Texas Goes Permitless on Guns, and Police Face an Armed Public 

Big city police departments and major law enforcement groups opposed the new handgun law when it came before the State Legislature last spring, worried in part about the loss of training requirements necessary for a permit and more dangers for officers.Credit…Matthew Busch for The New York Times

“. … .Texas is the most populous state to do away with handgun permit requirements. Five of the nation’s 15 biggest cities are in Texas, making the permitless approach to handguns a new fact of life in urban areas to an extent not seen in other states.”

No statewide shooting statistics have been released since the law went into effect last September. After a particularly violent 2021 in many parts of the state, the picture of crime in Texas has been mixed this year, with homicides and assaults up in some places and down in others.

But what has been clear is that far fewer people are getting new licenses for handguns even as many in law enforcement say the number of guns they encounter on the street has been increasing.

Big city police departments and major law enforcement groups opposed the new handgun law when it came before the State Legislature last spring, worried in part about the loss of training requirements necessary for a permit and more dangers for officers.

But gun rights proponents prevailed in the Republican-dominated Capitol, arguing that Texans should not need the state’s permission to exercise their Second Amendment rights.

Far from an outlier, Texas, with its new law, joined what has been an expanding effort to remove nearly all restrictions on carrying handguns. When Alabama’s “permitless carry” law goes into effect in January, half of the states in the nation, from Maine to Arizona, will not require a license to carry a handgun.

The state-by-state legislative push has coincided with a federal judiciary that has increasingly ruled in favor of carrying guns and against state efforts to regulate them.

New York Times

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