Texas not first in con­cealed weapons?

It’s be­hind Fla., oth­ers in hand­gun li­censes, to Perry’s cha­grin.

Austin American-Statesman - - B METRO & STATE - Her­man B By Mar­ques G. Harper mharper@states­man.com states­man.com/ sea­son­for­car­ing. Pagea . By Ni­cole Vil­lal­pando nvil­lal­pando@states­man.com Car­ing


Rick Perry, with feigned out­rage but sin­cere cu­rios­ity, men­tioned to sev­eral jour­nal­ists Thurs­day that he’d come upon a fact he ffinds di­flcult to be­lieve. Florida, Perry said he’d heard, has more peo­ple with con­cealed hand­gun li­censes than Texas does.

Can this be true? And is it time for us to make CHLs manda­tory so Texas lives up to our state motto “Hand­guns are hand­fun”?

First, some fact-check­ing. Our gov­er­nor is cor­rect. As the nice folks (and the other ones) on our Poli­tiFact Texas desk would say, his pants are not on ffire. Florida in­deed is tops in con­cealed hand­gun li­censes. This could mean many el­derly Boca Ra­ton Jews are pack­ing heat (in ad­di­tion to heat­ing pads). Th­ese are my peo­ple. This is fright­en­ing.

Adam Put­nam, Florida’s com­mis­sioner of agri­cul­ture and con­sumer afi­airs, re­ported this week his state soon will pass the 1 mil­lion mark for con­cealed-carry li­censes. They’re do­ing a ban­gup job in hand­ing out the li­censes in the Gun­shine State.

This raises sev­eral ques­tions, topped by: why a com­mis­sioner of agri­cul­ture and con­sumer afi­airs is in charge of con­cealed hand­gun li­censes? Would pis­tol pack­ing be an agri­cul­tural is­sue or a con­sumer afi­air?

Put­nam’s pro­jec­tion is based on Nov. 30 stats show­ing his state had 993,200 ac­tive per­mits. The Texas De­part­ment of Pub­lic Safety says its most cur­rent ffig­ures, as of last Dec. 31, showed 518,625 ac­tive CHLs here. Perry and I have two of those, though he’s armed (more on that be­low) and I’m not.

I have more bad news for you, gov­er­nor. We’re not even No. 2 in CHLs. The U.S. Government Accountability Oflce, in a July report based on num­bers as of last Dec. 31, said Texas was No. 4, be­hind Florida, Penn­syl­va­nia (786,000) and Ge­or­gia (600,000). Penn­syl­va­nia?

Let’s keep in mind CHLs are eas­ier to get in some states. Coloradoans can get one by watch­ing a video and tak­ing a free test.

The GAO noted 6.2 per­cent of Florid­i­ans over age 20 have con­cealed-carry per­mits. In Penn­syl­va­nia, it’s 8.3 per­cent. In Ge­or­gia, it’s 11.5 per­cent. In Texas, it’s a rel­a­tively measly 3 per­cent. Utah leads the na­tion at 19.3 per­cent, but that’s mis­lead­ing be­cause 201,000 of Utah’s 347,000 CHLs are held by folks who don’t live in Utah, among states with lessstrin­gent re­quire­ments for a li­cense and the Utah li­cense is rec­og­nized in many states.

Again, let’s be clear Perry was only kid­ding about be­ing con­cerned Florida has more CHLs. But his cu­rios­ity was sin­cere.

Our gov­er­nor en­joys guns, a fact re­in­forced by what he re­cently told the Washington Times’ Emily Miller for a col­umn about fa­mous peo­ple and their ffirearms.

Some quotes from Perry’s emailed re­sponses to Miller:

“The ffirst gun I ever had was given to me by my grand­fa­ther … a Rem­ing­ton sin­gle shot .22LR. I still have it.”

“My fa­vorite gun is the LaRue OBR – the ma­chin­ing is so pre­cise and the weapon will shoot one-inch MOA (or

Just a few days shy of his 81st birth­day, Lewis Tim­ber­lake, a mo­ti­va­tional speaker once called Amer­ica’s Apos­tle of Op­ti­mism, died Tues­day.

In de­clin­ing health in re­cent years, Tim­ber­lake, who had been ffight­ing pneu­mo­nia and a sec­ond round of prostate can­cer, died at Se­ton Med­i­cal Cen­ter Austin with his fam­ily by his side, said his son, Brad.

“Dad loved peo­ple,” said Brad Tim­ber­lake, 57. “He loved the peo­ple he worked Read up­dates from all the fam­i­lies and see the orig­i­nal sto­ries and pho­tos at For more in­for­ma­tion on Sea­son for Car­ing, call 445-3590 or email com­mu­nity@states­man. com. To make a do­na­tion, go on­line or see the do­na­tion form on for and al­ways wanted them to have the best in life.”

Lewis Tim­ber­lake, a long­time Austin res­i­dent, had a suc­cess­ful ca­reer as a speaker and au­thor, work­ing with cor­po­rate and busi­ness clients such as IBM, and had po­lit­i­cal ties. Decades ago, he was state cam­paign man­ager for John Con­nally’s suc­cess­ful third bid for Texas gov­er­nor as well as Dolph Briscoe’s suc­cess­ful ffirst run for gov­er­nor in 1972. In 2007, Gov. Rick Perry ap­pointed Tim­ber­lake to the board of direc­tors of On­eS­tar Foun­da­tion, which uses state and fed­eral money to en­cour­age vol­un­teerism and as­sist faith-based and com­mu­nity ser­vice efiorts.

Tim­ber­lake was born to Mil­ton and Neoma Tim­ber-

Anali­cia Rodriguez and her two daugh­ters have tried their best to make a home out of their space in the Teen Par­ent Cot­tage at the Austin Chil­dren’s Shel­ter, where they’ve lived since April. Rodriguez, 20, wants to give Anas­tashia, 3, and Aleina, 2, a sta­ble life un­like her own child­hood. From the time she was 1, she was in and out of fos­ter care when she wasn’t watch­ing her mother cook­ing up heroin.

Star Fur­ni­ture is help­ing Rodriguez get one step closer to a per­ma­nent home for her chil­dren. The fur­ni­ture store chain is work­ing with the Austin Chil­dren’s Shel­ter to de­liver bed­room sets for Rodriguez and her daugh­ters, liv­ing room fur­ni­ture, and a desk and chair. Cyn­thia Zavala, the op­er­a­tions man­ager at Star Fur­ni­ture’s Austin store, says the store man­ager was in­spired to give to Ro­dri- guez af­ter read­ing that she was sav­ing up to get her own place and that she was go­ing to school.

Rodriguez is part of the Austin Amer­i­can-States­man’s Sea­son for Car­ing pro­gram, which helps 12 fea­tured fami-

Anali­cia Rodriguez’s daugh­ters, Anas­tashia, 3, and Aleina, 2, play on one of the beds in their room at the Austin Chil­dren’s Shel­ter.

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