Texans are going to welcome a lot of new laws at the stroke of midnight.
I want to deal briefly with one of them. It’s a law they call “constitutional carry” of firearms. The new law allows anyone to carry a gun openly without ever having to take a test to prove they are qualified to operate this weapon.
To be clear, it does have some restrictions. A convicted felon cannot carry a gun; nor can anyone dishonorably discharged from the armed forces.
Everyone else? No sweat. Strap on the six-gun and pack it anywhere you wish.
This law makes me nervous. It’s a product of the state’s Republican-heavy Legislature and was signed by our Republican governor, Greg Abbott.
OK, I’ll stipulate that I disliked the state’s concealed carry law when it took effect more than 20 years ago. I feared shootouts at intersections. They didn’t happen with the kind of regularity that I feared.
So, over time I came to accept the concealed carry law even though I never have endorsed it.
I am not sure I’ll be able to accept this “constitutional carry” law. I always have though that the state’s concealed carry law was sufficient. It worked. Yes, we have too many guns out there. To be honest, the existence of the concealed carry law in Texas has deterred me from getting verbally abusive of drivers who cut me off, or tailgate me, or otherwise drive in a manner that makes me angry.
This idea of allowing anyone to pack heat without having to take a test and get a license, though, does cause me some anxiety.
Good luck, everyone. Be sure to behave yourself.