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Freedom: A Tale Of Two States

Freedom: A Tale Of Two States

Photo credit: Paul Marotta/Getty Images | Photo credit: AP Photo/Eric Gay

You can tell a lot about a state’s leadership based on how executives and legislators view freedom in general, and specifically the Second Amendment. Take recent proposals in two quite different states—Connecticut and Texas—as an example.

We told you recently how Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy has doubled down on his anti-gun extremism by pushing a plan to try to balance the budget on the backs of law-abiding gun owners.

With Connecticut facing a $3.6 billion budget deficit, Malloy proposed a budget that would dramatically increase the cost of pistol permit fees. The $70 local fee and the $70 state fee make the cost of an initial permit $140, with renewals being $70 every five years. But under Malloy’s proposal, the state fee would be increased to $300. With this $300 state fee and the existing $70 local fee, the total cost for an initial permit would be increased to $370, with $300 every five years for renewals. 

“Gov. Malloy is an out-of-touch elitist governor who loves to spend taxpayer dollars on his pet projects,” said Chris W. Cox, NRA-ILA executive director. “He overspent with the taxpayers' money and now he is trying to make up a budget shortfall on the backs of law-abiding gun owners, and it’s shameful.”Contrast Malloy’s proposal to recent legislative actions in Texas, a much more freedom-friendly state.

Contrast Malloy’s proposal to recent legislative actions in Texas, a much more freedom-friendly state.

Last week, the Texas Senate voted to pass NRA-backed Senate Bill 16 on a 26-5 vote. A priority bill of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick's, SB 16 greatly reduces License to Carry (LTC) fees in the Lone Star State. 

At $140, the fee for an original Texas license is among the highest in the nation. If approved, SB 16 would lower it to among the lowest in the country, slashing the cost of an original license by $100 to just $40, and cutting the cost of a renewal license from $70 to $40. In other words, the annual cost of a five-year LTC would now be just $8 per year.

“No law-abiding Texan should be priced out of the ability to carry a firearm for self-defense,” said Amy Hunter, NRA-ILA Texas spokesperson, about the measure. "This bill will make it more affordable for all Texans to exercise their Second Amendment rights in the manner they see fit." 

In a further example of Lone Star State leaders’ support for freedom, Republican state Rep. James White has introduced a “permitless” carry measure that would make Texas the 13th state to not require a government permit for a law-abiding citizen to carry a firearm for self-defense.

House Bill 1911 would allow those who would otherwise qualify for a LTC to carry a handgun for protection without the license. This would greatly expand personal protection rights in Texas, while preserving the licensing system for individuals who choose to utilize the benefits of reciprocal rights when traveling out-of-state.  

Of course, this discussion is not meant to infer that there aren’t some fine, pro-gun leaders in Connecticut who are working hard to reverse the current trend. Conversely, there are also some freedom-hating Texas politicians who would like nothing more than to see the Second Amendment pushed to the back burner. … it’s not hard to figure out in which state law-abiding gun owners believe their rights are being protected, and in which state they feel under constant assault.

But it’s not hard to figure out in which state law-abiding gun owners believe their rights are being protected, and in which state they feel under constant assault. And the same can be said for companies that manufacture firearms. 

In recent years, several manufacturers have packed up and moved from Connecticut. One historical gun maker, Mossberg, expanded manufacturing at its Texas plant, installing a 116,000-square-foot addition, while lowering production at its facility in Connecticut. 

Do you live in a state where your elected leaders support the right to keep and bear arms, or do they constantly seem to be looking for ways to chip away at the Second Amendment a little at a time? If the latter, it’s time to begin working to replace them with leaders who will respect your freedom and find ways to strengthen it. 

Mark Chesnut has been the editor of America’s 1st Freedom magazine for nearly 17 years and is an avid hunter, shooter and political observer.