If open-carry (“OC”) is not yet in the morgue, it certainly is in the ICU on life-support. Things were looking much better for OC supporters in the 2015 Texas Legislative Session. The NRA and TSRA have been working on OC since the end of the 2013 legislative session and they had obtained preliminary commitments to file and work bills in the House and Senate. Both Greg Abbott and Wendy Davis came out in support of OC, but only Greg Abbott really meant what he said. Still, it was interesting that the Democrat candidate for the Governor’s mansion felt the need to at least claim she supported OC.
Since 1997, it has been legal for concealed handgun licensees (“CHL”) to carry their self-defense handguns in church. The number of CHL’s doing so is unknown, but they likely number in 6 figures. Very few churches post Tex. Penal Code §30.06 signs that would make churches off-limits and with good reason. Statistics show that CHLs are fifteen times less likely to commit a crime than is the general public and this track record is even better than the excellent record established by Texas law enforcement officers. Why would any rational church official disarm the most law-abiding members of their congregation? This is especially true since churches are often targeted specifically because they are houses of worship.
When SB60 passed in 1995 establishing a concealed handgun license program in Texas, it also identified specific locations that would be off-limits to armed concealed handgun licensees (“CHL”). At that time the only trespass law was found in Texas Penal Code Section 30.05. Unwarranted scare tactics employed by the media and those who did not want to provide Texans with the means of defending themselves and their loved ones prompted countless small businesses to post small generic “no gun” decals on their property. These were typically clear 2” X 2” decals that could easily be missed resulting in a CHL inadvertently entering property that had been “posted.”