The Truth (And Lies) About Texas' Constitutional Carry Bill

The Truth (And Lies) About Texas' Constitutional Carry Bill
(AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

Texas won’t become the first state in the nation to allow legal gun owners to lawfully carry without a license when Gov. Greg Abbott signs Constitutional Carry legislation into law in the next few days, but you’d be forgiven for thinking that’s the case if you’re only reading the mainstream media or following the Left on social media. Both groups are in full Chicken Little mode at the moment, squawking about the gunpocalypse to come once the bill becomes law, even though 20 states have already adopted permitless carry without issue.

Note the framing by the Associated Press, which is based on a falsehood. The Constitutional Carry bill approved by lawmakers in Austin on Monday doesn’t allow “people” to carry without a license, background check, or training. It allows those who can legally possess a gun to also legally carry one without having to first obtain a concealed handgun license. Those prohibited from owning a firearm, either because of a previous conviction or an adjudication of mental illness, are still going to be breaking the law if they possess a gun, much less carry one, but you’d never know that from much of the reporting out there.

As bad as the media coverage has been, the reactions from the Left have been even worse.

Yeah, you misread Texas lawmakers, Gonzo. In fact, you’d think the Left would be thrilled with this law, given that it will lead to fewer police stops and arrests of people who might be legally eligible to obtain a concealed carry license but haven’t done so. It’s funny how the Left believes that policing is inherently racist, yet they love the idea of putting more gun control laws in place for the supposedly racist police to enforce.

No good guy with a weapon? What about this guy? Or this guy? Or this guy? I could go on, but you get the idea. There are currently more than 20-million Americans who have a concealed carry license, and in 20 states that have already adopted Constitutional Carry, millions more are lawfully carrying without a license. Re-evaluate the Second Amendment all you want. The fact remains that the number of Americans exercising their right to bear arms is growing by leaps and bounds, and there’s virtually no chance that an attempt to repeal the Second Amendment would get the required support in Congress or in the states.

I hate to break it to Kay, but open carry is already the law in Texas. The permitless carry bill that will be signed by Gov. Abbott simply says that legal gun owners don’t need a license to carry their firearm. As for how the Second Amendment Sanctuary bill will work in practice, that’s easy enough to explain. No state or local police will be allowed to enforce any new federal gun control laws or assist in their enforcement in any way. If the feds want any new gun control restrictions enforced, they’ll have to do it themselves.

Even before Utah, Montana, Iowa, and Tennessee approved Constitutional Carry this year, more than a dozen states had already put similar laws in place, and none of them have turned into “war zones.” El Chapo’s argument doesn’t really make much sense. Why would people who wouldn’t normally carry a gun suddenly decide to do so? Why would people who have no idea how to use a gun choose to carry one around with them?

In every state that’s approved Constitutional Carry, you can still find plenty of firearms instructors conducting training classes, because the vast majority of us want to be comfortable and proficient with our guns; not because the state mandates that we do so but because it makes sense. Texas’ experience with Constitutional Carry will be no different than what we’ve seen in other states that have adopted the measure.

To be sure, though, the fact that Texas will soon be a Constitutional Carry state should have an impact on the right-to-carry revolution that began back in the 1980s when Florida approved it’s “shall issue” concealed carry law. Texas is home to nearly 10% of the U.S. population, and its by far the most populous state to approve Constitutional Carry. I think it will put pressure on lawmakers in other red states like Indiana, Ohio, Alabama, South Carolina, and yes, even Florida to follow suit in 2022, but it also may very well have an impact on the Supreme Court’s decision in the upcoming case challenging New York’s restrictive and subjective “may issue” licensing process that requires applicants to demonstrate a special need to carry a firearm beyond their Second Amendment rights.

The vast majority of states have already rejected New York’s restrictive licensing laws and recognize that the average citizen has the right to both keep and bear arms in self-defense, and with Texas now joining the ranks of the Constitutional Carry states, it’s obvious that popular support for the right to carry didn’t end with the approval of the Bill of Rights in 1791. As more and more states are adopting permitless carry, it’s become plain to see that states like New York, New Jersey, and California that still maintain their draconian restrictions on the right to carry are not just out of touch with the Constitution, but out of step with the vast majority of the rest of the country.