Texas Moves to Become a Constitutional Carry State
Bill passes state Senate to restore Texans Second Amendment rights
Texas has moved another step closer to becoming a constitutional carry state after a bill that seeks to restore Texans' Second Amendment rights heads for the governor's desk.
The bill, HB 1927, initially passed the House and later passed the Senate with amendments.
If Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signs the bill into law, residents 21 years and older would be allowed to carry a firearm – either open or concealed – without a permit so long as they are not deemed a prohibited possessor.
The bill went to a conference committee, comprised of five House and five Senate members, to hash out differences after the House refused to concur with the Senate’s amendments.
This week, the 10 legislators announced that they have reached a full agreement on the bill, which Gov. Abbott says he will sign.
Once signed by Abbott, the bill will make Texas the 21st state to adopt a constitutional carry law.
Texas is one of the only Republican-led states that has not passed a constitutional carry bill.
In constitutional carry states, residents can legally carry a firearm without a license or any other government-applied restriction, ConcealedCarryStates.org explains.
According to Sen. Charles Schwertner (R), the legislation rolls back restrictions on Texans’ Second Amendment rights.
"HB 1927 would recognize the United States Constitution as our permit to carry and allow all law-abiding adults, aged 21 years or older, to carry a handgun for the protection of themselves or their families, in public places, in a holster, without the requirement of a state-issued license,” Schwertner told the Tyler Morning Telegraph.
It’s important to note that constitutional carry doesn’t change who is legally allowed to possess or purchase a firearm.
All the same rules for purchasing a firearm from a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL), including a clean background check, still apply.
Last week, Abbott voiced his support for the bill.
"Constitutional carry is moving in the #txlegey,” Abbott tweeted.
"The strongest Second Amendment legislation in Texas history.
"Let’s get it to my desk for signing #2A #SecondAmendment.”
According to the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Matt Schaefer (R), the governor could sign the bill as early as this week.
“He did tell me personally he will sign it once we send it to his desk,” Schaefer told radio host Dana Loesch earlier in the day.
Will Texas become the 21st constitutional carry state this week? The bill's author @RepMattSchaefer gives @DLoesch an update on his legislation.— The First (@TheFirstonTV) May 24, 2021
Assuming it passes one final time in the Senate tonight, @GregAbbottTX could sign it into law as early as this week, he explains. pic.twitter.com/w10PBJZaT3
The bill previously passed the House.
It then went to the Senate where additional amendments were made.
It had to go back to the House for the chamber to vote on and agree to the Senate’s changes, and the Senate had to vote on it one more time before heading to Gov. Abbott’s desk.
That final Senate vote took place Monday evening.
The changes to the bill include “keep[ing] intact a number of changes the Senate made to the House bill to assuage concerns from the law enforcement community, including striking a provision that would have barred officers from questioning people based only on their possession of a handgun,” the Texas Tribune reported.
"The deal also preserves a Senate amendment enhancing the criminal penalties for felons and family violence offenders caught carrying.
"Among other Senate changes that survived was a requirement that the Texas Department of Public Safety offers a free online course on gun safety.”
If signed into law, Texas would become the 21st constitutional carry state.
Other states that have permitless carry laws on the books include Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.