The big story this week, of course, is Texas joining the ranks of states that allow open carry. We have that, plus Obama announces the only way he can pass gun control is by executive order.

1.) Texas. CJ Grisham and Open Carry Texas had an excellent New Year’s Eve, with (licensed) open carry officially being legalized at midnight last night. There are now 45 states that offer some form of open carry, a handful of which are even constitutional carry states that don’t require a permit.

Despite (or, more likely, because of) the nationwide restoration of gun rights, the latest FBI UCR continues to suggest a drop in violent crime.

Open Carry Texas referenced Kroger’s policy today, which is relevant because Kroger yields to state law instead of trying to force gun policy on their own. Kroger has long held that gun policy is best handled in the legislatures, not in the boardroom.

2.) Executive orders. For a movement that supposedly has so much support, gun control has been reduced to being handled through executive order instead of through the legislatures of any state or Congress. We do not know the specifics of the planned EOs, but we should have them some time next week.

3.) Recap. I was planning on recapping the year in gun rights, however has a far more comprehensive rewind and anything I wrote would be based on that almost to the degree of plagiarism. For the most part, gun rights expanded, while states that were already anti-gun expanded their futile attempts to make gun control look like a successful venture.

4.) Looking ahead. A handful of states are looking to continue the march towards gun control. The Daily Caller has a look at some legislation that gun control advocates are slated to push this year. Among them is an attempt to reheat the anti-due process efforts at preventing people added to the No-Fly List from purchasing firearms in Nevada (nevermind that it is generally those on the left who derided government watchlists not too long ago), and even an attempt to criminalize private gun sales. (Which, ostensibly, is an effort to get gang bangers to report when they sell illegal guns. It’s just as ludicrous as it sounds.)

Campus carry and constitutional carry will continue to be at the forefront for gun rights, as the discussion shifts both to a constitutional and tactical point of view (for once) as opposed to the emotional one gun control advocates depend on. The mixture of San Bernardino and Paris both led to a surge in CCW licenses and gun sales, largely because people started taking security into their own hands.

5.) Elections. Then, of course, we have the 2016 elections to think about. On The Issues has a great rundown of every candidate’s recent discussions on gun control and numerous other topics. Additionally, I recommend monitoring Open Secrets‘ database of political donors, as we all know money talks in this business.

2015 was a year of expanding gun rights, surging gun sales, and an increasingly irrelevant gun control lobby. (When you are reduced to executive orders and bullying companies because you can’t get votes, you are running out of fuel.) 2016 will see this trend continue, and the focus on the tactics of self-defense is exactly where gun rights shines, and where the conversation must remain. Both because it is the center of the entire reason for armed self-defense and because it is far better to discuss hard tactics than it is to discuss flimsy emotional arguments with no basis in reason.

The trend has continued for almost five years now. To slow it down at this point is almost impossible.

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

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