El Paso, TX

Mixed reactions from Texas lawmakers as the bill to allow the unlicensed carry of handguns passes final vote.

Euri Giles | Clareifi

Austin, TX.

Photo by Bermix Studio on Unsplash

The licensing requirement to carry a handgun in Texas is soon to be lifted as Texas State Legislature has given final approval to pass HB 1927 and send to Governor Greg Abbotts desk.

House Bill 1927 — “Relating to provisions governing the carrying of a firearm by a person who is 21 years of age or older and not otherwise prohibited by state or federal law from possessing the firearm and to other provisions related to the carrying, possessing, transporting, or storing of a firearm or other weapon; creating criminal offenses”, was given final approval on Monday by the Texas State Legislature, and the bill is now going to Governor Greg Abbott’s desk to be signed into law.

Meaning anyone who wishes to purchase and carry a handgun in the state of Texas will be able to lawfully do so without any of the previous licensing requirements.

Abbott has repeatedly stated that he will sign the bill into law despite feedback and objections from law enforcement who worry about what this means for police in our communities as well as the public.

Before the passing of this bill residents of Texas who wanted to purchase a handgun had to submit fingerprints, complete four to six hours of training and pass a written exam and a shooting proficiency test to obtain a license to “open carry” a handgun. Currently, the state of Texas does not require a license to cary a rifle in public.

Gun rights activists and lobbyist have been pushing for “open carry” for years.

El Paso TX, is home to one of the worst mass shootings on record resulting in 23 lives lost on August, 3rd 2019 with another 23 injured.

One El Pasoan who found himself in the center of the debate regarding Texas gun laws is Representative Joe Moody (D) — Speaker Pro Tempore of the Texas House of Representatives. He has represented District 78 in El Paso, TX.

On Monday while Texas State Legislation was still in session, Moody gave a speech in opposition to the bill stating that he was “promised that there would be accountability” in regard to improving gun safety in Texas. “Instead we get this.”

Watch Speaker Pro Tem @moodyforelpaso's powerful speech in opposition to the final passage of permitless carry on the House Floor #txlege

Fellow democratic leader and Congresswoman Veronica Escobar who also represents El Paso, TX stated:

After the deadliest Latino-targeted massacre in modern American history, fueled by hatred against immigrants & Mexicans in El Paso,Texas on August 3, 2019, the Texas legislature decided to EXPAND easy access to permitless, unconcealed guns. Truth is, our deaths don’t matter.

At the same time a contrastingly different message was shared from Governor Abbott’s Twitter account further stating;

"I'll be signing more gun laws real soon", indicating that he will be signing the bill into law when it reaches his desk.

I just signed a Resolution naming the 1847 Colt Walker pistol the official handgun of Texas. It was invented by a Texas Ranger & was America’s first six-shooter. It was the gun of choice for US soldiers during the Mexican American war. I’ll be signing more gun laws real soon.

Support of the bill’s passing was echoed by Republicans, and disscussed in a much different light on thier social media. Take for example this post from Allen West - Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas.

Howdy y’all! Hey @GovAbbott, my Grandson Jaxton told me to tell you to sign #HB1927, #ConstitutionalCarry, and preserve his #SecondAmendment right before he fell asleep. He will soon be shooting a .22cal pistol, courtesy of Grandpa Allen. #2A

What do you think about the Texas senate passing bill that allows the permitless carry of handguns?

Let me hear your thoughts, Texas!

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Euri Giles covers lifestyle content and news in Texas ranging from parenting, and food to politics.

El Paso, TX

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