Texas “constitutional carry” is signed into law today by Governor Greg Abbott.
Update, June 16th 2021
Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 1927 into law today, lifting the licensing requirements to carry a handgun in Texas. The Texas State Legislature gave final approval to pass HB 1927 and send the bill to Governor Greg Abbotts desk late last month.
Information about the bill:
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 in May 2021 by the Texas State Legislature, afterwords the bill went to Governor Greg Abbott’s desk to be signed into law.
The new law is set to go into effect on September 1, 2021. Starting then, 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 had previously indicated that he would 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.
Proponents of the bill were quick to offer praise to Governor Abbott, such as Representative Matt Schaefer, who stated:
Today, @GovAbbott signed HB1927 to make Tx the 21st state to allow handguns to be carried by law-abiding citizens age 21 & up. Laws only constrain the law-abiding. Criminals don’t care. Defending the #2A is my duty. But when do we restore freedoms lost? The answer is now. #txlege
Some law enforcement agencies, as well as Democrats were in opposition of the newly signed law.
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 last month's debate regarding Texas gun laws was Representative Joe Moody (D) — Speaker Pro Tempore of the Texas House of Representatives. He has represents District 78 in El Paso, TX.
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, also had strong opinions about the controversial law.
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.
Earlier last month a contrastingly different message was shared from Governor Abbott’s Twitter account giving further indication that he would be signing the bill into law as he did today.
"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 discussed in a much different light on their 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, Texas? How do you feel now that “constitutional carry” is the law in Texas?
Let us know in the comments.