Gun Rights Activists, Concealed Carry Instructors Square Off In Texas

(AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

In Texas, gun rights are still generally respected. However, the Lone Star State isn’t perfect when it comes to gun rights. I don’t think any state really is.

Right now, though, they’re trying to do better. Part of that is trying to pass constitutional carry. After all, if the right to keep and bear arms is going to mean anything, it should mean that you have a right to carry weapons without getting the government’s permission. Otherwise, we’re talking about a privilege rather than a right.

However, there’s some resistance to that effort, and not just from the gun grabbers.

Standing side by side, a diverse group of law enforcement officers from across the state gathered at the Texas Capitol Tuesday, hoping to send a message to lawmakers.

“This bill does not make officers more safe,” said Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia. “It makes us less safe.”

Earlier this month, the House Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety voted to send House Bill 1911 to the full House for a vote. The bill will allow Texans who are eligible for a license to carry their handguns, either concealed or openly in a holster, without a permit. Current law requires Texans to have a license to carry and, to obtain a license, you have to take a training class, pass a written exam and shooting test and submit fingerprints.

A group of license-to-carry instructors also came to the Capitol on Tuesday to oppose the bill. They shared personal stories of how dangerous mishandling handguns can be when people don’t have training.

That’s right, gun instructors are working to block a pro-gun law from being passed.

To be fair, it probably has less to do with it being a pro-gun bill and more about the fact that carry permit instruction is a lucrative source of income for them and they don’t want to lose it.

After all, I’m sure they’re aware just how many states don’t require training and how little of an issue it’s turned out to be. No, they’re using the safety argument to try and rent-seek and protect their business.

That’s not sitting well with some folks.

Here’s a press release from the Gun Owners of America.

GOA Responds to Sellout License to Carry Instructors

 

Springfield, VA – Rachel Malone, Texas Director of Gun Owners of America, responded to License to Carry (LTC) instructors who are opposing efforts to restore the right of self-defense in Texas, stating:

“Earlier today, a small contingent of License to Carry instructors sided with Bloomberg-funded organizations and opposed pending legislation to restore Texans’ right to carry a handgun without having to obtain a permit. We find it unconscionable that anyone in the firearms community would betray our liberties based on an obvious financial interest.

“As Chair James White and Representative Matt Schaefer stated earlier today, ‘Experience shows that residents will continue to voluntarily seek out training and licenses in permitless carry states, recognizing the benefits of instruction as well as acquiring and maintaining a license, for reciprocity with other states while traveling and other purposes.’

“We agree with Wallace Dunn, President of the Texas Concealed Handgun Association, who stated: ‘Training should not be a condition to exercising a constitutional right.’

“And we applaud instructors such as Jerah Hutchins, firearms instructor, GOA member, and Director of Training at Tier One security company, who stated: ‘Supporting Constitutional Carry as an LTC instructor is the difference between capitalism and greed. As instructors, our job is to teach and influence Texans to be responsible gun owners. This can be accomplished without an infringing licensure.’

“While Gun Owners of America encourages gun owners to obtain quality training, we would hate for any Texas gun owners to give their hard-earned money to the tiny fraction of instructors who actively fight against their core values. We urge our members to seek training from those who advocate in favor of our liberties and support Constitutional Carry.”

Jerah Hutchins nails it perfectly, too.

Of course, I suspect Hutchins knows that her business will thrive just fine without a requirement for training prior to being permitted to exercise a constitutionally protected right.

Some of these others? I suspect they know they’re not good enough instructors to survive without a requirement sending them business. That’s what rent-seeking like this often tends to turn out to be. They know they can’t compete, so they just push to keep as large a customer base as possible so they don’t really have to.

It’s downright pathetic.

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May 16, 2021 8:30 AM ET