Alleged TSRA Bad Behavior On Open Carry Bill

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Alleged TSRA Bad Behavior On Open Carry Bill

#1

Post by PracticalTactical » Fri May 13, 2011 12:05 am

Before I get started, I want to introduce myself and my intentions here to start a civilized and productive discussion. That and I'm not hiding behind any walls of anonymity.

I am Dusty Sensiba, a New Mexico CHL instructor. I am also an NRA instructor and do some AZ permit work with AZ DPS (reciprocity for NM isn't nearly as good, so we usually get an AZ permit to improve our carry coverage). I live just north of El Paso, and myself and most of my students regularly travel into Texas carrying concealed, so while we're not residents, Texas policy does affect us greatly.

I'm also working on getting set up for Texas CHL instruction and will get a Texas CHL while I'm at it. Heck, yet another piece of plastic in the ol' wallet, but unlike New Mexico, Texas puts 'instructor' on your license, who wouldn't want that?

I heard about Texas CHL Forum over on opencarry.org, but before you all start drawing down on me :fire , I'm not here to start yet another battle in the cross-board flame wars. Open carry isn't anything special in New Mexico, and we don't have all the controversy and anti-CHL sentiment in the New Mexico section. But I do keep an eye on the Texas section and try to do anything I can to improve things for both TX and NM residents.

I'll keep an eye on the 'Other States' section here, and if anybody has any NM or AZ questions I'll be there to help out.

I would have put all of this in a 'New Member' post, but I couldn't find a section for that.

Anyways, on to the actual topic of this post....

I read over there on OpenCarry.org forums, some guy was saying that TSRA asked the legislator who filed the bill to hold onto it and give Campus Carry and the parking lot bill a chance to get going before introducing it or working it hard in the open, promising support for his bill if he waited as requested. So he did, and the bill was filed very late. But, once the waiting was over and the bill was introduced, he was then told to get the bill out of committee and then they'd support it. So he got it out of committee and then he was told to get it to the floor for a vote and they'd support it. Unfortunately, the chances of getting the thing through calendaring is next to impossible because the bill was filed so late in the session.

I didn't take the post I read at face value, as the poster is usually kind of rabid (I had to re-read his post three times to understand what he was saying). So, I called Lavender's office and talked to his staff for a few minutes to see if there was any truth to the story I was hearing on the forum.

Unfortunately, I got the same story from them. The staff is saying TSRA talked him into delaying the bill knowing it would would never get on the calendar without some serious support at the last minute (which was never provided as promised). So, either the staff is lying to me, or the TSRA really did this.

As a member of the NRA and as an NRA instructor, seeing something that looks as unethical as this really doesn't make me feel very good. It's not very ethical to hammer out an agreement with somebody, have them fulfill their part, and then never fulfill yours.

Anybody here from TSRA who has some information I don't have, or with some good reasoned justification?

I really don't want to get into a debate over the wisdom of open carry, or the particular content of the bill (which, I do agree, has some problems), or the childish behavior that sometimes goes on over at opencarry. None of that is really relevant to this particular situation or to TSRA's behavior. I'd hate to see them do this to a perfectly good bill in the future.


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Re: Alleged TSRA Bad Behavior On Open Carry Bill

#2

Post by RPB » Fri May 13, 2011 12:14 am

Anybody here from TSRA who has some information I don't have
viewtopic.php?f=110&t=44594&start=60#p541065" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
viewtopic.php?f=110&t=44594&start=135#p543846" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
viewtopic.php?f=110&t=44594&start=225#p546718" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
viewtopic.php?f=110&t=44594&start=15#p540492" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
viewtopic.php?f=110&t=44594&start=210#p546215" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
and lots more
I'd hate to see them do this to a perfectly good bill in the future.
Me personally ... ( I do not speak for the TSRA/NRA or any organization, I'm not a member of any, I do not speak for this forum, ...I retired from 25 years in a law office as an assistant and can read; American Jurisprudence degree, among others)

I support open carry, and if a "perfectly good bill" was presented in the future, I'd support it.
Though the bill presented is now dead, I would not have supported it, as it had potential to create a lot of problems for licensees under the current Texas laws as it is/was written.... but I'd support a "good bill" on open carry.
Absolutely, if a "perfectly good bill" was presented in the future, I'd support it. I'd think almost all CHLs would, but we haven't seen one yet.

I'm glad that bill was filed, even though it's now dead, because it gets Legislators used to seeing such bills, I'm glad it's dead though, perhaps next session a "good bill" can be filed.
I'll keep an eye on the 'Other States' section here, and if anybody has any NM or AZ questions I'll be there to help out.

I would have put all of this in a 'New Member' post, but I couldn't find a section for that.
Welcome to the forum
(Here's the "Introduce yourself" thread)
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=33&hilit=introduce" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Alleged TSRA Bad Behavior On Open Carry Bill

#3

Post by G.A. Heath » Fri May 13, 2011 1:21 am

For disclosure purposes I am an NRA, TSRA, and TFC member, although as a regular member of each I do not have any influence over with their policies beyond that which any other member has.

You will find that there have been many accusations against the NRA, TSRA, Charles Cotton, this forum, and others made by folks on OCDO. This is similar to how GOA gets into its "Whargarbl, NRA BAD, Whargarbl" rants. In essence some of the folks at OCDO can not see the difference between neutral and anti leading to a "If your not with us then your against us" attitude. Now when their bill does not make sufficient progress it has to be the fault of their perceived enemies so they elaborate on it and one thing leads to another and you get a convoluted story that usually goes something like this: Charles Cotton can not stand the idea that his TexasCHLforum will become obsolete so he uses his power and influence as a member ofthe NRA's board of directors and his association with the TSRA to kill the open carry bill. Which eventually led to one individual asking people to violate state and federal laws to harass Mr. Cotton at work. For the best actual discussion regarding the OC bill on this forum check out this thread: http://texaschlforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=110&t=44594" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


There have been several variations of the NRA/TSRA/everybody has sabotaged the OC bill story and each time that you dig a little into them you find that there is nothing of substance there.

Kinda OT, Since your looking to become a Texas CHL instructor where, in Texas (Texas CHL classes must be taught in Texas), will you hold your Texas classes? I'm up for renewal in less than a year and live in a Tx/NM border county so I may consider you if your set up in time and close enough to me.
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Re: Alleged TSRA Bad Behavior On Open Carry Bill

#4

Post by Keith B » Fri May 13, 2011 8:51 am

First off, welcome to the forum. :tiphat:

And, as you will see above, there are links into discussions on that topic posted by RPB.

The allegations are one person's supposed view of what happened. If you read the threads in the links above, these allegations are not true. The person posting them has been banned from several other forums, as well as here. He has a chip on his shoulder and is trying to blame the TSRA, NRA and in particular, this forum's owner Charles Cotton.

If you do a little research, you will find that Mr. Cotton has done more to help promote and regain our rights here in Texas than any other individual you can name. He has worked diligently to help both the TSRA and NRA lobby for our gun rights. He worked for over 10 years in pushing to get CHL in Texas, including helping craft wording and guidelines for the bills. No one IMO has done more positive things for firearms owners in Texas than Charles. And, he continues to work for our rights and freedoms.

So, after reading the threads above, you can make your own decisions on who did what, and I think you will see that Mr. Redneck's moniker if pretty well just what he is; a redneck bomb thrower. His posts are filled with grammatical and spelling errors, and he is just looking to stir trouble because the poorly written and designed bill he supposedly wrote (his words) did not get pushed through by the Legislators in the House. Had the bill been something that was ready for prime time here in Texas, there would have been a companion bill in the Senate as well, and there would have been major support for it. But as written, it is a very bad option as it has a major potential to do damage to concealed carry as well as squelching open carry in tons of places if passed.

Again, welcome to the forum and hope you enjoy it here! :thumbs2:
Keith
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Re: Alleged TSRA Bad Behavior On Open Carry Bill

#5

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Fri May 13, 2011 10:06 am

Hi Dusty and welcome to TexasCHLforum. Don't worry about anyone "drawing down on you" because you post on OpenCarry.org. :lol: Contrary to what is widely proclaimed there, we don't allow personal attacks on our Members and we don't ban folks because we may not agree with their position on issues. There are only two ways to get banned, be a spammer or repeatedly violate our rules. Again, welcome to the TexasCHLforum.

Your post is obviously of interest because the TSRA never did anything you describe. I also find the post interesting because Shane McCrary, President of Lone Star Citizens League (a/k/a MR REDNECK) posted that it was the NRA, not TSRA, that did the alleged dirty deeds. (See his post below.) I have tried to call Rep. Lavender's staff but I keep getting voicemail; I'll keep trying.

I have been involved in Second Amendment issues for 31 years having written a concealed carry bill in 1980 for the 1981 session. (It wasn't filed because of the anti-handgun furor generated by the murder of John Lennon in Dec., 1980.) I've been pro bono (a/k/a "free") legislative counsel for TSRA for 26 years and I've been on the NRA Board of Directors since 2001. Neither TSRA nor the NRA did what you describe. Neither organization would do that because it is a guaranteed way to destroy your credibility and your effectiveness. If you do that to one Representative or Senator, then everyone in Austin knows it, including the staff. When we make a promise we keep it.

As I mentioned, it's interesting that you were told TSRA was the bad actor, while Shane McCrary said it was the NRA. That is not a minor discrepancy. It's also interesting that Rep. Lavender never mentioned any alleged displeasure with TSRA or NRA and he sees our lobbyists every day in the Capital "pit."

MR REDNECK is making all manner of false allegations against anyone and everyone who doesn't agree with him on open-carry. In addition to blaming the NRA and TSRA for open-carry not passing this session or last session, he is now claiming that I brag about being sneaky and amending the wording of 30.06 sign "every session." The wording of a 30.06 sign has only been amended once and that was necessary when the CHL statute was codified from the "black statutes" to the Government Code.

I'll keep trying to get through to Rep. Lavender's staff.

Chas.

MR REDNECK wrote:FLSTNI would like to address the comment you have made on this post.
First of all, Mr. Lavendar went to the TSR and the NRA for open carry support. The TSRA lobbyist was very rude to the man and would not lobby for open carry, claiming to other things this session. Some of us also shared our thought with Mr. Lavendar about TSRA phone conversations where they wouldnt support open carry because they disapprove of open carry.
The NRA told Mr. Lavandar they would help him but asked him to enter the bill late.They explained the need to get the Campus carry and Parking lot carry out of the House first. At that time if he entered the open carry bill, they would support it. When the time came to lobby the bill upon entering it, the NRA asked him to get the bill out of Homeland Security Committee firts. "So We did". Then the NRA drew back further and requested him to get the bill to the House FLoor first.
So the NRA has not done anything as they claimed to do. By not helping push the bill, the bill became time sensitive because it was entered late at the request of the NRA.
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Re: Alleged TSRA Bad Behavior On Open Carry Bill

#6

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Fri May 13, 2011 10:40 am

I just talked to a staffer in Rep. Lavender's office. He did not say that either TSRA or NRA delayed HB2756, he did not say either organization made/broke any promises. I started the conversation by telling him what Shane McCrary, President of Lone Star Citizens Defense League posted on OpenCarry.org. His response was, "Rep. Lavender asked TSRA and NRA for help on the bill and he was told that they (NRA/TSRA) were going to be working on employer parking lots and campus-carry, but that if it got to the floor, they might be able to help." He went on to say that Rep. Lavender got the bill filed, got it through committee and it went to Calendars. The gist of the conversation seemed to express disappointment that NRA/TSRA couldn't help get HB2756 passed, but not a hint of a conspiracy or double-cross.

He didn't say anything about promises or delays by either the NRA or TSRA. When asked specifically if either the NRA or TSRA caused any delays, he said, "that's not beyond the realm of possibility" but he had no knowledge of it.

Chas.
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Re: Alleged TSRA Bad Behavior On Open Carry Bill

#7

Post by 74novaman » Fri May 13, 2011 10:50 am

Charles L. Cotton wrote: When asked specifically if either the NRA or TSRA caused any delays, he said, "that's not beyond the realm of possibility" but he had no knowledge of it.

Chas.
So, sounds like staffers are letting people fill in their own blanks...Is this a "don't blame us, here's a hypothetical bogyman" situation? Very interesting response on his part. I guess if you were already bent towards blaming TSRA or NRA for all your woes, a statement like that could sound like "Its their fault, not ours".

ETA: Certainly not blaming Lavender for spreading rumors, just sounds to me like a staffer is covering his rear by leaving open possibilities other than "well, my boss didn't get it filed early enough to pass in this busy legislative session".
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Re: Alleged TSRA Bad Behavior On Open Carry Bill

#8

Post by PracticalTactical » Fri May 13, 2011 11:08 am

74novaman wrote:
Charles L. Cotton wrote: When asked specifically if either the NRA or TSRA caused any delays, he said, "that's not beyond the realm of possibility" but he had no knowledge of it.

Chas.
So, sounds like staffers are letting people fill in their own blanks...Is this a "don't blame us, here's a hypothetical bogyman" situation? Very interesting response on his part. I guess if you were already bent towards blaming TSRA or NRA for all your woes, a statement like that could sound like "Its their fault, not ours".

ETA: Certainly not blaming Lavender for spreading rumors, just sounds to me like a staffer is covering his rear by leaving open possibilities other than "well, my boss didn't get it filed early enough to pass in this busy legislative session".
That was similar to my experience on the phone with the staff.

They would give all sorts of vague answers, and as soon as the questions got too pointed I'd get transferred to somebody else. The last lady I talked to at first would only commit to saying the NRA and TSRA were 'less than helpful'. She kept waffling and wouldn't give a straight yes or no on any question unless I'd ask it like three times.

Finally, I asked the pointed question of "Did the NRA and TSRA ask Mr. Lavender to delay his bill?"

I didn't get a yes or no, I got a long story about how they understand the importance of the other bills and how Mr. Lavender worked quietly on the bill at the beginning of the session drumming up support, or at least neutrality, from police groups. She said this was in anticipation of later support for the bill from TSRA and NRA. She also said this was a great victory for open carry for next session because in the past the OC crowd has been rowdy and turned people off but that this year it was a lot more classy.

So I asked again, "So are you saying the NRA and TSRA asked him to delay filing the bill until later with the promise of future support?"

Once again, no yes or no, but she said it was very frustrating that the NRA and TSRA didn't support the bill when they said they would and kept delaying support to a future hurdle once they'd overcome one.

Between all that was said, it seemed pretty clear that the story was true, but there was never a clear yes or no moment.

Typical politician stuff :)


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Re: Alleged TSRA Bad Behavior On Open Carry Bill

#9

Post by PracticalTactical » Fri May 13, 2011 2:13 pm

G.A. Heath wrote:
Kinda OT, Since your looking to become a Texas CHL instructor where, in Texas (Texas CHL classes must be taught in Texas), will you hold your Texas classes? I'm up for renewal in less than a year and live in a Tx/NM border county so I may consider you if your set up in time and close enough to me.
I live in Las Cruces, and plan on setting up classes in El Paso. Lots of border between NM and TX, what part of the state are you in?

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Re: Alleged TSRA Bad Behavior On Open Carry Bill

#10

Post by Keith B » Fri May 13, 2011 2:51 pm

PracticalTactical wrote:
74novaman wrote:
Charles L. Cotton wrote: When asked specifically if either the NRA or TSRA caused any delays, he said, "that's not beyond the realm of possibility" but he had no knowledge of it.

Chas.
So, sounds like staffers are letting people fill in their own blanks...Is this a "don't blame us, here's a hypothetical bogyman" situation? Very interesting response on his part. I guess if you were already bent towards blaming TSRA or NRA for all your woes, a statement like that could sound like "Its their fault, not ours".

ETA: Certainly not blaming Lavender for spreading rumors, just sounds to me like a staffer is covering his rear by leaving open possibilities other than "well, my boss didn't get it filed early enough to pass in this busy legislative session".
That was similar to my experience on the phone with the staff.

They would give all sorts of vague answers, and as soon as the questions got too pointed I'd get transferred to somebody else. The last lady I talked to at first would only commit to saying the NRA and TSRA were 'less than helpful'. She kept waffling and wouldn't give a straight yes or no on any question unless I'd ask it like three times.

Finally, I asked the pointed question of "Did the NRA and TSRA ask Mr. Lavender to delay his bill?"

I didn't get a yes or no, I got a long story about how they understand the importance of the other bills and how Mr. Lavender worked quietly on the bill at the beginning of the session drumming up support, or at least neutrality, from police groups. She said this was in anticipation of later support for the bill from TSRA and NRA. She also said this was a great victory for open carry for next session because in the past the OC crowd has been rowdy and turned people off but that this year it was a lot more classy.

So I asked again, "So are you saying the NRA and TSRA asked him to delay filing the bill until later with the promise of future support?"

Once again, no yes or no, but she said it was very frustrating that the NRA and TSRA didn't support the bill when they said they would and kept delaying support to a future hurdle once they'd overcome one.

Between all that was said, it seemed pretty clear that the story was true, but there was never a clear yes or no moment.

Typical politician stuff :)
Sounds to me like they wanted the TSRA or NRA to put their support behind their bill, but were frustrated when they failed to step up and wave their flags to try and get it pushed through.

Well, not taking a bill and running with it, when that bill has major issues, is not the same as sabotaging it. The TSRA has always said they had their priorities, and those primarily are Campus Carry and Parking Lot, as well as Range Protection. These bills are NOT past the need of help to support them and get them passed, so I fail to see how the TSRA did anything to the negative other than work on their priorities like they said they would do. When it came down to the zero hour, there was still work being done on the other bills, so unfortunately those of lower priority bills went lacking. And, I can tell you as a Manager for over 30 years at a large corporation, that if you try to tackle all of the projects and don't take the projects that are the most critical and have the best chances of being completed by deadline first, you will end up getting NONE of them done. This is the ONLY method that will work.

So, while unfortunately there are firearms related legislation that may end up not getting to the floor, there has been a much better movement this session than last. Parking Lots died in committee last session, and Campus Carry never really even got off the ground. And, as stated, Open Carry legislation got its feet wet for the first time this session and was at least introduced. So, little by little we gain ground back that has been taken away, and as such maybe Open Carry and other legislation will make their way to the top of the pile in due time.

And my thanks goes out to the TSRA and NRA for working to get as far as we have. The fight is not over on the bills still in the pool, so everyone keep making those calls and faxing those letters of support. :thumbs2:
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Re: Alleged TSRA Bad Behavior On Open Carry Bill

#11

Post by G.A. Heath » Fri May 13, 2011 5:02 pm

PracticalTactical wrote:
G.A. Heath wrote:
Kinda OT, Since your looking to become a Texas CHL instructor where, in Texas (Texas CHL classes must be taught in Texas), will you hold your Texas classes? I'm up for renewal in less than a year and live in a Tx/NM border county so I may consider you if your set up in time and close enough to me.
I live in Las Cruces, and plan on setting up classes in El Paso. Lots of border between NM and TX, what part of the state are you in?
I live near Hobbs NM in Gaines County while I could follow US 62 to El Paso I think I will do the renewal course a little closer to home.
I am also a Gun guy, Car Guy, and Computer Guy and a currently former podcaster.


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Re: Alleged TSRA Bad Behavior On Open Carry Bill

#12

Post by JKTex » Sat May 14, 2011 2:12 pm

PracticalTactical wrote:So, I called Lavender's office and talked to his staff for a few minutes to see if there was any truth to the story I was hearing on the forum.

Unfortunately, I got the same story from them. The staff is saying TSRA talked him into delaying the bill knowing it would would never get on the calendar without some serious support at the last minute (which was never provided as promised). So, either the staff is lying to me, or the TSRA really did this.
PracticalTactical wrote:That was similar to my experience on the phone with the staff.

They would give all sorts of vague answers, and as soon as the questions got too pointed I'd get transferred to somebody else. The last lady I talked to at first would only commit to saying the NRA and TSRA were 'less than helpful'. She kept waffling and wouldn't give a straight yes or no on any question unless I'd ask it like three times.

Finally, I asked the pointed question of "Did the NRA and TSRA ask Mr. Lavender to delay his bill?"

I didn't get a yes or no, I got a long story about how they understand the importance of the other bills and how Mr. Lavender worked quietly on the bill at the beginning of the session drumming up support, or at least neutrality, from police groups.
I'm only trying to understand how this is all unfolding, but from your opening post to the last reply, you seem to be backing away from your initial assertion that the story you heard on Opencarry.org that the TSRA (or NRA or both), for all intents and purposes lied/sabotaged HB2756, was confirmed by Lavenders office.

From your last account and Charles' account of the discussion with Lavenders office, it sounds like they're trying not to say much, but are disappointed that they didn't get early support from the NRA and TSRA but also acknowledged and understood how important it was for them to focus on the 2 "headline" bills which they have done.

From all accounts I've heard, to me it almost sounds like a freshman Representative that followed through with an open carry bill because it was a campaign promise. Kind of an "oh no, now I have to do it" and realized it was no easy task if it were to be successful. It's admirable, but it's also understood he doens't want to feel as thought he failed those that put him in office. That's a lot better than a a huge set back if the wrong bill was supported ad pushed, and at the wrong time.

Maybe next session. I've been wanting to add to my OWB leather for a couple years, so maybe I'll just go ahead and get an order in to Tucker as a consolation prize to myself. :mrgreen: :txflag:


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Re: Alleged TSRA Bad Behavior On Open Carry Bill

#13

Post by Bullwhip » Sun May 15, 2011 3:01 am

JKTex wrote: From all accounts I've heard, to me it almost sounds like a freshman Representative that followed through with an open carry bill because it was a campaign promise. Kind of an "oh no, now I have to do it" and realized it was no easy task if it were to be successful. It's admirable, but it's also understood he doens't want to feel as thought he failed those that put him in office. That's a lot better than a a huge set back if the wrong bill was supported ad pushed, and at the wrong time.
Sounds a lot like a rep who knows he's going to be rated by the gun orgs and can't say everthing he wants to say. Or maybe just still really supports them and wants to work with them, I don't know. I know a new rep can be 1000% pro gun and better not cross the gun rights orgs if he wants to stay in office.

I don't think it was great bill, it was too late. I don't know what anybody said or did, I'm no insider. But I can sure believe stuff took place we don't know about and never will. Even Mr. Cotton has stuff going on he can't tell us about, that's politics.

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Re: Alleged TSRA Bad Behavior On Open Carry Bill

#14

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Sun May 15, 2011 9:26 am

Bullwhip wrote:
JKTex wrote: From all accounts I've heard, to me it almost sounds like a freshman Representative that followed through with an open carry bill because it was a campaign promise. Kind of an "oh no, now I have to do it" and realized it was no easy task if it were to be successful. It's admirable, but it's also understood he doens't want to feel as thought he failed those that put him in office. That's a lot better than a a huge set back if the wrong bill was supported ad pushed, and at the wrong time.
Sounds a lot like a rep who knows he's going to be rated by the gun orgs and can't say everthing he wants to say. Or maybe just still really supports them and wants to work with them, I don't know. I know a new rep can be 1000% pro gun and better not cross the gun rights orgs if he wants to stay in office.
Not one word of the false insinuations came from Rep. Lavender; only from some unidentified staffer. (I can't say "allegations" any longer since neither PracticalTactical nor I were told anything close to what Shane McCrary (MR REDNECK) posted on OpenCarry.org. If he's catering to the "gun organizations," he has a funny way of going about it by letting his staff provide false insinuations to unidentified callers.
Bullwhip wrote:I don't know what anybody said or did, I'm no insider. But I can sure believe stuff took place we don't know about and never will. Even Mr. Cotton has stuff going on he can't tell us about, that's politics.
I don't have anything going that would damage my credibility and future effectiveness, nor do Alice Tripp or the NRA lobbyist. For people who know anything about politics, the greatest proof that neither TSRA nor NRA did what was falsely claimed by Shane McCrary and apparently hinted by some staffer (though not to me during our call) is the fact that we would be destroying our reputation, credibility and our ability to get anything done in future sessions. A lack of trustworthiness in Austin means you have no influence; no influence means you can't get anything passed, nor can you kill bills. NRA/TSRA did not do what McCrary claims.

Chas.
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Re: Alleged TSRA Bad Behavior On Open Carry Bill

#15

Post by sugar land dave » Sun May 15, 2011 12:52 pm

Sorry, but I don't believe the words of an unnamed staffer as you have related in your post. It wouldn't be very clever politically for a politician to take on a relatively powerful gun-rights group unless he was a seasoned veteran and the stakes were incredibly important, two things which I believe are absent in this case.

Welcome to the forum, but respectfully I must disagree this time. :tiphat:
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