I’m excited that my home state of Texas will soon become the most recent state to institute constitutional carry, also known as permitless carry, allowing residents 21 and older to legally carry a handgun without first obtaining a permit. 

Texas will be the sixth state to do so just this year, following Iowa, Tennessee, Montana, Utah and Wyoming, making a total of 21 constitutional carry states. 

As a devoted 2nd Amendment advocate, I’m pleased that so many states are loosening firearm restrictions at a time when law-abiding citizens need and deserve the ability to defend themselves more than ever. 

But constitutional carry also comes with certain problems that need to be realized and discussed — primarily that it places significant personal responsibility on the individual; a level of responsibility they must now accept — or risk breaking the law.  

For starters, pre-existing laws governing where and when citizens can and cannot possess a firearm don’t just disappear because a state institutes permitless carry. Those laws will remain in place — but now the responsibility of learning and understanding them will be placed on the individual.

If you don’t know the law, you risk breaking it — and suffering the consequences. 

States with constitutional carry often have higher instances of people accidentally carrying into post offices, public schools, and other prohibited places because nobody told them — and they didn’t bother to find out for themselves that firearms are banned in those locations. 

Constitutional carry also doesn’t force people to actually go to the range to determine if they’re qualified to uphold this enormous responsibility. 

As law-abiding, armed citizens, our goal is to be assets to society and those around us, not liabilities. People running around with concealed weapons who haven’t bothered to learn the law, or how to properly handle their firearms, are more likely to become liabilities. 

Constitutional carry — aka- firearm freedom — is a wonderful thing. But even if it’s not mandated by law, that doesn’t mean you should skip the Concealed Carry class. It’s not expensive and you’ll learn a lot — possibly something that will keep you out of jail later, or even help save a life. 

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of FullMagNews.com

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