What is “Constitutional Carry” and how do we get it? The first part of that question is rather simple, but the last part is a little more complicated. Believe it or not, “gun friendly” Texas does NOT have “Constitutional Carry.” Here’s Rachel Malone of Texas Firearms Freedom explaining just what “Constitutional Carry” is and then we’ll get into how to get it passed in Texas and in YOUR state, if you don’t already have it.
Texas is a little different that many states. The state legislature only assembles every two years and the session only runs for about four months, so getting things done is time sensitive and requires active involvement of The People to push along priorities. The process is similar in most states, so listen to what Rachel has to say about the Texas process and apply it to your own state legislature. You may need to do a little research to find local groups who track bills and notify you of impending hearings, but YOUR involvement is crucial no matter what state you’re in or what issue you are pursuing.
Being informed is the most critical aspect. Texas Firearms Freedom, Lone Star Gun Rights and other state-level groups do an excellent job of keeping their subscribers and members informed. Every state has such groups, even California and New York, but they need YOU and your involvement to get anything done.
During the last Texas Legislature, we worked with Texas Firearms Freedom and others to train average citizens to testify in the open hearings. Yes, it can be a little intimidating to sit in front your state legislators and express yourself coherently. That’s why training is vital and your local advocacy groups can help in that regard by explaining the process and giving you relevant facts and history to apply to your testimony. However, more than anything else, it helps to remember that these representatives WORK FOR YOU, you are their boss.
The Texas Legislature (2017) regular session opens Jan. 10 and ends May 29, so be prepared to be heard. Find your House and Senate member’s phone numbers and email addresses, be prepared to make a short notice trip to Austin to testify (if you can) and make yourself heard any way possible. If you’re a “letter to the editor” type person, get your facts straight and start writing. Follow news stories on the subject and use their comments sections for online stories. Get acquainted with your representatives and their staff.
For our fellow Texans, it’s time to lead by example. To quote Jerry Reed from Smokey and the Bandit, “We’ve got a long way to go and a short time to get there.”