Following the new airport style security measures at the Texas Capitol the lobbyist and other Capitol insiders were up in arms about how the potentially long security lines would restrict their access to the Capitol and hinder their jobs. But lobbyists being who they are have found a loophole.
At entrances to the Capitol there are breeze through lines where CHL holders can show their CHL license and quickly gain entrance to the building. Lobbyist, journalist and other insiders have been taking the courses with no intention of carrying in the Capitol, they just want to be able to gain access quickly.
A reader brings up a great question, will the lobbyist write off the expense of the CHL course and DPS fees as a “business expense?” My guess is yes, I wonder what clients will be billed for that!
I would have to agree with my CHL instructor Mike Cox of www.driftwoodchl.com who says in the Austin American-Statesman that it is a good thing that Capitol insiders are learning about their second amendments rights and what goes into obtaining a CHL.
Mike Cox, a state-certified instructor who taught Miller’s class, said he has seen a recent increase in students — many of whom he suspects are lobbyists. “To an obligatory question we ask — what’s your motive for being here — to break the ice and see if there’s any nut cases enrolled, a number say they just want the CHL to get in the express lane,” he said. “That’s all right. We’re educating a lot of people on the proper use of weapons and their Second Amendment rights, and that’s good.”
Here is the Austin American-Statesman article.
Bill Miller already has his ticket to the express lane. Brad Shields is getting one.
Both veteran lobbyists are among dozens, perhaps hundreds, of the nearly 1,500 registered lobbyists who are scrambling to get state licenses to allow them to carry concealed handguns. Most don’t want to pack a pistol, though they legally could, but want the license to get into the State Capitol quickly during the legislative session that starts in January.
“Because of a scare with one crazy guy with a gun, the only way to get quick access to the Capitol will be to carry a gun,” said Shields, who has been a lobbyist for nearly three decades. He represents a variety of business clients, along with associations representing everything from yoga practitioners to dental hygienists to audiologists. “Now, that makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?”
Miller, a longtime lobbyist, completed his licensing class and exam last week. “It’s a big deal. Most everybody I’ve talked to said they’re just doing it to get in the express lane,” said Miller, who represents dozens of clients, from big corporations to cities to the Houston Rockets to newspaper publishers and broadcasters.
“For 140 bucks, plus a $2 handling fee, it’s worth it.”
That’s how much the licensing fee costs. The cost of classes ranges from about $70 to more than $100.