AUSTIN, Texas (Feb. 2, 2021) – A “Constitutional Carry” bill introduced in the Texas House would make it legal for Texans to carry a concealed firearm without a license, and foster an environment hostile to federal gun control.
Rep. Kyle Biedermann (R-Fredericksburg) filed House Bill 1238 (HB1238) on Jan. 21. If passed into law, it would end Texas’ concealed carry licensing requirements and remove the need for government permission to carry a concealed firearm in the state. A person would still have to be 21 years old and legally allowed to have a firearm.
Under HB1238, Texas residents would still be able to obtain a license so they can carry in states that have concealed-carry reciprocity with the Lone Star State.
EFFECT ON FEDERAL GUN CONTROL
While permitless carry bills do not directly affect federal gun control, the widespread passage of permitless conceal carry laws in states subtly undermines federal efforts to regulate guns. As we’ve seen with marijuana and industrial hemp, a federal regulation becomes ineffective when states ignore it and pass laws encouraging the prohibited activity anyway.
The federal government lacks the enforcement power necessary to maintain its ban, and people will willingly take on the small risk of federal sanctions if they know the state will not interfere. This increases when the state actively encourages “the market.”
Less restrictive state gun laws will likely have a similar impact on federal gun laws. It will make it that much more difficult for the feds to enforce any future federal gun control, and increase the likelihood that states with few limits will simply refuse to cooperate with federal enforcement efforts.
State actions such as passing HB1238 would lower barriers for those wanting to the option of defending themselves with firearms and encourages a “gun-friendly” environment that would make federal efforts to limit firearms that much more difficult.
At the time of this report, HB1238 had not yet received a committee assignment. Once it is referred to committee, it will need to pass by a majority vote to move forward in the legislative process.
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