Texas Permitless Carry

On June 16, 2021, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed into law
a permitless carry bill. HB
removes the mandate that one must first obtain a License To Carry (LTC) to possess a firearm outside of their home. From the final bill
text, we have:

ACT relating to provisions governing the carrying of a firearm by a person who
is 21 years of age or older and not otherwise prohibited by state or federal
law from possessing the firearm and to other provisions related to the
carrying, possessing, transporting, or storing of a firearm or other weapon;
creating criminal offenses.”

The law is scheduled to come into effect on September 1,
. At that time, a permit to carry will no longer be necessary to bear arms
in public. There are some exceptions and provisions of the law that are
important to know, from the text:

“(3) persons who are currently prohibited from
possessing firearms under state and federal law will not gain the right to
possess or carry a firearm under this legislation; and

(4) persons who are currently prohibited from
possessing a firearm include: persons
convicted of a felony as described by the provisions of Section 46.04, Penal
Code, persons convicted of certain assault offenses under Section 22.01, Penal
Code, punishable as a Class A misdemeanor and involving a member of the person’s
family or household, certain persons who are the subject of a protective order
under Section 46.04(c), Penal Code, and persons meeting any of the criteria
listed in 18 U.S.C. Section 922(g), including persons adjudicated to be
mentally incompetent.”

In short, the law will do nothing to change who is or is not
a prohibited person. Suppose someone is prohibited from getting a carry permit,
purchasing a firearm, or possessing one under federal and Texas law. In that
case, the permitless carry law will not allow them to carry.

Other subtleties of language were changed to strike “shoulder
or belt” from the holster description. This clarification was necessary to
clarify any possible confusion for those with a holster that does not fit that
narrow description. The law will also not change places that one is prohibited
from carrying a firearm by allowing people to carry in areas they previously
were not allowed to carry a gun.

With the passage of this law and coming into effect on September
, something that does need to be discussed is training. There may or may not
be an influx of more concealed carriers. Some of the people that previously
never carried may not have obtained a permit out of laziness or not wanting to
go through the process. If you or someone you know will embark on practicing
the lawful carrying of a firearm and have not gotten structured training, you
really should and advocate to others to do the same.

Permitless carry is a big step to righting many wrongs that
have been done to gun owners over the years. The removal of statutory
regulations that keep people from exercising said right is a good thing.
Besides our legal responsibilities, we also have moral ones.

Seek training that gives you the basics. If you’re an
experienced firearm user but have not gotten any training lately, it’s an
excellent time to brush up and take a class. After that, build on the basics
with practice and more training. Enhancing our skills through both training and
practice should be embraced. A good rule of thumb is to get structured training
once a year and practice sessions at least once a month with live fire.

This year is an exciting time in Texas and American history.
The country keeps adding to the list of permitless carry states, and this is a
good thing. Let us not get swept away by our newly reclaimed freedoms and
forget to train.

Stay safe out there and think before you do!

John Petrolino is a US Merchant Marine Officer, writer,
author of “Decoding
Firearms: An Easy to Read Guide on General Gun Safety & Use”
USCCA certified instructor, NRA certified pistol, rifle, and shotgun instructor
living under and working to change New Jersey’s draconian and unconstitutional
gun laws. You can find him on the web at www.johnpetrolino.com
on Twitter at @johnpetrolino
and on Instagram @jpetrolinoiii