Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia said people open carrying firearms have made it harder for officers to differentiate a “good guy with a gun from a bad guy with a gun.”
“Owning a firearm and being able to deploy a firearm in a safe manner requires not only familiarity with the weapon system but also a level of proficiency,” said Frank Straub, the director of the Center for Mass Violence Response Studies at the National Police Foundation.
로 알려진 House Bill 1927
, the law applies to Texans age
21 and older and excludes people who are prohibited from legally owning a firearm
, such as those convicted of a felony
, 폭행, domestic violence or terrorist threats
. Before the law went into effect Wednesday
, residents could carry handguns only with a license and were required to complete training
, as well as pass a written exam and proficiency test
공화주의자 supporters of the bill have argued that by removing the licensing requirement
, they are removing an
” to residents
’ right to bear arms under the Constitution and ensuring more Texans have access to
“the protection of themselves or their families
” in public
“This bill, to me, is a restoration of the belief in and trust of our citizens,” said state Sen. Charles Schwertner, a Republican and the bill’s sponsor. “If you possess a firearm, you should be able to carry a firearm.”
Texas joins several other conservative states
— such as Iowa
, 테네시, 몬태나, Utah and Wyoming
— that have passed legislation this year allowing some form of permitless carry as President Joe Biden pushed forward executive actions to address gun violence in the wake of several high-profile mass shootings
In more than
40 주, people can carry loaded
, semi-automatic rifles in public without a license or training
. Five states
, including California and the District of Columbia
, ban the open carry of loaded long guns
, while only Massachusetts
, Minnesota and New Jersey require permits to openly carry long guns
, according to Everytown
. 에 29 주, civilians can open carry loaded long guns around state capitols
, according to Everytown
“As we’ve seen gun extremism continue to rise in this country, we’ve also seen people who open carry start out at marches and rallies and then show up in elected officials’ 주택, in polling places, statehouses and then on January 6th at the US Capitol,” said Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action, which has been fighting for gun safety measures since the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut that killed 20 children and six educators.
Open carry makes job more dangerous for law enforcement, 관리들은 말한다
올해 초, Texas law enforcement officials held a news conference in Austin to oppose the so-called “constitutional carry” 법률 제정. They included Garcia, the Dallas police chief, and Doug Griffith, president of the Houston Police Officers’ Union. “A minimum level of training is not asking too much for carrying a firearm and it is consistent with the Second Amendment,” Garcia said at the news conference.
“It makes our job, the job of our men and women, more dangerous,” 그는 덧붙였다. “Gun owners have a duty to ensure that their firearms are handled safely and a duty to know applicable laws.”
If an individual is seen carrying a firearm at a protest or a store, there is little that law enforcement can do unless the person is acting in an illegal manner, according to Karwoski, of Everytown.
“One of the reasons that open carry is so dangerous is because it’s so difficult to enforce,” Karwoski said. “It’s hard for law enforcement when they see someone walking down the street with a military-style assault weapon to understand their intentions and respond accordingly.”
While everyone has the right to purchase and bear arms under the Second Amendment to the Constitution, said Straub, those individuals “should go through a process that ensures their possession of a firearm is done in a safe manner.”
But not everyone should have access to a gun, Straub said — especially those struggling with suicidal ideology, certain mental health issues, and a history of domestic violence.
“We need to have safeguards in place that protect the person carrying the firearm as well as the general public,” 그는 말했다.
Research shows open carry can increase violent behavior generally
Mass shootings in
2019 at a Walmart in El Paso and in a shooting spree around Midland and Odessa
왼쪽 30 people dead and dozens wounded
, and they prompted Abbott and Lt
. 정부. Dan Patrick to briefly consider a gun control proposal that would make it harder for Texans to buy a firearm
But during his annual State of the State address earlier this year, Abbott stressed the need to “erect a complete barrier against any government official anywhere from treading on gun rights in Texas.”
Texas has seen a consistent increase in mass shootings over the past four years. Through August 31, the state had 38 mass shootings, ㅏ 40% jump over the same period last year and a stark increase over the 19 mass shootings in 2019 과 10 에 2018, according to GVA data. 전국적으로, 가 있었다 464 mass shootings through August 31, compared with 418 last year and 286 에 2019, GVA data shows.
CNN and the GVA define a mass shooting as a shooting that injures or kills four or more people, not including the shooter.
Several high-profile mass shootings in recent years have propelled law enforcement officials and lawmakers to call for stricter gun control laws
, including restrictions on open carry
. In Dallas in
2016, five officers were killed and seven others wounded in an ambush that marked the deadliest single incident for US law enforcement since the September
11, 2001 공격.
White nationalists who attended the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, 여자 이름
, 에 2017 stormed the city while openly carrying handguns and rifles
. The rally ended with one person killed and 19 다쳐서 after a White supremacist slammed his car into a group of counterprotesters
. In Kenosha
, 위스콘신, 작년, a group of men who openly carried guns during protests after the police shooting of Jacob Blake included then-17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse
, who shot three people with his long gun
A report published last week by Everytown and the Armed Conflict Location
& Event Data Project
) includes a study of
560 events between January
2020 그리고 6월 2021 at which demonstrators
, counterdemonstrators or other individuals or groups were present
, either carrying or brandishing firearms
“Contrary to claims that the presence of guns in public spaces makes people safer,” 보고서는 말한다, “demonstrations involving at least one armed individual tend to be violent or destructive 16% of the time.”
The study found that armed protests are nearly six times as likely to turn violent or destructive compared to unarmed protests. While armed demonstrations turn violent or destructive about 16% of the time, unarmed demonstrators might turn violent 3% of the time, 보고서는 말한다.
“Data shows that visible guns makes people more aggressive, so it’s a logical next step to believe that open carry makes it more likely that disagreements will turn into violent conflicts,” said Watts, of Moms Demand Action.
Preemption laws are part of the problem, 전문가들은 말한다
에 2013, a group of mothers who were volunteering with Moms Demand Action was having lunch at a Dallas-area restaurant when they were confronted by a group of 40 men openly carrying long guns, Watts said.
“They pretended like they were aiming at the volunteers inside the restaurant and there was nothing the manager could do, because it was legal to open carry long guns,” 그녀가 말했다. “We were shocked that this was legal behavior and it seemed like an alarming practice that was meant to intimidate and silence us.”
In the states where open carrying is legal, Watts said, members of the organization have been routinely surrounded by mostly armed men while they hold rallies, marches, volunteer events and private meetings. Volunteers with Moms Demand Action have helped dozens of corporations ban open carry in stores since 2013 and they will continue their work with Texas’ new permitless carry law, 그녀는 덧붙였다.
Part of the problem is preemption laws that cause cities to “bear the brunt of gun violence without allowing them to change the policies that could address it,” Watts said.
These laws are enacted in more than 40 주, 텍사스 포함, preventing cities and local municipalities from passing their own gun safety measures.
“Having broad preemption laws is incredibly stifling for local leaders when they want to create local solutions to gun violence and that includes open carry,” said Karwoski, of Everytown.
결과적으로, 그는 말했다, densely populated cities and large urban centers are subjected to the same rules and regulations as rural and suburban areas where the gun violence crisis is much different.
“It means localities can’t regulate on a local level,” Karwoski added. “If they try to do this, they could be sued, subjected to fines, and other punitive measures that arguably have a chilling effect on any locality that regulates guns.”