Friday, April 18, 2014
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Tripp Talk

What November 2012 Means To Gun-Owners

While the media goes back and forth on the economy, the job-market, ObamaCare, and border issues, I think about this presidential election from a slightly different perspective.

Future U.S. Supreme Court appointees and there will be court members retiring in the next 4 years.

Yes, we have won a battle or two in the recent past but with a decidedly unfriendly court, all that has been won could be lost, plus more and in the blink of an eye.

Just as we "woke up" one day to Roe vs Wade in 1973, we could wake up to discover sweeping changes to gun ownership and/or to self defense rights; changes that may have nothing to do with Congress or directly with the current administration.  Supreme Court appointees are for life.

Be more than a little concerned.  The person who gave you Eric Holder-Fast and Furious and Hilary Clinton-UN Treaty concerns will be the person who makes this choice and sets this play into motion.


Don't Jump The Gun by Hunting With A Suppressed Firearm

You likely received the TSRA alert announcing that Texas Parks and Wildlife Commissioners' decision to allow firearms with suppressors to be used for taking Texas game animals.   We need to go a step further and tell you, although the rule change is official, it has not yet taken effect.

So don't grab your suppressed AR to taken-on Rio Grande turkeys during Spring Turkey season.

The suppressor change is part of a larger proclamation that includes bag limits for hunting and fishing and other hunting and fishing issues.    All are being reviewed and verified.   The effective date for this rule change and others is September 1st!  

Don't jump the gun!


Suppressors and Hunting Rule Changes by TPWL

Changes Proposed to Game Animal Hunting Rules to Allow Suppressed Firearms



The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission is in the process of reviewing a rule change which would allow hunters to shoot Texas game animals using a firearm outfitted with a legally-owned suppressor.


Other states were polled and of the 33 states returning the inquiry, 14 of those states currently allow the use of suppressed firearms for game hunting purposes.


Current Texas law does not restrict the use of suppressors in the field when hunting non-game species such as exotic game, wild hogs, or coyotes; so the major addition would include mule and white-tail deer and antelope.


What’s a suppressor?   Incorrectly called “Silencers”, a suppressor is a device, controlled by federal law through BATF which dampens the sound of gunfire.   TSRA Legislative Committee Vice Chair commented, “If firearms were invented today, OSHA would require guns to include a suppressor to protect shooters from hearing damage.”


How can an individual purchase a suppressor?   Several companies manufacture suppressors for rifles and handguns and the average retail cost runs between $700-$800.   However, the individual will not take immediate possession of their suppressor; not until the purchaser receives final approval from BATF.   Both the purchaser and their suppressor will then be registered with the BATF.  


Step one is to complete the application process.   The application must include the signature of a Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO) in the county of residence.  This could be the county sheriff, police chief, or even the district attorney.  If the application is not signed by the CLEO, the quest for a suppressor stops.  Finding a signer for your application is not always easy.


When all is complete, including finger prints for the background check, the application and a one-time check for $200 are mailed to BATF and the wait begins. Processing time can take up to 6 months for a perfectly prepared application package.  


Note:  It is possible to shelter and to by-pass some of the steps involved in acquiring class III devices within a trust or corporation, speak with your family lawyer to decide what's right for you. 


Don't forget to add-in the cost for a gunsmith to thread your barrell.   The resale of a suppressor from one individual to another requires these same steps.   A suppressor remains registered in the name of the owner until legally transferred.    The penalty for an illegal suppressor or an illegal transfer is severe.  


Suppressors are often favored by target shooters during practice and by novice shooters concerned with flinch and noise.  Hunters like having a suppressed rifle, particularly in a hunting blind where noise is contained and amplified. 


Game wardens do not rely solely on noise as an alert to poaching or illegal hunting.  Game could be taken illegally any number of ways including traps, bows, and cross-bows.  A suppressed rifle shot is simply easier on the shooter and any neighbors and livestock within ear-shot.


The proposed rule change was discussed to during the January 25th TPWL Commission meeting and will be posted in the Texas Register as required by law.  


What opposition there is appears to center around misinformation about suppressors in general and what they actually do.  Remember a suppressor only dampens noise; there is no “silencer”.


Public input on this issue is not yet available but will be soon at the link below:


             Click here: TPWD: Opportunities for Comment






Texas Wrap-Up 2011

The 82nd Regular Session of the Texas Legislature opened on the 2nd Tuesday in January 2011 and ended the end of May.   It was a remarkable session for Texas gun owners.

Supported Pro-Gun Bills

HB 25 by Rep. Ryan Guillen (D- Rio Grande City) and Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston) allowing a handgun to be carried without a CHL on a watercraft.  An identical bill was also filed by Rep. Dan Flynn (R-Van).  Passed and signed into law.

HB 698 by Rep. Dan Huberty (R-Houston) -SB 418 by Sen. Tommy Williams (R-The Woodlands) allowing School Board members with CHLs to carry into official school board meetings.   Stalled in the Senate but passed out of House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee.

SB 321 by Sen. Glen Hegar (R-Eagle Lake) and Rep. Tim Kleinschmidt (R-Lexington) allowing for firearms in employees' personal, locked vehicles when parked on the employer's parking lot.  Passed and signed into law.  Note: HB 2890 by Rep. David Simpson was filed and is similar to SB 321. 

HB 86 by Rep. David Simpson (R-Longview), HB 750 by Rep. Joe Driver (R-Garland), HB 1167 by Rep. Van Taylor (R-Plano), HB 1356 by Rep. Lance Gooden (R-Terrell), HB 2178 also by Rep. Joe Driver (R-Garland), and Sen. Jeff Wentworth (R-San Antonio) all dealing with allowing students, faculty, and staff of various colleges and technical schools possessing a Texas concealed handgun license to possess their handgun on property currently prohibited by Texas law.   Did not pass.

SB 766 by Sen. Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) and Rep. Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs) to protect shooting ranges from frivolous and unfounded lawsuits.   Passed and signed into law.

HB 2560 by Rep. Ralph Sheffield (R-Temple) and Sen. Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) clarified the transporting of a foster child by a person with a valid Texas CHL carrying their handgun.  Passed and became law.

Of Interest!

This marked the first time metal detectors were placed on all outside doors to the Texas Capitol.  Elected officials and their badged employees were not required to go through the metal detector lines.   Also, there was a special line for CHLs wishing to by-pass the metal detector line and/or wishing to carry their handgun into the building.   CHLs have always been allowed to carry in their State Capitol, nothing changed for the law-abiding with the exception of having their card swiped through a sensor.   It was good not to stand in line behind bus-loads of visitors waiting on the metal detectors.

TSRA-PAC is currently working with NRA-ILA to grade, rate, and/or endorse state candidates for the 2012 election cycle.





Suburb of San Antonio Stops Over-Reaching Ordinance

Good Government Begins Locally!

Monday, December 19, 2011, the city of Shavano Park, a small bedroom community near San Antonio voted unanimously to withdraw City Ordinance # 200-01-11, an ordinance previously passed by a 5-man city council.  The ordinance prohibited the discharge of a firearm with in the city's limits and included bb guns and all forms of air guns.  Mayor David Marne, refused to sign the ordinance sending it back to the Council for re-consideration.

Mayor Marne asked NRA and asked TSRA to weigh in and contact membership to be certain all involved were aware of both the ordinance and the meeting to reconsider.  

In his letter to his city council, Mayor Marne lists the ordinance as unnecessary and over-reaching.  Mayor Marne also noted that current state law more than adequately covers the council's concerns for citizen's safety.  Shavano Park's new ordinance was not incident driven and added nothing, no additional layer, to public safety.  It was a solution looking for a problem.

Again, at the request of the Mayor, NRA sent members within the city a post card alerting them of both the ordinance and the meeting.   TSRA followed up with an email alert that included all Texans.  Although a "local issue", bad laws and good begin at the local level.   TSRA members need to look at being active at home.

Side note:  After TSRA's alert went out, I received an immediate thank you from Mayor Marne.  Within minutes I received email from Kyle McCain, the city manager.  Mr. McCain, a city employee, asserted that the ordinance was needed to stop, for instance " a group of 18 yr-olds popping off some rounds in their back yard while the neighbor is trying to have a birthday party in thier back yard for their 4 year-old."     Manager McCain went on to say by email that since both the police department and the code enforcement officer reported to him the ordinance would never be incorrectly applied.  He was also clear that all the other small towns in the area had such an ordinance and essentially where-did-we-get-off butting into a local issue.    

The Monday, December 19th,  City Council meeting was long with testimony urging the council to strike the ordinance coming from all but two citizens.  The  final vote to remove the ordinance was unanimous.

Read Mayor David Marne's letter below and thank you, TSRA members.  Good job! 

Dear Alice and TSRA members:

The meeting went better than I could have hoped for!  It was great!  The Voice of the  good people of Shavano Park was heard loud and clear by the City Council.  The ordinance was defeated!   I thank you and the entire TSRA for all of your help, I truly believe that your email blast  was instrumental and bringing out the concerned citizens.   We have a section of the City Council Meeting called “Citizens To Be Heard” and we had citizen after citizen speak before the council and demand their 2nd amendment rights!    Democracy in Action!  The founding fathers would have been proud!  Please feel free to use our experience in Shavano Park Texas in your publications as an example of what can be done when citizens unite against unnecessary, ill advised and unjust gun laws!  In addition your members have been calling and thanking me!  I can’t stress enough how thankful I am for all your efforts!


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Alice Tripp, Legislative Director


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