UPDATE: Michael Gamber of Revolver Mom, Inc., claims to have never signed onto the letter, but did get an email from Raul Camacho asking him to join. Gamber states he never replied and fully supports Constitutional Carry. AmmoLand News is investigating further.
AUSTIN, TEXAS –-(Ammoland.com)- A group of Texas license to carry (LTC) instructors lead by Raul Camacho have teamed up with anti-gun groups to try to sink Constitutional Carry in the Lone Star State.
The group led by LTC instructor Raul Camacho of Safety Measures, LLC held a press conference in front of the Texas Capitol where they called on the Legislature to vote down House Bill 1911, which would allow for permitless carry in the state. Camacho is also a board member of Gun Sense Texas.
Gun Sense Texas is an anti-gun group that is similar to Moms Demand Action. The group supports gun control efforts and proposes measures such as universal background checks, extreme protection orders (red flag laws), and “safe storage” laws. The organization strongly opposes removing any hurdle to gun ownership.
The House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee approved HB 1927, marking the furthest any Constitutional Carry bill has made it in the Texas Legislature. The bill is up for a vote in the House today, where it is expected to pass because Republicans hold an 83-67 majority.
In the letter, the instructors claim to be strong supporters of the Second Amendment but are opposed to any bill that would allow Texans to exercise their natural and Constitutionally guaranteed right to bear arms without the state government’s permission. The group wants to be able to “vet” the people who want to carry firearms. They compared having a license to carry permit with a privately owned shooting range having rules for using their range.
Gun rights activists argue that there is a difference between a privately owned business having safe handling rules and requiring someone to get permission from the state government to handle a firearm. They also argue range rules are more akin to laws like brandishing than to a permit scheme. A lot of gun rights supporters view this attempt to “vet” gun owners as gatekeeping.
The group argues that their LTC programs create responsible gun owners who are trained in firearms use and have an understanding of Texas laws. The letter states that they “take pride” in their programs. Some instructors who support Constitutional Carry think these instructors are worried that since they only offer the most basic training, they would not be able to survive because they are unwilling or unable to provide higher levels of classes.
The instructors also plead with the Legislature not to pass Constitutional Carry because it would hurt their bottom line. The group plays on the heartstrings by talking about how much the pandemic and lack of ammunition have hurt their businesses. They go on to state that HB 1911 might put some of them out of business.
The state reads: “Many small businesses have suffered because of the pandemic and the lack of ammo; we will suffer even more if you remove the LTC requirement in Texas it will put many of us out of business.”
Other LTC instructors vehemently disagree with the anti-Constitutional Carry instructors. One of these instructors is the Director of Training at Tier One Security Company, Jerah Hutchins.
Hutchins states: “Supporting Constitutional Carry as an LTC instructor is the difference between capitalism and greed. As instructors, our job is to teach and influence Texans to be responsible gun owners. This can be accomplished without an infringing licensure.”
Gun Owners of America (GOA) also have come out strongly against the instructor’s name in the letter.
GOA’s statement reads: “While Gun Owners of America encourages gun owners to obtain quality training, we would hate for any Texas gun owners to give their hard-earned money to the tiny fraction of instructors who actively fight against their core values. We urge our members to seek training from those who advocate in favor of our liberties and support Constitutional Carry.”
Wallace Dunn, President of the Texas Concealed Handgun Association, also weighed into the debate stating: “Training should not be a condition to exercising a constitutional right.”
AmmoLand News reached out to Camacho for comment, but our calls and Facebook messages were not returned.
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.