Texas State Representative Jonathan Stickland has proposed an easing of gun restrictions to make it easier for state residents to buy and own firearms. He wants to eliminate the existing step of obtaining a license to carry (LTC) a gun.
This is the second time Representative Stickland has attempted to pass his “constitutional carry” law, the first being unsuccessful. The term is used by those who believe that the Second Amendment did not intend for there to be conditions and hurdles to gun ownership, while opponents believe that background checks, registrations, and education help keep everyone safer.
Current Gun Laws
While licenses are needed to carry handguns, none are needed in Texas to carry shotguns or rifles. For handguns, however, people with permits cannot open carry in public places, such as parking garages and out on the street or sidewalk.
Currently, the law mandates that to carry a firearm in Texas, one must undergo six hours of instruction, a written exam, and pass a proficiency demonstration. A criminal history and background check must also be passed by applicants.
Who Can Own a Firearm – Requirements and Restrictions
Per the Texas Department of Public Safety:
Applicants must be at least twenty-one years of age (unless active duty military) and must meet Federal qualifications to purchase a handgun. A number of factors may make individuals ineligible to obtain a license, such as: felony convictions, some misdemeanor convictions, including charges that resulted in probation or deferred adjudication; certain pending criminal charges; chemical or alcohol dependency; certain types of psychological diagnoses, and protective or restraining orders. The state eligibility requirements can be found in GC §411.172. The federal firearms disqualifiers can be found in 18 USC 44 §922.
There are also expenses involved with our current gun laws, with a concealed license costing $140 in addition to a fingerprint fee. Renewal fees currently run $70. Licenses are projected to be issued within sixty days of application.
Handgun license courses must include the following:
- Deadly force and weapons laws
- Handgun use and safety (ways to securely carry guns and use restraint holsters)
- Non-violent dispute resolution
- Proper storage practices for handguns, especially in relation to children
Gun Control Advocates Oppose New Bill
Simultaneously, some gun-control advocates in Austin are fighting against the proposed “constitutional carry” bill in the hopes that more gun restrictions will go into place instead. Texas Gun Sense is a group fighting to get more safety measures enacted regarding gun storage to protect children who may happen upon unsecured firearms. They also want modifications to the campus carry law, which took effect August 1, 2016.
Austin Firearm Charge Lawyers
Whether you’re of the camp that believes that easier access to gun ownership will make Texas safer, or whether you contend that restricting who can own a gun is critically important, with over 1,017,618 active gun license holders in Texas, gun-related charges can and do happen to citizens on a frequent basis.
Tillman Braniff, PLLC is well-versed in gun laws and are experienced in fighting against weapons charges. We represent people facing tough criminal charges and give our utmost care and attention to each client. If you have been charged with a crime, call us today for a free and confidential consultation at 512-472-6565 or complete the form below.