As you might imagine, Central Texas Gun Works owner Michael Cargill is pretty excited about the state’s new Constitutional Carry law taking effect today, though he does tell me on today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co that he doesn’t anticipate a rush of customers into his Austin gun store as a result. Cargill says that threats to our Second Amendment rights inevitably lead to an increase in the number of folks eager to exercise their right to keep and bear arms, but expanding those rights doesn’t necessarily have the same effect.
To be sure, Cargill believes that more gun owners will choose to carry now that a state-issued license is no longer required, but as he points out, there are still plenty of reasons to obtain a carry license in the state. Not only can concealed carry holders carry in other states that recognize Texas’ concealed handgun license, for instance, but a valid carry license will expedite the process of purchasing a firearm in the Lone Star State.
Another interesting twist to the state’s new Constitutional Carry law deals with alcohol. If you’re carrying without a license and you were to blow even a 0.01 BAC in a breathalyzer, you could face arrest. For those with a valid concealed carry license, however, the legal level of intoxication is a 0.08 BAC. That quirk led Cargill to celebrate the law taking effect with a special gift for customers today: a can of Lone Star beer.
I’m sure that Austin’s anti-gun activists will wring their hands and clutch their pearls over Cargill’s offer, but as he acknowledges, they’re already hyperventilating over Constitutional Carry itself. Cargill says he’s seen it before; when the state approved concealed carry back in the 1990s, when open carry was legalized a few years ago, and when campus carry took effect in 2015. Second Amendment supporters may remember hundreds of students at UT-Austin waving around sex toys as part of a protest called “Cocks, Not Glocks.
Demonstrators gathered to brandish sex toys in the air or strap them to their backpacks. Or other places. “We have crazy laws here but this is by far the craziest, that you can’t bring a dildo on to campus legally but you can bring your gun. We’re just trying to fight absurdity with absurdity,” said Rosie Zander, a 20-year-old history student.
“We wanted something fun that people could really engage in. Because it’s hard to get involved in the political process at our age, people our age don’t tend to vote or get involved, and this is so easy. Strap a dildo on and you’re showing the Texas legislature this is not a decision we wanted.”
Six years later, and neither sex toys or six-shooters are much of an issue on campus, and Cargill maintains the same will soon be true for Constitutional Carry. Inevitably, the fears subside, and Cargill doesn’t believe the law will make the state any less safer. While he wouldn’t be surprised if some gun owners choose to carry without taking a training course or two, he thinks that won’t last long. Most folks who want to carry in self-defense also want to feel safe and proficient doing so, and Cargill says that there’ll continue to be a strong appetite for training, even if it’s no longer mandated by law.
Today’s a good day for Texas and for the Second Amendment, so crack open a cold one and cheer the advent of Constitutional Carry… though if you don’t have your concealed carry license and you live in the Lone Star State you should probably make that a near beer rather than the real thing.