A bill has been filed in the Texas State Legislature that would require Texas residents wanting a concealed handgun license to have a Texas CHL. That is, you couldn’t be a Texas resident and obtain say a Utah license and then carry here via reciprocity.
While I won’t comment on the legislation itself, I will say it’s not the smartest thing to carry in this manner.
Most laws that apply in this area, like for firearms and use of deadly force, are not “universal” nor Federal: they are state. If you take a Utah course but then carry in Texas, where is your understanding of Texas law? You will be held to that standard, so you better understand it. There’s also the fact that it takes money out of Texas and that skews the count of how many CHL-holders are in Texas, all politically important tools. But ignore that and let’s get selfish here: the bottom line is if you ever are in a situation, you need to think about yourself and how you’ll be able to handle it.
What burns my butt from the article tho is this:
“When I was doing the Texas class, I felt they weren’t getting enough out of it,” said [Brad Brasuell, a Utah concealed-handgun-permit instructor from Denton], who carries a Utah concealed-weapon permit. “The Utah class sticks to the meat and potatoes of what they need to know in the civilian world, without all the bureaucracy and fluff of the Texas program. People say the Texas program costs too much money and takes up too much time.”
Texas is 10 hours, Utah is 4. So, 6 hours that can mean the difference between you and your life isn’t worth it? 6 hours that could help keep you out of a lot of legal trouble isn’t worth it? Utah costs about $80 less than Texas. You know, if you are involved in a self-defense shooting, it could cost you tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars, even if you are 100% in the right. If you don’t think $80 is a big deal, think about the cost of a lawyer.
How much or how little do you value your life and time? If you think you value it enough that you should carry a gun for self-protection, why aren’t you taking bigger steps to protect yourself like ensuring you understand the law? like understanding non-violent dispute resolution techniques (a component of the Texas CHL curriculum)? like ensuring you actually are proficient with your firearm?
Brasuell said he’s not worried that the Utah class doesn’t include live shooting. “The shooting requirement in Texas is a joke and a falseness of security,” he said. “I have seen people who never shot before pass it and feel they can defend themselves. That is not the truth.”
Read what he’s saying: if he’s seen people who have never shot before pass the Texas CHL live-fire test, that means there were people taking his Texas classes that had never shot before. Thus I think it’s safe to assume there are people taking his Utah CHL class that have never shot before, and then walk out of his class still never having shot a gun! If you think it’s a false-sense of security to pass a minimal test and get a license, I think it’s a worse false-sense to have truly zero experience and get a license! I will agree the Texas CHL live-fire test is minimal, but I’ve also seen some people struggle to pass it so it’s not a cake-walk. If we suppose those 50 rounds are the only 50 rounds this person has and will ever fire in their life (until the moment they might need it), it’s certainly 50 rounds more than nothing at all. It’s at least some sort of experience, and even that minimal experience may be enough to save their life. Is he saying that no experience is better than some experience? That ignorance trumps knowledge?
Of course, as a firearms instructor, I’m biased into thinking that more education is good. We don’t promote a kindergarten-level education as ideal for the working world… we try to push at least a high school diploma or GED, we try to push people to go to college and beyond, vocational training, whatever… we generally push more education as good, more knowledge as good, and the way to survive and get ahead in the world. Why would there be any less of a standard with firearms? Why is there promotion of less education as a better way to go, especially for something that could save your life?
I fail to see how the lesser requirements of the Utah license gives you more. Someone please enlighten me… no wait… if you do that, I’ll have more knowledge, and apparently that’s a bad thing. *sigh*