The recent change in Texas gun laws has illustrated a massive upheaval in the State. In addition, it has showcased how the regulations that the State has are nothing but false meaningless fabrications that do not prioritize citizens or their safety. According to the Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, Texans will be relinquished from their duty to carry permits while possessing weapons such as guns. The Legislation has been signed and will be executed starting from September 1st.
Why is the recent Legislation being met with mixed views?
If we objectively consider the situation, then there have been many incidences of gun violence in America as a whole. For instance, the 2019 massacres in El Paso and Odessa. However, the matter of discourse here for the Texans is that many fear gun violence will only escalate with such a decision.
The above alone has been affirmed by a poll carried out by the University of Texas, where the citizens have raised their concerns and said that permit-less carry would lead to an exacerbation rather than a solution in eradicating the ongoing issue.
Furthermore, the advocates against the passing of the House Bill 1927 have made the permit-free usage of guns possible, as always faced a tremendous amount of criticism. They argue that it risks the safety of individuals in the State and overall weaves an environment that is uncertain, unsafe, and life-threatening.
However, then there are others who are in favor of the recent Texas gun laws and have voiced out their support. Their idea is that Texas should be easing its controls on carrying weapons and following the lead of the other 20 states. A few examples where there are no restrictions on possessing permit-less guns are:
All these states have no strict laws over guns, and now Texas is amongst them.
Is There Room for a Compromise?
During the Bryan shooting in April 2021, President Biden did term the lack of stringency on gun laws as an “epidemic.” However, despite the increasing pleas made by the President, and the people on the street, many American States deem that their gun policies have nothing to do with the intensifying violence.
When we specifically delve into Texas, then Governor Greg Abbott has stated that a firearm given to someone after they turn 21 is, in fact, in alignment with the “Constitutional Carry.” Here, anyone who is 21 and older can obtain a firearm as it complies with the second amendment, which preserves an individual’s right to be in charge of a gun.
Considering that the Governor has strictly adhered to his stance on Texas gun laws without paying attention to the public sentiment leaves little room for compromise. In 2019, the Governor promised background checks and ensured to curtail the hate crimes via guns that had become rampant throughout America. However, the public now feels betrayed.
The advocates for stricter Legislation over guns are calling out for transparency and background checks before issuing guns. But, as per them, there is a stark difference between “Constitutional carry” and the “License to Carry” (LTC) as per the Gun Owners of America Lobbying Organization.
In Texas, businesses can ‘provide a notice that lies in conjunction with Penal Code 30.05. This remains effective even if the citizens have a license or a concealed firearm. Hence, here, what those against argue is that the Constitutional carry is still being infringed upon, and therefore shouldn’t be there in the first place.
What can be done in light of this Dilemma?
For Texans to feel secure in their own space, what matters is that their concerns are given attention. For instance, the new law does make the call for free online teaching classes, but more needs to be done.
Teaching classes alone do not lead to experience and competency in carrying such weapons. So, perhaps, here, what the state legislators can do is call for mandatory training of at least a year or two for all those turning 21 and aim to get guns.
Additionally, there should be prior registration for all those individuals who aim to procure guns under the Texas gun laws. The underlying objective here would be to buy time for the authorities to make all the necessary background checks before issuing weapons. Although only people with clean records will have access to these firearms, it is still essential that broad checks be made.
Moreover, though the new law allows for up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $100,000 to be imposed on those who commit acts that incite fear, it is not enough. So here, what can be done is that the authorities could get a group of experts together that can bring in ideas regarding the broadening of security aims to protect the people.
Hate crimes are not unheard of, and it is evident that they too are increasingly becoming the norm with time. In light of this, what Texans need is reassurance. They deserve to have a say in this because they are a part of the State, and no one can endow them with this inherent right of theirs except their lawmakers and legislators.
Perhaps, if some of the measures mentioned earlier are implemented, the situation could improve.
What does the future hold for Texas?
As of yet, the future for Texas remains uncertain. The reason is that there is a general mistrust between the people and the ruling authorities in the city. Unless they can mend their differences and reach a consensus that takes into account the views of everyone, it isn’t easy to trace any progress. Texas gun laws have for a prolonged time remained unaccounted for. However, in light of hate acts, it has now become the prerogative of the Republican Party and those in charge to open an ear to the Texan populous and alleviate their fears.
Once an acceptable agreement between both entities is negotiated, it will then gradually lead to the Texan people placing their trust in their rulers once more.