New Texas Law Raises Concerns After Allowing Guns to Be Carried in Public Without Permit or Training
01:33 GMT 03.09.2021 (Updated: 01:34 GMT 03.09.2021)
Texas has passed new legislation which will allow all Texans aged 21 or older, who can legally own a firearm, the right to openly carry a handgun in public without obtaining a permit or training. The new law, signed by Gov. Greg Abbott, has sparked outrage from gun control advocates and has been hailed as a triumph by gun rights advocates.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s recent signing of the House Bill 1927 has sparked national outrage from gun control advocates. The law grants Texans aged 21 or older, who can legally own a firearm, the right to openly carry a handgun in public without obtaining a permit or training.
The law has sparked divisiveness across the country. Gun rights advocates hail the law as an expansion of the basic freedoms provided by the Second Amendment, whereas some in law enforcement, as well as gun control advocates, see it as a dangerous step towards an increase in gun violence.
However, it's worth noting that the measure does include some exemptions, one of which bars individuals with a felony or a violent conviction. It also requires the Department of Public Safety to offer gun safety courses that are not necessarily mandatory for individuals.
The legislation is one of the first of its kind since the Lone Star State underwent several mass shooting, such as the 2019 shooting at an El Paso Walmart at the hands of a 21-year-old white man who had driven more than 10 hours to the location.
Prior to the latest development, Texas already allowed for the open carry of rifles without a permit. However, House Bill 1927 is more controversial because of the dangers a concealed handgun are believed to present.
Police in urban centers worry that the bill will cause yet another increase in gun violence. Year over year, Texas has seen an increase in non-suicide related gun deaths since 2019. Those that favor the legislation believe the bill has expanded individual’s access to instruments that can protect themselves and their families.
Texas who wanted to carry a firearm openly or concealed within the stated were previously required to obtain a license, submit their fingerprints, take a training course and ace both a written test and shooting proficiency exam.
The measure, which went into effect on Wednesday, sees Texas following in the steps of 19 other US states that have implemented similar loosened gun requirements. Some of those states include Iowa, Utah and nearby Tennessee.