A pro-gun law called “Constitutional Carry” has been implemented in Texas this week, allowing anyone who owns a firearm to carry it openly in public without a license or formal training.
Signed into law earlier this year by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, the legislation is part of an effort to keep guns in the hands of “law-abiding citizens.”
In a statement from June, Abbott insisted that “politicians from the federal level to the local level have threatened to take guns from law-abiding citizens — but we will not let that happen in Texas.”
“Texas will always be the leader in defending the Second Amendment, which is why we built a barrier around gun rights this session,” he said at the time.
This law, which took effect Wednesday, is already proving to be problematic for law enforcement, who told CNN that it’ll make it more difficult for them to protect the public from gun violence going forward.
Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia told the network that those openly carrying firearms will make it so officers have a harder time differentiating between a “good guy with a gun from a bad guy with a gun.”
The outlet also noted that this “Constitutional Carry” legislation is part of a series of pro-gun bills that have continued to be signed into law despite a rise in gun violence in Texas.
Not including suicides, Gun Violence Archive reports that Texas shootings have increased 14% in the last year. In the last three years, the state saw 2,100 shootings in 2019, 2,800 in 2020, and 3,200 in 2021.
The law also allows anyone 21 years of age or older to openly carry a handgun with no need for a background check that could potentially identify if the person purchasing the gun has a criminal history of violence.