FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 04/13/2021
Joint Statement from Chairman James White and State Rep. Matt Schaefer on Constitutional Carry Legislation; Comments from LTC Instructors
Opponents of legislation to allow law-abiding citizens to carry handguns without a state-issued license are pushing a false narrative that these bills would “dismantle” Texas’ License To Carry law.
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, there are 3,910 qualified License To Carry instructors in the State of Texas. The 54 who have signed onto a letter in opposition to permitless carry legislation represent 1.4 percent of the population of LTC instructors.
Texas’ License To Carry law remains on the books under both House Bill 1911 (Chair James White) and House Bill 1927 (Rep. Matt Schaefer). Experience shows that residents will continue to voluntarily seek out training and licenses in permitless carry states, recognizing the benefits of instruction as well as acquiring and maintaining a license, for reciprocity with other states while traveling and other purposes.
Arizona is the most populated state with the longest track record of having a permitless carry law. According to the U.S. General Accountability Office, in 2011, the first full year that the law was in effect, there were approximately 163,000 active carry permits in the state, which had a population of 4.5 million at the time (approximately 3.6% of the population was licensed.) According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, as of February 2021, there were 388,716 active carry permits in the state, which had a population in 2020 of 7.279 million (approximately 5.3% of the population licensed.) The number of licenses has more than doubled in those ten years and the percentage of the population which is licensed has increased as well.
Below are comments from a number of firearms instructors across Texas who SUPPORT permitless carry and who will continue to meet the growing need for training even after this important legislation is passed into law:
“Texas should join the four other states which have passed Constitutional Carry this year and bring the total to 21 states fully invested in the Second Amendment.” – Larry Arnold, Talon Enterprises, Kerrville TX.
“If other states' experiences are any indication, passage of this bill will not likely substantially diminish the number of people acquiring an LTC. Most other states which have passed Constitutional Carry did not see a significant reduction in the rate of license issue. Even though it goes against my business interest, citizens' free exercise of rights trumps my bottom line. I support Constitutional Carry.” – Aaron Marshall, Guncraft Training Academy, New Braunfels TX.
“Our professional responsibility is to meet the need for training, not create one. It is not that we are passing Constitutional Carry. We are removing a restriction that was never supposed to be imposed.” – Ken Lewis, National Protective Services Institute, San Antonio TX.
“I have been a firearms instructor for over twenty years, and training entry level gun handlers to be competent shooters motivates me – and will continue to do so. But the mission of training should not be confused with constitutional rights. With passage of Constitutional Carry, we have a chance to restore our rights.” – Mike Cox, Driftwood Firearms Training, Driftwood TX.
“As an LTC instructor and president of the Texas Handgun Association, I strongly support firearms training. But training should not be a condition to exercising a constitutional right. I am embarrassed that twenty other states have passed Constitutional Carry and we have not. Texas should be the leader on this issue.” – Wallace Dunn, President of Texas Handgun Association, Ector County.
Contact: Saul Mendoza