As Texas prepares to take effect Jan. 1, some gun owners and advocates are pushing back against a bill that would make it a felony to carry a concealed weapon on public property.
Under the legislation, a person convicted of carrying a concealed gun on public or private property would face a maximum penalty of a year in prison and a $2,000 fine.
The bill is being called a “federal overreach” that will hurt people who don’t have the resources to purchase weapons, said Adam Winkler, director of the Center for the Study of Gun Violence at UCLA.
The proposed law has drawn strong criticism from gun owners who say it’s a blatant attempt to disarm Texans who carry their weapons.
Opponents argue that the measure will unfairly target the poor and minorities.
Texas is among 16 states that have some form of concealed carry law, according to data from the Texas Department of Public Safety.
In addition to the proposed law, the Department of Justice has announced it will investigate a string of gun crimes in Texas involving law-abiding citizens and law enforcement.