Messages of Pat M. Neff, Governor of Texas to the thirty-seventh legislature Page: 20 of 36
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SENATE BILL NO. 45-WITH EXECUTIVE VETO.
Austin, Texas, Feb. 26, 1921.
To the Texas Senate:
Vetoing Bill Provid
Gentlemen: A pistol, generally speaking, is
ing for the Sale of bought and carried in order that a human bePistols.
ing may be killed with it should the occasion
arise to do so. Every person who puts a pistol
in his hip pocket intends to kill a man with it should he, from his viewpoint,
deem it wise to do so.
Man is the masterpiece of the world. He lives a life sublime and
dies a death immortal. No legislation should be had that will encourage
or make easy the taking of human life. It should be made as
difficult as possible for one man to kill another. For this reason there
has long been a law in this State that prohibits the carrying of a
pistol. It has been, also, for many years, against the law in Texas to
sell a pistol.
There has been presented to me, as Governor, for my approval or
disapproval, Senate Bill No. 45, which repeals the law prohibiting the
sale of pistols. If this bill is to become a law, then it seems to me that
it would be proper to repeal the law prohibiting the carrying of a
pistol, and in this way permit every man, woman and child in the
State to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The only
good thing the proponents of this bill can say in behalf of the pistol
is that it should be put on the open market in order that the people
may feel free to buy it for the protection of the home. My answer
to this eulogy of the pistol is that a shotgun loaded with buckshot is
a far better protector of the home than a pistol.
To encouage and make easy the purchase of a pistol is to encourage
and make easy, violations of the law. I am unwilling for the State
to say, during this high crime wave, that the State now believes that
pistols should be freely sold and that the people should in this day
be encouraged to purchase them as a means of preserving peace. Not
even in the name of handsome profits on the sale of pistols do I deem
it wise for the State to put the seal of approval on a program of that
This bill I am asked to sign, and which passed your body with but
two dissenting votes, admits in its provisions that a pistol is such a
bad thing that it should not be sold to a person under twenty-one
years of age, or to a person "under the heat of passion," or displayed
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Neff, Pat M. Messages of Pat M. Neff, Governor of Texas to the thirty-seventh legislature, book, 1921; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth5871/m1/20/: accessed May 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .