How Texans Lost the Right to Bear Handguns

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)- During the debate over HB1927, in the Texas Senate Special Committee on Constitutional Issues, Senator Eddie Lucio (D) made a startling assertion. He stated Texans could not have the right to bear arms restored because the right to bear arms has not been infringed. At about 05:01:50, He asked, During the testimony of Andi Turner, Legislative Director for the Texas State Rifle Association:

When did we lose them?…

Later he said, about 05:04:30 :

We never lost the right to bear arms in this state. 

Then he references Matt Dillon and Dodge as an example of where the right did not exist. (“unless they are lying to us on those shows…”).

Who would think a fictional western might not be true?

In the case of Texas, we know precisely when the right to bear arms was taken away. It was on 5 July 1869, when the Texas Constitution of 1869 was ratified. The right to bear long guns was restored on 15 February 1876. The right to bear handguns was never restored.

Texas was born in revolution, with many similarities to the American Revolution, only 50 years after the American declaration of independence in 1776.  In 1835, Santa Anna and a new Mexican government assumed absolute power and overthrew the existing liberal Constitution. Texans decided to fight to maintain their rights, along with several other Mexican states. As with the United States, the initial skirmish occurred with an attempt to confiscate weapons. Texas was successful in its bid for independence and wrote its first constitution in 1836.

The Texas Constitution of 1836 had a strong right to keep and bear arms protections. It came directly from the recent experience of the necessity of arms for the defense of self and the community. From the 1836 declaration of rights:

“Fourteenth. Every citizen shall have the right to bear arms in defence of himself and the Republic. The military shall at all times and in all cases be subordinate to the civil power.”

In 1845, Texas joined the United States. Texans approved of a new state constitution. It contained a very strong right to keep and bear arms. From the Texas Constitution of 1845, considered one of the best ever written:

SEC. 13. Every citizen shall have the right to keep and bear arms in the lawful defence of himself or the State.

The right to arms was considered to be so strong in Texas, the Texas Supreme Court wrote the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense was absolute. From Clayton Cramer, quoting Cockrum v. State, 1859:

Cockrum v. State (Tex. 1859): upheld a sentence enhancement for manslaughters committed with a Bowie knife, but acknowledged that the Texas Constitution’s right to keep and bear arms guaranteed a right to carry such a weapon, and appears to have conceded that the Second Amendment also guaranteed an individual right.  “The object of the clause first cited [the Second Amendment], has reference to the perpetuation of free government, and is based on the idea, that the people cannot be effectually oppressed and enslaved, who are not first disarmed.  The clause cited in our Bill of Rights, has the same broad object in relation to the government, and in addition thereto, secures a personal right to the citizen.  The right of a citizen to bear arms, in the lawful defence of himself or the State, is absolute….  The right to carry a bowie-knife for lawful defence is secured, and must be admitted.”

Texas joined with the Confederacy in 1860.  The Confederacy lost the war. Texas created a new constitution in 1866. The new constitution eliminated slavery and repudiated the Ordinance of Secession. It was created to regain entry to the Union. The Constitution of 1866 kept the right to keep and bear arms. From the Constitution of 1866:

SEC. 13. Every citizen shall have the right to keep and bear arms, in the lawful defence of himself or the State.

The radical republicans were not satisfied with the Constitution of 1866. They created a new Texas Constitution in 1869.

The 1869 Constitution gutted the right to keep and bear arms, with this adulterated version of a “right”, which was not a right at all.

 “Every person shall have the right to keep and bear arms in the lawful defense of himself or the state, under such regulations as the legislature may prescribe.”

In the contentious elections of 1872  and 1873, Texans voted out the carpetbagger government.  The governor begged for federal troops to support him, but none were sent.  He escaped the governor’s mansion as a spontaneously organized militia of armed citizens threatened to throw him out.

After the end of reconstruction, the Texas legislature approved of a new Constitution, in 1876.  The Democrats in charge appear to have liked the power to disarm former slaves and others out of favor with the local authorities. They did not return to the right to arms of the 1845 and 1866 Constitutions.

They removed the right to bear “wearable arms” and gave the state the power to regulate them. From the 1876 Constitution:

“Every citizen shall have the right to keep and bear arms in the lawful defence of himself or the State; but the Legislature shall have power by law to regulate the wearing of arms, with a view to prevent crime.”

The right to bear all arms had been taken away in 1869. It was only partly restored on 15 February 1876, with the ratification of the Texas Constitution of 1876. The right to bear “wearable arms” such as pistols and knives, remained lost. Democrats would control Texas for over a century.


About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

Dean Weingarten

62 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
RNwifeOfMedic13
RNwifeOfMedic13
5 months ago

Great read and even better History Lesson. Well written, sir. Proof that you can learn something new every day!!

USMC0351Grunt
USMC0351Grunt
5 months ago

WOW? THIS is one of the most eloquent writings I have seen from you, Dean. SUPURB in every way!

Ram
Ram
5 months ago

When Texas became a state, there was an acceptance of the federal constitution and the bill of rights, as foundational law. Or else why become a state? Throughout my life there has been an observation that democrats tend to change or ignore anything they do not agree with. Even when their actions are unconstitutional, they steadfastly pretend that their “system” is correct, and discussion is ended by their authority, as they have positioned themselves, to control the methodology that might inhibit them. The above descriptive highlights a longstanding arrogance. Flash on this: Even if not mentioned in in your state… Read more »

Finnky
Finnky
5 months ago

~15 minutes – I think it was the second speaker said that under the proposed bill police would no longer be able to stop someone simply for carrying a gun to ask for their license. Commentator must have missed this as existing LTC law forbids cops from stopping someone simply to ask for their license. Must have other reasonable cause for suspicion.

Stupidest part of this is that criminals often already illegally carry concealed. Change in behavior under this law would be almost exclusively among those who are no threat to anyone not actively engaged in criminal violence.

Dee
Dee
5 months ago

Republicans(Democrats what they were called during the Revolution) didn’t want blacks to have guns. They doing the same now. Abbott said he will sign bill once it’s on his desk. The problem: Republicans will never pass bill to get it on his desk. Why? Because essentially every black gun owner in Texas would have the same rights as every other gun owner. 2A in America is a race issue. But you Repubs can’t have it both ways anymore. Choose a side and ride with it. If you want guns, make sure you first arm every black American in the country.… Read more »

RoyD
RoyD
5 months ago
Reply to  Dee

There can be no doubt, Dee, you bring a certain savoir faire to any conversation.

Finnky
Finnky
5 months ago
Reply to  Dee

– WTF do I have to arm anyone outside my family? Individual rights and responsibility are just that – individual. If you or any other black American want to be armed, then go arm yourself. Industry statistics show that many black Americans have been doing just that. Majority of members on this site have been applauding this information. You are blinded by your racism, projecting your attitude where they do not exist.

Dee
Dee
5 months ago
Reply to  Finnky

Finnky you obviously miss my point. Sure I can arm myself and my family and we ARE definitely armed. And I’m sure many White Democrats are highly armed! But not many on the left are fighting for our rights and now many on the right are not as well. Sometimes we need that least expected foe fighting in common with us. If not, like in Texas, gun rights will continue to erode.

USMC0351Grunt
USMC0351Grunt
5 months ago
Reply to  Dee

“He escaped the governor’s mansion as a spontaneously organized militia of armed citizens threatened to throw him out.” Maybe people with no spine would think the way you do?

Heed the Call-up
Heed the Call-up
5 months ago
Reply to  Dee

not many on the left are fighting for our rights and now many on the right are not as well.

No, the Leftists do not want any citizens to own firearms, and it is also true that there are politicians on the right that also do not want law-abiding citizens to own firearms. It has nothing to do with your race, color, or whatever. The only person in recent history that stated specifically that he did not want black men to own firearms was former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg.

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/feb/8/sughed-michael-bloomberg-suggests-disarming-minori/

Autsin Miller III
Autsin Miller III
5 months ago
Reply to  Dee

Dee, I’m late to this conversation and maybe I am missing your point, but this isn’t about guns, it’s about our (mine AND yours) God given right to self protection and the enumeration of it in the constitution. While I certainly would not take exception to your reference to history I am curious why you feel Republicans don’t want black people to have guns? I am not Republican so I can’t speak for them but personally feel that since it is a God given right, what I or republicans or you think about it doesn’t matter. Why would anyone have… Read more »

Heed the Call-up
Heed the Call-up
5 months ago
Reply to  Dee

You completely failed USA history and the history of the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party was founded on the basis of slavery. The Democratic Republican Party split due to the Northerners wanting abolition and the Southern plantation owners wanting to continue slavery. Those in the South formed the Democratic Party. The abolitionists became the Republican Party. In the reasons cited in the Dred Scott decision was that free black men would have the RKBA. There were several other very despicable reasons constructed to form the opinion that Dred Scott was to remain a slave. Chief Justice Taney that wrote the… Read more »

SEMPAI
SEMPAI
5 months ago

Very wise you are HTCU somebody paid attention in American History.

Considerthis
Considerthis
5 months ago
Reply to  Dee

Dr. Martin Luther King had a dream that someday people of color would not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
If a person of color truly wishes to be judged by the content of their character, it would be helpful if they did not constantly remind us of the color of their skin.
“2A in America is a race issue” if you choose to see it that way. 2A in America is a rights issue for all people of all colors. Unity is what we need to prevail,not devisivness.

Deplorable Bill
Deplorable Bill
5 months ago
Reply to  Dee

I have lived six decades+ now. I absolutely disagree that there is any form of systemic racism to be found in America other than those who say it actually exists. Blm, bamn and antifa are actually quite racist but they are small, terrorist groups and not mainstream America. Discriminationn? Reverse discrimination? I have seen plenty. We all know what quotas are. So many of these or those people required to meet affirmative action quotas. I don’t owe ANYONE a living — bar none. Nobody does. I have never seen a slave in the U.S.A. ever. Neither have you. Slaveryy does… Read more »

Orion
Orion
5 months ago
Reply to  Dee

racists much?
bless your heart!
ps… the bill passed and its on the governor’s desk about to be signed into law.
you lose……
again!

swmft
swmft
5 months ago

sad truth is police are LAW ENFORCEMENT not serve and protect , YOUR RIGHTS ARE ONLY WHAT THEY SAY THEY ARE remember they have machine guns and show up in groups to attack someone else

USMC0351Grunt
USMC0351Grunt
5 months ago
Reply to  swmft

Your rights are only those that you are willing to step up to defend.

ras52
ras52
5 months ago

When the great Skeeter Skelton was in law enforcement he said,” I think it would be a cop-out if I refused to obey any new antigun legislation”.

ras52
ras52
5 months ago
Reply to  ras52

I didn’t like that quote by Skeeter either. He was a great American gun man and shooter, but it proved a fact, most Leo’s will not be on our side when it comes to their orders on guns!

ras52
ras52
5 months ago
Reply to  ras52

I hope I am wrong about that!

nrringlee
nrringlee
5 months ago

‘Under such regulations as the legislature may prescribe’ equals infringed equals null and void. Texas legislature needs to take out its big blue pen and line this out. Shall not be infringed. Shame on all of you for allowing this travesty to perpetuate.

Matt in Oklahoma
Matt in Oklahoma
5 months ago

Texas pisses purple. Act like ya bleed red but deep inside you know your blue.

RoyD
RoyD
5 months ago

It is all about demographics.

Stag
Stag
5 months ago

Funny how Republicans have had complete control of Texas for decades and yet they continue to kill constitutional carry every time it is introduced. Even this legislative session they killed the two bills closest to constitutional carry and pushed a compromised carry bill out of committee. It’s almost as if they’re not the 2A supporters they claim to be.

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
5 months ago
Reply to  Stag

I did a search for Sheriffs’ Accociation of Texas, Constitutional Carry. I was looking for an announcement of their support for any of the bills (even one of the weak ones). Nothing.

I searched for an informal group of Texas rural LEOs (Sheriffs and/or Town police) looking for the same thing. Nothing.

I searched for Texas State Police looking for the same thing. Nothing.

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
5 months ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

Will – 5/2/21 “No large LE agency in any state,Texas included, with few exceptions, would/will support any form of open carry,constitutional carry,etc.ever.Your obsession with this issue has become amusing to me but I just consider the source. As I told you previous it makes no difference what these mostly Hispanic and African police chiefs and sheriffs say or think about the issue. Constitutional Carry in Texas will pass this session. The governor of Texas,Lt Governor of Texas are working to get this passed with the legislature and it will. It’s called politics! Texas went through the almost identical thing during… Read more »

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
5 months ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

Will – 5/2/21: “Like Roy told you a couple weeks ago you’re just a one trick pony!” Response to Will: LEOs are a big part of the equation: Many voters trust LEOs’ views on all things related to firearms. They mistakenly think all LEOs are experts. So, when the only LEOs they hear from are anti 2nd Amendment, those voters tend to vote for politicians who have the same views; and More gun laws will be passed (in part due to LEO support). At some point it’s going to come down to how many LEOs will follow orders to enforce… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by JSNMGC
RoyD
RoyD
5 months ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

Those people that you mention listening to ignorant or deceptive police are like a lot of people because I would say that most people don’t know what they don’t know. I have tried to have at least a passing notion about a broad spectrum of things. A few things attracted my interest enough to make me get deeper into them. Let me tell you what started me down a 53 year long deep dive into ammunition and firearms. My parents and my younger brother and I went to various places in the Alaska Range one summer. At this one place… Read more »

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
5 months ago
Reply to  RoyD

The people I mentioned exist and they vote. Many of them are inclined to be fairly indifferent about firearm rights. When they hear LEOs advocate for never-ending gun control laws, and they don’t hear LEOs with an opposing view, and they don’t hear “pro 2nd Amendment” politicians make logical arguments countering the lies underlying gun control, they are persuaded to vote for more gun control. Most firearm rights organizations spend a lot of their energy and money on after-the-fact issues and not in influencing the people I mentioned. Many in the pro 2nd Amendment group of firearm owners continue to… Read more »

Dee
Dee
5 months ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

I told Will that I didn’t think this would pass. But he insist that it Will. As long as that Dick-head Patrick is leading the charge and that waddling Governor there it won’t get done. Texas has the head of the Republican Party in its state a black man(Allan West) and he hasn’t rallied a damn black person to support this bill. Why? Because they don’t want this bill passed!! It’s a race issue.

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
5 months ago
Reply to  Dee

Please list the Texas state senators you believe are racist.

I’m not exactly sure of your point regarding Allen West – do you believe he does not want constitutional carry to pass?

nrringlee
nrringlee
5 months ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

In Arizona sheriff’s and chiefs of police who are anti Second Amendment are referred to as ‘unemployed.’

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
5 months ago
Reply to  nrringlee

I’m glad to see that the AZ legislature passed, and Ducey signed into law, the 2nd Amendment Firearm Freedom Act. I didn’t see any teeth in the law, however. If an AZ state, county, or city LEO cooperates with Federal LEOs to enforce federal laws, it appears as they will still be able to invoke qualified immunity from civil action by their victims: https://www.azleg.gov/legtext/55leg/1r/bills/hb2111p.pdf While the bill was being debated, do you know if any state, county, or city/town police provided testimony either in favor of, or opposition to, the bill? Every sheriff, every police chief, and the state highway… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by JSNMGC
JSNMGC
JSNMGC
5 months ago
Reply to  nrringlee

Neanderthal75
Neanderthal75
5 months ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

Guilty as charged my good man! There isn’t a federal agency currently extant which does not have overwhelming evidence of violating both the rule of law and the Bill of Rights against hundreds of individual Americans! I used to respect the US Marshal Service oh, not so much these days. I have interacted with many local Leos and most of them are pro 2A. Sheriffs are political animals just like their civilian counterparts, and their budgets are dependent upon politicians to whom a answer! It is no surprise to me that many, quite frankly most law enforcement groups are anti… Read more »

Stag
Stag
5 months ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

No matter how much evidence you present to these people of government thugs opposing the 2A they still hold onto this belief that the government’s enforcers are on our side. They still believe that the same people who already enforce every arms law on the books will stop at the next one. They always jump straight to confiscation saying things like “my sheriff won’t take guns” while ignoring the fact that infringement starts WAY before confiscation and these enforcers have willingly been infringing for decades. Every law enforcement agency in this country has enforced arms laws. It is VERY foolish… Read more »

Roland T. Gunner
Roland T. Gunner
5 months ago
Reply to  Stag

Part of what led me to retire from the Houston Police Dept. 6 years ago was the realization of just how far and how fast my views of individual rights and liberties was diverging from the views of my agency and most of the employees in it. And how much the priveleges of the sworn peace officer result in his loyalty to his agency and “the System”.

nrringlee
nrringlee
5 months ago

For government employees government is always the answer to every question. I went through the same thing in the Marine Corps. Politically correct rock painters and rear echelon pukes rule. They were committed to bureaucracy and budgets and power and not to principles and gun fighting. When your only tool is a hammer everything starts to look like a nail.

USMC0351Grunt
USMC0351Grunt
5 months ago
Reply to  nrringlee

Thanks for bringing back those nightmares…. 0351 Grunt.

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
5 months ago
Reply to  Stag

As more people continue to understand the issue, LEOs are gradually losing more of their traditional supporters. Even many elderly Republicans have been changing their views from “pro LE” to “huh, I guess I only support the good ones.”

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
5 months ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

Regarding LEOs:

Everyday, going about their jobs? Box of chocolates – you never know what you’ll get. I don’t know what percent are doing a great job.

Given orders to not enforce certain laws against a certain person/group of people? The majority will follow orders.

Given orders to enforce certain laws (even upcoming, increasingly outrageous gun control laws) against a certain person/group of people? The majority will follow orders.

nrringlee
nrringlee
5 months ago
Reply to  Stag

The Republican Party post radical republican party is a Progressive Party. Progressives reject the concept of natural law and inalienable rights. That is why. Conservatives are only allowed in the current Republican Party if they can donate money or win insignificant elections. Otherwise the elites of the party treat conservatives and libertarians like lepers.

USMC0351Grunt
USMC0351Grunt
5 months ago
Reply to  nrringlee

Actually, I have to struggle sometimes from within my small county Republican Party as a Precinct Chairman and dealing with the “progressive type” attitudes that fail to focus on the founding documents and fundamental principles.

Ansel Hazen
Ansel Hazen
5 months ago
Reply to  USMC0351Grunt

Start working to form an alternative. We have the same problems in Maine. They won’t let go of things willingly so the only answer may be to take it away from them.

https://grassrootcaucus.me

Dee
Dee
5 months ago
Reply to  Stag

It’s a race issue. Texas Republicans would rather the bill say “every white person can CC but every other race needs to be licensed….” I bet it pass with flying colors then. Smh. #Facts #StayWoke

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
5 months ago
Reply to  Dee

Interesting belief.

Which Texas state senators are racist?

Dee
Dee
5 months ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

Didn’t mention “racist”….I said it’s a race issue. Allan West is not fighting for black gun rights and ownership. As well as the other state senators. It’s hard to take things now in this country from underprivileged groups. So if the NRA and GOA make a strong campaign to arm Black Americans and other minorities, I think it becomes easier to pass more gun rights. If not, then the “privilege has a lot more to give.” Think about it? You know I’m right.

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
5 months ago
Reply to  Dee

I see. You said that Republican politicians would vote for the bill if it stated:

“every white person can CC but every other race needs to be licensed….”

If that is what would cause them to vote for the bill, they would be racist.

Do you think Royce West will vote for the bill?

https://justfacts.votesmart.org/candidate/key-votes/5463/royce-west/37/guns

Dee
Dee
5 months ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

Interesting. Nice to see Democrats supporting some 2A rights. Wonder why he opposes CC. But the Republicans in the senate can pass CC without any Democrats voting for it. It looks like Abbott himself is having a hard time with it as well. If Texas lose, I believe, the national 2A agenda will be weakened!!

RNwifeOfMedic13
RNwifeOfMedic13
5 months ago
Reply to  Dee

I’m not sure, even after reading this entire thread, that I can follow or even fathom what it is that you’re trying to get at here…Let me see if I’ve gotten this right? You’re saying that you think that the Second Amendment is racist? Is that kind of like Math being racist these days? I don’t remember the Second Amendment or any other state’s Constitutional Carry laws mentioning anything about the color of a person’s skin. Politicians should make a push to arm Black Americans and other minority groups in order to pass more gun rights nationally? Actually, getting the… Read more »

USMC0351Grunt
USMC0351Grunt
5 months ago
Reply to  Dee

After a comment like that? Now I KNOW you are full of shit!

Green Mtn. Boy
Green Mtn. Boy
5 months ago

In can one hasn’t noticed Leftard Marxist’s lie, without lying they would have nothing.

JoeUSooner
JoeUSooner
5 months ago
Reply to  Green Mtn. Boy

Hell, with or without lying, they [Leftists] “have nothing.”

Dee
Dee
5 months ago
Reply to  JoeUSooner

Lying only work for a short period of time. Ask Trump and Qanon.

Neanderthal75
Neanderthal75
5 months ago
Reply to  Dee

Yeah, yeah, yeah…. whitey is always bad and the root of all black men’s troubles!

Forget that Fulani sold slaves to theYoruba, the Yoruba made slaves of the Igbo, and sold them and other tribes to the Portuguese for Brazil, to the Dutch for New Amsterdam, and the British for the colonies south of New York.

It makes it so much easier for you to just blame whitey doesn’t it?

The next thing you’ll be screaming is “It’s da Joos, It’s da Joos!!”

I am so tired of your racist anti-white bigotry and whining crap!

ras52
ras52
5 months ago
Reply to  Neanderthal75

Good post!

Knute
Knute
5 months ago
Reply to  JoeUSooner

Hell, just ask Dee. He ought to know all about liars, being one of the biggest liars on Ammoland!

JoeUSooner
JoeUSooner
4 months ago
Reply to  Knute

THE biggest liar. Period.