The Republicans have made a big campaign issue of crime. They claim that Democrats are “soft on crime,” while they are “tough on crime.”

Don’t believe it. It’s a bald-faced lie!

Republicans oppose any legislation to limit access to guns. They vote against “red flag” laws, that seek to keep guns away from people who pose a danger to others. They oppose background checks. They oppose raising the minimum age for buying a gun from 18 to 21. They oppose laws that are commonplace in civilized nations.

The United States has the highest murder rate in the world. Could it be because we have so many guns and so few limits on guns?

Texas, for example, now allows anyone to carry a gun without a permit. Let that sink in: anyone can carry a gun without a permit.

Consider this recent story:

Texas Goes Permitless on Guns, and Police Face an Armed Public

A new law allowing people to carry handguns without a license has led to more spontaneous shootings, many in law enforcement say.

HOUSTON — Tony Earls hung his head before a row of television cameras, staring down, his life upended. Days before, Mr. Earls had pulled out his handgun and opened fire, hoping to strike a man who had just robbed him and his wife at an A.T.M. in Houston.

Instead, he struck Arlene Alvarez, a 9-year-old girl seated in a passing pickup, killing her.

“Is Mr. Earls licensed to carry?” a reporter asked during the February news conference, in which his lawyer spoke for him.

He didn’t need one, the lawyer replied. “Everything about that situation, we believe and contend, was justified under Texas law.” A grand jury later agreed, declining to indict Mr. Earls for any crime.

The shooting was part of what many sheriffs, police leaders and district attorneys in urban areas of Texas say has been an increase in people carrying weapons and in spur-of-the-moment gunfire in the year since the state began allowing most adults 21 or over to carry a handgun without a license.

Far from an outlier, Texas, with its new law, joined what has been an expanding effort to remove nearly all restrictions on carrying handguns. When Alabama’s “permitless carry” law goes into effect in January, half of the states in the nation, from Maine to Arizona, will not require a license to carry a handgun.

The state-by-state legislative push has coincided with a federal judiciary that has increasingly ruled in favor of carrying guns and against state efforts to regulate them.

But Texas is the most populous state to do away with handgun permit requirements. Five of the nation’s 15 biggest cities are in Texas, making the permitless approach to handguns a new fact of life in urban areas to an extent not seen in other states.

In the border town of Eagle Pass, drunken arguments have flared into shootings. In El Paso, revelers who legally bring their guns to parties have opened fire to stop fights. In and around Houston, prosecutors have received a growing stream of cases involving guns brandished or fired over parking spots, bad driving, loud music and love triangles.

“Tough on crime?” Hardly.