New ‘constitutional carry’ law expected to help push Texas gun sales even higher

New 'constitutional carry' law expected to help push Texas gun sales even higher

Roshad Duncan, left, and Dwight Harrell shoot a variety of pistols and rifles Monday, Aug. 30, 2021, at Top Gun Range in Houston. “This is Lego blocks for men,” Duncan said of customizable AR-style rifles. Gun ownership exploded last year amid the pandemic, civil unrest and a divisive political environment. The state’s new permitless carry policy could trigger even more interest. Once Texas’s “constitutional carry” law takes effect Wednesday, adults over 21 without criminal backgrounds can legally carry a gun in public without a permit, except in spaces where property owners forbid it. The bill passed earlier this year. About 21 million people nationwide bought guns last year, up from 13.2 million in 2019, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation. More than one third of last year’s buyers — 8 million — bought guns for the first time, it said. The organization hasn’t released sales data for this year, but federal data on firearm background checks for the first half of the year in Texas are down 8 percent from the same period last year, when gun ownership surged to new heights. Now, as the state’s regulations are relaxed, retailers are projecting another bump in business. Kyle Harrison, general manager of the Top Gun Range , said he expected to see more people coming into his West Houston shop to buy guns and practice once they don’t have to wait six weeks, sometimes more, for a permit to carry. For some who come in with immediate safety concerns, […]

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