Local instructors encourage education as “Constitutional Carry” takes effect Wednesday

Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 10:45 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - In September, Texas will join 20 other states where people can legally carry a firearm without a permit. Under “Constitutional Carry,” people 21 years and older who can legally buy a gun can legally carry it without a license or training. Here in Lubbock, instructors still want people to comb through the fine print.

“I’m all for ‘Constitutional Carry,’ I just hope people will get the education that they need and be able to use their firearm and know how it functions, know how to shoot,” Thomas Larson, owner at Lone Star Shooting Sports, said.

Larson says everyone should be able to carry a firearm without a permit, but it’s your responsibility to get educated. Jay Temple, owner at Straight Shooter, is a fan of “Constitutional Carry” if it’s done right, but he says this law wasn’t. He says the problem is the lack of education.

“I don’t want somebody out there carrying around me and my family that doesn’t know how to handle a gun. License to carry, they have to go out and show me that they can shoot and do so safely,” Temple said.

“There’s laws out there that people need to be aware of - where they can carry, where they can’t, you know. And some of those apply to permitless carry only, where they don’t apply to an LTC holder,” Larson said.

For example, when licensed holders go to pick up their kids from school, the law allows them to have their handgun in the car. If you don’t have a license, Temple says that’s a federal felony. Temple says under “Constitutional Carry,” you cannot carry at hospitals and nursing homes. But if the locations don’t post the signage prohibiting it, licensed holders can carry there.

“‘Campus Carry’ on colleges, not at all. I can carry concealed at Texas Tech, perfectly legal for me to do. ‘Constitutional Carry’ guy cannot,” Temple said.

Larson says he thinks after September 1, we’ll see a lot more people start carrying. But, after a year or so, many of those will seek a license.

“Once again for legal ramifications, financial, if you do have an incident, you’re going to look a whole lot better to a jury if you’ve had training. And it just opens the door for you to carry a lot more places than you currently can with ‘Constitutional Carry,’” Larson said.

The new law also comes with new signage for property owners. Penal code sections 30.06 and 30.07 will remain the same, prohibiting concealed and open carry at certain locations. Starting in September, 30.05 establishes a new option for property owners to allow licensed holders to carry, but exclude those without a license.

Both Straight Shooter and Lone Star Shooting Sports offer LTC courses and will offer a shorter class for those who don’t want to get their license, but still want to learn where they can carry without one.

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