A Texas State Representative is accusing the Texas Police Chiefs Association of using “racial coding” when opposing his bill that would allow law-abiding citizens to carry a handgun like they can currently carry a rifle or shotgun.
The African-American state legislator said law enforcement groups are using different language in opposition ads not previously seen when bills were authored by white legislators.
A statement issued by the association on Monday states: “This dangerous legislation puts the public’s safety at risk and weakens law enforcement’s ability to keep weapons off the streets.”
“They are calling my bill ‘dangerous’ in their ads because I am African-American,” State Representative James White (R-Hillister) told Breitbart Texas in a phone interview on Tuesday. “They didn’t use that language when they opposed Jerry Patterson’s concealed carry bill in 1995. They didn’t use that kind of language when Larry Phillips proposed open carry for concealed license holders in 2015, and they haven’t used it when other white legislators proposed ‘constitutional carry’ bills in previous sessions.”
The four-term state representative from east Texas had other strong comments about the state’s chiefs of police who are gathering in Austin on Tuesday to oppose his House Bill 1911. The bill extends the same rights a law-abiding citizen currently has to carry a rifle or shotgun to handguns. White believes this bill reflects the Constitution’s 2nd Amendment providing citizens the right to keep and bear arms.
“How disingenuous is it that they support releasing violent criminal aliens wanted by federal immigration officials and then call allowing a law-abiding citizen to carry a handgun ‘dangerous’,” White asked. “They opposed Senate Bill 60 providing the right to licensed concealed carry in 1995. They opposed extending ‘castle doctrine’ protections to a vehicle to allow a person to carry a gun in their car. They opposed open carry and constitutional carry in 2015. What are they for?”
The statement issued by the police chiefs continued, stating, “This legislation shifts the burden of proof to law enforcement officers to verify eligibility of a person on the streets, in what likely is already a rapidly developing situation. “
“They are lying,” White stated. “It does no such thing. This bill changes nothing in terms of how police respond to a situation where a handgun is present. They will have to follow the same procedures when encountering a person with a handgun whether the person is licensed or not. They will have to follow the same procedures whether a person is carrying a handgun, a rifle, or a shotgun. It changes nothing.”
“The only thing this bill changes is it extends the same rights to carry a handgun that people already have to carry a rifle or shotgun,” the east Texas representative explained. “Today a person can carry a handgun in their car without a license. They can carry a handgun from their car to their place of business without a license. They can sling a rifle or shotgun over their shoulder and walk down Congress Street in Austin without a license. My bill simply extends the same right to carrying a handgun.”
White said the chiefs have been running ads linking carrying handguns to crime. “Chicago has some of the toughest laws around about carrying a handgun,” he said. “Instead of reducing crime, Chicago’s crime rate has steadily escalated.”
“Instead, the chiefs of police are aligning themselves with racist liberal elites.” He cited their support by Texas Gun Sense, a anti-gun group he said is sponsored by George Soros. “Texas Gun Sense says they oppose my bill because it does not include the training and background checks required by a license to carry. But, when Senate Bill 16 proposed eliminating the fee for the license, they opposed that as well.”
“The chiefs of police have been disingenuous about handgun bill since 1996,” White concluded. “They predicted violence in the streets when Jerry Patterson proposed concealed carry. They were wrong. They predicted more crime in the streets when Larry Phillips proposed open carry in 2015. They were wrong. They predicted gun violence on college campuses when Allen Fletcher proposed allowing licensed gun owners to carry on campus. They were wrong.”
“These people are a fraud on this issue,” he stated. “Just like they are on the sanctuary city bill.”
HB 1911, named in honor of the historic 1911 pistol, passed favorably from the House Homeland Security and Public Safety committee on April 18. It is now in the House Calendars Committee pending placement on the calendar for a floor vote by the House.