty, SB 60 contained many provisions that were ultimately determined to be unnecessary. These provisions included the designation of various locations as being off-limits to CHLs carrying self-defense handguns.

Beginning with the 1997 Texas Legislative Session, the Texas CHL statute has been systematically amended to remove many of the unnecessary provisions. Over the eighteen years since SB60 passed, the Texas concealed handgun license statute became a non-issue. Texas was not reduced to a ghost town, there was no blood in the streets, and all of the other parade of horribles fervently preached by the news media did not come to pass. Texans learned that CHL holders did not pose a threat to their safety and Texas peace officers have come to view the Texas Concealed Handgun License as a “good guy card.”

CHL’s Excellent Track Record

The Texas Dept. of Public Safety (DPS) publishes data setting out the conviction rates for the general public in Texas as well as CHLs. For several years, this writer has used this and other data to create a statistical analysis comparing crime rates on an annual basis. The eighteen year track record achieved by Texas CHLs is astounding. Every year since SB 60 was passed in 1995, CHLs have been far less likely to commit a crime than is the general public in Texas. In recent years, this already excellent track record improved dramatically to the point that CHLs are almost sixteen times less likely to commit a crime than is the general public in Texas. Not only is this an astounding statistic, it is far better than that achieved by Texas law enforcement.

Off-Limits Areas

Most Texans are aware that Texas peace officers can carry their handguns virtually everywhere in the State, whether they are on duty or off duty. Understandably, most people do not have a problem with having very few off-limits areas applicable to peace officers, but they are unaware of the large group of people who are classified as “peace officers” under Texas law. A full discussion of the people that are legally defined as “peace officers” is beyond the scope of this article, but suffice it to say it is far more than DPS Troopers, police officers, deputy sheriffs, and constables. (For more information, go to http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/D ... 2.htm#2.12" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;.)

Peace officers are not the only Texans who enjoy very few off-limits areas. Parole officers, juvenile probation officers, community supervision officers, judges (including city/municipal court judges and J.P. Court judges), district and county attorneys and their attorney employees are all treated as though they were peace officers in terms of where they can and cannot carry their self-defense handguns. It is enlightening that many of the above-referenced people enjoy reduced off – limits locations only if they also have a Texas Concealed Handgun License. So it is not their job title that reduces the number of off-limits locations, it is the combination of their job title and the fact that they have a CHL.

Time to Level the Playing Field for All Texas CHLs

We are no longer dealing with an unknown quantity as we were eighteen years ago when SB 60 passed in 1995. We have the benefit of the eighteen year track record that clearly proves all Texas CHL holders are trustworthy, not merely those who happen to be judges or attorneys. Indeed, CHLs have proven themselves far less likely to commit a crime than even peace officers who are subject to a very few off-limits restrictions.
There is no compelling reason to exclude CHLs from most of the existing off-limits areas; indeed, thousands of CHL holders who are not peace officers are legally allowed to carry in those areas under current Texas law. For eighteen years, it has been the public policy of this State to empower honest, law-abiding citizens who have obtained a Texas Concealed Handgun License to carry a self-defense handgun to protect themselves and their loved ones. In 1995, it was unknown how well this program would work, so the list of off-limits locations was unnecessarily long. Now that we have proof that Texas CHLs are the most law-abiding Texans, it is time to extend that public policy by reducing the number of off-limits locations applicable to CHLs.

If HB3218 passes, locations that are off-limits to CHLs will be reduced, but they still will not be able to carry in bars (51% locations), while intoxicated, or in locations that are made off-limits by federal law. Private property owners will still be able to prevent CHLs from carrying a concealed handgun on their property, pursuant to Texas Penal Code Section 30.06.

During discussions of off-limits locations, one would often hear the question asked, “why would you need a gun in _____________[?].” That question misses the mark because it ignores the area between the CHL’s car in the off-limits locations. For example, it is doubtful that one would ever need to use their self-defense handgun while watching a Houston Texans football game in Reliant Stadium. However, there have been several people assaulted, robbed and murdered in the parking lot surrounding Reliant Stadium, so a CHL could well need his or her handgun going to and from their car. The question should not be “why would you need a handgun,” it should be “is there a compelling reason to exclude handguns?” In view of the excellent track record CHLs have earned over the past eighteen years, the unequivocal answer is “no.”

We must also remember that every time a CHL is forced to remove his or her handgun and leave it in their car, we are increasing the likelihood that a criminal will see the CHL disarming and will target that vehicle for a burglary. It is ironic that the greater the likelihood of this happening, the more likely the CHL would need their handgun walking to and from the off-limits location.

Conclusion

The fear of the unknown that existed almost two decades ago and prompted the creation of numerous off-limits areas applicable to Texas CHLs no longer exists. Empirical evidence proves that Texas CHLs are honest, law-abiding responsible citizens who have earned our trust. Every time we require a CHL to remove their self-defense handgun before entering an off-limits location, we are rendering defenseless the most law-abiding of our citizens. It is time to recognize CHLs for their outstanding record over the last eighteen years and give them equal standing with other CHLs who have been singled out for preferential treatment.
Call your Representative as well as the Members of the House Homeland Security & Public Safety Committee and tell him/her you strongly support Rep. Springer’s HB3218. Tell them also that HB3218 deals not only with public safety, but with your personal safety and the safety of your family.

While you are at it, be sure to call Rep. Springer and express your sincere appreciation for his work on HB3218. There's something to the idea of bringing in new blood to get a job done. (512) 463-0526.

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ALCSTUDIOS
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Re: Rally Behind HB3218

#2

Post by ALCSTUDIOS » Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:47 pm

Im on it sir, and will be doing it nice and polite
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Re: Rally Behind HB3218

#3

Post by artx » Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:09 pm

Done! Here is the full contact info for the committee. I also cross posted to ar15.com's Texas forum.

Rep. Joseph Pickett - Chairman
Phone (512) 463-0596
Email http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/me ... session=83" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Fax (512) 463-6504

Rep. Allen Fletcher - Vice-Chairman
Phone (512) 463-0661
Email http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/me ... session=83" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Fax (512) 463-4130

Rep. Philip Cortez
Phone (512) 463-0269
Email http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/me ... session=83" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Fax: (512) 463-1096

Rep. Tony Dale
Phone (512) 463-0696
Email: http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/me ... session=83" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Fax: (512) 463-9333

Rep. Dan Flynn
Phone (512) 463-0880
Email http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/me ... session=83" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Fax (512) 463-2188

Rep. Tim Kleinschmidt
Phone (512) 463-0682
Email http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/me ... session=83" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Fax: (512) 463-9955

Rep. George Lavender
Phone (512) 463-0692
Email http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/me ... session=83" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Fax (512) 463-0902

Rep. Kenneth Sheets
Phone (512) 463-0244
Email: http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/me ... session=83" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Fax (512) 463-9967

Rep. Ron Simmons
Phone (512) 463-0478
Email http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/me ... session=83" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Fax (512) 463-2089

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Re: Rally Behind HB3218

#4

Post by John75 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:31 pm

Emailed them all. Thanks for your hard work Charles.

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Re: Rally Behind HB3218

#5

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:23 am

Thanks for putting this together. I'm going to copy it as a sticky in the 2013 Texas Legislative section.

Chas.
artx wrote:Done! Here is the full contact info for the committee. I also cross posted to ar15.com's Texas forum.

Rep. Joseph Pickett - Chairman
Phone (512) 463-0596
Email http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/me ... session=83" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Fax (512) 463-6504

Rep. Allen Fletcher - Vice-Chairman
Phone (512) 463-0661
Email http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/me ... session=83" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Fax (512) 463-4130

Rep. Philip Cortez
Phone (512) 463-0269
Email http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/me ... session=83" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Fax: (512) 463-1096

Rep. Tony Dale
Phone (512) 463-0696
Email: http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/me ... session=83" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Fax: (512) 463-9333

Rep. Dan Flynn
Phone (512) 463-0880
Email http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/me ... session=83" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Fax (512) 463-2188

Rep. Tim Kleinschmidt
Phone (512) 463-0682
Email http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/me ... session=83" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Fax: (512) 463-9955

Rep. George Lavender
Phone (512) 463-0692
Email http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/me ... session=83" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Fax (512) 463-0902

Rep. Kenneth Sheets
Phone (512) 463-0244
Email: http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/me ... session=83" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Fax (512) 463-9967

Rep. Ron Simmons
Phone (512) 463-0478
Email http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/me ... session=83" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Fax (512) 463-2089

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Re: Rally Behind HB3218

#6

Post by baldeagle » Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:06 am

I just sent the following email to Representative Springer.
Representative Springer, I would like to personally thank you for authoring HB 3218. I've never quite understood how someone who is a law abiding citizen and has passed a background check can be trusted with a loaded weapon in some places and not in others. It's not like the venue causes a dramatic personality change.

Law enforcement officers, including judges and attorneys and other public officers are allowed to carry in places that we cannot. I even read of one politician who talked about how inconvenient it would be to have to disarm to attend a function as he spoke in support of a bill granting that privilege to politicians while denying us citizens.

Those are the types of things that cause one to be quite cynical about the political process. It's encouraging to see that at least one representative understands the absurdity of the situation.
The Constitution preserves the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation where the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. James Madison
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Re: Rally Behind HB3218

#7

Post by baldeagle » Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:13 am

This is what I'm sending to each committee member.
Representative [last name], I would like to personally ask for your support on HB 3218. I've never quite understood how someone who is a law abiding citizen and has passed a background check can be trusted with a loaded weapon in some places and not in others. It's not like the venue causes a dramatic personality change.

Law enforcement officers, including judges and attorneys and other public officers are allowed to carry in places that we cannot, and they have a worse record than we do at obeying the law.

I even read of one politician who talked about how inconvenient it would be to have to disarm to attend a function as he spoke in support of a bill granting that privilege to politicians while denying us citizens. I find it quite ironic that he can voice that opinion yet not consider how it impacts us.

Those are the types of things that cause one to be quite cynical about the political process.

I ask that you vote this bill out of committee and allow it a fair hearing on the floor of the House. I'm quite certain we CHL holders have earned that.
The Constitution preserves the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation where the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. James Madison
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Re: Rally Behind HB3218

#8

Post by Beiruty » Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:18 am

Do we have a one-email-to-all form, so I can write my email to all members?
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Re: Rally Behind HB3218

#9

Post by TrueFlog » Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:15 am

I called Pickett's office yesterday. The staffer was non-committal on the issue but promised to pass my opinion on the the chairman. I also Fletcher's office, but his staffer was very much disinterested. He basically told me he had no say in the matter - that Rep. Springer has to ask for a hearing and only Rep. Pickett can grant one.

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Re: Rally Behind HB3218

#10

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:20 am

TrueFlog wrote:I called Pickett's office yesterday. The staffer was non-committal on the issue but promised to pass my opinion on the the chairman. I also Fletcher's office, but his staffer was very much disinterested. He basically told me he had no say in the matter - that Rep. Springer has to ask for a hearing and only Rep. Pickett can grant one.
Rep. Springer made a formal request for hearing on March 22nd. It's now up to Chairman Pickett to grant the request, deny the request, ignore the request, or grant it too late for HB3218 to pass.

Chas.


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Re: Rally Behind HB3218

#11

Post by RHenriksen » Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:55 am

Called all the committee members this morning.
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Re: Rally Behind HB3218

#12

Post by mojo84 » Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:22 am

Emailed them all a nice, polite and short message asking them to support the bill and send it to the floor for a vote.
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Re: Rally Behind HB3218

#13

Post by rtschl » Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:06 pm

Emailed all of them.
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Re: Rally Behind HB3218

#14

Post by chasfm11 » Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:38 pm

RHenriksen wrote:Called all the committee members this morning.
x2

I received good responses from almost all of the staff members that I spoke with.
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Re: Rally Behind HB3218

#15

Post by Jumping Frog » Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:20 pm

Called all the committee member's offices and "respectfully requested" support from all of them. No "bomb-throwing" from this direction! :cool:
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