Perry says concealed handgun license should extend 'anywhere'
December 18th, 2012
10:55 AM ET
10 years ago

Perry says concealed handgun license should extend 'anywhere'

(CNN) – Amid calls for tighter restrictions on guns following last week's deadly rampage in Connecticut, Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry said at a tea party event Monday that anyone with a concealed handgun license in the Lone Star State should be able to take guns on public property – including schools.

"In the state of Texas, with our concealed handgun license, if you have been duly backgrounded and trained and you are a concealed handgun license carrying individual, you should be able to carry your handgun anywhere in this state," said Perry, who later added a person has the right to prohibit guns on their private property.

Provided they have the proper training and license, teachers should have "access to weapons in their school," Perry said. Individual school districts should be able to determine whether or not to allow firearms on their campuses, he said.

At least one school jurisdiction in Texas already allows teachers to carry guns – the Harrold school district, located 175 miles northwest of Dallas, began allowing its employees to carry guns in 2008, as long as they obtained the necessary license.

On Friday, the district's superintendent David Thweatt said the set-up meant his schools were doing everything they could to protect students.

"Is that 100%? No," Thweatt told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "Nothing is 100%. But what we do know is that we've done all we can to protect our children."

The shooting Friday in Connecticut has sparked promises from several federal lawmakers to reintroduce tighter gun control measures, ranging from a reinstatement of a federal ban on assault weapons to banning the sale of high-capacity magazines.

Perry stipulated that lawmakers have a responsibility to "do everything we can to make sure that those types of evils are restricted the best that it can be," but that citizens should be wary of reactive decisions from the federal government.

"One of the things I hope we don't see from our federal government is this knee-jerk reaction from Washington, D.C., when there is an event that occurs that they come in and think they know the answer," Perry said.

On the day of the massacre, Perry requested his state's education commissioner review emergency operation plans in schools, saying it was "essential that we ensure all Texas schools are equipped and ready to carry out a strategic plan to secure the safety of students and staff in the event of a threat such as the one that occurred today."

At the event Monday, Perry also dropped a hint about his political future, including a potential sequel to his failed bid for the 2012 presidential nomination.

The Texas governor said his 2012 run, which ended January, was an "extraordinary experience," and that despite his loss, "I would do it again."

Filed under: Gun rights • Rick Perry
soundoff (761 Responses)
  1. Beverly - NYC

    Is there something in the water in Texas that lends itself to a special brand of crazy politician, first Gomert now Perry. Can't wait till they suggest arming kids in the event the teacher loses it. I served 12 years in the military, seen up close what bullets can do, and have never understood civilian fascination with guns, Mrs. Lanza considered herself "responsible", had better fire power than the police in her town, while living with someone she knew to be mentally imbalanced. Sorry Gomer, Perry and any other gun apologist The solution to mass shooting is never more guns.

    December 18, 2012 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  2. John

    I remember my teachers well, and I know my children's teachers. I can't say I'd want any of my past and present teachers handling a gun. As a manager that supervises a large team I'd much prefer a better mental health infrastructure and better laws keeping guns away from nuts.

    December 18, 2012 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  3. David in Florida

    This is the same governor who advocated Texas succeed from the USA.
    It is amazing that in a modern civilized nation that such a person with such beliefs could be elected as governor and get so close to being elected president.
    Maybe we should allow Texas to succeed if it means getting rid of this guy.

    December 18, 2012 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  4. Jon

    The anti-gun crowd is so predictable, the old 'how many kids would die if teachers were armed' nonesense. The answer is: a hell of a lot less than the 20 that were killed in Connecticut. What I don't hear the libs asking is how this tragedy could have possibly happened in the first place as carrying firearms on to school property is already illegal in Connecticut. If barring ownership of firearms is the solution then Detroit, Chicago and Washington DC must be the safest places on earth to walk alone at night, as gun ownership is either totally outlawed or severely restricted in those communities. No one's saying that arming teachers will stop these tragedies from happening. The answer is nothing will; it's called life. There will always be evil people in this world no matter how much you libs think you can regulate it away. However the Constitution does grant us the right of self protection, which so many of you seem to be so blatantly ignorant of. Although it's horrible to contemplate, the reality is, if a teacher had been armed and returned fire when this tragedy started, even God forbid a few students were "hit in the cross fire" as so many of you are lamenting, the death toll would have been a lot lower. As this tragedy show, hiding under a desk isn't the answer, and restricting guns isn't the answer as the criminals will always have them regardless, and restricting lawful citizens 2nd amendment rights isn't the answer, as the only person in this tragedy with a firearm was the degenerate, who you guessed it: didn't follow the law against carrying on school property, thus assuring he wouldn't have to face any defense against his senseless slaughter.

    December 18, 2012 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  5. JennyTX

    Another Texan, the late Molly Ivins, had a much better idea: "I am not anti-gun. I'm pro-knife. Consider the merits of the knife. In the first place, you have to catch up with someone in order to stab him. A general substitution of knives for guns would promote physical fitness. We'd turn into a whole nation of great runners. Plus, knives don't ricochet. And people are seldom killed while cleaning their knives."

    December 18, 2012 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  6. hannah

    Is he going to raise the pay of teachers if they have to go through combat training? Can you imagine the fire fight if teachers were carrying guns. Bullets would be flying everywhere. And insure that even more people would die.

    December 18, 2012 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  7. Gary Kendrick

    Gov.Perry you have just proven what I a felt for a long time. You, sir, are a fool. Guns carried by teachers on a school campus is a totally stupid idea. I am a teacher and a gun owner. I will not take a gun to school and I will not teach in a school that allows such a dangerous practice.

    December 18, 2012 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  8. glorydays

    Oh heck we figured out his intelligence level during the debates.

    December 18, 2012 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  9. Torgo23

    Finally, someone gets it. The only solution to this problem is MORE guns in schools. That's why my kids have guns in their backpacks now. And I told them, "no matter what, you stand your ground."

    December 18, 2012 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  10. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Rick perry can always be depended on to show his total lack of intellect. Texas, like Mississippi, has a history of electing governors of low intellect with a high probability of being easily swayed by money.

    December 18, 2012 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  11. lhorla

    To those who say that armed teachers would have given the shooting victims a fighting chance, I would like to remind these folks of the 2009 Fort Hood shooting. I'm pretty sure the people on that military base were armed. Yet one shooter still managed to kill 13 people.

    December 18, 2012 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  12. NKBL

    Let's put all gun freaks in the state of Texas and sell it back to Mexico.

    December 18, 2012 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    "Oh that's brilliant, and how many children die in the crossfire?"

    Enough to pay for our freedom.

    December 18, 2012 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  14. Think...

    We live in a society where there is a lack of regard for human life, violence is portrayed from every direction, and w'eve all become self-centered idiots. What do you expect? Do you think that anyone would be talking about any of these people had these events not unfolded? How much media time has Lanza had? He's a household name now.

    Guns aren't the problem, people are the problem. This could've happened with anything - knives, swords, pipe bombs, a stolen semi running through walls, etc. Change society to be less self-centered and more outgoing toward others. Stop focusing on the bad and look for the good in people. Abhor the filth and sensationalize the good. With these things, guns will find their proper place in society, just like everything else.

    Sorry for the grammar, smartphone keyboards are small.

    December 18, 2012 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  15. SilkyJ

    Imagine if the principal had a gun when that scumbag came into the school? He wouldn't have been able to kill those innocent children cause he would be on the floor dying. I blame his mother as well because she knew her son had mental problems, yet never locked them up. One of my good friends who is a teacher wishes he could carry one. It's the irresponsible few that make the majority look bad...

    December 18, 2012 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  16. Kevin Mc

    As a former law enforcement officer for over 30 years, I have to admit that Rick Perry has to be one of the stupidest people in America. He proved it during his presidential run which showed he is SIMPLE. Then he makes a comment about arming teachers in school. I have been involved in a number of officer involved shootings where fully trained, armed every day, practising evrey day and when involved in a shootout, things go terribly wrong.

    This is because the person on offence who takes a person by suprise almost always wins. And now he wants to give handguns to teachers in schools. What a moron.

    The best thing to do is limit the size of clips. Passing a phy. test and a gun handling course even before getting a firearm............Anything would help because right now this country is losing its grip on life......

    Please Rick Perry, quit and let someone that has a small amount of brains tak over because you do not have it...

    December 18, 2012 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  17. Gary Kendrick

    There is a reason this man was not chosen to be the candidate of his party.

    December 18, 2012 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  18. Tina1649

    What gibberish! So teachers should carry hand guns that shoot a few bullets faced against some crazy person with a magazine that shoots 100 bullets? Give me a break... Arming teachers is NOT the right thing to do and I sure as hell would not my kid enrolled in such a school with teachers packing weapons of any kind. Only military and police should have semi automatic weapons and large magazines. A hunter does not need those weapons to kill game.

    December 18, 2012 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  19. Phill

    Sounds great, until a student punches the lights out of a teacher, steals the gun and takes out a classroom full of kids! This way a killer just needs to bring their own bullets.

    December 18, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  20. sjlucas

    Only would a jerk like Perry think this is a good idea. Honestly, I'm assuming that guys in Texas must not be "too blessed" (if you know what I mean) because they are always trying WAY TOO HARD to overcompensate.

    December 18, 2012 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  21. Donkey Party

    Reason # 5149 Perry will never be President.

    December 18, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  22. Floyd from Illinois

    I've said it before and repeat it now – CUT TEXAS OFF and build a fence to keep those crazies from getting out.

    And take Oklahoma with you.

    December 18, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  23. Bob

    For all of you people saying "if there were more guns we'd be ok" or "teachers or admins should be armed", you have seen too many movies. Do you think a principal is going to suddenly turn into a navy seal because you handed him a gun, and gave him "training" (shooting a stationary target at a shooting range). Do you think he's suddenly going to be tactical/in shape/stealthy? What do you think the reaction is going to be the first time this principal draws his weapon, even in an active school shooting in progress, and accidentally kills one or several students with friendly fire? Do you think the parents of the dead kid will say "well at least he possibly saved those other kids!"?

    Bullets go through darn near everything including: wood, glass, metal, walls, people. So now this principal is firing at the attacker in what looks like an empty hallway, but kills 6 kids that are on the other side of the wall the bullets were hitting. Not to mention, no one is a precision marksman when they are also getting shot at. So now we have an all out movie style gun battle in a school with crossfire, panic shooting, pointing guns around corners and firing blindly. Not to mention that the principal and teachers did not go into this to get into gun battles in their school. They aren't hardened combat soldiers. They are working shmoes like you'd find in any office.

    Why aren't we talking about: panic rooms, emergency steel shutters/door blocks, hallway isolation blockades, and other PROTECTIVE devices?

    December 18, 2012 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  24. larry simpson

    don't mess with texas!

    December 18, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  25. Jeff N.

    There is absolutely no need for any civilian to own an automatic or semi-automatic assault weapon in this country. Also, anyone who does not call for increased gun control approves of the killing in Newtown CT.

    December 18, 2012 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
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