TSRA Going to Back Open Carry Openly?

kingmonkey

New Member
Aug 22, 2008
11
1
I've heard that the TSRA supports open carry and has pushed legislation for it in the past but with the open carry movement growing in Texas I was wondering what the TSRA's position really is?

Does the largest and most powerful gun rights organization in Texas support unlicensed open carry? If so, do you guys plan on announcing publicly that you support such a measure? With the 2009 Legislative session quickly approaching it would be nice if you would make your position clear and public for everyone to see.

The online petition has over 23,500 signatures on it now. OpenCarry.org, Texas Citizens Defense League and Texans For Open Carry are pushing hard for open carry in the state. Where exactly does the TSRA stand?

I would hope that the TSRA will continue their great track record of supporting pro-gun rights proposals and publicly come out in favor of open carry and lead this fight for it. I'd hate to think that you guys are actually our enemy when it comes to this issue.
 

Vellcrow

Active Member
Aug 8, 2008
406
18
Pflugerville
Judge for yourself. Here is my email exchange from 28 JUN with Alice Tripp from TSRA:


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ms Tripp,

If you have not already heard about this, I wanted to pass it on. Over 15,000 signatures as of this email. Please consider adding open carry as an objective when approaching or contacting our state legislation.

Open Carry of Handguns in Texas Petition

Thank you,

-Vell Smith
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mr Smith
In the 2009 session we will again work to allow legal possession of firearm in employee's parked cars on their employer's parking lot. We'd like any legal possession but for CHLs at the very least. This fight has currently gone on, making headway, for the past two legislative sessions.

We are also working with Students for Concealed Carry on Campus to allow adult CHLs, students and faculty, to have the option of having their handgun on their person on campus properties currently prohibited by Texas law.

The two issues above are emotional issues strongly opposed by large groups, well funded.

Also, the candidate questionnaire shared by NRA and TSRA did not include "open carry" questions so holding legislators "accountable" for supporting or opposing such changes to law would be distracting for our current goals.

Do we move toward licensed open carry and have more businesses posting PC 30.06 signs? or exactly how should open carry be implemented? Many things have to be hammered out. There are 300,000 CHL licensees in Texas, most like being anonymous.

So this issue, like others will have to develop with time and interest by the Texas Legislature.

There are only 7 or 8 permissive open carry states and of that number only in the Western states, such as Arizona and New Mexico, is it truly "allowable", usual and common.

Thanks for the email.

Alice Tripp
Legislative Director
TSRA
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Ms Tripp,
Thank you for your response. I am disappointed that open carry is not much more of a priority. I just moved from Arizona, where I spent the last eight years in the Air Force, and open carry works very well there. I see no reason why similar policies could not be adopted here in Texas.

Just so I am clear on your response, is the TSRA not going to help or push towards an open carry policy anytime soon?

Thank you,

-Vell Smith
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Mr Smith,

I'm not going to say what we're Not going to do. I'm telling you what our legislative priorities are. These are issues we've been working on and toward for several sessions, they come first.

Alice Tripp
Legislative Director
TSRA
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Ms Tripp,
I am sorry if it seems I offended you, that was not my intention. I was merely curious as to why something so basic as open carry was not being pursued further. Most people I have been in contact with about passing open carry have told me to contact the TSRA if I wanted something done.

Thank you,

-Vell Smith
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Mr Smith,

I'm not offended but I don't find open carry to be "basic". Texas hasn't had open carry since the 1850's or before and I don't believe NRA considers open carry to be a national issue. There are a small handful of states such as KY and Vermont that ended up with open carry due to an AG opinion based on the states' constitution, not on a recent law passing. Alaska did pass law that mirrored Vermont opinion and included open carry but also has a concealed carry license due to reciprocity. There can't be reciprocity agreement when there's no law allowing that to occur.

So every state is very different.

We are committed to supporting a legislative agenda that our members have indicated are a deep concern, namely having protection on their way to and from the work place. We've already invested two sessions and will take it on again.

I'm not saying we would never support open carry but it's not at the top of the list.

Alice Tripp
Legislative Director
TSRA
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Ms Tripp,

Thank you for your time. I too support the need for having protection on the way to and from the work place. I only referred to open carry as basic because of my experience in Arizona. It was widely accepted and did not require any "fee" or specific government blessing; it was a common way of life and a right of the people.

To help with future efforts, can you recommend a course of action that can possibly put open carry at the top of the list?

-Vell Smith
 

kingmonkey

New Member
Aug 22, 2008
11
1
I'm waiting to hear from the guy in charge but if these responses are accurate I can only assume that the TSRA is worthless to us on this issue. I'm not surprised though.
 

SIG_Fiend

Administrator
TGT Supporter
Admin
Feb 21, 2008
7,128
48
Austin, TX
That's disappointing to hear to say the least. As far as I'm concerned, laws regarding the carry of arms are as equally important as any other firearms related laws. After all, what good is it having firearms when the "bear arms" part of the second amendment is dismissed as being less important. Whether or not it's popular really shouldn't be an issue. I can understand putting more focus on more immediately changeable/winnable legislation, however I still wouldn't completely ignore and not devote at least some resources to working on the subject of open carry. Of all places, this really shouldn't even be an issue to have to "consider" here. Hell this is Texas for God's sake. Most people already think we have open carry here! ;)

If there is one thing I have noticed with the various lobbying groups and firearms enthusiasts groups out there, it is that there is a definite demographic in the firearms community that can be rather short sighted when it comes to various other categories related to firearms. Case and point. It has been well known for awhile now that there are plenty of people in various communities like the hunting community and certain target shooting communities that really have no love for things like "assault rifles". Never mind the fact that they can be and are perfectly viable tools for self defense under many circumstances. The point I am getting at is, whether or not we like something or feel it's even necessary, we should never forget the second amendment, it's purpose and what that entails. The clear and concise purpose of the "right to bear arms" is that all of us should have the right to have firearms about our person so that we may be able to defend ourselves not just in our homes but when we are out and about as well. As with the whole assault rifle controversy, open carry may be disliked by some and misunderstood by others, but the fact remains that it should be an option for someone to CHOOSE. Why? I say why not?
 

JKTex

Well-Known
Mar 11, 2008
2,018
38
DFW, North Texas
Reading through this, I'm confused. There are several firearm related issues that have been or will be addressed with lawmakers.

What exactly do you guys want 1 organization to do? Do you want them to be successful at making change? If so, do you also want them to take every issue that "the people" see as issues and address them all at once? Or would letting them focus on the 1 or 2 that are at the top of the list with a well articulated effort with law makers successfully get laws changed faster make more sense?

I know there are are those that put open carry at the top of their personal list. But it's not an issue at the top of the majorities list and it's not an issue that's going to get the most bang for the buck. It's certainly not the lo hanging fruit either.

Out of all the Texas residents that are not otherwise prohibited to own a hand gun, how many that do not have a CHL feel open carry is critical? I think not many at all. How many that DO have a CHL feel open carry is critical? Probably more, but still not that many that would put it ahead of guns in employer parking lots and concealed carry on campuses.

These things don't happen over night and because someone moves to Texas from a state where open carry was a way of life, does not mean it's going to be put at the top of a list in Texas. What works on one state does not work in another and Texas is very different from most other states, including Arizona due to the residents and extreme high growth from transplants from states all over the country. The idea of "owning" a gun scares the crap out of a lot of people because they come from states where they are lead to believe that their crime rates are because of people owning guns and it's just not what they're used to.

If you want to carry open in the interum, carry a shotgun in a sling. It's been legal since dust was rocks. Or even through a 30-30 or a shotgun in a gun rack. When I was growing up that "was" normal and nothing out of the ordinary. People freak these days thus, those that carried found better ways to do it withough freaking people out, or making themselves targets for theives.

If 1 issue is important to you, why don't you take it to your legilators and work to bring it to the '09 Legislation floor? It's the first step and puts it in the radar just like every other issue has been done.
 

kingmonkey

New Member
Aug 22, 2008
11
1
I want them to fight for gun rights period. All of this "license for that" and "permission to do this" is all BS to me. There is one thing and one thing only they should be fighting for -- the right to keep and bear arms NO MATTER where you are or what you are doing. My problem is we have too many groups out there that finesse and boot lick the politicians. That is a load of horse shit in my opinion. Call them out on it, make it public, take on a big advertising campaign. Attack them directly and for God's sake never let up on them! Screw wining and dining them. Either they vote the way they are suppose to or find someone who will and put all of your resources behind them to get them elected and boot the other SOB out of office. Protest, rallies, whatever is necessary.

This is what they should be fighting for. This is what they should be putting their money behind. It's a rough draft but you get the idea.

A JOINT RESOLUTION​
proposing a constitutional amendment to recognize the right of Texans to carry firearms openly or concealed without a permit or license.

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:

SECTION 1: Article 1, Section 23 is amended to read as follows:
Sec. 1: Every citizen shall have the right to keep and bear arms in the lawful defense of himself or the State; but neither the State nor any municipal authority shall deny any citizen their right to carry such arms either concealed from view upon their person or openly outside their person; nor shall any test, license or permit be required of those who act accordingly.

Sec. 2: No registration or licensing of arms or ammunition shall ever be required in this State; nor shall excessive taxes be levied on arms or ammunition except what is the common tax for all goods purchased.

Sec. 3: At no time during times of emergency, disaster or war shall the arms and ammunition of the citizens of this State be subject to confiscation or detainment but law enforcement must take strides to protect the citizens right to keep and bear arms at all times.

Sec. 4: No person shall be denied their right to openly carry firearms in any State or local government building, office, police station, court of law, park or any place owned or operated or financed by the State or municipal authority; but owners of private business shall be permitted to deny anyone access to their facilities who shall be carrying a firearm either concealed or openly.
SECTION 2: This proposed constitutional amendment shall be submitted to the voters at an election to be held November 6, 2010. The ballot shall be printed to provide for voting for or against the proposition: "A constitutional amendment to recognize the right of Texans to carry firearms openly or concealed without a permit or license."
You get that passed and that is all you ever need to do.
 

SIG_Fiend

Administrator
TGT Supporter
Admin
Feb 21, 2008
7,128
48
Austin, TX
I completely understand if they simply do not have enough resources to currently devote any to pushing the open carry thing. I'm sure their plate is full as it is. I guess the main thing I would like to see is at least an acknowledgment from the TSRA that open carry is an important issue that does need to be taken up in the future when resources are freed up. I completely understand prioritizing, and that there is probably more immediate and more easily pushed legislation that is probably best pursued first. My only real gripe is that the letter basically said they feel open carry is less than important at this point. It really sounds as if it's almost considered to be a "novelty" by some (speaking generally).
 

kingmonkey

New Member
Aug 22, 2008
11
1
I completely understand if they simply do not have enough resources to currently devote any to pushing the open carry thing. I'm sure their plate is full as it is. I guess the main thing I would like to see is at least an acknowledgment from the TSRA that open carry is an important issue that does need to be taken up in the future when resources are freed up. I completely understand prioritizing, and that there is probably more immediate and more easily pushed legislation that is probably best pursued first. My only real gripe is that the letter basically said they feel open carry is less than important at this point. It really sounds as if it's almost considered to be a "novelty" by some (speaking generally).
All we and the other pro-open carry groups want is a public announcement from groups like the TSRA. We don't really need them to push the legislation, we can do that ourselves. We want to have their voice heard on the issue though. If the TSRA would put out a press release publicly supporting open carry that would do wonders for the movement. TSRA members would know that their organization is behind it and would help us and others get the job done. You know the old say, Many hands make for light work.

I hope that the TSRA would at least publicly acknowledge open carry with a press release. Them doing that would do wonders for the open carry movement. Their public support for open carry would essentially silence the people that think open carry is a "novelty" that is only practiced by crazy people.
 

Shorts

TGT Addict
TGT Supporter
Mar 28, 2008
4,594
38
Texas
There are 300,000 CHL licensees in Texas, most like being anonymous.

That line bothered me from Ms Tripp. I think HK_Fiend said it right with this:

My only real gripe is that the letter basically said they feel open carry is less than important at this point. It really sounds as if it's almost considered to be a "novelty" by some (speaking generally).

Supporting OC doesn't mean you have to practice it. Especially the rabid-CCers. If you don't prefer OC, that's ok, but don't sell your pro-gun brothers out.

I also think is you put focus on OC, put a big gigantic spotlight on it. Really push for it, it'd easily pave the way for a "compromise" of allowing better CC laws. After all, compared to outright unregulated OC, licensed CC in certain areas doesn't seem so threatening, does it? :D
 

JKTex

Well-Known
Mar 11, 2008
2,018
38
DFW, North Texas
I think you're proving a point that's not helping your cause, but you don't see it. A radical/extremist/demanding approach does not work in politics, and you have to work within the political arena.

TSRA is a private organization right? Why do you feel they have an obligation to stand up as an organization and support you and your effort? I say "you" and "your" because that's the approach style you're taking, and it does not work. It appears OC is on their radar, but they're focusing their energy on other issues they feel have a higher priority. They are not obligated to support you or your issue because you feel they should.

You can't force others to see things your way just because you think you're right. You should be taking productive action for your cause instead of wasting energy trying to compel others to do it for you.

And as much as some may not like it, I don't think OC is that big of an issue for that many people. If you think you can make headway with the "Joint Resolution" posted above, go for it. If others feel there's a chance, they'll jump on with you.
 

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