Some law enforcement experts believe Texas’ new constitutional carry law will make it more difficult for law enforcement to do their job preventing gun violence.
The pro-gun law went into effect on September 1, and allows Texans to openly carry firearms in public without a permit or training.
The bill is not without controversy. Critics of the bill, including some policy analysts and law enforcement experts, believe the bill could be dangerous.
Andrew Karwoski, a policy expert at Everytown for Gun Safety, the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country, believes the bill removes crucial safety parameters to carrying a gun such as a background check and training.
“In Texas, repealing the permit altogether is a radical change. Just allowing almost anyone to carry a handgun in public, no questions asked, no background check or safety training, is really dangerous,” he said.
In the past, obtaining a permit required mandatory firearms training.
Under the new law, Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia believes it will be harder for police to discriminate “good guys from bad guys.”
The law stipulates that Texans age 21 and older who have not been convicted of a felony, assault, domestic violence or terrorist threats can carry handguns without having to complete training or obtain a license.
Texas joins a handful of other states such as Iowa, Tennessee, Montana, Utah and Wyoming to pass gun sanctuary legislation in opposition to President Joe Biden’s push for gun control.
Garcia, along with president of the Houston Police Officers’ Union Doug Griffith, opposed the new legislation, arguing that it makes police officers’ jobs more dangerous.
“A minimum level of training is not asking too much for carrying a firearm and it is consistent with the Second Amendment,” Garcia said at a news conference.
“It makes our job, the job of our men and women, more dangerous. Gun owners have a duty to ensure that their firearms are handled safely and a duty to know applicable laws,” he added.
Karwoski argued that the new laws will make it harder for police officers to act and understand a person’s intentions when they see someone in public with a gun.
“One of the reasons that open carry is so dangerous is because it’s so difficult to enforce,” Karwoski said. “It’s hard for law enforcement when they see someone walking down the street with a military-style assault weapon to understand their intentions and respond accordingly.”