Texas firearm rights questioned

By: Kylie Dixon Email
By: Kylie Dixon Email

SHERMAN, TX-- Jerry Cleveland has been an avid gun collector and proud owner his whole life.

"You know a lot of people call you paranoid, because you carry a gun. I carry one, I'm not paranoid. I go where I want to."

The recent shooting death of a Florida teenager has people questioning exactly what their gun rights are. The Texas self-defense law is similar to the Florida firearms law.

The law states, Texas residents can carry a concealed weapon in their vehicle and at work. If you are in harm, you don't have to retreat from an attack. And if you feel your life or others around you is threatened, deadly forced is more easily justified.

Brad Blakenship, a Concealed Handgun Licence teacher and retired police officer, said people need to remember that even though the law allows you to carry a gun, you still need to be extra careful.

"You're not carrying the gun as a fashion statement, you keep the head count as minimal as possible that knows you have a concealed hand gun license. You don't talk about it, it's not a topic for social conversation. It is absolutely a last resort to save lives."

Cleveland believes if he was in danger, he wouldn't hesitate to pull the trigger.

"I have the right to protect myself and my family. I'm not under any obligation to retreat. That evens the playing field, you aren't going to obey the law, I'm going too. But I would shoot ya, in a minute," Cleveland said.

Blakenship said no matter what the situation, if it's the Trayvon Martin case in Florida or a police officer forced to fire his weapon, tt will effect you the rest of your life.

"After you've shot someone, you will wish, you hadn't because it's a horrific event that a lot of people don't find a way to live past. I tell all my students, I tell all the people in the police academy, after you've had to shoot somebody, you'll regret it, even under the best of circumstances."

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