Understand the Issue
“Pass constitutional carry while maintaining licensing as optional for reciprocity purposes. ”
— Republican Party of Texas legislative priority
- Texas, unlike a majority of the states, requires a permit for legally-owned handguns to be carried outside of limited areas such as one’s home and vehicle.
- Criminals do not follow the law. The permit requirement disarms their victims.
- Based on evidence from other states, a permit requirement does not make people safer.
- Anyone who legally possesses a handgun should be able to carry it, open or concealed, without a permit.
- Texas should join the growing number of states who recognize constitutional carry, meaning that the constitution is our permit to carry.
What People Are Saying
“It’s time for Texas to recognize Constitutional Carry. The Republican Party of Texas stands for the uninfringed right of the people to keep and bear arms, knowing that this makes all of us more secure in a world where people would do harm to others, and that this is the right by which all other rights are protected. “
–James Dickey, Chairman, Republican Party of Texas
“So here’s the thing: Vermont has had constitutional carry for years with no issues. They actually adhere to the words of our Second Amendment. Why is it then that some Texas legislators don’t support it? Do they somehow feel that their Texas constituents are less worthy? More inherently violent? VERMONT for heaven’s sake! I would think that any senator or representative that is against this would have some explaining to do to his/her constituency!
I personally believe that the current system is just a sneaky end-run way of keeping and making a list. A de facto registration.”
–Dr. Suzanna Gratia Hupp, former member, Texas House of Representatives
Talk to Your Community
Are you all in? Share these sample social media posts to start the conversation with your friends. Use the talking points to drive your message home when talking with friends or reporters. Send the sample Letter to the Editor to your local newspaper to spread the word.
- It’s time for common sense in gun rights: if you legally own it, you may carry it. #constitutionalcarry
- Texas should lead be leading the way in gun rights, not trailing behind. It’s time for #constitutionalcarry .
- It’s time to empower victims. Let’s recognize #constitutionalcarry in Texas.
Graphics to share:
- Law-abiding citizens who possess firearms should not be restricted from legally exercising their God-given right to carry that firearm.
- Americans have the right to be safe in their homes, on their streets, and in their communities; and the unalienable right to defend themselves.
- Allowing gun owners to carry legally owned firearms without a permit makes victims safer and violent criminals more afraid to cause harm.
Letter to the Editor:
Here’s a sample letter to the editor that you can customize, personalize, and submit to your local newspaper. An ideal time is when this subject comes up in the news. Be sure to check and follow your paper’s guidelines for length and submission.
Texas Should Take The Lead
Texas prides itself on being a leader in almost every area, but in the area of law-abiding citizens being able to carry their firearms without a permit, Texas is trailing behind a majority of states.
I do not believe the right to defend yourself, your family, and your property should not be contingent upon the government granting you a permission slip to do so. Where stricter gun policies are in place, criminals have no lack of weapons and no qualms about using them to do people harm. Any gun control — including a permit requirement to carry a handgun — strips me as a law-abiding citizen of my ability to freely take responsibility for my safety. It hinders the exercise of our right to self-defense and the defense of others.
Constitutional Carry means simply that we recognize the Constitution as our permit to carry. It means that those who may already own a handgun and carry it in their homes and cars may step outside of their property lines and vehicles without obtaining a permit. Leaving the government out of the permission process makes us a safer society and is foundational to protecting every other right.
Daytime phone number
Talk to Your Legislators
Make a Phone Call
It’s easy — find your state representative and senator and their contact info using the resource list on this page. Call their district office and/or their Capitol office. You’ll speak to an office staffer. Tell them you’re a constituent. Tell them what issue interests you and why. Ask what your legislator plans to do to promote the issue.
Visit the Capitol — or your local district office!
When you call, ask for an appointment with your legislator (or alternatively, their chief of staff or legislative director). Or just drop by their district or Capitol office during regular business hours — leave your card or a note with the staffer.
Testify in a Hearing
The year and a half in between legislative sessions is called the “interim” period. During this period, the House and Senate committees hold hearings to study specific issues, or “charges” that are assigned by the Speaker and Lt. Governor.
This year’s interim charges include important items such as health care reform, reducing the tax burden, school choice, Second Amendment rights, and religious freedoms. Many of the charges relate to planks or priorities from the RPT platform.
Although bills cannot be passed since we’re not within an actual legislative session, these interim hearings are the Legislature’s way of reaching out to you for your opinion on important issues. By studying these issues now, our Senators and Representatives can be prepared to pass bills in 2019 that address the specifics you’ll bring to their attention.
Most of these hearings will include a time for public testimony — that’s your chance to make your voice heard.
- Texas Legislature Online — http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/ — your resource for committee hearings, bills from current & past legislative sessions, committee membership, and more
- Who Represents Me — www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/ — enter your address and find your elected officials
- Texas Tribune Legislative Directory –– www.texastribune.org/directory/ — find phone numbers, office locations, contact info, & social media accounts for all the Texas legislators & other electeds
- Interim Hearing Tracker — www.texasgop.org/85interim/ — see all the current interim charges that relate to RPT platform planks & committee hearing information
- STAT — www.texasgop.org/stat/ — join the Strategic Texas Action Team to receive alerts when your help is needed to promote conservative policy