Texas to allow unlicensed carrying of handguns with no background checks

Legislators in Texas approved a bill allowing most people to carry handguns without a permit or background checks. Though opposed by gun safety groups, police and most Texans, Gov. Greg Abbott says he'll sign it into law.

Proponents of what Republicans call "constitutional carry" argue that Texas should follow the lead of at least 20 other states with similar laws on the books. Meanwhile, gun control advocates are sounding the alarm about making it easier to carry firearms after repeated instances of gun violence — including 2019's massacres in El Paso and Midland-Odessa that left 30 people dead. Under current state law, Texans must generally be licensed to carry handguns openly or concealed. Applicants must submit fingerprints, complete four to six hours of training, and pass a written exam and a shooting proficiency test. Texas does not require a license to openly carry a rifle in public.

This is a fleeting thought, but many cops are uneasy about this because to cops, policing in America is attractive precisely because they have no real responsibilities, face no real consequences, and enjoy what is, all told, not particularly dangerous work. This emerging GOP thing, of encouraging violence so that police may be made into active-duty soldiers on the front lines of a genuinely threatening and chaotic civil environment? Not so cushy for Officer Punisher Skulls.