In the weeks before Texas’ new Constitutional Carry law went into effect, one of the common fears expressed by gun control activists and some law enforcement agencies was that once a license to carry was no longer required, there’d be millions of untrained gun owners wandering city streets. Most of the gun owners I know scoffed at the idea, for the simple reason that most people aren’t going to carry a deadly weapon if they don’t feel comfortable or confident with it.
Well, it’s been a month since the law took effect, and according to a pair of Houston firearms instructors, demand for training has actually increased in recent weeks.
“Since Sept. 1, since they passed the constitutional carry, I’ve had a slight decrease in license to carry interest, but I’ve had a big increase in handgun training,” said firearms instructor Darius Sanders.
On Thursday, ABC13 caught up with Sanders and former Army Special Forces member Aric Gray, co-founder of Gray Beast Solutions.
“Education, education, education,” Gray said. “It’s great to be able to carry that gun in your purse. Great to be able to carry that gun in your pocket. But, at the same token, if you don’t understand the weapon system or understand the legality, if you don’t understand the totality of circumstances, you can’t just pull a gun out and start shooting.”
That’s a great point. The law in Texas may have changed when it comes to being able to legally carry without a license, but the laws that determine when you can lawfully act in self-defense or in defense of others haven’t changed at all. A training course will not only help gun owners become more confident and competent with their handgun, but will generally provide an overview of all of the applicable laws governing everything from self-defense to transporting a firearm.
Another sign that training classes are still going strong in the wake of the permitless carry law taking effect? The construction of a brand new gun range in the Dallas suburb of McKinney, Texas.
The live-fire shooting range will include 18 climate-controlled and lead-filtering shooting lanes with a distance of 25 yards, as well as 3,000 square feet of space for retail, firearm rentals, a gunsmith, and classrooms where National Rifle Association-certified instructors will teach training courses and private lessons. A kitchen will also be available for indoor events.
An additional feature The Range in McKinney will offer will be the Firearms Training System, a simulation room provided by InVeris Training Solutions. The system will display a 300-degree, realistic three-dimensional indoor and outdoor range that can support multiple, simultaneous training sessions for up to five participants at a time.
The 25,000 square foot range is expected to open sometime next year, and if owners Thom and Julie Beyer were really concerned that many gun owners aren’t interested in training now that the state’s mandates have gone away, my guess is they would have scrapped the plans for a range and gone with a Chick-Fil-A or something like that.
In actuality, it looks to me like the passage of Constitutional Carry has created more interest in firearms training, not less. That’s a very good thing, and I see no reason why this trend shouldn’t continue in the future.