When the Texas Concealed Handgun Law took effect in 1996, pundits and naysayers predicted anarchy. Any minute, there surely would be mass violence as armed Texas citizens began roving the streets, settling arguments with gunfire. Certainly, several proclaimed, within a year there would be blood in the streets as Texas returned to the days of the Wild West.An opinion piece about CHL in Texas by one of the law's authors. It includes all the stats about handgun crime as it relates to people with a CHL. A couple more quotes:
Ten years later the facts paint a different picture. Texas under the Concealed Handgun Law isn't the Wild West, but the Mild West. No recurrent shootouts at four-way stops, no blood in the streets.
One of the reasons I authored Senate Bill 60, the Concealed Handgun Law, was because I trust my fellow Texans. Contrary to opinions expressed on almost every editorial page across the state, I knew that when law-abiding Texans' constitutional right to keep and bear arms was restored with the passage of SB 60, they would exercise good judgment and behave responsibly.
The effect of the Concealed Handgun Law has been so positive, it has converted some of its most outspoken initial critics.
John Holmes, former Harris County district attorney, wrote to me several years after the passage of the law:
"As you know, I was very outspoken in my opposition to the passage of the Concealed Handgun Act. I did not feel that such legislation was in the public interest and presented a clear and present danger to law abiding citizens by placing more handguns on our streets," Holmes wrote. "Boy was I wrong. Our experience in Harris County, and indeed state-wide, has proven my initial fears absolutely groundless."
Glenn White, president of the Dallas Police Association, shared this view:
"I lobbied against the law in 1993 and 1995 because I thought it would lead to wholesale armed conflict. That hasn't happened," White told the Dallas Morning News. "All the horror stories I thought would come to pass didn't happen. No bogeyman. I think it's worked out well, and that says good things about the citizens who have permits. I'm a convert."