Politics

Texans Now Free To Concealed Carry Guns Without Getting A Permit

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Texans are no longer required to obtain a state license to carry a concealed firearm in public, setting up an increase in the number of people who choose to skip the training process, according to gun experts.

The bill that cut back the requirements, H. B. 1927, known as the constitutional carry law, took effect Wednesday. One Texas Republican touted it as doing away with an “artificial barrier” to citizens’ constitutional right to bear arms.

Before Sept. 1, Texas residents who purchased a gun and wished to carry it in a concealed manner had to obtain a state license, even though they were legally permitted to carry a gun openly in public without a license.

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“Through Aug. 31, if you wanted to carry a handgun in Texas, you had to get a background check, you had to get a training in safety and laws, and you had to determine some proficiency,” said Gyl Switzer, executive director for Texas Gun Sense.

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Texas is the 21st state to allow permitless concealed carry since the mid-1990s. Trevor Burrus, research fellow for the libertarian Cato Institute, said measures in the other states prompted outcry from gun restrictionists, including “a lot of apocalyptic predictions that didn’t come true.”

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Burrus said the law could prompt a decline in crime because a criminal could come to find he or she is up against a person who is armed. But others are not convinced.

“As evolving gun laws give more people access to guns more often, we are concerned that we may see more disagreements escalate to shootings and instances of firearm injuries and deaths due to negligent access,” Kim Ogg, district attorney for Harris County, home to Houston and the third most populous county in the United States, said in a statement.

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Texas Gun Sense wrote on its website that the… (Read more)