Hmmm. Where was she? I was interviewed about the bill by media all over the state during session, and it was even covered in the New York Times.
I know where Whitley picked up this meme, anyway. Anonymous Dallas officers in the article told her the new law forces them to let drug dealers drive around with guns and that nobody knew about the bill during the Legislative process:
"It's insane," says one Dallas officer, who asked not to be named. "They basically destroyed the concealed gun law. We're letting drug dealers with Glocks under the seat go and say have a nice day. In the past we could have charged them at least with a weapons violation and confiscated the gun. Texas is wide open now. It's a huge story. This has just gone under everyone's radar."That's just not true. The new law specifically says drivers can be charged if they're committing any other crime besides a traffic offense. Convicted felons or others legally barred from gun ownership can still be arrested for carrying a firearm in their vehicle. Also, gang members can't carry guns under the law. If Dallas police are letting drug dealers with Glocks get away, they're not doing their job.
Though I authored the study Whitley referenced, I wasn't contacted about the story and I can't tell if she spoke to anyone who supported the new law - but the story is full of law enforcement critics complaining about having to respect the rights of legal gun owners.
The truth is, the Legislature knew exactly what they were passing with HB 1815, so much so that they essentially passed the same bill - or two different ways to get at the same result - two sessions running, in 2005 and 2007. The current Texas Legislature supports legal gun owners rights, even if law enforcement or DAs don't.