Texas coverage on guns regulates possession of firearm handling in public. The history of open elevate of handguns in Texas stated in 1871 when the legislatures in Texas passed a bill to ban carrying by way of its citizens outside homes. This ban was later altered in 1995 when the country of Texas adopted concealed carry of a handgun. The practice to overtly carry a gun while one is undertaking their each day businesses have been an issue in the USA for a long time. Those who are in assist of the policy to openly carry weapons claimed that criminals do conceal their handguns and therefore the ordinary citizen should elevate theirs openly. The federal government law restricts carrying a gun openly in public, but in Texas, the state law overrides that of the federal government due to the nature of the constitution of Texas. This is because the legislatures of Texas have been given the power to regulate carrying of handguns by the citizen of Texas. According to gun policy in Texas, regulation of open carry of arms is intended to prevent crime.
The local jurisdiction has been barred from enacting or enforcing a law that contradicts the laws the state of Texas. A law to carry hand guns in Texas was passed by legislatures in the year 2015. This essay will discuss in details, Texas policy in the legalization of open carry of handguns.
Statement of current policy
The new bill passed in 2015 allows citizens of Texas to carry their handguns in hip or shoulder openly and does not need to conceal it as it was in the past. However one must have a license that gives them permit to carry a firearm openly. Also, they must be at least 21 years old for them to be given this license (James 12). Also, some places are termed gun free zones. People are not allowed to carry guns in this places that include schools, polling places, and airports.
The reason for changing guns open carry policy in Texas was due to increase in crime rates as stated by the state government. Before this law, there were some crimes reported in various cities in Texas. Criminals were taking advantage of the fact that people were not allowed to carry guns in public and therefore would not have a weapon to defend themselves when attack (Donohue 16). After careful observation of the trend, the government of Texas passed this law that requires citizens to openly carry their handgun to defend themselves in the case of attack. Those who are given these licenses must be at least 21 years and also must undergo safety and gun handling training before being permitted to carry their guns. Even though there has been a lot of criticism on this law, Texans celebrated the policy when it was passed. Thousands gathered in towns and state capital with their guns to celebrate the new bill stating that Texas will now be a safe state as they are ready to encounter criminals (Vizzard 879). However, those who are opposing it claim that it will give an opportunity for criminals to also openly carry theirs and thus will make the state even more dangerous. Also, it will encourage an encounter with law enforcing officers, and thus people will be difficult to control.
Policy options to be considered
The first option to this policy is concealed carry. It is where the gun holder is allowed to conceal their handguns wherever they go so that no one can realize that they are carrying a gun in public. They can carry it in their jackets or insert at the hips of their pants in the inside where it cannot be seen.
Another alternative to this policy is that carrying guns to public places should not be allowed whether open or concealed.
There are pros and cons to these options. First, the advantage of conceal carry is that it would control gun violence and also reduce tension as one walks on the streets of Texas cities. The fear that comes with seeing guns in the belts of everybody is reduced. This creates a sense of security among Texans.
Secondly, conceal will help stop the public shooting spree. Conceal will help people to stop those who usually attack others without proper reason. Those who have their guns concealed can approach the gun wielding person without them realizing the intention of attacking them (Vizzard 879). This will stop the common shooting spree as the criminal will not know whether the people around them have guns or not. It will surely deter crime in Texas if encouraged.
However, conceal carry also have a lot of disadvantages. It might increase crime rate as people who look innocent can use their deceptive look to attack stores or any other business since they will conceal their guns and thus no one will know that they are harmful.
Also, it will give dangerous people in the society access to firearms. The right to carry handguns at times makes it easy for criminals to purchase and walk around with guns carrying out their mission. Consequently non-carrying public will be vulnerable in the hands of those who are carrying guns to public places whether concealed or openly carried. People who do not own guns will find it difficult to walk with confidence and freely in the streets of cities in Texas. It is not easy to walk and meet everyone carrying a gun if you are not among those who have the gun.
On the second option of not allowing guns in public whether concealed or not, there are advantages and disadvantages to this too. First, it will make the city more friendly and safe for those who do not carry guns to walk around. They will not walk while scared of the unknown just because they do not have a gun (Vizzard 878). The disadvantage of this alternative is that the criminals will take advantage and terrorize the helpless public and go without being caught.
The recommended course of action is that people should just carry their guns but after a thorough training and background checks so that criminals are not accessed to guns.
The reason for this course of action with a proper background check and training, guns will be in the hands of responsible citizens who will only use it where there is a need to.
Bartula, Aaron, and Kendra Bowen. “University and College Officials’ Perceptions of Open Carry on College Campus.” (2015).
Bishop, James. “Hidden or on the Hip: The Right (s) to Carry after Heller.” (2012).
Donohue, John J. “CA Weighs Banning Concealed Handguns on Campuses. pdf.” (2015).
Vizzard, William J. “The current and future state of gun policy in the united states.” J. Crim. L. & Criminology 104 (2014): 879.