Surprise: Texas gun rights lagging

Texas, known for its cowboy ways, just may shock you when you learn the state is not as pro-gun as it seems.

While the state remains a Republican stronghold, Texas lags behind several states in allowing their citizens to exercise their Second Amendment rights.

The Guardian published its state by state findings relating to restrictions on the Second Amendment.  The results show that Texas forbids the open carry of handguns and full campus carry.

Texas law further restricts the right to carry with a cumbersome 61-page document detailing concealed carry handgun laws.

This 61-page document contains restrictions for concealed carry holders that include banning conceal carry in sporting events, hospitals and on school premises, including college campuses.

Both chambers in the Texas General Assembly are Republican controlled and a Democrat has not been elected to a statewide office in 20 years, yet open carry and complete campus carry bills are struggling to make it out of committee.

In Vermont, where the State Legislature has been primarily controlled by Democrats since 1962, citizens’ Second Amendment rights are protected by Constitutional Carry, allowing citizens to carry concealed or open, with no permit of any kind.

“Citizens should not have to ask their government for a permission slip to carry a firearm,” states Dudley Brown, executive director of the National Association for Gun Rights.  “The National Association for Gun Rights will continue to push Constitutional Carry in Texas, freeing Texans of onerous restrictions.”

Legislation removing prohibitions on open carry have been introduced during the last two sessions in Texas and both attempts failed in committee.  42 states already have open carry, while Texas is struggling to even bring an open carry bill to the floor.

Campus carry would allow individuals the right to protect themselves on college campuses.  This legislation has been introduced the last three sessions in Texas.  The 2013 session passed a watered down version of campus carry, allowing university governing boards the choice to permit carry on their campus.

“I do not know of any university in Texas that now allows campus carry,” Kurt Mueller, director of public relations at Students for Concealed Carry, stated on Thursday.  “We think this should be a decision made by legislators and not subject to a college administrator.”

The Texas General Assembly convenes every two years, and pro-gun groups will have to wait until 2015 to see pro-gun legislation passed.

The National Association for Gun Rights Dudley Brown says, “We are using 2014 to expand our grassroots reach in preparation for the 2015 legislative cycle.  We are also engaging in active issue discussion to inform gun owners of where their candidates and representatives stand on the Second Amendment.”

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