Texas 2011 Legislative Agenda

When the Texas Legislature meets next month they will be addressing some Right to Keep and Bear Arms issues. While the Lege will be also addressing more urgent matters of budgets and redistricting, gun owners are excited about some new bills which would extend gun owner rights for those of us in Texas.

  • Employer Parking Lots. This bill will prevent employers from restricting employees from storing legally carried guns and ammunition in their vehicles, while they are parked in the employee parking lots.

The premise is that we all have a right to protect ourselves, and while our employees can claim that they can provide a safe environment at our workplaces, They can not protect us on our way to and from our jobs. Workplaces which tend to have the most restrictive seem to be workplaces that have lots of shift workers. This bill is controversial with some property rights people, but every workplace has federal and state regulations to secure the safety of the workers. Unlike most workplace regulations this bill will not put any costs or burdens on the employer whatsoever. This bill has has the full support of the NRA and the Texas State Rifle Association.

  • Another controversial bill is the campus carry bill. While licensed concealed gun carriers are allowed to bring their hand guns on college campuses, they are not allowed to bring them into the classrooms or any of the buildings, The new bill if passed will allow any CHL holder to carry their guns anywhere on campus, Just as they are allowed to carry in just about every other public place in Texas. While the NRA have been active in supporting this bill, a lot of the energy pushing this bill has been from students themselves. , have not only lobbied heavily, but even more important educated the students lawmakers and the media, on what concealed campus carry really is all about and they been able to dispel the fears to anyone who will listen. A that is designed to present the case has been instrumental in presenting the facts to the legislators, They have spoken to the media on both the national and local level and they have earned a huge amount of respect for themselves and their cause. While campus carry was considered a wild shot just a few years ago. This bill probably has the best chance of success.

  • Open Carry: This is the most controversial. Of the four major gun issues facing the Texas Lege this is the only one that doesn’t have the full and unrestricted support of the TSRA. The issue is being pushed forward by OpenCarry.org, with support from Gun owners Action League. OpenCarry.org is a national organization that is large and growing, but where the SCCC tends to be educational and informative, the OCO folks tend to be more confrontational. At the head of the web site is the quote:

“There’s even an organization whose  raison d’etre is promotion of open carry
. . . OpenCarry.org. These are the shock troops of the gun lobby. And, they are not going away.”

Ceasefire NJ Director Brian Miller, NJ.com, August 20, 2009

They see the open carry issue as a right expressed in the the second amendment. In Texas concealed handgun rights have progressed forward, and licensed hand gun carriers may feel a little threatened by open carry legislation. People open carrying guns in the local supermarket might cause an unwanted reaction with people banning guns from private public places. Texas enjoys protection with what is called 30.06. Which defines the signage required to ban licenced handgun carriers from private property. Changing a delicate balance is something that at least some gunowners aren’t willing to take a chance on. While many who carry concealed have no desire to carry openly.

In the last Legislative session the OCC folks alienated some of the progun reps by publically calling them out as antis. Unfortunatly they don’t have the same diplomacy as the CCC folks, and without the support of the NRA/TSRA any gun legislation is doomed to fail.

  • The other bills to watch out for will be those designed to protect gun ranges from local zoning ordinances. Some of the gun ranges are are being encroached by suburbia and some cities are eager to make the ranges go away to make room for the land developers and people who don’t find comfort in the sound of gunfire. We are likely to find have success with some new rules, because there isn’t much pressure to get in the way of a pro-gun legislature.

  • There could be some unforeseen legislation run through, and there is always the possibility that the Democrats could hold up every thing in a boycott against redisticting. In Texas anything is possible with our legislative politics.

12 thoughts on “Texas 2011 Legislative Agenda”

  1. Thank you for writing a neutral piece on this topic.
    It would help if spell/grammar check were used. I believe some facts are not quite right. You state CCW are allowed to carry on campus. I believe it does not include students. For the most states, someone that is visiting is subject to the rules as you state them, but the college or university ban students and faculty by threat of expulsion, mental evaluations and termination.

    1. I don’t doubt that some schools have policies that ban guns, most are vague, and students that wish to carry understand that concealed is concealed, and the risk of carrying and dealing with the administration may outweigh the risk of not carrying. The Campus carry bills will likely address this at least in the state schools.

  2. Just curious about this: “…being pushed forward by OpenCarry.org, with support from Gun owners Action League.” Where did you get this information? Doesn’t seem quite accurate to me. Please do some fact checking before you answer me. Thanks

    1. I’m not sure what your question is. Can there be any doubt that opencarry.org folks haven’t written a bill and called looking for a champion for their bill? Opencarry.org has been pushing for this in Texas for months. You can check out their site and find their support for this. Rumor has it that Rep Lavender is sitting on a bill and is waiting to release it this week. It’s Thursday already though, and we are running out of week.

      1. There is indeed a bill that’ll be introduced by Mr Lavender and it was talked about on OCDO. But it came from a group called Lone Star Citizens Defense League. http://www.lonestarcdl.org/ I’m a member there. The reason I’m posting this is that anyone that wants this passed, they should join up with the folks who came up with the draft and is working with the legislators. It’s important that we all get together on this with one voice or something like the last session will happen. Nothing. And I’d sure like the option sometimes.

        1. To be honest this is the first time I’ve ever heard about your organization. A quick overview of the site doesn’t offer much information either.
          I try to follow the legislation but it is very difficult to promote a bill until it is filed. This bill is going to be an uphill battle. Its being filled late into a cycle that has to deal with tough budget choices and redistricting. This original post was made in December. We were looking for a bill back then. Its now March and there still isn’t a bill.

    2. You never responded to me about what facts I posted that needed fact checking. My post was made around Dec. 12 th. Did LonestarCDL even exist at the time? I checked their forum and it looks like there is only 25 person membership. I believe its safe to say that on Dec 12th the primary champion Open Carry wasn’t from the LonestarCDL.org

      1. Sorry but you’d be wrong. They started in May of last year. I don’t mean to be uppity with you. Just wanted to correct an inaccuracy.

  3. I think open carry in the state of tx is a great idea. People should be able to protect thier lives in thier homes as well as when they are out and about doing daily activites. The fact is the police can’t be every where all the time to protect you and your family. Law abiding citizens with guns are not a threat to public safety, its the thugs and crimminals with guns that pose a threat to police and citizens.

  4. While I like the idea of open carry for Texas, I wouldn’t want it for everyone. There are entirely to many idiots out there in the world for this to be a good idea. Imagine all the “man with gun” calls that the LEOs would have to contend with because some scared “citizen” didn’t know that Open Carry is now allowed in Texas. Not to mention that the Bad Guys could also be armed, not like they already aren’t but hopefully you get what I mean.
    Giving CHL holders the right to Open Carry makes more sense since they’ve already passed the background checks and are used to carrying in public. Plus it’s so damn hot in the summer I would prefer to just be able to wear a t-shirts without a cover garment 🙂

  5. I am a CHL holder and carry most places I go except where there is a sign (30.06), in which case I store my weapon in my vehicle. I don’t like doing this as it leaves me vulnerable and the weapon could be stolen from the vehicle. I am opposed to the Open Carry law as I believe it would cause a lot of private properties to use the 30.06 sign as they would now become aware of someone that brings in a gun. It would only take one open gun to prompt them to put one up.

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