All Texans who legally own a firearm can now carry it openly in public without obtaining a permit or training – amid 14% rise in gun violence in the state
Texas residents who legally own firearms can now carry the weapons openly without a permit or training amid a 14% rise in shootings in the state this year.
Gov. Greg Abbot signed the ‘constitutional carry’ legislation, which went into effect on Wednesday, despite opposition from policing leaders and gun control advocates.
The Republican Governor said the new law ‘instilled freedom in the Lone Star State’ and made Texas the 20th state to allow residents to carry firearms without permits.
Texas joins Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, Tennessee, Montana, Utah and Wyoming as States who have allowed forms of open carry without a permit in 2021.
Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia said in a news conference that the law could endanger officers. The state has reported about 3,200 shootings as of September, a 14 percent jump from the roughly 2,800 reported in the same period last year.
‘It makes our job, the job of our men and women, more dangerous,’ he said. ‘Gun owners have a duty to ensure that their firearms are handled safely and a duty to know applicable laws.’
Doug Griffith, president of the Houston Police Officers’ Union, echoed Garcia’s worries.
The new law, which passed in an 82-62 vote, applies to Texans ages 21 and older and excludes people who are prohibited from owning a firearm, such as those convicted of a felony, assault, domestic violence, and terrorist threats.