AUSTIN, Texas — The Firearm Carry Act allowing many Texans to carry a handgun without a permit is waiting for the governor's signature.
The bill was contentious enough but, now, Central Texas Gunworks owner Michael Cargill is concerned a change during the pandemic could lead to unintended consequences for bars that may still operate as restaurants.
"So that means the majority of bars that are on Sixth Street, starting Sept. 1, unlicensed people will be able to carry in there," he said.
Cargill is referring to the bars that have transformed into restaurants after COVID-19 hit. They did it to stay in business.
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission approved rules last year that made it easier for bars to legally operate as restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic. No word how long the rules will last.
A TABC spokesman said he won't comment until the bill is signed, but Cargill said this bill will soon allow people to bring guns into those businesses without licenses.
"Very confusing to people that are in the gun community right now. So I know it's confusing to the people that are not in the gun community," Cargill said.
As to which of these bars permitless gun owners will be able to carry their guns in is also unclear. For that, they will have to do their homework.
Cargill said gun owners should visit the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's website. Click on the TABC Public Inquiry section and the Public Inquiry System link. Then, hit the verify status link.
But Cargill said there are exceptions.
"The only way I can't take my gun inside that bar right now ... is they tell me verbally or they post a 30.06 or 30.07 sign," he said.
The 30.06 and 30.07 signs Cargill referred to are for licensed gun owners only. Businesses that want to keep unlicensed gun owners out must post a 30.05 sign.
Cargill also said there are still several unknowns about the new law as he continues to field questions from customers, which is why he said it's more than important than ever to take a class.
Cargill said you can open carry if the gun is in a holster.
Click here, to read more on House Bill 1927.
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