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Texans' demand for concealed handgun licenses

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by E.L., Jul 8, 2008.

  1. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member


    Texans' demand for concealed handgun licenses rises

    [SIZE=-1]10:44 AM CDT on Tuesday, July 8, 2008

    [SIZE=-1]By DANIEL MONTEVERDE / The Dallas Morning News

    The jerk of the handgun knocked Pam Denman back a bit.
    Before recently she had never held a gun – much less fired one.
    She's not alone.
    [​IMG] REX C. CURRY/Special Contributor
    D. V. Ing, a concealed handgun license instructor gave some pointers to state Rep. Vicki Truitt during a recent class in Ft. Worth. View larger More photos Photo store

    Mrs. Denman is one of more than 52,000 people in the state who have submitted an application for a first-time concealed handgun license or renewal since the beginning of the year, according to figures from the Texas Department of Public Safety. That is an almost 5 percent increase over the first six months of 2007.
    The crunch – which some say is spurred by concerns about rising crime, the state's new castle law and uncertainty about future gun laws – has created a ballooning backlog of applications for the department and angered gun proponents.
    "Can you imagine if it was a driver's license and someone says you just can't drive?" said Alice Tripp, legislative director for the Texas State Rifle Association.
    <!-- Refer begins here -->Also Online
    Graphic: Concealed handgun licenses issued

    <!-- Refer ends here -->On average, new applicants are waiting between 80 and 90 days for their licenses; renewals are taking about 70 to 80 days to process, said Tela Mange, a DPS spokeswoman.
    By law, new applications should take no more than 60 days and renewals 45 days to process unless a required background check raises any flags.
    "We're still hacking away at those numbers," Ms. Mange said.
    She said the DPS is paying overtime and has hired an additional 11 temporary employees to help expedite processing. The department says it will be playing a game of catch-up for the foreseeable future.
    "We believe we're going to be able to get a handle sometime in the next couple of months," Ms. Mange said.
    Gun proponents say the ongoing delays are unacceptable – especially for those seeking renewals.
    Larry Arnold, director of the Texas Concealed Handgun Association, said he's hearing regular complaints.
    "They [DPS] need the assets and they just don't have them," he said.

    Castle law

    D.V. Ing, owner of Gunsafetx Consulting Services and a concealed handgun license instructor, said he noticed his classes filling once the state's castle and traveling laws took effect last September.
    The castle law authorizes residents to use deadly force to protect their property in some situations without requiring them to retreat first. The traveling law allows those without a license to ride with a gun in their vehicle.
    "The traveling law gave them a taste of what it's like to protect yourself," Mr. Ing said.
    That feeling, he said, is becoming more common among his students, many of whom say crime is creeping closer to their doorsteps. One of his students said he found people in his driveway one night siphoning gas from his car.
    "In the past, people just wanted credit cards," Mr. Ing said. "The chances for a person to become a victim are pretty good. People are becoming more bold."
    Daniel Potts, who owns and operates Safe Gun Academy, agreed that crime concerns are a motivating force.
    "Crime is in places there wasn't crime before," he said.
    First-time applicant Leslie Phillips said she now feels physically – and legally – protected thanks to the new gun laws.
    "This way I can't get in trouble," she said. "This is for my personal safety."

    Changes ahead?

    Mr. Potts said that other applicants are afraid of anti-gun laws that could come on the heels of the upcoming presidential election.
    "They just want to have it [a license] just in case anything changes," he said.
    While Republican candidate John McCain supports gun rights, Democratic candidate Barack Obama favors individuals' right to bear arms but also a government's right to regulate them.
    But a Supreme Court decision last month that struck down a handgun ban in Washington, D.C., could potentially loosen restrictions.
    Gun safety advocates say the court's decision shouldn't be a free pass to rewrite gun laws.
    Matt Bennett, a spokesman for Third Way, the successor organization for Americans for Gun Safety, said existing Texas laws appear to be "responsible."
    "We're worried legislators will hold up the Supreme Court's opinion as a way to change laws that don't need changing," Mr. Bennett said.
    Under current law, Texas allows private businesses to ban weapons, and guns are prohibited in certain places, such as government buildings and college campuses.
    Gun advocates hope those with concealed-weapon licenses eventually will be given the right to carry their guns on campuses and to secure areas at their workplaces.
    Additionally, a petition seeking to change the concealed-carry law to open-carry has picked up some steam in recent weeks, with almost 18,000 people having electronically signed it.
    Rep. Joe Driver, R-Garland, chairman of the House Law Enforcement Committee, has said the concealed-carry changes have a possibility of coming to fruition, but no immediate effects are expected until the Texas Legislature reconvenes in January.
    "We just feel like it's a natural progression for people to protect themselves," he said.
    Many first-time applicants, such as Mrs. Denman, are just looking for an immediate feeling of security.
    "You're not expecting that big kick," Mrs. Denman said, minutes after she pulled the trigger for the first time. She hopes she won't have to do it for real anytime soon.
    But working with her husband at their impound lot in Haltom City, she said she needs to be prepared for anything.
    "Things have been kind of crazy around there with people breaking in," she said. "I hope I'll be a little more protected."
  2. BigO01

    BigO01 Monkey+++ Founding Member

    52,000 permits , WOW them dang Texan must be just chomping at the bit to have "High Noon" and "O.K. Corral" type shootouts on a daily basis !

    By golly they're gonna need new Storm drains just to catch all the blood running in the streets !

    Think of all those innocent little gang bangers , drug smugglers , rapists , muggers and home invaders that might get their poor little Azzes shot off ohno , Whats this world coming to anyway ?!!!

    We gotta stop this ! It's for the children "You know the ones that aren't eligible for the death penalty yet !!"
  3. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    You forgot the "Modern Day Dodge City" quote that they love so dear.
  4. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    You are a damn cynic and sarcastic to boot. DON'T CHANGE!!! [ROFL]
  5. BigO01

    BigO01 Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Yep E.L. sure did forget that one although I never quite understood their fascination with it .

    Just going by memory I think the big problem Dodge City had with guns was drunken cowboys after months on a cattle drive trail would celebrate being able to see women and having booze to drink and money in their pockets would shoot their guns all hours of the night and often damage Saloons and other buildings more than get in gunfights or hurt anyone .

    Do they still have cattle drives and drunken cowboys ?

    The one thing that bothers me with all of this is statements like this

    Shouldn't that read "I hope I'll be better able to protect myself ." ??

    I am so sick of statements from both sides acting like a gun somehow moves and shoots itself .

    If you get mugged it is a Human being doing the mugging HOLDING a gun the gun didn't mug you or rape or murder anyone nor did it protect you from a would be murderer or rapist it takes a person WITH a gun in their hand to do all of this .

    Can't understand why people can't understand this simple fact .

    It was the Lone Ranger with his Indian companion Tonto that rode around saving people not The pair of Lone Sixguns with Silver bullets on the great white steed . Speaking of which if Tonto was with him he wasn't alone he was the Ranger with an Indian . [ROFL]

    IT was SGT York that captured 20 Germen soldiers not his 1903 Springfield or his 1911 .

    That just drives me insane every time I read it .
  6. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Amazing how they never discuss training either. If just having a gun makes you safe, then my daughter must be the next Stevie Ray Vaughan since she has an electric guitar.
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