The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

PERMITLESS CARRY

Illustration+by+Amber+Davis
Illustration by Amber Davis
Illustration by Amber Davis

Concerns arise amid permitless gun carry bill

Janine Shuman
campus editor

With mass shootings on the rise, Texas is working on passing House Bill 1927, which will allow all Texans 21 years and over to carry a firearm openly and without permits.

“Just knowing that someone who didn’t even need to get a proper permit for carrying a gun is scary,” NE dual-credit student Abrar Hammoudeh said. “It’s just so unsafe for the people around them if things go wrong.”

TR government adjunct instructor Cindy Stormer was a prosecutor and police officer who worked as a TCC campus officer for some time.

Stormer stresses the importance of training when handling deadly weapons, explaining that police officers must undergo extensive training before carrying a firearm.

While Stormer understands why some people may support the easing of gun laws, especially in rural and more conservative areas, she disagrees with the concept.

“There are 329 million Americans,” she said. “There are 390 million guns. No other country has this kind of ratio. We as a nation must do more to stop mass shootings and unnecessary deaths.”

NE government adjunct instructor César Díaz is concerned about a lack of training while carrying.

“Even though proponents argue that carrying a handgun without a permit would still require a background check and could be disqualified by federal and state safeguards, this does not account for the training that the current license to carry requires,” he said. “The danger is that people could begin holstering without even minimal gun safety training.”
César worries the passing of the bill will only further increase the rampant violence in the country.

“More people with guns in a situation where there is an active shooter has a high probability of increased casualties due to crossfire,” César said. “It will also create an environment where heated debates lead to people escalating violence from hand-to-hand combat to old west-styled shootouts.”

Hammoudeh believes the country would significantly benefit from reform, saying this bill is a step in the wrong direction.

“There are already enough shootings and horrible events going on around the world,” Hammoudeh said. “Giving free rein on carrying would not make it any better. If anything, there should be more regulations. Not just anyone should be able to obtain a gun.”
César thinks gun laws are already minimal and non-costly, believing the only benefit will be strictly political.

“The benefits will be reaped by gun manufacturers and gun lobbyists,” he said. “I believe that the people who support this legislation do it just to pander to the gun lobbying groups and to instill an unfounded fear in a core group of people that the government is attempting to limit their 2nd Amendment rights.”

NE government professor Lisa Uhlir believes the solution lies in solving the root of the problem.

“I would argue that gun violence is highly correlated to mental health issues, and we need to focus on where the problem lies,” she said. “I don’t know if we ignore the connection in the media or the discussions on gun violence because of the stigma on mental health issues or out of a political goal.”

Uhlir credits the rise of gun sales during the pandemic and post-election as a lack of trust in government protection.

“With the individualistic political culture here, the people don’t wait for the government to solve their problems,” she said. “They want to feel they are doing something themselves to protect themselves.”

Stormer believes there is a wide array of possible preventative measures that can significantly decrease gun violence in the United States.

A study conducted showed that having to obtain a license to purchase and own a gun reduces deaths, Stormer said. A license to drive is already needed to prove ownership and proficiency, why not apply the same rule to guns as well?

Stormer also proposes the use of more thorough background checks and mental health exams can be beneficial, also issuing another concerning point to consider.

“Guns can now be made with a 3D printer,” she said. “The monitors by the Transportation Safety Administration do not detect these guns. Should this be regulated?”

School shootings are valid points of concern for many students and their families. Stormer said schools need to do more to provide safety in case of an event, including a single and monitored entrance, multiple cameras, clear backpacks, armed officers and more recognition of mental health issues.

“Taking self-defense classes or learning to use any type of weapon properly I think is necessary if only to give people the knowledge of what they can do in response,” Uhlir said. “Like any type of education, it is invaluable to practice what you would do before it happens to prevent the situation from becoming worse.”

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