While rural areas of the state are reporting little change in terms of shootings, sheriffs, police leaders and district attorneys in urban areas of Texas are reporting a rise in random gunfire and people carrying weapons since the state began allowing most adults 21 or over to carry a handgun without a license, reports J. David Goodman for the New York Times.
Throughout Texas cities there are reports of drunken arguments flaring into shootings, of revelers who legally bring their guns to parties opening fire to stop fights. Prosecutors have received a growing number of cases involving guns brandished or fired over parking spots, bad driving, loud music and love triangles. Law enforcement say the number of guns they encounter on the street has been increasing since the law, which many opposed citing concerns for the loss of training requirements necessary for a permit and more dangers for officers, went into effect. In some cities, the number of homicides deemed to be justifiable, such as those conducted in self-defense, has risen even as overall shootings have declined from last year’s high levels.