Texas will, in time, become a constitutional carry state, regardless of what some gun control fans may wish. For a while, it looked like it may not be this year, but it eventually made it through. Further, Gov. Greg Abbott has made it clear that he will make sign it. After all, he vowed to make the state a permitless carry state.
To that end, some anti-gunners are trying to dig in and get ready for that new eventuality.
In fact, a couple of bills have been introduced that some claim will try and blunt permitless carry.
Governor Greg Abbott’s pledge to make Texas a “Second Amendment sanctuary” helped boost a bill that would make it legal to carry weapons in the state without a permit, a long-held goal of the gun lobby. After much back-and-forth, particularly from law enforcement who said it would make their jobs more dangerous and difficult, the bill is finally on its way to the governor’s desk. However, there have also been some surprising gun control measures that are looking like they might pass as well.
First is Senate Bill 162 from State Sen. César Blanco (D-El Paso). A “lie and try” bill, it aims to make it so that people who are not allowed to carry guns are not able to keep trying to acquire them through repeated attempts.
Blanco’s bill, which has now passed both chambers handily with bipartisan support, makes it illegal to receive a gun, even as a gift, while prohibited by law. It also makes lying on a background check forms a felony. The bill is in line with requests from the law enforcement lobby on the permitless carry bill, which would make it easier to disarm and confiscate people who own or carry weapons that do not have a legal right to do so. Approximately one-third of people denied a weapon because of a background check go on to commit another crime in the next five years. Whether the new bill will increase the rates of illegal weapon confiscation in practice is unknown, but it is a tool that authority could use to prevent an endless cycle of weapon acquisition attempts without consequence.
In fairness, I don’t know that I can call this gun control. This is one of those things that probably should have already been a law. If people are prohibited from buying a gun and it’s illegal for them to try–and it is, this bill just makes it a state law as well so it can be prosecuted outside of the federal courts–they should get prosecuted when they try.
They haven’t been, and that’s not a great thing.
But what else do they have in mind?
Another bill actually looks on its surface, like it is a boon to gun owners, but is actually an ingenious way to spur licensing. State Sen. Joan Huffman (D-Houston) has introduced Senate Bill 2247. It would completely eliminate the fee for gun licensing both for first-time applicants and renewals. The fee had previously been reduced in the 85th Legislative Session to just $40.
By making the licensing free, it will hopefully encourage individuals to obtain one by passing a mandatory safety course. According to one study across 80 urban areas by Cassandra K. Crifasi in the Journal of Urban Health, licensing reduces firearm homicides by 11 percent. Repealing licensing laws has been shown to increase firearm homicides in Missouri by 25 percent and gun suicides by 16 percent.
Now, I’m a fan of free licensing. South Carolina just did this as well, and I sang its praises earlier this week.
However, they’re demented if they actually think this will somehow blunt permitless carry.
First, the fact that you don’t have to have a permit means many won’t bother to get a license unless they plan on carrying out of state. They’ll need a permit for reciprocity to have any impact. Those are the people who are going to get licenses.
See, the problem with this idea is that the class costs money. You can make the permit free of charge, but it won’t make the classes free. Those who will attend the classes are going to be those who attend the training anyway.
Others will go and seek other kinds of training, stuff that might not be approved of for a permit, but may actually be better training, all because they aren’t required to take a specific class to get a permit.
I mean, it sounds like a good thought, but it also shows just how little some people understand gun owners.
That’s hardly a shock. After all, gun control advocates look down their noses at us all the time, so why would they bother to talk to us and find out anything about how we think?
These efforts to try and blunt permitless carry won’t do anything of the kind.