Austin, TX, Release: March 24, 2021 For Immediate Release
Below is Chairman West’s testimony to the Texas House Homeland Security Committee, where he argues in support of HB 1238 and 2900. Chairman West fully understands the importance of constitutional carry. With unconstitutional attacks against the Second Amendment by the Biden Administration on the horizon, Texas must act now to protect the rights of its citizens.
Chairman West’s Testimony:
“Good morning Chairman White, and members of the Texas House Homeland Security Committee. I rise before you this day to humbly submit my testimony in support of HBs 1238 by Reps Biedermann and White, and 2900 by Rep. Hefner establishing Constitutional Carry in the Great State of Texas.
I must fully disclose that I am a sitting Board member of the National Rifle Association and a Patriot Benefactor level member. As well, I am a Benefactor level member of the Texas State Rifle Association and life member of Gun Owners of America. I present these memberships in order to clearly convey my support to our Second Amendment right.
Our Constitution is our rule of law, and the first ten amendments of that venerable document contain our Bill of Rights. Those First Amendment rights, such as freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom to assemble, and the right to petition the government for redress of grievance, do not come with any requirement to obtain a permit. As well, our Fourth Amendment rights do not require any certification, or for that matter, any of our nine other listed individual rights. I find it unconscionable that we must have permits to enjoy our Second Amendment right. This right is firmly established in our Constitution with the qualifying directive, “shall not be infringed.”
One would think that Texas would be a leader in defending the sovereign rights of its individual citizens, but that is certainly not the case when it comes to the Second Amendment. There are 18 states that already have constitutional carry in these United States of America. Most recently, Montana and Utah, earlier this year, passed constitutional carry legislation into law. Our neighboring states of Oklahoma and Arkansas have constitutional carry. Even left-leaning states such as Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont have constitutional carry . . . Texas does not.
Why do we, here, in the Lone Star State, not respect the right of the people, legal, law-abiding citizens, to exercise their right to keep and bear arms?
HBs 1238 and 2900 simply assert that if you are able to pass the BATF Form 4473 background check, then you have the constitutional right to carry a firearm. You do not need a further government permit to do so. That is an absurd and unconstitutional practice. If Texans want to obtain a carry permit, that is their choice in order to have reciprocal rights to carry in another state. However, it should not be a requirement for a Texan to seek out the government’s permission to have their endowed constitutional, and unalienable, right to protect and defend themselves by way of keeping and bearing arms.
In Texas, law-abiding, legal gun owners are authorized to openly carry a long rifle without permit. However, if the same individual were to do the same carrying a handgun without a permit, they would be a criminal, a felon. This is delusional, and again, unconstitutional.
Chairman White, and members of the Texas House Homeland Security Committee, each of you should be highly concerned with the types of unconstitutional, anti-Second Amendment legislation that is being passed by the US House of Representatives. Just last week the US House passed HR 8, which further undermines the Second Amendment and makes law-abiding, legal gun owners felons for such a simple reason as loaning a firearm to someone who has been victimized. I often loaned my 9mm handgun to my oldest daughter during her Master’s degree studies at Southern Methodist University when I knew she would be conducting lab experiments late into the evening. That sincere act to protect my daughter is now deemed a felony offense by progressive socialists who wish to disarm Americans, Texans.
US Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee of Texas has introduced damning legislation, HR 127 and 130 which, in all actuality, ends our Second Amendment right.
These are reasons why the Republican Party of Texas has constitutional carry as one of its legislative priorities for this 87th legislative session. We call upon the members of this committee to unanimously vote HBs 1238 and 2900 out of committee for a full Texas House floor vote.
The fight for Texas independence began on October 2nd, 1835, when the Mexican cavalry demanded a cannon be returned to them. Those Texians at Gonzalez defiantly responded, “Come and Take It.”
History has a way of repeating itself as here we are, once again, seeking to defend our right to defend ourselves.
Pass constitutional carry and never forget, ‘an armed individual is a citizen, a disarmed one is a subject.’”
Texas must support constitutional carry and work to protect the right of Texans to defend themselves.