Texas has been known for it’s gun-friendly policy over the years. However, the new legislation law that was passed this year is becoming a concern for citizens and some politicians. The gun law allows citizens with a licensed gun to walk into any of the 10 state-run psychiatric hospitals throughout Texas.
Due to the passage of this new law, all of the psychiatric hospitals have been forced to pull down the “no guns’ signs that were posted throughout the hospital. If these hospitals do not obey the law they will be fined by the government. Although these hospitals could be fined for leaving the “no guns” sign up, Austin State Hospital has signs up asking visitors to leave their guns in their car or, at least, conceal them from the patients.
Despite this new law, state-licensed general and specialty hospitals still don’t allow guns in their facilities. Psychiatric hospitals don’t follow these rules because they aren’t licensed by the state. Certain politicians like Celia Israel, who is the Democratic state representative, and Craig Estes, who is the Republican senator have been against the ratification of this law. Celia Israel is against the law because she doesn’t agree with the open-carry legislation, and she believes it will bring “unintended consequences”. Craig Estes believes they need more time to accurately study the issue and was quoted saying “It is my goal to neither increase nor decrease anyplace a gun can be carried, so respectfully I move to table”. These politicians aren’t the only people who shared their concern for the new Pro-Gun law. Founder and executive of Texas Carry, Terry Holcomb, was quoted saying, “Nobody would have asked for that” and “It’s not something we ever would have considered. Ever”.
Mental health experts working at the psychiatric facilities are showing concern as well. A major worry for health experts is keeping guns away from the patients at the facility. Most of the patients in these facilities are dealing with serious mental issues. If one of the patients were able to get their hands on a gun inside the hospital, it could lead to people getting hurt or losing their lives.
Carrie Williams, who is the spokeswoman for the Department of State Health Services, was quoted saying, “ While licensed visitors are legally permitted to carry on our hospital campuses, our patients are being actively treated for psychiatric conditions, generally it’s best not to expose them to weapons of any kind”.
These are a mere few examples of the citizens who are against the new gun law. If the government is allowing guns in psychiatric hospitals, people can only think they will allow guns anywhere in Texas in years to come. This law was passed the beginning of 2016, so only time will tell if it was a good or bad idea.