Texas Lobbyists Use Concealed Gun Permits to Avoid Long Security Lines at State Capitol

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Anyone entering the state capitol in Austin, Texas, must pass through newly-installed metal detectors, unless they’re a lawmaker, a state employee or someone with a concealed gun permit. This last exception is now being exploited by lobbyists who don’t want to wait in line with visitors. Members of the “third house”—who total about 1,400 in Texas—are reportedly signing up in droves to get their concealed-weapons permits, allowing them to use the “express lane” for those packin’ while entering the capitol building.

“Every lobbyist in Texas is going to become a card-carrying member or a gun-carrying member,” lobbyist and former state lawmaker Pat Haggerty told the Houston Chronicle. “We're going to have more damn guns in here than we know what to do with. And there are some lobbyists I don’t know whether I’d trust—or trust myself if they’re around. It would certainly be a good way to do away with the competition.”
State officials decided to beef up security after a gunman left a senator’s office in January and fired off a few rounds on the south steps
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Lobbyists Turn to Gun Permits to Skip Lines at Capitol (by Gary Scharrer, Houston Chronicle)


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