New handgun carry law set to take effect in Texas

When it comes to the combination of "people and firearms" – Gordon Taylor shoots as straight as the semi-automatics he sells at Black Gold Guns and Ammo.

"I don't believe there is going to be the Wild West shootouts. I believe there's going to be a whole lot more respect shown," said Taylor.

Taylor is talking about a new era of Texas self-defense ushered in by legislative approval of "Constitutional Carry" - a law which takes effect September 1 allowing every sound-minded Texan over the age of 21 who has managed to avoid a felony conviction to pack a pistol in most public places without a permit.

And contrary to what some may believe, Taylor says the impending expansion of Texas gun rights hasn't triggered a fresh run on guns.

"There has been no mad rush because September 1 is coming," said Taylor.


What concerns him most is public education regarding this new right, or rather the lack of it. That's because there are plenty of places Texans still can’t "carry" like schools, polling places, courts, government meetings, bars, prisons, hospitals, nursing homes, professional sporting events, and amusement parks.

"People need to know that, or you are going to have a whole lot of good people in a whole bunch of serious trouble," said Taylor.

RELATED: 666 new Texas laws go into effect Sept. 1. Here are some that might affect you

And while it's no longer required to get a "carry" license, Taylor recommends it strongly - for the training, for the reciprocity with other states, and especially for interactions with law enforcement.

"To let them know that the FBI has looked you over very well," said Taylor in reference to the background check required of license holders.

WHAT’S YOUR POINT: No permits needed to carry handguns- TX House passes constitutional carry bill

All that said, there are plenty of folks convinced Texans will look back and regret the day lawmakers lifted restrictions.

State Representative and former prosecutor Ann Johnson say there's a reason many police organizations opposed permit-less carry.

"There's nothing wrong with having personal responsibility and training and that's the exact opposite of what this bill does. When we are seeing an increase in violent crimes, we are putting more guns in the hands of folks we shouldn't want to have them," said Johnson.


Businesses and private landowners still have the right to prohibit the carrying of firearms on their property and under the new law, they can even pick and choose, allowing entry to those with a "carry license" while excluding those who don't.