AUSTIN, Texas - Permitless carry, also known as constitutional carry, is set to become law on Wednesday. This allows Texans age 21 and over to carry a handgun openly or concealed without a license or training.
Before September 1st, potential gun owners would have to take a class, submit fingerprints, pass a written exam, and take a shooting proficiency test to get a license to carry a handgun. Permitless carry makes that optional.
"It's optional. You can get a license or not," said Michael Cargill, owner of Central Texas Gun Works.
Permitless carry is set to become law making getting a license up to the gun owner. This would make Texas the 20th and largest state to pass permitless carry into law, a decision that has garnered mixed reactions from both sides.
For Andy Hogue with the Travis County GOP, he says this new law will put the trust back into the responsible gun owners to protect themselves.
"I don't think really having a CHL or not has really stopped a lot of would-be mass shooters from doing their things. I think the same thing with constitutional carry. We're just right back where we started: a situation where we think a license is going to stop illicit activity or illegal actions and I don't think that's really the case," said Hogue.
However, Gyl Switzer, executive director with Texas Gun Sense, has a different opinion. Her organization has been fighting against the passing of permitless carry from the start.
"We are concerned that generally there'll be more guns in public and the data show us time and time again that more guns don't make us safer. I always hope that dire predictions are wrong, but what happens when more guns are introduced to a situation, especially in the hands of people who aren't trained, bad things happen," said Switzer.
Cargill wants to make one thing clear: permitless carry makes licenses optional, but not a background check. "You don't have your license, an FBI background check will be done on that person regardless, and that's today or that's tomorrow. It doesn't matter."
Cargill says his gun shop will continue to recommend getting a license to carry regardless of permitless carry in place.
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