BEAUMONT - Right now, state law requires a $140 fee, along with a mandatory four to six-hour "license to carry" class. Constitutional carry would make the class optional and eliminate any fees.
One advocate of the bill says Texas is heading in the right direction on gun rights. Alfredo Lomando has held a "license to carry" for the last eleven years.
The retired marine feels some of Texas' problems with gun laws would be resolved with constitutional carry.
"The Constitution wasn't written to carry fees and stuff like that in there. The Constitution was written so that all men could be created equal and all have the right to bear arms, to have access to firearms, for sporting, for hunting and personal protection,” Lomando said.
That's the thought behind House Bill 375 which would allow anyone to carry a firearm with or without a permit.
The bill would eliminate fees for the "license to carry" class that is now required. in fact, the class-- would be made optional.
Certified safety instructor Stephen "Doc" Watson tells us the class only teaches state firearms laws and shooting efficiency.
Whether or not the bill becomes law, Watson stresses that gun owners should practice the safe handling of weapons.
"Whether they're going to carry that gun, going to carry it with a license or whether they are just going to own one and keep it in their home we just need to become safe, and that in itself is going to help protect our second amendment rights,” Watson said.
Lomando thinks that allowing everyone to carry can protect anyone from danger.
"If carrying a gun in public is open to everybody, a criminal, somebody who's really trying to do somebody harm, is really going to think about what they're doing, not knowing who has a gun, not knowing who's carrying, who can protect themselves and who can't," Lomando said.
If approved, Texas would be the eleventh state to allow constitutional carry. Background checks to acquire a firearm would still be required.
Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick says he does not believe the bill has enough votes to pass.
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