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Concealed Handguns and Texas Open Carry Law

“Carry All Day Every Day”

In Texas, open carry of a handgun in public has long been illegal except when the carrier was on his/her own property, was legally hunting, or was participating in some public gun-related event like a gun show or shooting competition. As of January 1, 2016, holders of a CHL or LTC (License to Carry) may openly carry handguns in the same places that allow concealed handgun carry. The handgun must be in a shoulder or belt holster. Persons currently holding a CHL may continue to carry with a valid license. New applicants will be required to complete training on the use of restraint holsters and methods to ensure the secure carry of openly carried handguns.

In order to obtain a License to Carry one must be eligible to purchase a firearm under the State and Federal Laws. In addition, the following factors may make a person ineligible either temporarily or permanently to obtain a license, including:

1. Felony convictions (permanent) and Class A or B misdemeanors (5 years, permanent in cases of domestic violence), including charges that resulted in probation or deferred adjudication;

2. Pending criminal charges (indefinite until resolved);

3. Chemical or alcohol dependency (defined as 2 convictions for substance-related offenses in a 10-year period; 10-year ban from the date of the first conviction);

4. Certain types of psychological diagnoses (indefinite until the condition is testified by a medical professional as being in remission);

5. Protective or restraining orders (indefinite until rescinded); or

6. Defaults on taxes, student loans, child support and/or other governmental fees (indefinite until resolved (“Texas License to Carry Handgun Laws”)

A licensed handgun carrier is permitted to carry in most public places in the State of Texas however there are some State and Federal restrictions. Public places such as Federal buildings, schools, public sporting events, correctional facilities, courts, election polls, race tracks, businesses posting a compliant “51% sign”, or while intoxicated (Penal Code 46.035.).

Texas does recognize the “Peaceable Journey Law” stating that an unlicensed person may carry a loaded handgun while in or heading directly to a motor vehicle or watercraft they own or control. Texas also enforces the “Castle doctrine/stand your ground law” which states a person is presumed justified in using deadly force to protect themselves against an unlawful, forceful intrusion into their dwelling, or to prevent an unlawful, forceful attempt to remove a lawful occupant from the dwelling, or to prevent certain serious felonies such as burglary or arson. There is no duty to retreat from any place where the shooter has a legal right to be.

Texas has full reciprocity agreements with 30 states, meaning you are allowed to carry in those state just as you do in Texas. Make sure you know which states those are!

Did you know you could open carry in the State of Texas? Do you have a holster for open carry? Where do you put your gun when you can’t take it inside? Throwing our guns and ammunition in the glove compartment damages your equipment. It also does not secure it from the family. Secure your family and your firearm while making it easily accessible with a gun safe or gun vault.

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What Goes In a Personal or Diversion Safe

“Carry All Day Every Day”

Ever watched a James Bond movie where he pulls the heel of his shoe off and it’s a cell phone? Or the button on his shirt is a camera and the ink pen in his pocket is really a poison dart? The same concept holds true with diversion safes. They are purposed to conceal items in plain sight as to not draw attention to themselves making it hard to find.

Secret diversion safes when hidden with other household items will never be targeted, because burglars will never know or think that it’s a personal safe. They can be positioned just about anywhere. Statistics show that a burglar spends on average 6-8 minutes in the victim’s home which puts the odds in your favor when they don’t know where to look.

So what is it that needs to go in a diversion or personal safe? You can start with the extra key under the mat outside the front door. Set a realistic looking stone key hider among the rocks around your porch or tuck it away behind a bush. You could also use the sprinkler head key hider by wedging it into the grass or soil and no one would know the difference. This is a lot better than just letting the perpetrator in the front door by leaving the key under the mat, in the flowerpot or on top of the door frame.

While burglars are looking for your jewelry in the jewelry box you have cleverly hidden it in the diversion safe. Of course, we want to put our money, passports, credit cards, as well as our handguns in our secret compartments as well. Some other items that might be of interest could be important documents such as birth certificates, life insurance policies, and wills. I would consider putting the keys to the storage unit, lockbox and safety deposit box in there as well. Simply put: these diversion safes provide the level of secrecy and security you need to keep things out of other people’s hands.

“Why bother?” you ask. Well, many people think that nothing will ever happen to them. Sadly, that is not the case. There are several things that can happen to valuables that are not secured. The first thing that comes to peoples mind is of course robbery. That is why they think it won’t happen to them. However the fact is, the United States leads the world in occurrence of burglaries and about four burglaries occur every minute; that’s one every 15 seconds. Those are not very good odds.

Items can get lost if they are not secured. I don’t know how many times I have put something somewhere so that I wouldn’t lose it and later couldn’t find it. If I had put it in the safe it wouldn’t be lost. Weather is another issue that will destroy valuables. Tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, fires etc., are all natural disasters that no one “thinks” will happen to them but no one “knows” that it won’t. It never hurts to be prepared. Some valuables cannot be replaced.

Diversion safes provide concealed security for your valuables with affordable options. Get yourself prepared for whatever might come your way.

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Who Needs a Gun Safe?

“Carry All Day Every Day”

Gun safes provide a secure place to store handguns out of reach of family member especially children as well as burglars. Too many accidents have occurred while children were playing with real guns even though parents thought they had the firearms hidden in the closet or under the bed.

Gun safes also protect firearms from disasters such as fires, floods, moisture which can cause rust, etc. along with protecting them from scratches, dust, and fading. Not to mention, you can put other precious item in there such as documents, jewelry, and extra cash.

One disadvantage to a gun safe is the time that it takes to actually retrieve your handgun in the heat of the moment. Remembering a combination and actually punching it in under duress could be a daunting task when every second counts. However, with mapping out and practicing the most efficient method of opening your safe and grabbing your weapon, this disadvantage can be minimized significantly.

There is also a new trend of gun safes on the market that is designed to help minimize this disadvantage as well. These are the concealed home/gun safes otherwise known as diversion safes. A diversion safe is a safe that is hidden in the furniture, walls, stairs, ceiling, or just flat-out in plain sight. With the location being secret there is no need to use heavy metal doors or complex locks giving a quick access advantage. It is all about location and concealment that gives the quickest access to the firearm without creating a situation where the wrong person will find it. Many of these diversion safes actually look like books, furniture, and other household items that blend right in with everything else. A burglar would never know that it was actually a safe nor would they take the time to look because they are usually in a hurry.

There is also new technology introducing the biometric gun safe doing away with the time-consuming traditional gun safe. With this safe, your fingerprint is the key, granting immediate access to your handguns. There is no remembering the combination or fumbling with keys. This is the biometric gun safe’s greatest advantage – speed. The biometric safe can be installed under a desk, beside the bed, under a coffee table, in your car, or a number of places for concealed and quick access. Your gun must be in your hands as soon as possible when dealing with life-threatening situations.

Guns are intended to keep our families safe and secure from all hurt, harm, and danger but put in the wrong hands that intention flies out the window. We have a responsibility as handgun owners to properly secure our firearms for this reason. Be a responsible handgun owner and secure your firearms in a gun safe.

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New to Concealed Handgun Carry? What Do I Do?

“Carry All Day Every Day”

Now as a newbie you are faced with the decision, “Do I carry a gun inside or outside the waistband?” This is a question that has to be answered by you based on your preferences. There are several things to consider. Decide which is more comfortable.

Usually, outside the waistband is a very comfortable option for everyday especially if you are walking around. It also provides for a much faster draw than inside waistband does. With inside waistband the pistol is right up against the skin whereas outside waistband is not. This allows for a more convenient grip on your pistol before you even pull it from the holster.

Because you can get to your pistol faster and easier with the outside waistband, it also enables you to be more accurate. There is no fumbling around or readjusting the position of your hand on the grip after the handgun is drawn. Every second counts in a life or death situation.

One more advantage to the outside waistband is that the re-holstering of your handgun when you’re done is extremely easy. In the event that you have actually fired your weapon in an emergency, with your adrenaline up and your brain racing, getting your handgun back in its safe place without an accidental discharge is essential. No one wants to shoot themselves trying to get their handgun back in the holster.

You should definitely try both and decide for yourself however considering all things, I recommend the outside waistband until you are no longer a newbie. You should also practice holstering, drawing and re-holstering your handgun until you are comfortable handling your weapon. Please practice with an unloaded firearm until you get to a range that has a draw-and fire lane. The situation is never the same when the real thing happens.

Women:

Women should not carry their handguns in their purse unless your purse is specifically designed to carry however even then I really advise against it. The first thing that predator is usually after when a woman is attacked is her purse. If your purse is pulled from you and your handgun is in it you are rendered defenseless immediately. The best thing to do is have your weapon on your person. I understand that concealment for women is even more difficult than men due to clothing styles but your safety is at the utmost importance. Better safe than sorry as my mother always says.

One disadvantage to the outside waistband is it doesn’t offer as much concealment as the inside waistband. However, there are holsters on the market that are made with a lower profile that make it easier to conceal outside the waistband. Also check for the open belt slot on one end and the belt slide fob in the center of the holster, giving the user two points of belt security for a tight and secure fit which allows for better concealment.

 

 

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Why I Carry a Concealed Handgun

“Carry All Day Every Day”

One afternoon, my daughter, grandson, and I came home from the grocery store and the front door was ajar. I had my hands full of grocery bags and my daughter was carrying my grandson in the infant carrier. I (like all the dummies you see in the movies) proceeded to walk right in the door to check things out. Long story short, the place was ransacked and only personal items of mine were taken as compared to items of value. It was like someone had gone shopping. The police officer advised me to move due to the nature of the items that were taken because it appeared as if someone had been stalking me. I felt totally violated

Not only did I move but I marched right down to the next gun show and bought myself a Smith & Wesson revolver. I also went and got my License to Carry. I was not going to live in fear nor was I going to allow someone to put my family in danger like that again.

Carrying a concealed handgun empowers me with protection, but only to the extent that I allow it to. If I don’t know how to use my handgun, don’t take care of my handgun, or better yet, don’t even have it on me, I have put not only myself but my family right back in the same vulnerable position as I was on that afternoon. It is the responsibility of the owner to be abreast of the use, care, and laws of handgun carry.

There are four standard safety rules to always, always, and I repeat always remember.

1. Every gun is always loaded. No matter what anyone says, you treat it likes it loaded.

2. Never point the gun at anything you are not willing to destroy. Never assume the gun is unloaded. Refer to rule #1. Make sure that the magazine is out or the cylinder is open, then the bolt or slide is open. Once that is done you visually inspect the chamber.

3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target and you have decided to shoot.

4. Be sure of your target and what is around it. You are responsible for collateral damage.There are a few other safety tips I would like to mention. It is a good idea to rid yourself of distractions when cleaning your firearms and move ammunition out of reach. Teach your children the four gun safety rules. Simple telling them that the guns are “off-limits” or that they will blow up if they touch them will not work! This is why the child related accidents happen. You need to teach them that guns are always loaded, never point the gun at someone else, keep their finger off the trigger, and always check twice to make sure the firearm is unloaded. They also need to know to keep the information that you have firearms at home a secret, and wear proper eye and ear protection. They are watching you so stay consistent.

Last but not least, carry with a bullet in the chamber. There is a lot of controversy over this subject. However, you are not going to have time to pull your handgun from the holster, remove the safety, get into shooting stance and then fire. I promise! The attacker will to be up on you so fast you will not know what happened.

Just remember why you carry. Keep up on your skills. Keep up on the current laws and keep your equipment up to date.

This is Why I Carry a Concealed Handgun!

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