Thursday, December 08, 2016 by Don Wrightman
There is a Constitutional Carry bill filed for the 2017 legislative session, which will make it legal for Texans to carry concealed firearms without a license. If passed, the bill could create a hostile environment against federal gun control. House Bill 375 was filed on November 16th by Rep. Johnathan Stickland. If the bill does get passed into law, it will mark the end of Texas’ concealed carry licensing requirements. Government permission will no longer be required to carry a concealed firearm in the state. The legislation will also provide legal protection against unreasonable police interference against concealed carriers. Possession of a handgun shall not constitute probable cause for an officer to disarm or detain a law abiding citizen.
In an interview with local media, Strickland said “This is meant to restore the constitutional rights of Texans to be able to carry a firearm without being forced to take a government-mandated test and pay a fee.”
Constitutional carry can be seen as a giant step toward helping citizens exercise their rights, which have been subject to major infringement. The bills do not directly affect federal gun control, but they undermine federal efforts to regulate guns. Several states have already undermined federal laws pertaining to marijuana and hemp. Federal regulations become ineffective when the states ignore them and pass laws that encourage the prohibited activities. The federal government does not have the enforcement power required to maintain the ban, so people go ahead and assume the risks of federal sanctions.
States with less restrictive gun laws are bound to have a similar impact on federal gun laws. It will make things very difficult for the federal government to enforce any future gun control, while increasing the probability that states with low limitation will not cooperate with federal enforcement efforts. If passed, House Bill 375 will break some barriers for people who wish to employ the option of self-defense via firearm. The gun friendly environment that the bill’s passage could create will be a relief for Texas’ gun advocates.
Earlier this year Texas became the largest state to implement open carry for handguns. There are currently eleven states that allow constitutional carry. Texans are currently awaiting the ability to enjoy the same freedom to exercise their rights. Democrats have gained 5 seats in the upcoming session of the Texas House of Representatives, but Republicans still hold the advantage. Texas legislators really have no excuse not to pass the bill.