I love playing poker; it's one of my favorite things to do. Of all the varieties of poker, I prefer Texas Hold ‘Em, the game they play if you ever see it on TV. I used to assume that it was also the preferred game in all the casinos in Texas. There are a ton of casinos in Texas, right? Wrong. In the entire state of Texas, there is one tiny casino on the Mexican border, called the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle. I assumed incorrectly.
When you think of Texas, what do you think of? Cowboys (people), Cowboys (NFL people), “Everything's Bigger,” “Don't Mess With Texas,” “Friday Night Lights.” All of that and more. Knowing that Texas is a very gun-friendly state, I used to assume that in Texas, like in the majority of the other states, open carry of handguns was a legal activity. It's so easy to picture a Texan walking down Main Street with a six-shooter on his or her hip. Once again, I assumed incorrectly.
Working at NRA News, and hearing "Cam and Company" host Cam Edwards extensively cover the topic, I came to learn that Texas was one of the few states in America that prohibited open carry of handguns. Was. No longer. On Saturday, June 13, at a Pflugerville gun range, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed open carry, as well as campus carry, into Texas law. Open carry will take effect on January 1, 2016; and campus carry will take effect on August 1, 2016.
Governor Greg Abbott today signed HB 910 (Phillips, R-Sherman; Estes, R-Wichita Falls) and SB 11 (Birdwell, R-Granbury; Fletcher, R-Cypress), which expand Texans’ Second Amendment rights. Both bills implement proposals in the governor’s Bicentennial Blueprint. HB 910, known as “open carry,” authorizes individuals with a license to carry a holstered handgun openly in all locations that allow the licensed carrying of a concealed handgun. SB 11, known as “campus carry,” authorizes individuals with a license to carry a concealed handgun on campuses of public institutions of higher education.
“Today I am proud to expand liberty in the Lone Star State,” said Governor Abbott. “By signing these bills into law, Texans can be assured that their Second Amendment rights will be stronger and more secure than ever before.”Now, in the waning months of Barack Obama's presidency, he seems determined to implement as much of his radical agenda as possible before he leaves office.
It is good to see Texas leave behind the handful of states that still prohibit open carry, and allow its residents to exercise their Second Amendment rights to defend themselves and their loved ones. If you live in Texas, make sure to thank all of the legislators who made this a reality. We tend to complain when we don't get what we want. We also need to remember to show gratitude and give thanks when we do get what we ask for.
Working in and with the gun rights community, you see and hear people assume things that are sometimes incorrect. Many people assume that Republicans are pro-gun. Some aren't. The same people also assume that Democrats favor gun control. Some don't. It's a bad idea to assume anything—especially now. In the waning months of Barack Obama's presidency, he seems determined to implement as much of his radical agenda as possible before he leaves office. The recent past has shown us that Obama will bypass Congress, and issue whatever executive orders he wants. Recall his chilling phrase, "I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone."
As our friend Bob Owens warns us in a Bearing Arms post, Obama Administration Prepares “Final Assault” Against Gun Owners:
While short on specifics, the article notes that the Obama admin will be targeting “high-powered pistols.” This must be interpreted as an attempt to ban magazine-fed rifle-caliber pistols, such as AR-15 and AKM-based pistols. These same firearms were used as an excuse for attempts to ban 5.56 NATO/M855 rifle ammunition earlier this year. The administration will also presumably attempt to ban arm braces attached to these pistols designed to make one-handed firing easier for the physically disabled.
We’re unsure of precisely how the anti-gun Obama administration is going to address gun storage requirements, or if they even have the legal authority to make requirements. This will bear watching.
The most insidious avenues of attack on gun ownership are through the Trojan Horse regulations to “keep guns out of the hands of people who are mentally unstable or have been convicted of domestic abuse.” Both of these avenues of attack sound reasonable to many people who simply don’t pay attention to the issues and would never look at the details of what the regulations are proposing. Unfortunately, like so much done by this corrupt administration, it’s the details that matter.
Now is the time to stop assuming, and actually find out where your elected officials stand on gun control in general, and if/how they plan on pushing back against the president in particular. Then, share the information. Call, write, email, post a tweet, share a story on Facebook, talk to your friends.
The threats to the Second Amendment by the Obama administration are huge, and growing by the day. Make sure you're always informed as to exactly what is going on. Don't assume; know.
Use Your Power!
Let your elected officials know that you oppose the administration’s anti-gun agenda. Ask them to emulate Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s support for gun rights. Call the Congressional Hotline at (202) 224-3121, or find and write your representatives using NRA-ILA’s “Write Your Lawmakers” tool here.