Texas’ new legislation enabling most people to carry handguns in public without a permit or training stemmed in part from many Texans’ opinion that the best way to prevent crime and stop an armed bad guy is to have an armed good guy nearby.
Gov. Greg Abbott and his Republican friends in the Legislature who made Texas the largest state with a so-called permitless carry law this summer framed it as a method for people to defend themselves more simply and without government interference.
“In the best-case scenario, the cops are just a few minutes away. But if you’re in danger, you need protection immediately away. So it’s going to keep us safe, right? “asked Bethany Young, legislative director for Texas Gun Rights, which advocated for the passage of the law, which went into effect on Wednesday.
However, studies show that when such regulations are enacted, crime actually increases. And Texas officials, including those who came out against the new law, are concerned that having more people armed around will lead to more arguments being settled with shooting and more lost or stolen firearms ending up in the hands of criminals.
Texas has now joined nearly two dozen other states in allowing some sort of uncontrolled handgun possession. In Texas, firearms can already be carried in public without a license. However, as of a few days ago, most Texans aged 21 and up who have not been convicted of specific crimes can legally carry a holstered handgun in public without any training, permission, or a state-run background check.
“The United States is following the traditional notion of fighting fire with fire. The best defense is a good offense, that type of mentality,” Smith said. “But the overwhelming preponderance of the statistics, though they’re not for certain and they’re not conclusive … they only point one way.”