Texas Legislative Update

Looks like we are in another “political year” or did we ever get out. Party conventions, town hall meetings plus all the news, “facts” and ideologies in political campaigns. However, if we are not willing to listen, talk, discuss and check out all that we hear, we become part of the problem instead of the solution. Texas has lots of new residents from all walks of life and that may make a big change in political attitudes. Hopefully most will realize that what they did in the past probably won’t result in what Texas has become as a lifestyle and we continue to make Texas a wonderful place to live.

I do not totally agree that the C-Packs, national and state organizations that have money and power to change the voting base should be going in and changing the voter bases where they do not reside. Not sure what the best solution would be but I think Montana should be able to be different than Texas if that is what their voters want. Educate yes, but there is a difference.

We are still adjusting to the 5 hour classes and had to laugh as last week several students come up and told us that they were worn out with so much information. Hopefully they will keep learning and stay safe in their new adventure. Since DPS took out the qualification time, testing time and breaks, it’s not a greatly shortened class any more.
The renewal process is simple after September 1, 2014. Go to www.dps.texas.gov , click Concealed Handgun Section, and then scroll down to renew your license. Submit the documents required on your check list and normally is taking 25 to 30 days for renewals to issue. They will use your driver’s license picture and pull up your old fingerprints.
Lots of people who are carrying under the law that allows you to carry without a license in your home and car, etc. are now looking for legal assistance.

One left his holster on while entering a hospital (no gun) but has been charged with having a gun on the premises with witnesses affirming that they saw it.

One told the policeman he had the gun, then was arrested and told he could prove that he had the right to have the gun.

One was arrested for his 2nd DWI and was charged with unlawful carry because he was committing more than a traffic violation or class C misdemeanor.

Lots of loopholes in the interpretation so be careful and get legal advice so you stay out of trouble if you do not go ahead and get that license.

Most CHL licensees are doing the right things. Even with the new law about “intentional showing”, you still don’t want the handgun to be seen as still may have the fight and it will be expensive.

DPS tells us that there are over 700,000 licensees. Paperwork seems to be going pretty smooth. Still some trouble getting information from them or clarifying what is holding up their process. The biggest wait time seem to be after you see that it has been issued and mailed as then it takes sometimes 15 to 20 days to get to you.

Have heard that movements to put in “open carry” and “campus carry” in the next legislature are being formed. Have very mixed feelings about pushing that but if you are interested, contact Alice Tripp at the TSRA..
Lots of people are pushing open carry and such with long rifles and such. They must like a fight a lot more than I do. Hope the bad publicity and actions do not hamper the way others look at concealed handgun licensees.

The Supreme Court let stand rulings that upheld a federal law that prevents young adults 18-20 from purchasing a handgun or ammunition from a licensed federal firearms dealer and a Texas regulation that prohibits most 18 to 20 year olds from carrying a handgun outside the home.

The Abramski case on “straw purchases” definitely sided with the Government and ruled that because the purchaser lied on the 4473 saying that the purchaser of the gun was him and had already received money from his Uncle to purchase the gun. The conviction was affirmed as “the record of the purchaser of the gun was the important fact to ATF on the 4473. All through the opinion I kept seeing that statement stipulating that the record of the purchaser was the most important fact and that does bother me since the background checks are supposed to determine if the purchaser was okay to purchase the gun not keep a record of the guns that a person purchased. The Uncle had a clean record and could have purchased the gun just was not a policeman and would not have qualified for the discount. So be careful out there.

I believe we sometimes get bogged down in “our rights” and what we can do and thus overlook that every situation has two sides. So many times in a mere couple of seconds several lifetimes and families can be altered, some for good and some not. Fear can be detrimental to our reasonableness and can lead to devastating consequences. If a policeman shoots a citizen who is awkwardly reaching for his gun after a demand to hand it over is made, the citizen is not the only victim. – his loved ones, children, grandchildren all suffer, the young policeman’s family suffers, the other policemen suffer, society becomes a little more cautious of those in authority, and the policeman must live with the realization that he probably killed an innocent citizen for the rest of his life.

Our actions towards other people who are already afraid of us and “our guns”, may create further fear for those we are trying to work with and live among every day. When others create scenarios and situations that bring in authorities, arrests, discord, charges, and investigations where nothing wrong occurred, further fears are instilled among us as a society. We need to strive to teach, educate and be that settling force among our associates to promote the truth and need for all free men to be able to defend themselves and our freedom.

In like manner a respect for others space and comfort is very important, especially in unsettled times. Bullying is not the only problem as we scare and antagonize people by invading their space obnoxiously and it can result in serious consequences. There is a respect we need to have for others or there may be unexpected consequences. We as concealed carriers need to create an awareness that keeps us knowledgeable of the changes around us so that we can better determine what a situation actually is.

We need to be cautious of pranksters, situations that we do not fully understand, and such so we are not overly fearful. Even in a no retreat state, there are things we must substantiate for the use of force. One is the reasonableness of the situation. Paying attention to your surroundings and the people around you will help you assess the circumstances more than if you have ear phones on and are texting someone as you get yourself into deep trouble. You need to be that responsible armed citizen who is willing and capable to determine when the use of deadly force is reasonable and that it is the only option you have. Your fear must be for something imminent, an immediate danger you cannot handle any other way. The “no retreat” gives us more credence but again that reasonableness may come down to whether you are believed to be a responsible person.

Past knowledge of the other person, a familiarity of the situation – someone had come to your house before as a guest, past altercations with the person, or the person did not appear to be a trespasser but rather an invitee all may make your defense harder to prove. Even with the “no retreat” you still need to show you used no more force than necessary and you did not provoke or cause the incident. Again that unreasonable fear is something that we must continually work to overcome.

Many times the burden of proof as to whether you were the aggressor, may depend upon your reputation, abilities, knowledge of people skills and such. Remember articles, books and advice are only opinion based upon experience and knowledge. One attorney put it this way - So many questions and challenges, so we must go to law school and even then there probably will be uncertainties and variations.” And all the years I worked for attorneys definitely taught me that many times reasonableness was determined by people who had never been in my situation or lived my life.

Most of us wanted to learn to shoot for the fun of it. We might be hunters or just watchers, we might be competitors or just plinkers, and any time we go to the range and shoot, we will do better. Don’t forget to have some fun while you are doing it (especially if you are in the process of teaching someone else about the handgun). Hats off to all the groups that are working to get our children and loved ones involved in range activities - Daughters to the Range Days, the Kids hunting programs, competitions of all kinds, summer camps and just for fun days at the range.
The Lone Star Gun Range is having a free admission day at the range to celebrate July 4th. “The Silencer Shop” is going to be there with information and suppressors set up to look at and try. Keep an eye on their web site and facebook for all final information, then plan on coming out and celebrating at the range.
We are doing 3 to 4 CHL classes at the Lone Star Gun Range every month. The next class is Sunday, June 27 starting at 9 am and ending approximately 3:30 to 4:00 pm. We have several in July at that location and will do one in Bartlett, Texas, north of Taylor, on Saturday, July 26.
Stay safe.

Ross and Dottie Bransford
Bransford Inc. d/b/a chl-texas.com
512/750 9843 or 512/627 3501
Email ross@chl-texas.com

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