WACO, Texas – Lawmakers are advancing the bill that will allow Texans to carry handguns without a license or background check.
Big Iron Handgun License Training owner Johnny Price says anyone who carries a handgun without training will lack the knowledge needed to own one.
“There are lots of folks who shoot all the time. For those folks, that’s who it’s going to really benefit the most because they understand it. But that’s not the majority of our people out there,” Price said.
Lawmakers are pushing to make permitless carrying happen in Texas.
“I think it can get across the finished line,” Gov. Greg Abbott said. “One thing to remember is that constitutional carry exists in 20 states already.”
With opening access to everyone, what happens if a convicted felon gets one? The Senate raised the penalties for those caught carrying guns illegally.
“Around 3,500 licenses last year were denied because of criminal backgrounds,” Price said. ‘So that is roughly 7,000 plus folks that, guess what? Will be carrying.”
Governor Greg Abbott is in favor of the bill, and says he will sign it into law.
The State House has passed the measure, but it must go to the Conference Committee before landing on his desk.
“People are already allowed to have constitutional carry for long guns in the State of Texas. This just adds handguns,” Abbott said.
If this bill goes into law, it will affect the business of handgun license classes all over Texas.
Currently, people 21 and older must pass a written exam and a safety shooting test before they can carry a handgun.
“Yes, it’s going to affect [business],” Price said. “There is still a lot of good reasons to have it, even if it passes.”
Price says these classes educate people on where to legally carry and how to properly handle a gun. In addition to de-escalation techniques before having to use the gun.
“Knowing gun manipulation,” Price said. “Keep the muzzle pointed away in a safe direction, keeping your finger off the trigger, all of the rules of Gun Safety 101.”
He emphasizes that if you already have a license no matter what lawmakers decide – do not get rid of it.
“Knowledge is power, and that’s what they gain by taking the class,” Price said.