The Texas State Capitol officially increased its security measures on May 21, installing metal detectors and screening people entering the building, but in Texas, all screening measures are not created equal, according to the Associated Press:
Officials are creating one line for the masses, one line for lawmakers and their staffs and then a separate procedure for concealed handgun license holders. The general public has to get scanned at the entrances. State officials and gun toting citizenry do not.
I know Texans love their guns, but come on, that's not really fair. The policy is based on the fact that those holding conceal-carry permits have already undergone background checks and training and, according to the state, do not pose a threat. But some out there are a little skeptical about this logic.
"If you’re planning on perpetrating something in the state capitol, you should simply get a concealed handgun license and show your gun on the way in," said Peter Hamm, spokesman for the Washington-based Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. "It’s just ludicrous."
While licensed gun owners do undergo an electronic scan of their permit to make sure it's up-to-date, some regulars in the building don't think it's fair that gun owners get to bypass security:
For frequent visitors of the capitol, including lobbyists, journalists and political activists, getting the permit just to get in faster is becoming an alternative to waiting behind tourists.
"I’m thinking about it," said lobbyist Bill Miller, who spends most of his life walking in, out and around the capitol when the Legislature is in session. "I mean, I don’t want to wait in line. If that’s the way you do the deal, I’ll be happy to get the permit. I won’t be carrying any weapons."
But then again, state budgets are tight. A little bump in revenue from conceal-carry permits certainly wouldn't hurt.