I don't like the sound of that law, "dealing while in possession of a handgun". I would rather see a law against "dealing while brandishing a weapon". If the perp hadn't pulled a weapon, it wasn't part of the crime. Just like having a checkbook and pen on you doesn't make you guilty of trying to write bad checks. Even if you have a whole carton of "mightier than the sword" pen ink refills in the back seat, in plain sight. - Brad K. in a comment on Tam's blog.". . . a whole carton of refills . . .". OMG! Did you see what he had in the back seat of his car! He's got enough ink to write a friggin' book! Run and hide! He might write something, er, subversive, er, seditious, er, bad!
Presupposing of course that dealing is a crime. Well, dealing in certain prohibited substances is. You could argue that it shouldn't be a crime, but you'll have a long row to hoe to convince enough people to get that changed. Being as it is illegal is one good reason to carry a gun, I mean if someone tries to steal your stock, who are you going to complain to? The police? Your local capo, maybe, if you have one, but it's more likely he'll blame you for allowing yourself to get ripped off because you weren't carrying a gun. If dealing in these substances wasn't prohibited, he would have no more reason to carry a gun than, say, your average wrong-side-of-the-tracks convenience store owner.
Of course, in this case, he might have been carrying a gun because of his day job. Ain't that a bitch?
I knew a guy in Texas who spent several years working for the government because of a similar incident (carrying a gun while dealing, not being a corrections officer while dealing). He eventually straightened up and flew right, but then he was a little smarter than the average bear. In his case he might have avoided indentured servitude if he hadn't been carrying. Might have gotten ripped off, but that's generally better than going away.