Gun Convictions for Unlawful Carrying have Increase Drastically Since Texas Passed “Constitutional Carry”

Mike Cargill is one of the few genuinely excited about concealed carry. The owner of Central Texas Gun Works frequently carries three firearms, two of which are covered and one of which is carried openly.

He also has a strong interest in firearm training. Even though the Republican-controlled state legislature had passed a “constitutional carry” law allowing Texans to openly and concealed carry handguns without a license, Cargill continued to offer training courses and range qualifications for the now-discretionary License to Carry Program (LTC).

Cargill claims that having a franchise has many advantages, including making it easier to comply with the state’s stringent firearms regulations. People appear puzzled by the various gun laws, especially since Texas joined the ranks of roughly half of the states recognizing the right to carry a gun as fundamental.

Over the past year and a half, some of Cargill’s students have enrolled in an LTC course to escape punishment for unlawfully carrying a firearm, typically after bringing a gun to the wrong location.

Cargill discovered that his encounter was not an outlier after visiting the Texas DPS website. The number of convictions for illegally carrying a weapon in the state has increased dramatically over the past few years, from 1,049 in 2020 to nearly 7,000 last year. In September 2021, the state legislature passed a constitutional carry bill.

There Seems to Be No Reason

Increased convictions for illegally carrying weapons have no apparent cause. HuffPost contacted many local police departments for comment. However, the number of those who did answer was small. Those that did were unaware of the pattern, though several agreed with Cargill that misunderstandings could be to blame.

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg told in an email that the “apparent uptick in unlawful carrying cases across the state is disturbing.”

Increased Security With Guns At Airports

Passengers who try to bring firearms on board aircraft are the only ones who consistently face more outstanding charges for illegally carrying weapons. According to statistics from the TSA in 2021, the number of firearms confiscated at Texas airports nearly increased from the previous year.

The LTC professor, Cargill, speculates that the number of people arrested for illegally carrying firearms this year would be far higher than in previous years. The first full year under constitutional carry will be 2022, as Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed the law into effect in June last year, but the state didn’t implement it until September.

Cargill noted that while more people are carrying firearms, fewer are educating themselves on the relevant legislation. To paraphrase, “The numbers don’t lie.”


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