Experts say it will be harder for police officers in Texas to do their jobs because of new legislation that allows legal firearm owners to carry their weapons in public openly without having a permit or special training, CNN reports. According to the bill, which took effect Wednesday after state lawmakers passed it in June, gun owners are not required to get a permit or undergo any safety training before openly carrying a gun. This comes as the number of shootings, excluding suicides, has increased significantly over the last two years. According to the Gun Violence Archive data, there were 2,100 shootings in 2019, 2,800 in 2020, and 3,200 in 2021.
Distinguishing a “good guy with a gun from a bad guy with a gun,” says Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia, is harder with open carry laws. Law enforcement experts estimate the new law may inhibit police officers’ ability to ensure public safety. Republican supporters and gun lobbyists assert carrying firearms is a constitutional right and that Texans should have the ability to protect themselves or their families.