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The Lone Star State is one step closer to becoming a constitutional carry state after the state Senate passed H.B. 1927. If Texas GOP Governor Greg Abbott 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.
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.
Abbott has previously signaled support for the bill.
“Constitutional carry is moving in the #txlege. The strongest Second Amendment legislation in Texas history,” Abbott tweeted last week. “Let’s get it to my desk for signing #2A #SecondAmendment.”
Constitutional carry is moving in the #txlege.
The strongest Second Amendment legislation in Texas history.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) May 21, 2021
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.
— The First (@TheFirstonTV) May 24, 2021
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 Governor Greg 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 offer a free online course on gun safety.”