Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Recent Texas Headlines and the Next Legislative Session

There have been two firearm related topics making the rounds through the Texas news outlets over the past few days that are meant to influence the upcoming legislative session.

First is push to legalise open carry of firearms in the State of Texas.

That video from The 33 TV.com has lots to talk about in it, starting with the grip that woman has on her pistol, but it gives you the basic gist of what is going on.

OpenCarry.org has commenced it's Operation Lone Star Thunder radio campaign to garner support for open carry legislation that will be introduced during this next legislative session.

I support open carry and will do so if a good bill is introduced. If you would like to show your support for open carry legislation, you can sign a petition here (registered Texas voters only please).

The next topic that has been front page news for every major news outlet in Texas is an AP story that states "Houston called top gun supplier for Mexican drug cartels".

From the Dallas Morning News:

HOUSTON – Houston has become the top source for firearms going into Mexico, supplying drug cartel gangsters with weapons for their deadly battles, according to federal law enforcement officials.

A Mexican federal officer views a Tijuana crime scene where gunmen killed a woman and injured a police investigator at a Sam's Club parking lot on Tuesday. "Our investigations show Houston is the top source for firearms going into Mexico, top source in the country," J. Dewey Webb, special agent in charge of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' Houston division, said in the Houston Chronicle.
Three years ago Venezuela purchased 100,000 AK-103's (modern version of the AK-47) and are now opening a Kalashnikov factory of it's very own to produce even more AK's. One has to wonder how the older firearms were disposed of. Dimes for dollars many of those weapons are in the hands of the Mexican drug cartels.

It was not that long ago when we American citizens told our representatives that we wanted our Southern border secured. We demanded a fence, congress approved a fence, where the hell is our fence? A secure border would go a long way towards stemming the flow of contraband in both directions across the border.

I opened this post by stating that both of these news topics were meant to influence upcoming legislation. The open carry story is pretty straight forward. OpenCarry.org is advocating for open carry in the State of Texas. The Texas/Mexico gun link story is not quite so open about it's purpose.

The next Texas legislative session begins in little over a month, January 13th. Hundreds of bills have already been introduced, and hundreds more are in the wings. The anti's have made some progress in the last election cycle and support for gun control measures will increase. Two major pieces of anti gun legislation were killed during the last session:

HB 594 - Closing the Gun Show Loophole. I commented upon this bill here. It died a well deserved death in committee.

HB 595 - Waiting periods for handgun purchases. This bill included 1 gun a month restrictions. Another disastrous bill. My comments are here. Thankfully this bill also died in committee.

These bills will be re-introduced and the recent blanket coverage of the supposed Texas/Mexico gun link is meant to soften up the public and garner acceptance to this legislation.

A few quoted from the article:

From MySanAntonio.com

Gun storeowners are technically right when they say they don't break any laws in selling firearms that become murder weapons south of the border. And box stores also turn a blind eye while selling customers wholesale quantities of ammo, no questions asked, knowing full well the purchases are bound for Mexico.

Legal? Yes, but hardly moral. Who wants to be a party to such gruesome transactions?
From the Houstin Chronicle

Almost always, shops that have sold guns later used in crimes have done nothing illegal.

U.S. citizens and legal residents who are not convicted of a felony, who say the gun is for their own use, and who meet a few other standards can buy all they want in Texas.

"There are no flags to be raised because you're not breaking the law," said Rachel Stohl, an expert on small arms smuggling at the Center for Defense Information in Washington, D.C.

It is up to a gun store owner or sales clerk to decide whether they are being hoodwinked and call authorities.

"For the same person coming in repeatedly and buying these weapons at that amount of money and probably paying cash, somebody has to stand up and be a good American," said Don Clark, a retired FBI agent who headed the Houston office.

Hernandez, who the ATF contends purchased at least one of the guns used in the Acapulco massacre, pleaded guilty to making false statements during the purchase of firearms.

He is scheduled to be sentenced in January.

Among the favorite weapons of the cartels is a .223-caliber Bushmaster, which goes for about $1,000 at some Houston gun shops, and can fire rounds capable of piercing body armor.

Hernandez bought five Bushmasters one day in September 2006 from the Carter's Country on Treaschwig Road in Spring.
Oh my... Texans can purchase as many guns as they want!

Hernandez did a straw purchase, illegal. Assisted in smuggling guns into Mexico, also illegal. If he sold that quantity of guns without an FFL, he broke yet another law.

The hand wringers and bed wetters will be using the fact that Mexican Drug Gangs (you know, those ultra violent individuals who cross our border at will) illegally acquire firearms that are legally sold in the United States to write even more useless gun laws that will have absolutely no effect on the Mexican Drug Gangs.

This quote in the article really set me off:

"All the weapons the drug syndicates are using in Mexico come across the border from the United States," Arturo Sarukhan, Mexico's ambassador to the United States, said during a visit to the Houston Chronicle.
Oh yeah? Where are these goblins getting the full auto weapons, the RPG's and the hand grenades that they are using? Might it be from your very own corrupt military and police?

Ambassador Sarukhan, I would recommend you get your house in order and maybe secure your side of the border before blaming any of this violence on the United States.

For more on the guns in Mexico issue, click here.


Anonymous said...

and lets not forget the "zetas" ex-military for hire gang. i don't think that their preferred weapons "the hand grenades" are being purchased at your local houston gun store. close the border!!!

Anonymous said...

This is what most bothered me in the Houston Chronicle article:

"The number of ATF agents assigned to the Houston region, which stretches from near Del Rio to the Gulf Coast, has increased 12 percent in the past two years."

Great, more BATFU agents in town....

Rabbit said...

I heard OpenCarry's radio ad on KLLI yesterday about 2:50. I wonder if running it on KLIF or WBAP would hit their demographic better?

As for me, I want to know where they're selling those hand grenades to narcos. I have a fire ant problem and that'd do the trick. D'ya figure Ace Hardware has those?


the pistolero said...

There were some good letters to the editor in the Houston Chronicle regarding their particular story. I blogged about them here.

Anonymous said...

While you Texans are cleaning up your gun laws, how about doing something with your knife laws as well. While visiting to escape Gustav, we had to stow a fixed-blade knife in the trunk to not be in violation.

Good luck.