If you support Open Carry in Texas and listen to only one episode of only one podcast between now and the next legislative session then you then Episode 10 of the Open Carry Report should be it. OCR #10 is over one and a half hours of discussion about what needs to be done to legalize open carry. The secret to an OCR round table is that the guests and the discussion decide what is actually discussed. The guests in alphabetical order were Alice Tripp From the TSRA, Charles Cotton who works with her and runs the Texas CHL forum, and C.J. Grisham the president and founder of Open Carry Texas.
The discussion focused on if the open carrying of long guns was hurting legislative efforts or if it was helping matters. Open Carry Texas, along with other groups, has used long gun open carry to push the issue of handgun open carry into the spot light. Without their efforts I doubt we would be where we are now. Legislators and candidates are asking Alice Tripp if she can stop the long gun OC due to pressure they are receiving from voters on the issue, and with elections coming up they are really concerned about anything that voters pressure them on. Alice has responded to the legislators that it’s not her people doing the long gun OC but they are exercising their first amendment rights to protest.
We come away from this episode with the knowledge that TSRA will be supporting Open Carry this session and will more than likely put forward a bill itself. In fact it was the TSRA and NRA that asked for the interim hearing on Open Carry. There is no one in Texas politics that can pass or kill firearms legislation like the TSRA. In the past TSRA has not pushed an Open Carry bill because they were not ready. They have testified and spoken in favor of open carry in the past but it was never their bill. The 2015 legislative session is our best chance to pass some form of Open Carry. To be honest we need to do it now and we need to realize that after 2015 we might not have the power to do it again while we should have the power to reform and improve it once we have it. Essentially we need to dig the well, even if we don’t have time to drink our fill right now because we can always come back to the well for a drink once we have it.
After this episode the Open Carry Report Podcast will be moving to a new release schedule. Round table shows will be streamed live on Thursdays and episodes will be released on Sundays.