There is an old adage that “any publicity is good publicity” implying that as long as people are talking about you, it does not matter if they are speaking kindly or unkindly. If this is ever true, which is highly doubtful, it is not the case when you are trying to pass legislation and most if not all public comments are negative.
[This article was first published during the 2013 Texas Legislative Session on April 9, 2013 under the title "Time to Recognize Exemplary Conduct." It has been updated.]
During the 2013 Texas Legislative Session, Representative Drew Springer (Republican), in his first term filed a bill that will be counted among the most important bills ever filed in Texas on behalf of Texas Concealed Handgun Licensees (CHLs). HB3218 would have finally recognized and rewarded CHLs for what was then an eighteen year track record that is the envy of the nation. It is now a nineteen year track record and it keeps getting better. As noted below, Texas CHLs are almost sixteen times less likely to commit a crime than is the general public and seven times less likely to commit a crime as are Texas peace officers who can boast of their own excellent record. This is not a momentary blip on the radar screen nor an abnormally good reporting year. These numbers are typical for Texas CHLs.
The 2015 Texas Legislative Session is rapidly approaching and pre-filing of bills will begin in November. Many Texas gun owners are wondering just what to expect this session and the answer is far from clear. It is certain that anti-gun bills will not pass and if they do, soon-to-be Governor Abbott will veto any that slip through the cracks, but what about pro-gun bills? To even attempt to answer this question, one must first have an idea of what issues could be addressed during the 2015 session. Then, one must realize that not all potential issues will be made the subject of a bill, so it becomes necessary to prioritize.