In 1995, Texas passed a concealed handgun license statute that made it possible for law-abiding Texans to obtain a license to carry a self-defense handgun. In 2007, the Motorist Protection Act was passed making it legal for a person to have a handgun in their car without the necessity of obtaining a Concealed Handgun License (CHL).
The CHL program has been a resounding success. For years, concealed handgun licensees have been fifteen times less likely to commit a crime than is the general public in Texas. This track record is much better than the excellent law enforcement record in this State. Indeed, the program has been so successful that concealed-carry became a non-issue, with one exception – employer parking lots.
Representative Drew Springer (Republican), in his first term has 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 finally recognizes and rewards CHLs for an eighteen year track record that is the envy of the nation. 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. This is not a momentary blip on the radar screen nor an abnormally good reporting year. These numbers are typical for Texas CHLs.
Due to concerns about violence against church members attending worship services, many churches have formed volunteer security teams or groups. These groups are typically made up of church members, many of whom hold a Texas Concealed Handgun License (CHL). Unfortunately, a provision in Texas law prohibits these volunteers from carrying self-defense handguns if they are in any way involved in providing security or safety for their fellow church members. These provisions are found in Chapter 1702 of the Texas Occupations Code.