EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — A bill is under consideration in the Texas Senate that would allow Texans to carry a handgun without a permit.
A Texas Certified License to Carry Instructor, Ben Cheng who teaches in El Paso tells KTSM 9 News the bill would mean less business for him as Texans would no longer need certification to carry a gun.
“My initial concern is people without training that would have accidents with the guns,” said Cheng.
However, his stance on the bill changed after searching for gun-related accidents in other states in the U.S. that allow permitless carry.
“I’m perfectly okay with that now because I can’t find one single case where that happens in the states that allow constitutional carry,” said Cheng.
Cheng tells KTSM he is expecting that if the bill passes he will lose 50 percent of his business as a concealed carry instructor.
“Something more important than money which is our rights to protect ourselves,” said Cheng.
Although it would not be required to have training if the bill is passed Cheng says he would still encourage people to learn how to properly use a handgun. Saying he expects a 50 percent decline in customers coming to get certified but hopes that other training classes will increase.
“Most instructors our main concern is safety because more than other people we are encounter with thousands of students with hand guns and many of them the way they handle the gun gives us some concerns because they haven’t had enough instruction on that subject,” said Cheng.
An El Paso gun owner who has a license to carry already says he thinks the bill should be passed.
“According to the second amendment you should be able to defend yourself,” said Tim Gentry and El Paso.
Gentry adding that he believes gun owners will seek out their own training.
“If you’re carrying a gun, you should know how your gun works, how to take it apart, how you clean it, how it operates and how to use it correctly,” said Gentry.
But not all community members are on board with the legislation. On Wednesday, El Paso Catholic Bishop Mark Seitz says he is opposed to the constitutional carry bill.
“A major problem we have in society is that guns are seen as a way of solving problems. Even as a means of self defense training is needed to assure that they do not simply put innocent people at risk,” said Bishop Seitz.
The possibility of untrained individuals carrying guns is one of the reasons El Paso County Sheriff Richard D. Wiles said he is opposed to the bill in a statement sent to KTSM 9 News.
“In short, this bill would potentially increase the number of untrained individuals carrying
weapons and erode safeguards currently in place that ensure safe, responsible, educated gun
ownership. In addition, it is conceivable that many new gun carriers would go ‘unvetted
making the job of law enforcement much more dangerous than it already is,” the statement from Sheriff Wiles said in part.