Texas not first in concealed weapons?
It’s behind Fla., others in handgun licenses, to Perry’s chagrin.
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.