Texas to Join the Open Carry Club

Last week, PersonalLiberty.com posted an article about a new law in Texas which would allow persons with concealed carry permits to freely open carry without fear of harassment by law enforcement.

The law specifies that the open carry weapon can be only a holstered handgun. The bill was passed by the Texas State Senate in March, by a 20-11 vote and passed the House on April 17, 96-35. Gov. Abbott is due to sign it any day.

Originally the bill contained two parts – the open carry portion and a section, an amendment called Campus Carry, allowing for concealed carry permit holders to carry (concealed only) on state school campuses. That amendment was withdrawn and will be offered as a separate bill at a later date.

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It seems that the chief of police in the city of Austin is not in agreement with this new statute. By not in agreement, I mean he’s apoplectic in his condemnation of the law. Personal Liberty writes that “Austin police Chief Art Acevedo has spoken out against the passage of open carry legislation in the Texas House. The law man’s frantic condemnations of legislation suggest that he expects his city to resemble a scene from John Carpenter’s ‘Escape from L.A.’ once the bill takes effect,” which should be January 2016.

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Now I don’t mean to pour cold water on this bill because any law that affirms our constitutional rights is a good thing. What bothers me is that we conservatives merely cheer the Texas law as some sort of a win for conservatism, when it really isn’t.

The United States Constitution trumps all laws, both federal and state – or is supposed to. In other words, we shouldn’t need a law that reaffirms the supreme law of the land. That just shows us how far afield we’ve gotten. And when reading the Texas bill that will be signed by Gov. Abbott, it is clearly still unconstitutional. It merely gets them closer to both the letter and spirit of the second amendment. It does not reaffirm it.

As the bill states, one must first have a concealed carry permit for the “privilege” of carrying your Sidearm openly. So can someone please show me where in the Constitution and explains that I have the right to keep and bear arms only if I have a state issued permit?

Now I suppose I’m getting ahead of myself – letting my passion get in the way of my brain. It wouldn’t be the first time. It’s possible that brighter minds than mine are engaged. They may understand full well what my complaint is, my impatience – and I’m sure I’m not nearly alone.

It’s entirely possible that conservatives in the Texas Legislature know that they must take baby steps back to constitutional government. As much as we, like petulant children, “want it now,” it’s just not possible to achieve sweeping gains all at once.

After all, this country was not ruined overnight and thus cannot be fixed overnight. As many as there are signs that our federal government is becoming more centralized and despotic, there are equal signs of the opposite in the increasingly Republican-controlled states.

The Republicans control 24 states fully, the governorship and both Houses – 30 states in which they control both Houses and a whopping 70% of all legislative chambers.

Yet, that won’t phase the Austin police chief. For those unfamiliar, Texas is a rock-ribbed red state; yet, the capital, Austin, is bluer than blue. It’s like someone up rooted San Francisco or Madison Wisconsin and planted the city in southern Texas. Very weird.

Yet, what can we expect from the liberal police chief of a liberal city but hyperbole. He has no facts to back up his doomsday claims that it will be “open season for gang members, drug cartels, outlaw motorcycle gangs and any other criminal or extremist to defy the law with impunity, just brilliant! If criminal drug cartels and extremists had a seat at the policy writing table they couldn’t have come up with a better amendment.”

There is of course, not a shred of evidence supporting any of these claims in any of the open carry states, of which there are 44, soon to be 45.

So I guess we should consider this a win, judging by the hysteria of the left. Texas must be on the right track. Let’s hope they don’t stop there.

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