Constitutional Carry is rolling out in the Lone Star State this week.
Starting Sept. 1st, under the Firearm Act of 2021, law-abiding Texans may carry openly or concealed without a permit.
More specifically, any Texan 21 years or older who is not a prohibited person and has not been convicted of domestic violence, assault causing bodily harm, disorderly conduct with a firearm and making terroristic threats may bear arms freely in public.
Prohibitions on where one can carry remain in effect, however. Certain locales like airports, government courts, school campuses, polling places during elections will remain gun-free zones.
Private businesses also retain the right to ban guns in their stores. But they need to place signage at the door designating their gun-free zone status.
While this is a welcome change for many Texans, some remain skeptical as to the long-term consequences of permitless carry despite the fact that 18 other states have passed similar laws over the years and have not witnessed the uptick in violence that critics predicted.
“Constitutional carry means anyone can carry a gun and we cannot question them, which should be a problem to everyone,” said Douglas Griffith, the President of the Houston Police Officers’ Union, in an interview with ABC 13.
“License to carry, conceal carry, we have no issues with that,” he continued. “It is allowing those untrained individuals to walk around with a firearm. It is detrimental to the entire public.”
Under the new law, the Dept. of Public Safety must offer a free online gun safety course. Though it’s not mandatory, it’s a helpful reference to those who are new to firearms.
At least one local gun dealer in Houston is urging newbies to consider professional training to ensure they don’t run afoul of the law.
“Ignorance of the law is no excuse. There are still rules on where you can and cannot carry, and constitutional carry does not grant any amnesty for those,” Kyle Harrison with Top Gun said. “So if you walk into a place that is prohibited, you could potentially be charged with a crime.”
In your opinion, how much training do you think one needs before they can safely and responsibly bear arms outside the home?