One of the biggest open carry advocates in Texas says he was shocked — shocked, I tell ya’– to learn that guns were not banned from state psychiatric hospitals in the recent law and he said the state needs to revisit the issue.
We can’t imagine what could go wrong. After all, guns don’t kill people and open carry is a really chill way to express your freedom all up and down the hallways of a psychiatric ward.
The Austin American-Statesman reports:
Terry Holcomb, founder and executive director of Texas Carry, said the legislation was never intended to allow guns in state psychiatric hospitals.
“Nobody would have asked for that,” he said. “It’s not something we ever would have considered. Ever. And now that you’ve brought it to light, I have a headache.”
Holcomb says he is against banning guns in additional places, but he hopes the legislature revisits the issue next legislative session.
Oh sure, and why not. After all, another gun rights activist literally threatened a lawmaker’s life to get the bill pushed through. Actually, he did this twice. It got so bad that the House gave the OK during an emergency meeting for lawmakers to install panic buttons in their offices.
We can totally see how it happened that licensed gun owners are now allowed to bring their firearms into Texas’ 10 state psychiatric hospitals.
Before the state’s new open carry law went into effect, guns were banned at those state facilities. No one — visitors, deliverymen and the like — could bring firearms anywhere on campus. Even local law enforcement officers, who were already allowed to bring their weapons into the facilities, regularly lock up their guns before entering Austin State Hospital out of an abundance of caution.
And now, visitors to the facilities can bring guns there where the patients live, however, employees are still prohibited from bringing them in the buildings.
“Good God,” said Rep. Celia Israel (D-Austin), who opposed open carry
Wait for it.
Rep. Matt Rinaldi (R-Irving), a supporter of the new law, said he has no problem with bringing guns into the psychiatric hospitals.
“It’s the responsibility of the operators of the facilities to ensure that the patients are not around dangerous weapons,” he said.
Hang on there. So a person can carry guns into the hospitals but it’s up to the operators of the facilities to ensure that patients are not allowed around dangerous weapons even though the new law allows gun owners to now carry them on a belt or holster?
Supporters of the bill claim the new law will enhance public safety, though there is no proof of that.
Opponents maintain that it will create an atmosphere of intimidation and we’re sure the patients at the hospitals will agree.
“I don’t know who concocted this idea, who thought this would be a rational policy for the State of Texas,” said Beth Mitchell with Disability Rights Texas
“It’s only going to going to create fear among the patients themselves,” she added.
Alcohol and tobacco are still banned from campus but guns are allowed.
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H/T: Freak’s own @TheCitizeNY, with thanks.
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