Is TX right to pass unlicensed handgun carry law?


Fact Box

  • The Second Amendment of the US Constitution ensures “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
  • Texas lawmakers approved a bill allowing people to carry handguns without a license, background check, and training on Monday, May 24, 2021.
  • About 1.4 million people had a license to carry in Texas by the end of 2018. In 2019, there were 3,683 deaths by gun with a 12.7 percent death rate in the state.
  • America has 120.5 guns per 100 people, which amounts to about 393,347,000 guns—the highest per capita worldwide.
  • Seven of the 50 states always require gun permits in order to obtain and carry a firearm: Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Wisconsin.

Morgan (No)

If individuals are allowed to walk around with a gun without a license, there is no telling whether or not they have had the background check and training that goes with that license. The discomfort that comes with that knowledge is enough to enrage anyone. Since the beginning of 2021, Texas has had 18 mass shootings. This number isn't slowing down any time soon, and Texans are in danger. This law puts Texans at risk of more gun violence as people are allowed to buy and carry guns without the proper qualifications. Letting people walk around with weapons without the reassurance that they're licensed to do so is extremely unsettling and will make many Texans fear for their safety out in public.  

Many law enforcement groups have voiced their objection to the law, saying 'it would endanger the public and police.' It doesn't make any sense for politicians to pass a law about something that law enforcement officials, who know more about gun violence and crime, say is a bad idea. While the law will 'allow anyone age 21 or older to carry a handgun as long as they don't have violent crime convictions or some other legal prohibition in their background', it also removes the required background check that comes with a license, so there is no way actually to enforce this measure. 

In 2021, there have been many mass shootings in the United States. According to NPR, this number averages to about ten mass shootings a week. Instead of making unlicensed gun-carrying legal, Texas should find ways to make it harder for the wrong people to get their hands on these weapons.

Stephanie (Yes)

It is impossible to truly uphold the Second Amendment while barriers to the right to keep and bear arms still exist. Despite Texas being a generally gun-friendly state, its residents have been required to obtain permits to carry a handgun. Considering that 20 states already have Constitutional carry laws allowing permit-less carrying, Texas is relatively behind in updating its firearm laws.

The problem with a state not having constitutional carry laws is that its citizens face obstacles to their gun rights. These obstacles could pose safety issues in the form of the financial burden of paying a permit fee or the time required to obtain a permit, both of which render citizens unarmed when they require protection.

Opponents to HB 1927 have cited concerns about mass shootings that have occurred throughout the nation. If anything, this should be more reason to arm citizens, especially considering situations where 'a good guy with a gun' saved lives, such as in the Sutherland Springs shooting. Statistics simply show that there is less violence in areas with less restrictive gun laws.

If passed, Texans will be much safer with the ability to carry a life-defending tool. Still, it will not enable criminals to commit violent acts any more than they can now, as laws already determine who may not legally own a firearm, such as felons and those with mental illnesses. Unfortunately, many tragedies have shown that criminals will find a way to obtain weapons if desired, regardless of implemented laws. The argument that this will make law enforcement officers' jobs harder and more dangerous is also false, as empowering armed, law-abiding citizens create a safer community for everyone.

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