Pistol Packin' Preacher Preps for New Texas Carry Law

photo from thruthinmedia.com.

On New Year's Day, the new open carry law takes effect in Texas, allowing residents with a concealed handgun license to carry openly. One firearms instructor in the Lone Star state, who has an atypical backstory, has been getting his students ready and says the shooting world has been changing a lot.

This story from the Stephenville Empire-Tribune on Wayne Goforth of Castle Keep Services, who has been teaching concealed-carry and self-defense classes for six years, reports what he had to say about the new law, campus carry, and women and guns. Before working as instructor, he was a minister for 32 years, earning him the nickname "The Pistol Packin' Preacher."

"I teach about six or seven different gun courses, personal safety courses, and NRA courses," Goforth said. "The CHL course is basically about laws, when you can carry and not carry, when you can claim self defense or not. It's not really about how to use your gun.

"But I also teach tactical training that I call 'practical tactical.' It's the next level up and actually does teach gun owners how to engage a mugger, attacker, rapist, home invader, etc.," he said.

When the open carry law kicks in on Jan. 1, CCW license holders will be grandfathered in, but the actual permit won't be called a Concealed Handgun License, but rather a License to Carry or LTC, said Goforth. He noted that as far as carrying on college campuses in Texas in concerned, it's up to the individual school to allow it or not.

"In the state of Texas, each ISD (Independent School District) can decide whether or not to allow any, all, or none of their teachers and staff (as well as of-age students) to carry," he said.

Goforth points out that most schools require that teachers and staff members take concealed-handgun and tactical training classes, and present the certificates to the school before they will be authorized to carry on campus.

Goforth says women are changing the gun world, fast.

"The last NRA Basic Pistol class I did was all women. The gun world used to be primarily a male-dominated field, but that's changing," Goforth told the Empire-Tribune. He added that he began to see the beginning of a major uptick in female gun ownership and an increased female presence in the shooting sports about five years ago, which has given birth to sports groups such as A Girl and a Gun.

Goforth says he also teaches church safety seminars as a result of the spate of church shootings in recent years. "Castle Keep Services has a Facebook page called 'Church Safety Seminars,'" he said. "In recent years, because of the fact that schools have bumped up their security, there have been more church shootings and killings than there have been school shootings."