If proponents of the Permitless Carry Bill for handguns get their way then Texans will soon be able to carry a weapon in public with no license or permit required. This right, proponents claim, is enshrined by the 2nd Amendment, the right to bear arms. Opponents argue that the bill will simply turn Texas into a free-for-all shoot em up, a sentiment that has been echoed by Texan Law Enforcement.
On the 13th of April several law enforcement leaders from across the state — including the Texas Municipal Police Association, Texas Police Chiefs Association, as well as police chiefs with Austin and San Marcos Police Departments and police unions for Austin, Houston, and Dallas — gathered outside the Texas Capitol to forcefully oppose this bill and HB 1911.
Texas Municipal Police Association Executive Director Kevin Lawrence had the following to say on the proposed bills.
“We are here because of our concerns for public safety. We’re concerned that this bill passing will make the jobs for our law enforcement officers more difficult and more dangerous. This bill is just bad public policy.”
Currently, under current restrictions in Texas, you must have a license to carry a firearm, which requires training, passing tests, and submitting fingerprints for criminal background checks. HB1927 will effectively sweep away all these restrictions.
Pandering to justify the madness
For those following #HB1927, the compromised version does include an amendment made in the Senate that prohibits permitless carry for people convicted of certain misdemeanors in the past five years. This allowance is simple pandering and in no way reduces the potential dangers HB1927 exposes the public to.
Greg Abbott signing off on the bill will also lead to over 130 000 criminal records for carrying a concealed weapon being expunged. Abbott has made no bones about where he stands on the bill. Many Texans are taking to Twitter to express their outrage.
The timing of this bill couldn't be worse, with mass shootings and gun crime figures rampant across America. Texas hasn't been spared.
- On April the 6th this year in Allen, Texas, six people were found dead in a suburban Dallas home. Police reported that two brothers had killed four family members and then themselves.
- On the 9th of April this year in Bryan, Texas, a man opened fire at a Texas cabinet-making company where he worked, killing one person and wounding five others before shooting and wounding a state trooper prior to his arrest.
It is difficult to imagine how in any normal, sane world, encouraging your entire population to arm themselves and carry weapons can even be considered as an issue of freedom or a “God-given right”. Law enforcement is now facing a deluge of armed people and will have to face the consequences of responding to these weapons. Expect a large increase in fatal shootings to follow in the wake of the bill.
Want to know who signed the bill? These are the Texas Representatives who voted to allow permitless carry. No training required. No background checks needed. No common sense used. You may want to make a list of the names for November.
If you’d like to view the Conference Committee Report on HB 1927, you can follow this link for a PDF version of the report or if you'd like a more detailed listing of sponsors, visit this page on LegiScan.