On Personal Responsibility

Seems in the past couple of months most every imaginable event has happened. Some reported and some ignored by the media. Our hearts go out to the families of the victims at the Aurora theater, the Sandy Hook School and all other incidents where people decided to harm others for whatever their reasoning. In each incident other laws were broken and no amount of gun control or new laws restricting gun owners would give the victims more protection. As President Reagan so eloquently said “personal responsibility” is the key.

I was just glad the election was over, then I realized that the Legislature would convene in January so back into politics. At no time can we completely relax in protecting this wonderful country we have and the freedoms we enjoy.

Wish Washington or Austin would take the path of carefully looking at the recompenses of changing a law. If there are laws out there that would have taken care of the matter but were not enforced, there is no reason to respond with a law that may be incorrectly used or confuse the issue just to look good for your constituents. No one can drive down the street and not break some rule, administrative code or law. There are just so many of them.

It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man who knows what the law is today can guess what it will be to-morrow." -- James Madison, Federalist No. 62, 1788

In like manner, as voters get to know those representing us personally, whether they are from our “Party or group”, and not just what some media person digs up in their past or present and represents as a problem. I hate to see good, honest citizens run for office because of the price it will cost their family and loved ones. I have made mistakes, said things I should not have, probably broken a few laws, and done things my basic beliefs probably would not allow. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t changed, learned and grown in my almost 70 years to be a better person. Have to admire Senator Cruz for saying let’s see if this system is doing its job and not just proposing another law. Still doubt that it would have kept a young man from killing his mother, stealing her guns and committing a terrible crime but do feel that all states and entities should be reporting the same information if the system is to be at all fair.

We as parents need to realize that yes we want the best for our children and we love and cherish them with blind faith, but there are times they are out of control and need some type of care to keep them safe and we must be big enough to take steps to do what is necessary. Then we as citizens need to always remember, we can do our best to be safe, to keep our loved ones and especially our children safe, but life happens. Probably our best lesson learned is this is a wakeup call for all schools to do whatever it takes to insure our children are in a safe zone but still they are children growing up in this wonderful country so we don’t want them in jails either. Probably broadcasting that their place of learning is a “gun free zone” where no one can defend them is not the best route either.

The President is the President of the United States of America. Let’s respect him for that. We can fight him on things you do not agree with that he believes, but don’t personally attack him and his family or his history.

If you are a senator or representative elected by the people in Austin or Washington, you are there to represent the ideals and wishes of all the people of this great country. To ensure that the constitutional law continues to protect our freedoms, our rights as freemen, If we continue to control people by outlawing or restricting things, just remember one day your pet project may not be popular and be outlawed too. I don’t smoke, but I just stay away from places that there are heavy smokers if I have a problem with it. Same goes for people of different races, religions, people who drink, people who cheat on their spouses, are not kind to their families, gamers, gamblers, drive race cars, and many other differences of opinions that people have. I respect them for being Americans with the rights to make their choices and live their lives within the basis of our laws.

That said, I do hope that we as gun owners can be the better man and set an example for all around us of fighting the fight of keeping our freeman rights in place but not personally attacking and belittling others who don’t agree with us. I am probably not as adamant as Ross is on the freeman rights and certainly not as outspoken as he is, but that does not make him right and me wrong or vice versa. If we set ourselves out to be militant type advocates, gun nuts, mafia or extremists in any form, we may be part of the problem.

Someone asked me if we were going to give free classes to teachers like some instructors are purporting to do. My problem with setting out to teach the teachers is that we will not get

the teachers who are against gun ownership in our classes. We need to get back into our schools and make it acceptable to have gun safety classes, hunting programs, sportsman competitions, and such an acceptable part of a child’s education. I don’t like theatre and such, so probably wouldn’t encourage our children to take part but doesn’t mean that it can’t be a part of education. There are many groups in Texas (and I am sure other states also) going about setting up programs for education about gun ownership, hunting, competition and safety, and that will turn this thing around. Let’s get involved with them and stay involved so that the generations to come understand that gun ownership is not just purchasing guns but has merit to our freedom and lifestyles.

Let’s get involved in what is taught and be sure that our children are learning about the history of this great nation and what has caused it to be great. None of this will be easy but then most of the good things in life are not easy but they are worth doing.

Guess I said all that to come to this conclusion. As concealed handgun licensees and gun owners in general, we must be extra careful now as to our handgun being seen, our statements of what we would do and wouldn’t do, and our appearance of being a safe gun handler definitely to protect ourselves but also to ensure that we can teach others that it is not the legal gun owners and licensees that are the problem.

There have been many bills proposed in both the Texas and US Congress. Most were filed and will be forwarded to some type of committee for review so we won’t see much of them for a while. Some I am aware of are as follows:

Texas Legislature:

HOUSE BILL 47, Flynn and White
Reducing handgun proficiency course to obtain or renew CHL to (4) four hours.

My concern would be that people are not sufficiently prepared. TSRA says expect a requirement of not less than 4 or more than 6 hours outside range qualification.

HOUSE BILL 48, Flynn
Eliminates renewal class and will only renew online.

Again, will people actually keep up with the new laws and cases enough to be safe?

HOUSE BILL 153, Taylor, Van
Making the definition of intoxicated that is identical to the present CHL one pertain to certain weapon offenses.

HOUSE BILL 158, Taylor, Van
Allowing CHL information to be posted on driver’s or commercial driver’s licenses.

This would worry me because of traveling into other states and areas.

HOUSE BILL 223, Huberty, Springer, White
Allows concealed carry by CHL’s who are board member or superintendents at board meetings.

School Board may allow carrying at meetings with a written policy.

HOUSE BILL 333
Requiring notice of a hotel’s firearms policy and giving penalty if restricts rights on its reservation website and verify that people making reservations have read it.

HOUSE BILL 383, BURNAM
Prohibiting Texas residents from carrying with an out-of-state CHL.

HOUSE BILL 452, dukes
Increases punishments for engaging in deadly conduct such as shooting at building or vehicles that may be occupied or at crowds.

Appear to be some strict penalties for “deadly conduct” acts so am not sure what this will accomplish.

HOUSE BILL 485, S. Davis
Reduces fees paid by part time peace officers and military veterans.

HOUSE BILL 507, Guillen
Making it illegal to shoot across school property line.

Believe this may be adequately covered by existing laws.

HOUSE BILL 508, Guillen
Putting penalties on government employees for improperly posting 30.06 signs on government property and limiting where CHL’s can be excluded from meetings.

HOUSE BILL 553, Otto, Aycock, Pitts, Darby, Keffer, Dale, Orr, White, Workman Making it a misdemeanor for a Texas employee, peace officer or public servant to enforce federal laws limiting firearm ownership which violate the U. S. Constitution.

HOUSE BILL 572, Isaac
Allows Veteran to have it marked on CHL Licenses as it is on driver’s licenses. (Same as Senate Bill 164)

HOUSE BILL 627, Krause

Exemption firearm, firearm accessory or ammunition manufactured in Texas from federal regulations.

Believe laws doing this already exist.

HOUSE BILL 663, Gonzales, Larry
Military forces stationed outside Texas would have CHL expiration extended until they return to Texas.

HOUSE BILL 698, Springer
Proposing that Digital fingerprints can only be required if there is a facility within 25 miles of CHL applicant’s residence.

HOUSE BILL 700, Lavender, Paddie
Proposes concealed or unconcealed carry under CHL license.

HOUSE BILL 706, Capriglione, Leach, Klick
Removing CHL licensee restrictions on college or university. May establish rules pertaining to storage in dormatories. Private colleges may opt out. Prohibited in hospitals or elementary or high schools on college campuses or sporting events if 30.06 posted.

SENATE BILLS

SENATE BILL 164, VAN DE PUTTE Same as House Bill 572

SENATE BILL 182, Birdwell, Campbell, Deuell, Eltife, Estes, Hancock, Hegar, Nelson, Nichols, Patrick, Paxton, Schwertner, Taylor, Williams
Removing restriction on college or university for CHL licensees. May establish rules pertaining to storage in dormatories. Private colleges may opt out. Prohibited in hospitals or elementary or high schools on college campuses or sporting events if 30.06 posted.

SENATE BILL 231, Carona
Relating to applicability of certain concealed handgun laws to certain associate judges not previously included in the exception to class room requirements.

US Congress:

  • R. 137 and 138 from McCarthy would require people prohibited from buying firearms to be listed in a national database, and would prohibit the transfer or possession of large capacity ammunition clips.
  • McCarthy’s H.R. 141 would require criminal background checks on all firearms transactions at gun shows, which would close the so-called gun-show loophole. Her H.R. 142 would require face-to-face purchases of ammunition, the licensing of ammunition dealers, and the reporting of bulk ammo purchases.
  • Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) and Rush Holt (D-N.J.) each proposed their own bills tightening firearms licensing requirements – H.R. 34 and H.R. 117, respectively.
  • And Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) proposed H.R. 65, which would raise the eligibility age to carry a handgun from 18 to 21.
  • Jim Moran (D-Va.) reintroduced his bill, H.R. 21, to require background checks for all gun sales, and to require gun owners to report when their guns have been stolen. Moran argued in December that while the National Rifle Association objects to these changes, members of the powerful group support them.
  • R. 35 from Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) and H.R. 133 from Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), are a response to findings that violence in and around schools has increased since the gun free zone law took effect in 1990.
More bills will be filed soon and we will do our best to keep you update as actions on specific bills take place and more are filed. Classes have been full and lots of people learning about guns in general and concealed carry. Let us know if you have comments or questions and STAY SAFE.

Ross and Dottie Bransford Bransford, Inc. d/b/a chl-texas.com

www.chl-texas.com

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