Heights reader says safety training should be a part of gun ownership

To the Editor:

Harker Heights Citizen Police Academy Class #19 started May 4. HH Chief of Police Phil Gadd welcomed all participants and offered opening remarks. After his remarks, he took questions from the class members.

He was asked what he thought of the recent push for permitless carry (known commonly as “Constitutional Carry”) of concealed weapons. He answered, “I have some concerns.” I think many people have concerns, I certainly do.

To paraphrase Chief Gadd, he said he respected all U.S. citizens’ rights to keep and bear arms. He did not think it should be done without firearms safety training, marksmanship qualification, use of deadly force training, and criminal background checks.

All my fellow License to Carry (LTC) friends and family members I have spoken with agree with Chief Gadd. These are the requirements we had to meet to obtain our LTC.

I am not sure why we are trying to fix a system that isn’t broken. Nationwide, license-to-carry citizens have an outstanding safety record of judicious weapon discipline and employment. However, the politics of our national news media prevents this from being widely reported.

I believe a true Constitutional Carry Law should include all of Chief Gadd’s requirements, with nationwide reciprocity agreements among states. For example: I can drive my car in my home “high-crime” state of New Jersey with my Texas Drivers License. I’d feel much safer if I could carry my concealed weapon in New Jersey with my Texas LTC. I am not naïve enough to think this will ever happen.

“Guns don’t kill people — people do!” Refining this statement to “Guns don’t kill people — mad, enraged, disturbed, unskilled, and untrained people do!” In fact, this is PERMITLESS carry! It already exists and it doesn’t work very well. I don’t think we should encourage more of this. It is the antithesis of “what would a reasonable person do in these circumstances?”

I believe a reasonable person who understands the consequences would only consider using deadly force to protect their own life or the life of another. I believe it is the right of freemen and freewomen in America who have met the requirements for a license to carry a firearm to protect themselves against the deadly behavior of some lunatic with a deadly weapon.

The Texas license to carry could be free, making it more available to people. If it is free, it is not an infringement on the Second Amendment. If you do away with fingerprinting, training, marksmanship and background checks, permitless carry seems more like “witless carry” to me! I do not think Governor Abbott should sign this into law. If you agree, please call his office at 512-463-2000 and ask him to please rethink permitless carry.

George Van Riper

Harker Heights

(5) comments


Twenty other states have constitutional carry. The blood baths predicted by the anti gun crowd never came to pass. It was all lies. Same when concealed carry was enacted. The hysterical cries of blood in the streets never came to pass. Texas has had constitutional carry of long guns for years. No blood in the streets. The gun problem comes from criminals, not the law abiding


EXACTLY!!!! Chicago has the strictest gun laws and there is a blood bath in their streets almost every day.


I'm all for constitutional rights and the innate rights of a person to defend themselves, but allowing permit-less carry allows any fool to carry a gun, and as we know, there are a lot of "tough guy fools" that will carry a gun to impress their friends, or to just prove to himself he is Mr Machismo. It also makes it very difficult for police to handle routine situations, like a traffic stop. Previously, a person with a permit and carrying a gun would be treated carefully but with respect. Now an officer knows nothing about the individual that carries and the risks of an altercation escalate rapidly. In addition, when Abbot signed that bill he just put thousands of concealed carry instructors out of business.

Time will tell how this pans out, but passing a law to support "constitutional rights" so anyone can carry concealed is a slap in the face to all those who suffered from decades of gun violence. Requiring a permit does not take away anyone's constitutional right. If you can afford a gun and the ammo to go with it, you can afford the fees to get a license to carry.


Funny I don't see criminals, gang members, and cartels abiding by laws and paying fees. I don't see them getting permits to carry guns. Gun laws just make criminals out of law biding citizens.


While I agree that people should learn gun safety. I wonder does this reader think that criminals learn gun safety, have background checks or any of the other requirements that LAW BIDING citizens have to do just to protect themselves from a tyrannical government and the criminals that DON'T follow laws.

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