Law enforcement, pawnshop officials share concern for inexperienced gun owners after permitless bill signing

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Constitutional carry has made its way to Texas.

While it doesn’t take effect until September 1st, some Texans are already stocking up.

But one pawn shop is seeing sales dip from last year.

“Last three months, this year versus last year, we’ve seen about a 31% drop in sales volume on firearms.
I think it was just with COVID, with everything going on nationally, with the protests and everything, I think people just in general were nervous,” Cash N More Pawn & Jewelry owner Michael Morrison said.

The new law will allow Texas residents over the age of 21 to carry handguns without a license or training.

But Morrison is making it clear that background checks are still here when purchasing guns.

“That’s the big misconception. You still have to have a background check done, it doesn’t have anything to do with that it just means you can carry one. If you’re buying a gun you’re still doing the background check,” Morrison said.

Local law enforcement officials say this new law will not change the job for police officers.

But a rise in accidental shootings is a concern.

“We have people that accidentally shoot themselves either cleaning a weapon, pulling it out of a vehicle and so forth and just not having that sense of urgency of safety of that weapon is always loaded. That’s how you consider a weapon,” Wichita Falls Police Department Public Information Officer Sgt. Charlie Eipper said.

“There’s a lot of people that come in and it’s pretty obvious they’ve never handled a firearm so this was definitely gonna be their first one. Those people we would certainly try to show them how the basics on a firearm work: How to clear the gun, do some safety procedures,” Morrison said.

That’s why both men recommend training for all new gun owners.

“Seek some training and be safe with that weapon. Practice carrying it, practice drawing it, make sure when you’re doing that it’s unloaded because you can still get the same muscle memory in doing that,” Eipper said.

“I don’t see it as infringing on someone’s freedoms. It’s a very simple step, it’s not hard to do, it doesn’t cost a lot just to get a little bit of training to make everybody safe,” Morrison said.

As this new law allows Texans to be even more loud and proud about gun laws, officials say it wouldn’t hurt for unlicensed gun owners to get a little training.

Wichita Shooters Academy has a class on July 10th; click here to register.

Point Blank CHL offers classes, click here for more info.

The NRA offers local classes, click here for more info.

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