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Texas Becomes Most Populous State with Permitless Gun-Carry Law

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Wednesday, September 1, 2021   

AUSTIN, Texas - Texans age 21 and older can carry handguns without a license or training starting today, despite opposition from instructors who teach people how to be responsible shooters.

Legislation signed by Gov. Greg Abbott eliminates the requirement for Texas residents to obtain a license to carry handguns. Raul Camacho, chief firearms instructor at Safety Measures LLC, and 50 other experts urged lawmakers to vote against the bill. Camacho said he believes training helps reduce the main reasons for gun accidents, which he said are ignorance and carelessness.

"To have people less educated on the laws, less educated on the actual firearm and how to use it, and have no basic training whatsoever," he said, "it's a recipe for disaster."

Before today, Texas residents only could obtain a license to carry a handgun after completing a four-hour course by a licensed instructor and demonstrating basic shooting ability by firing at a target. Another gun-related bill signed by the governor allows school marshals and hotel guests to carry guns.

Supporters of the new law have said it will allow Texans to better defend themselves in public and abolish what they see as barriers to the constitutional right to bear arms. Camacho said that argument, about restoring gun owners' rights, doesn't make sense to him.

"Restore what rights? You know, you can carry a long gun, a shotgun in public without a license; you can carry your handgun in your vehicle - have it in your home," he said. "People's rights were never taken away."

Texas already has at least 1.6 million handgun license holders. It also has been the site of several mass shootings, including at an El Paso Walmart, a church in Sutherland Springs and a high school outside Houston.


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