HOUSTON — The pandemic has brought unprecedented times. Gun sales were up, there was a shortage on ammo and now a law could go into effect that will allow Texans to carry a gun without a permit.
KHOU 11 legal analyst Carmen Roe says there are still rules to follow.
"You have to be 21 years of age and not otherwise prohibited," Roe said.
But you can’t just walk into any business or building with a gun.
"Except those places that have clearly marked signs that prohibit weapons on the premises," she said.
This bill was first filed in February and has been debated back and forth but now its headed to the governor’s desk to be signed. The University of Texas and the Texas Tribune conducted a poll and found that 59 percent of people polled are against this bill.
Our legal analyst says even law enforcement agencies were concerned. And because of this they added some wording to allow officers to ask people about weapons.
"Basically anytime you have an interaction with law enforcement that is consensual or otherwise based on some other action, police officers will have an opportunity to then follow up and ask you whether or not you are in lawful possession of a weapon. If at that point you are not they will arrest you under this new law " Roe said.
So what does this mean for offenders? They’re still not allowed to carry a gun but with this new bill Roe says they could face harsher punishments.
One thing that won’t change, if you commit a crime other than a traffic stop and you’re carrying a gun, you’re still going to be charged with unlawfully carrying a weapon.
Our analyst says because there are still many other gun laws and loopholes people will be confused and could easily get into trouble with law enforcement.
"A lot of lawyers are going to get more business because there are individuals can’t carry guns think they can get away with it," Roe said.
The Texas Department of Public Safety will provide an online training and education course on this.
Once signed, this bill the law it would go into effect in September.