SAN ANTONIO – Texas’ open carry law may please gun owners, but two top law enforcement officers say it’s led to more gun crime.
It’s one of the few things Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales and San Antonio Police Chief William McManus agreed on.
SAPD says violent crime in San Antonio has decreased, but McManus said it has not gone away.
“We’ve got boyfriends shooting at ex-boyfriends, shooting at people,” said McManus during a Tuesday night town hall meeting. “We’ve got ex-girlfriends shooting at new boyfriends. We’ve got sons shooting fathers, fathers shooting at sons.”
As for property crimes, McManus said those are up.
Gonzales talked about how that trend ties into gun violence.
“All those people have access to guns,” he said. “What we are seeing today, though, is the access to guns is increased exponentially because people are breaking into cars and taking guns.”
With constitutional carry, Texans are allowed to carry firearms with no training or license.
Gonzales says he has a concealed handgun license and does not want to take away guns from people who follow the law.
“What we’re seeing is people are having access to guns that really have no business carrying guns,” he said. “We need to figure out a better way to take them out of the hands of people that don’t have any business with guns.”
Gonzales’ comments come after five San Antonio police officers were shot in the span of two weeks.
Nicole Golden, executive director of the nonprofit Texas Gun Sense, said the trend shows the impacts of loosened gun restrictions.
“It’s dangerous for law enforcement,” she said. “It’s dangerous for Texas communities.”