I was astonished when I first heard the idea of people carrying without a license. I think we are conditioned to feel that the government can protect us, and that it should. This is why we embrace regulation, and de-regulation scares us.

Two things changed my mind to make me believe that constitutional carry is a very positive thing for Texas.

1.) De-regulation is good for liberty. People are supposed to be responsible for themselves, and government has no business granting authority to carry (and by default being able to decide who may or may not carry).

(2) States that recognize Constitutional Carry (which is now 20% of the US!) have not seen rises in crime. I hear from instructors in those states that people are still getting training – perhaps even more training than the previous goverment-mandated minmum, since they’re thinking for themselves now.

The critical issue is not “….but some people shouldn’t be carrying guns!” It is “Who has the right and authority to decide who may carry a gun?” There may be some people I’d refuse to train or sell a gun to, but it’s not the government’s business to try to protect me by taking it upon themselves to decide who may have a gun. It’s my business to be ready to defend myself.

 

Please watch the video or read my FAQ on Constitutional Carry to get a truer understanding of what it is.

Rachel Malone

Director & Firearms Instructor, Texas Firearms Freedom

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Information empowers. Help others understand by sharing the truth about constitutional carry.

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What is Constitutional Carry?

We define it like this: Anyone who legally owns a gun can carry it, open or concealed, without government restriction, no permit required.

The Republican Party of Texas Platform says it means “law-abiding citizens that possess firearms can legally exercise their God-given right to carry that firearm as well”.

Another way of saying it is that the Constitution is our carry permit; no other permit should be needed. It is also called “permitless” carry, or “Vermont-style” carry.

Where does Constitutional Carry currently exist?

10 states currently allow permitless carry for both open and concealed handguns: Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Arkansas and Montana also allow constitutional carry with some stipulations. Many other states allow open carry without a permit.

What if this allows the wrong people to get a hold of guns?

A law will not deter criminals. People who will break the law in order to do harm to someone else are not going to be stopped by a law that says they can’t carry a gun. Constitutional Carry will allow more would-be victims to lawfully defend themselves, should they choose to carry.

Aren’t some restrictions reasonable?

Not really. History has shown that the government does a poor job of even trying to regulate carry, which is why neither the US nor Texas Constitutions suggest the kinds of restrictions we have today.

The question we should be asking is, “Who has the authority to restrict gun carry?” The Texas Constitution says the state can “regulate the wearing of arms with a view to prevent crime,” but criminals don’t respect our permit laws; they target the very places the law says people can’t carry. So state restrictions would not prevent crime.

We shouldn’t allow the federal government to restrict carry either. Even if we can live with the restrictions they come up with when we are in charge, those could change next year, or sometime down the road. Citizens need to have unrestricted right to carry as a guard against an overreaching, tyrannical government.

Will Constitutional Carry result in more crime and violence?

From the Crime Prevention Research Center: “The five states in 2013 that allowed concealed carry without a permit had much lower murder and violent crime rates than the five jurisdictions with the lowest permit rates. Indeed, the murder rate was 33 percent lower in the states not requiring permits. The violent crime rate was 32 percent lower.”

(http://crimeresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/2015-Report-from-the-Crime-Prevention-Research-Center-Final.pdf)

If we don’t have licenses, what about reciprocity?

We will keep our licensing system intact as an option for easier reciprocity and simpler gun purchases. This follows the example of other states who allow permitless carry: you will still be able to get an LTC, but you will not need an LTC in order to carry.

When could we get Constitutional Carry in Texas?

We can get constitutional carry in Texas in the 2017 legislative session. Multiple bills are expected to be filed. The Republican Party of Texas has established it as a legislative priority. However, the system is set up so that it is very easy to block legislation, and very difficult to pass it. That’s actually a good thing in general. It just means that we all need to work very hard to push Constitutional Carry all the way through the House AND Senate before the deadlines are passed, and prevent the bill from getting watered down.

What can I do to to get Constitutional Carry passed?

I’m so glad you asked! The most important thing you can do is show up to the hearing at the Capitol. The hearing is the one time the public is actually invited to come and, on public record, tell the legislature their thoughts on a specific bill. We may also need people to make lots of phone calls if a bill gets stuck at other times – for example, if the committee chairman refuses to schedule a hearing or bring it up for a vote. Stay in touch through facebook, our YouTube channel, and our email list.

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