LPD worried about proper training on first day of Constitutional Carry

The new gun law took effect statewide Sept. 1
Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 11:25 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 1, 2021 at 11:35 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Before Wednesday, to carry a handgun in the state of Texas you had to submit fingerprints, complete four to six hours of training, and pass a written exam and shooting proficiency test.

But now you don’t need any of that.

A new law that paved the way for legal gun owners to not need a license in order to carry a handgun in public, titled the Firearm Carry Act of 2021, passed during the 87th legislative session. It took effect on Sept. 1, 2021.

“You will probably see more people carrying their weapon, as the law states that the weapon must be holstered if it is visible. You can keep it, of course, concealed, under your shirt,” Lt. Leath McClure with the Lubbock Police Department said.

For the first time, the Lubbock Police Department is speaking about Constitutional Carry and its possible effects on the community.

“Carrying a gun is a big responsibility,” McClure said.

LPD officers have been briefed on the changes and will receive additional training on it this month. Lt. McClure says he doesn’t expect many adjustments for them with the new law.

The department’s concern isn’t necessarily with an increase in crime.

“I think the law-abiding citizens that carry with their license or if they don’t want to carry it now, isn’t going to affect public safety in general. Most of the crime we have is committed by criminals, quite frankly, so they’re not worried about the legislative updates or the laws themselves,” he said.

Lt. McClure is more worried about the lack of training, now no longer legally required.

READ MORE: Local instructors encourage education as “Constitutional Carry” takes effect Wednesday

“It’s a concern for anybody that has a firearm that hasn’t went through appropriate training. At least a few times a year, there’s a tragic incident, whether it’s in Lubbock or somewhere, where, someone’s left their firearm unattended and a child was injured or someone was killed,” Lt. McClure said.

According to HB 1927, permitless carriers must have their weapons holstered in public at all times and be over the age of 21 with no prior felonies.

There still remains a long list of places you can’t have a handgun, concealed or not, with a license or not, including schools, universities, amusement parks, sporting events, bars and more. Any private business can also decide to ban licenseless carriers if they choose, as long as they display proper signage.

McClure says it’s just common sense to get an LTC.

“If you travel out of state, those states might not honor permitless carry. So you need to know where you’re travelling through. And if you’re purchasing a firearm, your background check is expedited, “ he said. “I’ve always felt more comfortable that I have a license to carry if I was to have to use that firearm to protect myself,” he said.

Texas is now the 20th state to pass a law like this one.

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