Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls was the featured speaker at the Fulshear Area Chamber of Commerce meeting on January 14, 2016. Sheriff Nehls arrived in one of two Bell Jet Ranger helicopters owned by Fort Bend County. He described as “a regional asset” as he praised the support of Rosenberg, Missouri City and Sugarland law enforcement agencies.
Sheriff Nehls focused his comments on the accomplishments of his administration of the Sheriff’s office. As Sheriff Nehls points out, residential burglaries are down 32% and solved rates on burglaries are up 300%, which is, as the Sheriff points out, far above the national average. This, all while the overall population of Fort Bend County has increased by 100,000 residents. According to the Sheriff, his accomplishments have come by running the Sheriff’s office as a business as he described his shifting the schedules of his staff in order to better serve the public.
Open carry was an important topic to the business leaders in the room. Sheriff Nehls says that he recommends that people use some common sense when they carry. He went on to describe the places where firearms are prohibited as well as places where they are not allowed. The Sheriff described several changes to the open carry law that he believes must be made in order to ensure public safety. Saying “Shame on you” to the legislature for not doing their “homework”, the Sheriff wants the law changed to not allow open carry in certain public buildings such as Central Appraisal District offices, public libraries, as well as in the County’s non-court buildings, such as the county’s criminal justice buildings that house the district attorney’s offices.
Sheriff Nehls also scoffed at the number of guns that a licensee can carry and expressed his wish that the legislature would “reach out to some of the law enforcement leaders” about some of the issues they face. When asked by a meeting participant “How many people have you guys actually seen open-carrying since this went into effect?”, Sheriff Nehls acknowledged that he had seen none, noting that he “doesn’t go anywhere either”.