We who cherish God-given liberties demonstrate our thankfulness by subscribing to the Rule of Law.
Our Texas Legislature has labored since 1995 to restore our natural right to armed self-defense that was lost to Texans 150 years ago at the end of the Civil War.
Subsequent to Concealed Carry, hysteria took hold of local governments. Police and Sheriff associations feared armed citizens. Lobbying by these groups introduced restrictions on CHL holders, assuming the police were in some way superior to the citizens. That was disproven. Now, without a doubt, we know the arrest and conviction rate among CHL holders is less than for law enforcement officers.
The Texas Department of Public Safety that oversees our State Capitol’s security planned to bar CHL holders from bearing arms in the Capitol. Governor Rick Perry recognized the natural right of his fellow Texans to keep and bear arms. He insisted that CHL holders be allowed to carry concealed weapons in the Capitol. Today, when visiting the Capitol, we CHL holders freely pass through after showing our licenses, while all you who do not have licenses go through invasive metal detectors and uncomfortable pat-downs. By the way, about 190 elected officials office in the State Capitol.
Concealed-Carry became the law in 1995. Twenty years later, Open-Carry was restored to us, along with the freedom to carry out non-courtroom business in our county courthouse. Twice Attorney General Ken Paxton has opined on the matter of citizens licensed to carry (LTC) bearing firearms in courthouses, agreeing with the language and the spirit of the law that only courtrooms and the offices serving courtrooms are off limits to those lawful firearms.
Across the state, County Sheriffs began preparation to comply with the law, some opting to go against the law, deeming every square inch of their courthouses “court business”. Correction: It’s not THEIR courthouse; it is OUR courthouse.
Today, January 1, 2016, Open-Carry is the law. Our Rockwall Police Department held a public briefing to say the department will comply with the law and there is no intent to harass persons openly carrying handguns. We haven’t heard from the Sheriff.
The law provides for fines to be paid by local governments that choose to violate it. Those government entities who refuse to follow the law will very probably find themselves being sued by citizens.
Will Rockwall County officials follow the Rule of Law or become a law unto themselves? I’m still waiting to hear from elected county office holders, particularly County Judge David Sweet, District Attorney Kenda Culpepper and Sheriff Harold Eavenson.