Open Carry In Texas One Step Closer

After turning back last-minute attempts to let city voters opt out, the Texas House gave final approval Monday to legislation allowing gun owners with concealed weapons licenses to carry their side arms openly.

House Bill 910, by Rep. Larry Phillips, R- Sherman, passed on third reading 101-42. Similar legislation has already passed the Senate, and Gov. Greg Abbott has promised to sign open carry legislation. Source: Texas Tribune

Back in January, I was watching SB11 and HB937, relating to concealed carry on college campuses, but thanks to lobbying by Open Carry Texas and the NRA, SB11 and HB910 seem to be doing well. Both bills would relax the concealment requirement of the Concealed Handgun License (CHL) holders.

Happy 10th Blogiversary

I started this blog on this day in 2005. Happy 10th Blogiversary!

Like a lot of blogs I don’t write much here now, just the occasional rant about Texas politics. I mainly have used this blog to capture moments in time so that I can go back and read them and be nostalgic.

Texas Bills related to concealed carry

There are currently 29 34 bills filed for consideration in the Texas House and Senate. Let’s see how this year plays out.

Texas Legislature

Bills By Subject

Subject Headings: CONCEALED HANDGUNS

84th Legislature Regular Session

Report Date: 2/12/2015

HB 106 Author: Flynn
Last Action: 02/09/2015 H Referred to Homeland Security & Public Safety: Feb 9 2015 2:57PM
Caption: Relating to the authority of a person who is licensed to carry a handgun to openly carry the handgun; providing penalties.
HB 164 Author: White, James | Leach | Guillen | Bohac | Phelan
Last Action: 02/09/2015 H Referred to Homeland Security & Public Safety: Feb 9 2015 2:57PM
Caption: Relating to the authority of a person who is licensed to carry a handgun to openly carry the handgun; providing penalties.
HB 195 Author: Stickland
Last Action: 02/10/2015 H Referred to Homeland Security & Public Safety: Feb 10 2015 11:34AM
Caption: Relating to the carrying of handguns; providing for the open carrying of handguns; removing the requirement that a person who may lawfully possess handguns obtain a Concealed Handgun License in order to carry a handgun lawfully in the state of Texas, and conforming changes.
HB 198 Author: Huberty
Last Action: 02/12/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 12 2015 11:31AM
Caption: Relating to the carrying of concealed handguns by certain persons attending a school board meeting.
HB 216 Author: White, James
Last Action: 02/10/2015 H Referred to Homeland Security & Public Safety: Feb 10 2015 11:34AM
Caption: Relating to the eligibility of a person for a license to carry a concealed handgun.
HB 226 Author: Guillen
Last Action: 02/12/2015 H Referred to Homeland Security & Public Safety: Feb 12 2015 11:31AM
Caption: Relating to certain offenses relating to carrying concealed handguns on property owned or leased by a governmental entity; providing a civil penalty.
HB 278 Author: Ashby | Leach
Last Action: 02/11/2015 H Referred to Homeland Security & Public Safety: Feb 11 2015 11:25AM
Caption: Relating to authorizing certain attorneys representing the state to openly carry a handgun.
HB 284 Author: Springer
Last Action: 02/11/2015 H Referred to Homeland Security & Public Safety: Feb 11 2015 11:25AM
Caption: Relating to the handgun proficiency required to obtain or renew a concealed handgun license.
HB 291 Author: Huberty | Price
Last Action: 02/11/2015 H Referred to Homeland Security & Public Safety: Feb 11 2015 11:25AM
Caption: Relating to the authority of a person who is licensed to carry a handgun to openly carry the handgun; providing penalties.
HB 308 Author: Springer
Last Action: 02/11/2015 H Referred to Homeland Security & Public Safety: Feb 11 2015 11:25AM
Caption: Relating to the places where a person may carry a handgun if the person is licensed to carry a concealed handgun.
HB 353 Author: King, Ken
Last Action: 02/12/2015 H Referred to Homeland Security & Public Safety: Feb 12 2015 11:31AM
Caption: Relating to the application of certain weapons laws to certain volunteer emergency services personnel licensed to carry a concealed handgun.
HB 415 Author: Riddle | Phillips
Last Action: 12/01/2014 H Filed
Caption: Relating to the authority of a person who is licensed to carry a handgun to openly carry the handgun; providing penalties.
HB 554 Author: Springer
Last Action: 12/18/2014 H Filed
Caption: Relating to a defense to prosecution for the offense of possessing or carrying a weapon in or into the secured area of an airport.
HB 571 Author: Pickett
Last Action: 12/22/2014 H Filed
Caption: Relating to a defense to prosecution for the offense of possessing or carrying a weapon in or into the secured area of an airport.
HB 573 Author: White, James
Last Action: 12/23/2014 H Filed
Caption: Relating to a defense to prosecution for the offense of possessing or carrying a firearm on the premises of a polling place.
HB 695 Author: Springer
Last Action: 01/14/2015 H Filed
Caption: Relating to the carrying of a concealed handgun by the holder of a concealed handgun license on hospital or nursing home premises; authorizing a penalty.
HB 805 Author: Keough
Last Action: 01/20/2015 H Filed
Caption: Relating to authorizing a license holder to carry a concealed handgun on certain premises.
HB 890 Author: Klick
Last Action: 01/23/2015 H Filed
Caption: Relating to reducing certain fees for a license to carry a concealed handgun for county jailers.
HB 910 Author: Phillips | Flynn | White, James | Riddle | Guillen
Last Action: 01/23/2015 H Filed
Caption: Relating to the authority of a person who is licensed to carry a handgun to openly carry a holstered handgun; creating a criminal offense; providing penalties.
HB 922 Author: Leach
Last Action: 01/26/2015 H Filed
Caption: Relating to the authority of a person who is licensed to carry a handgun to openly carry the handgun; creating an offense; providing penalties.
HB 937 Author: Fletcher | Burkett | Bohac | Flynn | Bell
Last Action: 01/26/2015 H Filed
Caption: Relating to the carrying of concealed handguns on the campuses of and certain other locations associated with institutions of higher education.
HB 944 Author: Kacal
Last Action: 01/26/2015 H Filed
Caption: Relating to the authority of a person who is licensed to carry a handgun to openly carry the handgun; providing penalties.
HB 1154 Author: Turner, Scott
Last Action: 02/05/2015 H Filed
Caption: Relating to the issuance of a concealed handgun license.
HB 1234 Author: Tinderholt
Last Action: 02/09/2015 H Filed
Caption: Relating to the carrying of concealed handguns by certain license holders on certain locations associated with a public or private school or educational institution.
HB 1285 Author: Simmons
Last Action: 02/10/2015 H Filed
Caption: Relating to the authority of certain personal protection officers to carry certain weapons.
HB 1376 Author: Paddie
Last Action: 02/12/2015 H Filed
Caption: Relating to the application of certain concealed handgun license laws to community supervision and corrections department officers and juvenile probation officers; reducing a fee.
SB 11 Author: Birdwell | Bettencourt | Burton | Campbell | Creighton | et al.
Last Action: 02/12/2015 S Scheduled for public hearing on . . .
Caption: Relating to the carrying of concealed handguns on the campuses of and certain other locations associated with institutions of higher education.
SB 17 Author: Estes
Last Action: 02/12/2015 S Scheduled for public hearing on . . .
Caption: Relating to the authority of a person who is licensed to carry a handgun to openly carry a holstered handgun; creating a criminal offense; providing penalties.
SB 179 Author: Perry
Last Action: 01/27/2015 S Referred to State Affairs
Caption: Relating to the handgun proficiency required to obtain or renew a concealed handgun license.
SB 273 Author: Campbell
Last Action: 01/28/2015 S Referred to State Affairs
Caption: Relating to certain offenses relating to carrying concealed handguns on property owned or leased by a governmental entity; providing a civil penalty.
SB 301 Author: Taylor, Van
Last Action: 02/02/2015 S Referred to Education
Caption: Relating to school marshals for private schools.
SB 311 Author: Campbell
Last Action: 02/02/2015 S Referred to State Affairs
Caption: Relating to certain offenses involving the carrying of concealed handguns by license holders and to defenses and exceptions to the prosecution of those offenses.
SB 342 Author: Huffines
Last Action: 02/02/2015 S Referred to State Affairs
Caption: Relating to providing for the open and concealed carrying of handguns without a license and to related offenses and penalties.
SB 346 Author: Estes
Last Action: 02/02/2015 S Referred to State Affairs
Caption: Relating to the authority of a person who is licensed to carry a handgun to openly carry a holstered handgun; creating a criminal offense; providing penalties.

2014 Election Results, Who Represents Brazos County Texas

Refer to my earlier post about the 2014 Primary/Election for candidates of this mid-term election. This is a small list of the people that represent Brazos County Texas.

U.S. President – Next Election 2016

U.S. Senate (Texas)

U.S. House of Representatives (District 17 Texas)

Texas Senate (District 5)

Texas House of Representatives (District 14)

District Attorney – Brazos County

Read More

I Voted in the Midterm Election or The Big Yawn

And the winners are (the Republicans of course):

United States

Senator: John Cornyn

Representative (District 17): Bill Flores

Texas

Governor: Greg Abbott

Lieutenant Governor: Dan Patrick

Attorney General: Ken Paxton

Senator (District 5): Charles Schwertner

Representative (District 14): John Raney

Comptroller of Public Accounts: Glenn Hegar

Commissioner of the General Land Office: George P. Bush

Commissioner of Agriculture: Sid Miller

Railroad Commissioner: Ryan Sitton

Chief Justice, Supreme Court: Nathan Hecht

Supreme Court, Place 6: Jeff Brown

Supreme Court, Place 7: Jeff Boyd

Supreme Court, Place 8: Phil Johnson

Criminal Appeals Court Place 3: Bert Richardson

Criminal Appeals Court Place 4: Kevin Yeary

Criminal Appeals Court Place 9: David Newell

10th Court of Appeals Place 2: Rex Davis

85th District Judge: Kyle Hawthorne

361st District Judge: Steve Smith

Brazos County

County Judge: Duane Peters

County Court at Law #1: Amanda Matzke

County Court at Law #2: Jim Locke

District Clerk: Marc Hamlin

County Clerk: Karen McQueen

County Treasurer: Laura Davis

County Commissioner Precinct 4: Irma Cauley (D)

Justice of the Peace #4: Louis Garcia

Constable Precinct 4: Isaac Butler (D)

Texas Propositions

Proposition 1 – Transportation Funds: Passed

City of Bryan Propositions

Charter Amendment, Proposition 1: Passed

Charter Amendment, Proposition 2: Passed

Charter Amendment, Proposition 3: Passed

Bryan ISD

Voters in Bryan approve a $132 million bond proposal.

The money will be used to build a pair new school buildings and make improvements to every school in the district, including security and heating and air conditioning.

Voter ID Law in Texas

In 2011 the Texas state legislature passed a voter ID law which said voters had to present a government issued (picture) identification in order to vote in person; they wanted to prevent voter fraud. This year Democrats successfully appealed to have the law blocked; the judge said it was a poll tax.

U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos, an appointee of President Barack Obama confirmed to the bench in 2011,  struck down Texas’ voter ID law on Thursday [10/9], calling it an “unconstitutional poll tax” intended to discriminate against Hispanic and African-American citizens that creates “an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote.” Source: The Huffington Post

As I see it there are two types of burdens: physical and financial. Physically, there are people who don’t drive and/or don’t need picture identification: elderly, poor, big-city dwellers, and college students. Also, there are people in rural areas unable to get to a identification office. These are all legitimate reasons not to have identification.

There are several aspects of financial burden, but I’ll just say I think the State can issue voter ID without driver’s licence – free of charge. If not, they should. This reason is less of a reason not to have a licence/ID.

In that same article, Ryan P. Haygood, an attorney with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, said the law imposes costs and burdens:

“The evidence in this case demonstrated that the law, like its poll tax ancestor, imposes real costs, and unjustified, disparate burdens on the voting rights of more than 600,000 registered Texas voters, a substantial percentage of whom are voters of color.”

 

Let’s Do Some Math

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, before the 2012 election there was 235 million people 18+ years of age, 215 million citizens (18+ years of age), and 143 million registered voters (65% of voting age population). If the NPR news story Why Millions of Americans Have No Government ID is accurate, then there were 3 million Americans without government ID in 2012; assuming they are citizens 18+ years of age. That’s 1.4% of citizens able to vote. That’s not a lot, but still, every American has the right to vote.

We read/hear stories about how these few people want to vote – try to vote – but get denied because they don’t have acceptable identification. The whole point of showing ID (aside from showing a voter ID card) is to show proof of residency and prevent multiple votes. They don’t want people voting in the wrong district or voting at several polling places.

Taxation For Different Reasons

Recently some have said, and I tend to agree, that the Revolutionary War cry, “No taxation without representation!” has a corollary, “No representation without taxation!” Early American history (sort of) had it this way. When the country was founded, in most states, only white men with property – paying property tax – were permitted to vote; freed African American slaves could vote in four states. Times have changed and more groups of people have been allowed to vote, but the idea of tax payers should be voters remains.

I believe those of us that pay taxes should have a say in how it’s spent (e.g. electing people we think will spend it wisely). If you don’t pay taxes you should not have a say in how other peoples’ money is spent.

Latest Development

On Tuesday, October 14, the Texas GOP successfully appealed the blocked law.

The ruling by a three-judge panel of the New Orleans-based 5th Circuit Court of Appeals allows the law to be used in the November election, despite a lower judge’s ruling that the law is unconstitutional. The 5th Circuit did not rule on the law’s merits; instead, it determined it’s too late to change the rules for the election. Source abcnews.com

They said while it may cause harm to some voters, the greater harm would come from disrupting the election statewide.

The NAACP vowed to appeal this appeal to the US Supreme court.

On Saturday, October 18, the Supreme Court allowed Texas to use its voter id law in the November election. They gave no reasoning. Justice Ginsburg – along with justices Sotomayor and Kagan – issued a six-page dissent. (Source: nytimes.com)

We haven’t seen the end of this argument. There will be more legal battles and appeals.

So, in the end, I showed my driver’s licence that I paid $25 for, and I voted early.

Texas General Election 2014

The General Election in Texas is November 4, 2014. Early voting runs October 20-31, 2014. From the Primary Election in March to the General Election in November, the candidates have been chosen. See who/what is on the ballot or table of candidates.

There are 5 possible party affiliations: R-Republican, D-Democrat, L-Libertarian, G-Green, and I-Independent.

U.S. Senate (Texas)

  • John Cornyn (R)
  • David M. Alameel (D)
  • Rebecca Paddock (L)
  • Emily “Spicybrown” Sanchez (G)

U.S. House of Representatives (District 17)

  • Bill Flores (R)
  • Nick Haynes (D)
  • Shawn Michael Hamilton (L)

Texas Senate (District 5)

  • Charles Schwertner (R)
  • Joel Shapiro (D)
  • Matthew Whittington (L)

Texas House of Representatives (District 14)

  • John Raney (R)
  • Andrew Metscher (D)
  • Bruce L. Pugh (L)

Texas Governor

  • Greg Abbott (R)
  • Wendy R. Davis (D)
  • Kathie Glass (L)
  • Brandon Parmer (G)

Texas Lieutenant Governor

  • Dan Patrick (R)
  • Leticia van de Putte (D)
  • Robert D. Butler (L)
  • Chandrakantha Courtney (G)

Texas Attorney General

  • Ken Paxton (R)
  • Sam Houston (D)
  • Jamie Balagia (L)
  • Jamar Osborne (G)

Texas Supreme Court

Chief Justice

  • Nathan Hecht (R)
  • William Moody (D)
  • Tom Oxford (L)

Place 6

  • Jeff Brown (R)
  • Lawrence Edward Meyers (D)
  • Mark Ash (L)

Place 7

  • Jeff Boyd (R)
  • Gina Benavides (D)
  • Don Fulton (L)
  • Charles E. Waterbury (G)

Place 8

  • Phil Johnson (R)
  • RS Roberto Koelsch (L)
  • Jim Chisolm (G)

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals

Place 3

  • Bert Richardson (R)
  • John Granberg (D)
  • Mark W. Bennett (L)

Place 4

  • Kevin Patrick Yeary (R)
  • Quanah Parker (L)
  • Judith Sanders-Castro (G)

Place 9

  • David Newell (R)
  • William Bryan Strange, III (L)
  • George Joseph Altgelt (G)

Texas Courts of Appeals (District 10)

Place 2

  • Rex Davis (R)

Texas State Board of Education Member (District 8)

  • Barbara Cargill (R) – Next election November 2016

Comptroller of Public Accounts

  • Glenn Hegar (R)
  • Mike Collier (D)
  • Ben Sander (L)
  • Deb Shafto (G)

Commissioner of the General Land Office

  • George P. Bush (R)
  • John Cook (D)
  • Justin Knight (L)
  • Valerie Alessi (G)

Commissioner of Agriculture

  • Sid Miller (R)
  • Jim Hogan (D)
  • David “Rocky” Palmquist (L)
  • Kenneth Kendrick (G)

Railroad Commissioner

  • Ryan Sitton (R)
  • Steve Brown (D)
  • Mark A. Miller (L)
  • Martina Salinas (G)

District Courts – Brazos County

85th District Court Judge

  • Kyle Hawthorne (R)

NOTE: Judge J. D. Langley is stepping down.

272nd District Court Judge

  • Travis Bryan III – Next election ?

361st District Court Judge

  • Steve Smith (R)

Justice of the Peace – Brazos County (Precinct 4)

  • Louis Garcia Jr. (R)

District Attorney – Brazos County

  •  Jarvis Parsons (R) – Next election November 2016

Sheriff – Brazos County

  •  Christopher C. Kirk (R) – Next election November 2016

Amendments to the Texas Constitution

Proposition 1:

Allocate to Fund 6 (The State Highway Fund) one-half of the general revenue derived from oil and gas production taxes that currently is transferred to the Economic Stabilization Fund (Rainy Day Fund).

Also See

 

 

HighEdWeb 2014 Wrap Up

Portland-Old-Town-Sign It’s been 3 years since my last High Ed Web conference, and a lot has changed. This year I attended the 3 events – Welcome Reception: Punch Bowl Social, HighEdWeb AfterDark: Porto Terra, HighEdWeb Big Social Event: World Forestry Center – but I didn’t stay long at any of them. I had more face time with Texas A&M employees this year. I was also producing a vlog everyday in October. After the conference Barbie flew in to Portland, and we took a 3 night vacation around northwest Oregon.

The conference website: http://2014.highedweb.org/

The LINK blog site of the conference: http://link.highedweb.org/category/2014-conference/

I think the most comprehensive wrap up blog came from Karine Joly at collegewebeditor.com: Missed the #heweb14 conference? Check this selection of slides, posts & resources.

One big change was the track names. The new ones are:

  • AIM Applications, Integration and Mobile
  • DPA Development, Programming and Architecture
  • MCS Marketing, Content and Social Strategy
  • MPD Management and Professional Development
  • TIE Technology in Education
  • UAD Usability, Accessibility and Design

Here are the sessions I attended – note the heavy use of AIM track:

  • There Are No Break Points in Your Web Strategy: Going Responsive Without Screwing Everything Up #UAD1
  • Moving to Git-based Version Control with Small Teams #DPA2
  • Node.js + Higher Ed = Awesome! #AIM3
  • Connecting Reusable Disconnected Content: Our CampusData Project #AIM4
  • Automate all the things with Yo, Grunt and Bower #AIM5
  • Beyond the Buildings: A New Generation of Campus Maps #DPA6
  • Agile in higher ed? Yes you Kanban! #MPD7
  • Extreme APIs for a Better Tomorrow #AIM8
  • Putting students first: The uOttawa.ca redesign #UAD9
  • Taking the Web Offline #AIM10
  • Just another bughunt? Tools to improve your site without nuking it from orbit #DPA11
  • Building a room reservation system with a $0 budget #AIM12

Takeaways from #UAD1

Put call-to-action buttons (or emergency alerts) at the top, and keep them in the same place for all devices.

Beware the burger. Don’t just use the icon, add the word “menu.”

Remember that a cell phone is also a phone: click to call service is good to have
also, take advantage of features = enhancement

Dig into analytics and see what mobile is doing differently. That may drive their altered experience.

Subnavigation and breadcrumbs: alot of mobile sites drop them – no one clicked on them for psu.edu.

Takeaways from #DPA2

How Git works (master branch):

  • Working directory on desktop
  • Add these files to staging area
  • Then commit files to local repository
  • Then push files to remote repository

Three phases of going Git:

  • plan
  • execute
  • use

Plan

  • step 1: identify remote repository – external or self hosted
  • step 2: select a workflow – centralized, integration manager, feature workflow, others
  • step 3: identify users and roles
  • step 4: identify what files you want to commit – necessary to run website – ignore all others (.gitignore file)

Execute

  • step 1: steup hosting
  • step 2: create user account and setup machines
  • step 3: create repositories
  • step 4: implement a workflow
  • step 5: push first commit

Use

  • step 1: commit, commit, commit
  • step 2: evaluate what’s working and what’s not

Takeaways from #AIM3

Look at

Gulp vs Grunt – the jury is still out. Gulp is awesome, but Grunt is stable.

Next year the conference goes back to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I’m not going.

They didn’t announce where 2016 was, but they said it will be “in the south.”

For reference, here is a list of the past 6 years’ conferences:

  • 2014 Portland
  • 2013 Buffalo (Did not go)
  • 2012 Milwaukee (Did not go)
  • 2011 Austin
  • 2010 Cincinnati
  • 2009 Milwaukee

 

Vlog Everyday October 2014 | Day 30

“Three Bullet Points”

1] Our cyber security campaign was a success. It got nearly 6000 sessions. Tomorrow is the official end of the campaign, but we decided to let it roll over to Monday.

2] Speaking of tomorrow – Halloween – it’s the last day of October and thus the last day of Vlog Every Day (in) October. I can’t say I’ll miss having to come up with ideas of what to talk about or producing video.

3] OMG TripIt – the trip help app – is getting creepy close to me. The Wife made a hotel reservation today (using my Honor’s number & email address) and they sent me a confirmation email. Well TripIt “saw the email” and told me “we noticed your email and added it to your itinerary.” That’s a little too personal.

#vedo14 or #vlogtober

Vlog Everyday October 2014 | Day 29

“One Bullet Point”

1] My busy week continues. I ate lunch at McDonalds – they ripped me off and I had a fly as a dining companion. I’m never going back to that place. Then I early voted. Then I sat for jury duty for over an hour on the hardest bench ever. The good news was they pleaded and I still got paid $6.