Myth and Reality of Self-Defense Law in Texas
Some states believe in big government. These states regulate and weaken their citizens. We think of the north east and the “Left Coast” as prime examples. Their reputation has some basis in fact. In contrast, some states say they trust their citizens. They say they believe in freedom and responsibility. Talk is cheap.. and sometimes reputations are misleading. Texas has some terrible gun laws. The right of armed self-defense suffers where there is one party rule, be they Republicans or Democrats. Here are the simple examples, the low hanging fruit, where Texas gun laws can easily improve if the Republicans step up.
Sure, Texas has a Hollywood reputation of self-reliance and self-defense. That is what we learned from the old black-and-white westerns. Unfortunately Hollywood movies are not real despite what you see on your smart phone. Much of what we believe about Texas is a myth. In contrast, the states of Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Illinois and California are known for their anti-gun bigotry. Let’s see how the states compare.
Let me lay down my cards and show you my evidence. The free state of Texas might let you carry a concealed firearm at your place of business. I said they might. You can conceal the tools of armed self-defense in Texas.. unless your business is to heal the sick or heal the soul. Texas concealed carry law effectively prohibits trained and licensed concealed carry holders from carrying in hospitals, in nursing homes, and in churches. Hospitals are required to post signs prohibiting carry. Churches may exclude concealed carriers with a sign. Unfortunately, the type of sign is not defined in law or court cases. Most concealed carriers won’t carry at church so they can avoid the legal problems that can come from a brush with the law.
Now let’s look at the anti-gun states. Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and California do not prohibit concealed carry in churches or hospitals. Illinois prohibits concealed carry in hospitals but it does not prohibit carry in churches. In short, other states have better laws for some aspects of concealed carry. So much for the myth of the shining lone star state!
Some states prohibit firearms and then allow exceptions. That means gun owners are guilty until proven innocent. New Jersey is a prime example. Texas does the same thing when it outlaws sound suppressors on firearms. Texas law then says the state won’t convict you if you can prove you purchased these items legally. Did you know it is illegal for a Texas gun store to show sign of a handgun in their shop window? Unfortunately, law abiding Texas gun owners have been arrested and prosecuted under these laws. All it takes is an anti-gun prosecutor, and they exist.. even in Texas. A few corrupt government officials are with us everywhere.
What kind of weak kneed Texas legislator signed on to those restrictions and why haven’t they been fixed in all these years? Today, Republicans outnumber Democrats almost two to one in the Texas legislature. The Republican majority in Texas didn’t start last week. Republicans have outnumbered Democrats in the Texas legislature since 1999. Texas Republicans can’t find the votes to free honest Texas gun owners from the threat of prosecution despite the long Republican tenure as the majority party.
Firearms owners have grown used to abuse in New Jersey and California. They should expect better in Texas. I want Texas to shine as a beacon of freedom. Unfortunately, the mantle is a little dirty. Those are the facts.
It is time for Texas gun owners to visit their legislators until Texas lives up to its reputation.