HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Starting Sep. 1 anyone over the age of 21 —and can legally pose a gun— can carry it in public without a permit or training.
Rio Grande Valley police departments are hoping gun holders will put safety first once House Bill 1927 or “constitutional carry” becomes law in Texas.
“It is a right that is afforded to us by our legislature, and we just hope that people do it responsibly,” said Martin Sandoval with the Brownsville Police Department. “What we have to do as police departments is that we have to kind of sit and wait and see how this is going to turn out. We deal with the unknown especially with a new law so we can’t sit and predict what’s going to happen and what is not going to happen.”
While this new law will allow the gun holder to carry in public without a license, there are still restrictions. Police hope people who plan to open carry know all the rules.
“They have to have no felonies on their record, of course, there are some stipulations to that,” Sandoval said. “And no class A or class B misdemeanors within the last five years.”
There are also restrictions on where gun holders can carry. Places like schools, court buildings, and bars are just a few locations where carrying guns are prohibited.
Pharr Police Chief Andy Harvey says once “constitutional carry” goes into effect, there may still be some problems for police officers.
“There is those unintended consequences that I think we don’t know what those are going to be,” Harvey said. “Are people going to respect the law? We believe that they will, but you know there are always people that will cross that line.”
But even though gun licenses and training won’t be required, police are still encouraging gun owners so to do so.
“Also internalize right you know as far as using it for you own safety,” Harvey said. “I think we will be okay when people do that more so than not.”
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