After a violent week, a look at Texas gun laws

After a violent week, a look at Texas gun laws

It's been a violent week in North Texas. We've had high profile shootings that set first responders on edge -- and many of you, too.

Those shootings got us thinking about Texas gun laws and how they apply to these situations.

Debating and passing new gun laws happens a lot in Texas. Sometimes it's hard to keep track of what's law. Let's sort that out by looking at what happened this week.

Tuesday, in Dallas a shooter shoots a paramedic and another man. Then, Wednesday, at North Lake College in Irving, a shooter kills a student and himself.

Texas' campus carry law took effect August 1 of last year. It allows licensed students to carry a concealed weapon on campus.

However, the rule does not take effect on community colleges, like North Lake, until this August. And it only applies to students 21 and over. This year, more than 5843 gun licenses were issued to 21 year olds. When you run the numbers, that's up 65 percent from last year.

Also on Wednesday, a heavily armed man shot and killed a bar manager in Arlington.  A customer, licensed to carry a gun, fired back and killed the shooter.

State law does not allow concealed guns in bars. But Zona Caliente has, what's called a blue sign. That means, less than half its revenue comes from alcohol, so customers are allowed to carry. Police say the customer will not be charged with a crime.

Open Carry is also law in Texas. That happened in January of 2016. With a license, owners can carry a gun, without concealing it.

As we speak, there is a bill making its way through the capital. It would allow Texans to carry a gun without any license at all. It’s referred to as constitutional carry.

Got something you're curious about? Send me an email.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story said the Dallas paramedic was killed. This is incorrect. William An, a firefighter-paramedic is recovering at Baylor University Medical Center. 

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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