The new constitutional carry law which allows Texans to carry a firearm without requiring them to take an eight-hour course to obtain a permit hasn’t had much of an effect on sales so far, said Peter Rakowitz, owner of Lone Star Firearms in Kenedy.
“Sales are steady,” he said. “We haven’t noticed an uptick lately.”
While he said he appreciates the ability for law-abiding people to be able to carry guns as a means of self defense, he also believes that anyone carrying a firearm should have at least some basic knowledge of the weapon and how to keep themselves and others safe.
“It’s really important for people to understand the firearm and to know how to use it safely,” Rakowitz said. “What I’m afraid of is someone who doesn’t have the right knowledge or skill hurting themselves or an innocent bystander. You definitely don’t want that.”
To help make sure people stay safe, the gun shop continues to offer training courses and offers advice to customers so they can find the right firearms for their needs.
One area that people continue to find challenging is securing ammunition for their firearms.
“Ammo can be hard to come by,” Rakowitz said. “Shotgun ammo is almost impossible to find. It is getting easier to find some ammunition for handguns, but for some types of guns ammo is more valuable than currency.”
He joked that if he had four boxes of a certain hard to find type of ammunition, he would be able to sell it and buy a new truck.
Whatever type of firearm people purchase, Rakowitz said it is important for them to have a fundamental understanding of the gun and to feel comfortable.
“People don’t need to carry a gun they aren’t familiar and comfortable with,” he said. “They definitely need some basic knowledge. I always want to offer that service before a customer walks out of the store.”
Karnes County Judge Wade Hadtke, who said he is a strong supporter of gun rights, always wants to emphasize safety.
“Obviously I am in favor of the Constitution, but in some ways the new law can make it harder for law enforcement (with the potential of more guns being carried),” he said. “I believe everybody has the right to carry a firearm if they are legally entitled to do so, but I also think they should have training to be familiar with the gun so they can be safe.
“People still have to undergo background checks, so that’s good – not just anybody can buy a gun. But people need to remember this is not a toy, and if it isn’t used or maintained properly it can come back to bite you.
“I encourage everyone to cooperate and be understanding of our first responders and law enforcement and the challenges they deal with. They’re definitely out to protect us.”