Thursday, December 21, 2006

It Was Time To Re-Up My Texas CHL

For anyone that doesn't know, "CHL" stands for Concealed Handgun License and they expire on your birthday every four years. This was the 2nd time I've had to renew. This year we went to Jim Pruitt's Guns and Ammo CHL class and it was great. The class is held by Jim's son Sam and he did a bang up job (every pun intended!). I wrote about Jim Pruitt back in October. When I went to his webpage today to get the link for this post I discovered a brand new look!

The history of the Texas CHL is interesting - this was published in 1998:

In most ways Texas was typical. The push started with proposed laws in 1985, 1987 and 1989 (the Texas Legislature meeting only on odd numbered years). The 1991 attempt came closer to passing, but failed to gain enough support in the legislature, and was amended to death.

In 1993 CHL was back again, and this time the big state media let loose with the typical "blood in the streets" predictions, both in quotes of anti-gunners and echoed on the opinion pages. They called for the people to contact their legislators.

We did. I really think the popular support for the law caught the media by surprise. Then the Governor, Ann Richards, weighed in with the news that she would veto any CHL law the legislature passed. Politically, that should have been the end, but popular support would not let the bill die. Trying to find something the governor would sign, the Legislature ended up passing a law that only called for a statewide referendum on CHL, not authorizing anyone to actually set up any program. Governor Richards vetoed it anyway, saying that the people of Texas didn't need to vote on something like CHL.

Two years and a new Governor later George W. Bush signed the 1995 Texas concealed carry bill.

Throughout the long struggle to get a concealed handgun law passed for Texas there were a number of people who risked their political lives to accomplish what many thought might be an impossible task. Two stand out.

One is Texas Senator Jerry Patterson, who sponsored and shepherded a number of the bills, including the successful 1995 effort and the equally important 1997 revision. He happens to be a classmate of mine from Texas A&M University, Class of 1969.

The other is Susan Gratia, who rose from the tragedy in Killeen to provide essential testimony at a critical time. She has since, as Susan Gratia-Hupp, become a Representative in the Texas Legislature.

The law went into effect September 1, giving the Texas Department of Public Safety about three months to write all the procedures, design the paperwork, and train enough Qualified Instructors to teach the required course DPS wrote. They did it.

A loophole creating a conflict between concealed carry rules and alcoholic beverage license regulations made a revision of the law necessary. That was accomplished in 1997, and went into effect 1 September of that year.

Two years after it started, with 1,800 instructors and over 180,000 licensed persons, the Texas violent crime rate continues to drop. As happened in all the other CHL states, concealed carry is working.


For me personally, when Ann Richards said she'd veto any CHL law that was passed a red flag went off in my brain. I pulled out my word processor and started firing off letters. I decided then and there to never vote FOR her reelection. I feel that she committed political suicide by taking such an ignorant stand on a person's right to protect themselves. One of the key reasons besides the Luby's massacre that made the licensing a reality was the 1991 death of Harris County Sheriff's Corporal Roxyann Allee.

Corporal Allee was off duty and shopping at Greenspoint Mall. When she left the Mall and headed towards her van she was abducted at gunpoint by three men. Her van was found burning on September 30th and her body was discovered about a mile away on October 1, 1991. Like all cold cases, this one will never be forgotten and maybe someday the person who hired the hit will be convicted. Her death impressed upon me as few have that she was a law enforcement professional and yet she was taken by force and killed. If it could happen to her what chance did the rest of us have? As the case unfolded and the years have passed it's become increasing clear that her abduction and death was not a random act of violence, it was a hit on her specifically. I never knew her, but I'll never forget her and I pray that her death will be avenged and that her soul will rest in peace. In the mean while I'll keep my right to bear arms and do the best I can to protect myself and refuse to be a victim. I urge all women in Texas to do the same!

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'll leave Ann alone this time out of respect for the dead and the holiday but I'd rather we go back to the intent of the 2nd Amendment and not need CHL. Further, I'd rather it be a requirement, if any at all, that all guns must be openly displayed where they can be seen, rather than hidden.

It's a shame the gun grabbers have so many convinced that they need permits.

Stew said...

TxGoodie,

How would you like to write for a popular website? 2Digital Technologies, the developers of the new Jim Pruett website, is looking for writers that can comment on current events in the media, such as law enforcement, CHL, government issues etc... let me know if you are interested.. I will give you more details. This is a non paying job, but you would get your articles seen by quite a few people, plus I may have other sites that may need you.

Stewart McCauley
stewart.mccauley@2digital.com
2Digital Technologies

TxGoodie said...

I wouldn't know what to do with a paying job if you paid me! Non paying is right up my alley. Check your mailbox, that'll be me wearing a big old question mark...

Anonymous said...

The murder of Roxyann Allee was not a hit. It was random. The guys that did it lived in my neighborhood and disappeared right after the crime. A police officer came to my house this morning about this case because my boyfriend and I drove right into the crime scene where her minivan was burned. We saw the guys that did it. They still haven't been found. It was not a hit. It was a random act by some scummy guys that lived nearby.