Texas Grassroots Update
Earlier this week a group of like-minded conservative organizations joined together for a Facebook live grassroots update on Texas in the time of the pandemic. GOA Texas Director Rachel Malone was asked to join them to give an overview of gun rights since the stay-at-home orders were implemented. Here is Rachel’s update:
Back in March when the counties and cities started issuing shutdown orders, most of them did not list gun stores as essential businesses that could remain open. However, it turns out, there’s a law against that. Last session the Texas Legislature strengthened the preemption laws to say that counties and cities cannot shut down firearm retail establishments. And thankfully, we had elected officials who were willing to go to bat for us and make sure that the law was followed.
Rep. Dustin Burrows out of Lubbock immediately sent an official request for an opinion to Attorney General Paxton asking him if these entities were breaking the law. And AG Paxton very quickly issued an opinion saying that yes, indeed, they were breaking the law. Gun Owners of America also worked with the Trump administration to add gun stores to the recommended list of critical infrastructure, so that issue is taken care of.
Unfortunately, though, the other gun law that was passed during the last session did absolutely no good for Texans. You may remember hearing about the Constitutional Carry for Disasters bill — it allows people who can legally own a handgun to carry that handgun without a license for up to a week when evacuating from a declared disaster zone. Ironically, it seems that the law probably didn’t even apply at all because the disaster zone was the whole state, and you can’t evacuate in Texas and still be in Texas.
Two things I want everybody to take away from this:
- When enough Texans speak up, we can get results. Because of grassroots activism, we had the law in place when we needed it to keep gun stores from being shut down. Because of grassroots activism, we had elected officials in office who knew they needed to stand up to enforce that law.
- Texas gun laws still suck. Texas requires a license to carry a handgun, and that law is ALWAYS an infringement and ALWAYS makes us less safe. But it is even worse during a disaster — we have criminals being released, cops less willing to respond to calls, domestic violence on the rise, and it’s harder to even get a license because of shutdowns and slowdowns.
So next session, we don’t just need a puny little “Constitutional Carry for Disasters” bill that does zero good when we really need it. We need to join the majority of the states and get rid of the license requirement ALL THE TIME. Criminals don’t wait for a license to murder; honest, peaceful Texans absolutely shouldn’t have to wait for a license to protect ourselves.
Who’s with me? Join the fight at gunowners.org/texas.