In today’s world of “information”, it is easy to become so befuddled by all that you read and see that you end up doing nothing instead of preparing yourself to defend yourself or your loved ones. There are experts in all walks of life, some good, some not so good and sometimes they differ just because of where they come from rather than being wrong.
Some instructors prefer one stance over the other, one type of firearm above another, one type of ammunition over another, but most will agree that training and practice outweighs most of these decisions. Training is a plus, mind-set is important, awareness helps you stay prepared for what is going on around you and might give you time to make your decision or a chance to leave rather than stay.
But most of us are preparing for a situation we hope never comes and have never experienced ourselves. A little consternation probably increases our awareness and keeps us cautious. Training, thought and practice helps prepare our emotions and thought process to be cautious, face the fear and not let it become panic. You must remain in control of yourself and your defense. If you are totally unprepared it is easier than most of us think to either do nothing or do stupid things.
Dottie was a scuba diver for 13 years before she saw her first shark. She always worried how she would react, but when the day came she and the shark left the area as happens in most encounters. But, she had thought out what she needed to do and prepared herself so that when the time came, her reactions came from fear but not panic.
It is okay in a moment of crisis to be afraid. More than one bodily function will be raging but you need to stay calm and respond if there is time or react if you must but take care of business. Do what it takes to take care of the situation so you go home to your loved ones. Some call that being brave, I kind of think it is called surviving.
In you training, find an instructor you are comfortable with and then find the things that he teaches that will work for you. I always think about the fact that one of the first people to defend themselves in Texas after the CHL license was put in place was a 70 year old grandmother who had her CHL license and was protecting herself and her grandson. She did not have a lot of tactical training and such but she knew enough to take care of herself and her grandson when she was pressed into it.
I would say focus on handling your handgun safely and correctly, then practice until you are comfortable in handling and shooting the handgun. Make sure you have a holster or way of carrying the handgun that is safe, accessible and comfortable as can be. Practice taking it out and being sure it is secure in your normal actions until you feel comfortable. Then don’t forget to take time to practice, go to the range and practice, and from time to time listen and talk with someone who may have had some experience so that you are aware of the challenges that may come up. I do not discourage any training, shooting practice or anything, just be sure you don’t become involved with something that is going to make your defense have to be handled on a higher level because you are an expert or a specialist.
The Texas Legislature is in session. Legislators have already filed numerous bills. Bills do not necessarily move through the process according to number. In the last sessions approximately 6000 bills were filed but actually about 1000 were considered and passed.
The 84th Legislature will be in session 140 days, from Tuesday, January 13, 2015 to Monday, June 1. The last day to file regular bills is Friday, March 13.
Governor Abbott has until Sunday, June 21 to review bills passed by the State Legislature. He can sign a bill to authorize new law, he can let a bill become law without signing, or he can veto a bill.
Bills without specific effective dates and not effective immediately will become effective Monday, August 31, 2015.
Some that have been filed and might have some change to the concealed carry program are:
House Bill 106 would allow licensed person to open carry in a holster with dual points of resistance. It would leave the CHL licensing program in place so you could carry under reciprocity with other states.
House Bill 155 would limit the use of force in defense of property in certain situations.
House Bill 164 would provide for licensed open carry in a shoulder or belt holster allowing a sign to prohibit open carry. Similar to HB 106 above.
House Bill 172 preempts local regulation of electric stun guns, knives and personal defense sprays.
House bill 195 would remove requirement for a CHL to carry openly or concealed.
House Bill 198 would allow certain persons, Board Members and Superintendents, attending a school board meeting to carry.
House Bill 206 would provide for a sales tax holiday on certain hunting equipment.
House Bill 216 would reduce the age requirement for a CHL license from 21 to 18.
House Bill 223 would prevent School Districts from punishing a student for several harmless pretend gun activities.
House Bill 226 would impose penalties for improper 30.06 signs being posted by government agencies.
House Bill 278 would allow open carry for district, county and municipal attorneys. House Bill 284 would reduce minimum proficient caliber from .32 to .22
House Bill 291 would allow open carry in holster with dual points of resistance with license.
House Bill 308 would attempt to simply and expand rules on where CHL’s can carry, eliminate the 46.03(i) confusion, gives all CHL’s the judge and prosecutor special rules, allowing carrying in all places licensed for alcohol and reduces penalties.
House Bill 353 would give volunteer firefights and EMT’s in rural counties to carry in 30.06 areas when on duty.
House Bill 370 would require a parent of a student asking be told if there are marshals appointed at the school but increasing protection of their information.
House Bill 415 would allow a person licensed to carry to open carry in holster with dual points of resistance.
House Bill 415 Licensed open carry of handgun with license (similar HB 106).
House Bill 421 attempts to make firearms or accessories or ammunition manufactured in this state and remaining in this state not be subject to federal law or regulations.
House Bill 554 would require CHL’s accidentally carrying into secured area of airport to be given opportunity to leave the area.
House Bill 573 would allow election judges and clerks with CHL’s to carry in a polling place.
House Bill 713 give sales tax exemption on hunting equipment for the weekend before the opening of dove season.
House Bill 805 proposes that the 30.06 sign does not apply on property owned or leased by government or any other entity that receives public money. Allows CHL carry on schools, courts, or racetracks that receive public money. Allows CHL carry in sporting events , hospitals and nursing homes, amusement parks, and places of worship that receive public money Employers can still prohibit employees from carry on their premises.
House Bill 849 sales tax exemption on hunting equipment for last weekends of August and October.
House Bill 890 reducing fees for CHL licensing for county jailors to $25.
House Bill 910 open carry of handgun in belt or shoulder holster with 30.07 sign for to prohibit only open carry.
Proposed Joint Resolutions
HJR 56 Proposes to remove the power to regulate the wearing of arms from the Legislature.
HJR 61 Adds to Texas Bill of Rights: `The people have the right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife, including by the use of traditional methods, subject to laws or regulations to conserve and manage wildlife and preserve the future of hunting and fishing. Hunting and fishing are preferred methods of managing and controlling wildlife. (Similar to SJR 22)
SJR 22 proposes right to hunt and fish constitutional amendment.
Senate Bill 124 would add penalties for straw purchase of firearms for people who cannot own them or false statements on the NICS check.
Senate Bill 179 would reduce the minimum proficiency caliber from .32 to .22. Senate Bill 228 provides a sales tax holiday for certain hunting equipment.
Senate bill 256 states government employee commits a Class A Misdemeanor by seizing a firearm under a federal law not existing in Texas law
Senate Bill 257 a lost or stolen gun must be reported to law enforcement within 48 hours. Falsely reporting a firearm lost or stolen is an offense. Recovered guns must be reported within 31 days.
Senate Bill 258 requires gun sales at gun shows, other than to a CHL or law enforcement, must have a NICS check. Gun show promoters must arrange with a FFL to conduct checks for no more than $10. The seller must maintain a permanent record of a sale. Promoters must give law enforcement 30 days notice of a gun show.
Senate Bill 259 DPS must take over background checks including the NICS, for FFLs selling or delivering firearms to non-FFLs. No CHL NICS exemption.
Senate 273 provides for penalties for improper 30.06 signs by government agencies.
Senate Bill 301 would extend the school Marshall Program to private schools.
Senate Bill 311 would make changes as to where CHL can carry in PC 46.03 and PC 46.035.
Senate Bill 342 open carry of handgun without a license. Senate Bill 346 open carry of handgun with license.
There are numerous bills under the watch of instructors, organizations and citizens as the Legislative session proceeds. I am sure more will be filed before the March 13 deadline. Your can look up or follow a bill at http://www.capitol.state.tx.us .
We will try to keep you up to date with things being filed and as hearings and such are scheduled for different bills.
Classes are staying steady with lots of totally newbies to the shooting field taking time to learn and become part of the field. Sharpening Shooting Abilities classes have been very good as people try to become more capable of doing what they need to in protecting themselves and their loved ones.
Ross and Dottie Bransford, Instructors www.chl-texas.com