Texas as a whole may be reliably conservative and pro-gun rights, but several of the major metropolitan areas are reliably liberal; Austin, San Antonio and Houston are cases in point. Appointed officials like Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo reflect the views of their more liberal masters, and dutifully decry legislation that could potentially arm more citizens.
A bill passed by the legislature and headed to Gov. Greg Abbott's desk would put in place what is effectively constitutional carry for residents for one week after a disaster declaration.
Rep. Dade Phelan, R-Beaumont, said he sponsored the legislation so gun owners don’t have to leave their firearms behind when evacuating their homes. Existing laws, however, allow gun owners to store them in their vehicles, with some conditions.
“I don’t want someone to feel like they have to leave their firearms back in an unsecured home for a week or longer, and we all know how looting occurs in storms,” Phelan said in an interview in March. “Entire neighborhoods are empty and these people can just go shopping, and one of the things they’re looking for is firearms.”
Acevedo, on the other hand, apparently believes that the state of Texas has the most law-abiding criminals in the country.
“We experienced one of the worst disasters in Texas history during Harvey,” Acevedo wrote. “This bill wasn’t needed then and isn’t needed now. This will embolden 20,000+ gang members & will not help LE [law enforcement]. Let’s hope it isn’t signed.”
The belief that gangbangers wouldn't be carrying, except for this law, is probably one of the dumbest analyses of criminal behavior to be uttered by a law enforcement professional in all of recorded time.
Despite the doomsaying of gun control advocates, the law is unlikely to result in the "wild west" situation with criminal gangs running wild through the streets of Houston.