2nd Amendment & the Right to Keep and Bear Arms

AUTHOR OF THE TEXAS CONCEALED HANDGUN LAW

In 1993, in my first session as a State Senator, I passed a concealed handgun law, HB 1776. Governor Ann Richards vetoed that bill. In 1995, in my second session, I authored and passed SB 60 – the Texas concealed handgun law that George W. Bush signed into law.

Since that time, I have been Texas’ foremost proponent of the right to keep and bear arms. I have authored numerous op-eds in various newspapers, appeared on many national news programs, and debated the issue on local and national television and radio.

When I passed SB 60, the anti-liberty crowd predicted “Blood in the streets, a return to the days of the Wild West, and shootouts at every 4-way stop!” None of that happened.

In fact, since 1993, firearms homicides / 100,000 in the United States have declined by 50%. During that same period, dozens of states have enacted Concealed Handgun License (CHL) laws. Also, since 1993, firearms sales have increased substantially.

DEFENDING THE 2ND AMENDMENT

Due to my belief in our right to keep and bear arms, when I was President of the Western States Land Commissioners Association, I led a successful effort to repeal the prohibition on the possession of firearms in National Parks. I had personally consistently ignored the prohibition when visiting Big Bend National Park because, not surprisingly, narco-terrorists and human traffickers who traverse Big Bend are usually armed.

In 2003, as the new Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office (GLO), I changed agency policy that had previously prohibited GLO employees from possessing firearms while on duty. Additionally, I removed “No Firearms” signs from GLO buildings and property. I also began offering CHL classes after work and on Saturdays to GLO employees.

In 2005, when the GLO assisted the Hurricane Katrina rescue operation, I deployed the GLO Oil Spill Division to New Orleans with airboats and disaster recovery equipment. After consulting with the authorities regarding the lawlessness, looting, and gunfire occurrences in New Orleans, I permitted GLO personnel with CHL licenses to openly carry firearms during rescue and recovery operations.

On several occasions during my tenure as a State Senator and as Land Commissioner, I intervened within other local and state government agencies and required them to rescind unlawful “No Firearms” policies. Additionally, I successfully sued Houston Metro in Harris County District Court and forced them to rescind their unlawful ban of firearms on buses and commuter trains. Taking the fight to Capitol Metro in Austin, upon receipt of my notice of the Houston Metro decision along with my demand that Capitol Metro stop its unlawful ban of firearms on buses and commuter trains, the public transit provider voluntarily rescinded its ban without litigation.

THE 2ND AMENDMENT IS NOT ABOUT HUNTING

I am a firm believer that the 2nd Amendment has nothing to do with service in the National Guard, hunting, or target shooting. I am a firm believer that the 2nd Amendment has everything to do with my God given and Constitutionally enumerated right to defend myself and my family against criminals and/or an oppressive government.

Throughout my political career, the National Rifle Association and the Texas State Rifle Association have rated me as A+. No other candidate for office in the state of Texas has not only “talked the talk” but, also, “walked the walk” like I have for two decades.

As your next Lieutenant Governor, my policy will be…

  1. Oppose any law that unconstitutionally restricts our right to keep and bear arms.
  2. Repeal useless gun laws. While many politicians say, “Let’s enforce the laws that are on the books”, I suggest that we repeal some of the ridiculous laws that are unenforceable, unconstitutional, and/or do not make us safer. For example, let’s repeal - from both federal and state laws – gun free zones that create target rich environments - de facto “human hunting preserves” – that are sought out by criminals who know that persons in those zones are defenseless.
  3. Support school marshal legislation that provides that every school shall have a trained and competent armed person present during school hours. This person, who will have been properly trained on when and how to use a firearm, could be a police officer, security guard, coach, principal, or teacher with quick access to a firearm.
  4. Support Campus Carry.
  5. Support Open Carry.
  6. Oppose the regulation of firearms by local jurisdictions such as counties, cities, school districts and/or other government agencies and entities.
  7. Oppose background checks for the sale and/or transfer of firearms between private individuals.
  8. Oppose registration of firearms by local, state, and/or federal governments.
  9. Oppose any education curriculum that suggests that the 2nd Amendment is somehow related to service in the National Guard or has anything to do with hunting and/or target shooting.
  10. Oppose special privileges for members of Congress and/or the Texas legislature that allow them to carry a firearm in locations where the average citizen is prohibited from carrying – such as proposed in HB 508 (as amended) from the 83rd session and SB 905 from the 82nd session. Elected officials should have no special privileges as a matter of law. 
  11. Continue to support and to defend from legislative attack the Texas concealed handgun law that I authored 2 decades ago. 
  12. Continue to be an unwavering advocate and spokesman for the Second Amendment and the entire Bill of Rights.