AUSTIN, TEXAS — The school nurse just called. Your kid has a fever of 102ºF and needs to go to the doctor. If you’re like most concealed carriers, that means leaving work and high-tailing it over to the school. There’s a catch. That gun in your car? It can’t be there when you pull into the school’s parking lot so you can run inside and get your sick kid.
Thankfully, Texas legislators are now considering a law that would allow specifically licensed individuals to leave a gun locked in their car while they go inside.
“This idea came from a teacher in my district. He called and just said that he wasn’t able to carry in his car and that a lot of times he was at work late at night. When they go home late at night, they had no way to defend themselves,” Hefner told the committee.
House Bill 1692 was filed by state Rep. Cole Hefner, R-Mt. Pleasant. In its provisions, there is specific mention of allowing licensed individuals to keep a firearm in a locked car while it is parked in a public school parking lot.
This would keep parents, teachers, and administrators out of hot water if, for some reason, a police officer or security official catches wind that this person has a gun in his or her car.
Laws are supposed to be there to protect people, not jeopardize them.
If you are a legally licensed concealed carrier, you should be able to conduct your daily duties without having to worry about violating the law. A parent rushing to the school to pick up their sick kid or a teacher getting off work late at night — both shouldn’t have to worry whether or not they’re violating the law.
For whatever reason, most states don’t allow licensed concealed carriers to carry on school property. That’s a decision made well above my head. Unfortunately, for those stopping in real quick to sign some paperwork or take care of their child, it means that person has to stop what they’re doing and store that gun that they would normally carry on them everywhere they go.
That’s added trouble that has no net benefit to anyone.
Let’s be very clear: concealed carriers aren’t the people with guns we should be worried about. Overall, they’re law-abiding individuals who took it upon themselves to file the appropriate paperwork with their state so they can carry a gun on them.
Criminals aren’t worried about gun laws.
However, just because HB 1692 would allow a concealed carrier to lock up his gun in his car while he goes inside, it also allows for school districts to set their own policies. For instance, if the parking lot is being used for a school event — such as athletic practice or marching band — then the parking lot could be placed “off limits” to even this extended consideration.
It’s all the more reason why we’ll be following this law and see how it develops. A lot can change as it moves through the House to the Senate to the Governor’s desk (hopefully). But, overall, I like these types of laws because they work gradually to help concealed carriers stay on the right side of the law versus operate in a gray area.