The Texas Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would allow residents to carry a handgun without a permit as Gov. Greg Abbott is poised to sign the legislation in its final hurdle.
HB 1927, which allows Texans 21 or older to possess a pistol on their person provided they are not “otherwise prohibited by state or federal law,” cleared the Senate 18-13.
The move, which is commonly referred to as constitutional carry, passed the House 84-56 on April 16, and it was initially believed that the Senate might vote down the measure following staunch opposition from police unions and prominent gun control groups.
Abbott will sign the legislation once it hits his desk, he said.
I support it, and I believe it should reach my desk, and we should have constitutional carry in Texas,” the Republican governor said April 28.
Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia, however, said passing constitutional carry could put law enforcement at risk.
“It makes our job, the job of our men and women, more dangerous,” Garcia said. “Gun owners have a duty to ensure that their firearms are handled safely and a duty to know applicable laws. The licensing process is the best way to make sure this message is conveyed.”‘
The Gun Owners of America, one of the largest pro-Second Amendment groups in the country, applauded the Senate’s move to advance “commonsense legislation.”
“Constitutional Carry is commonsense legislation that reduces barriers to self-defense,” Rachel Malone, the director for GOA Texas, told the Washington Examiner. “Thousands of GOA members in Texas have taken part in the legislative process to move this important bill forward because they know it will help keep their families safe. The progress we’ve made is due in a large part to their incredible dedication, and we’re eager to push forward and get a strong bill to the governor’s desk.”
If Abbott approves the bill, Texas would join 20 other states that have similar laws on the books, including Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Montana, New Hampshire, and North Dakota.
President Joe Biden has issued a number of executive orders to crack down on gun owners in the United States, though many Republican-led states have opted to loosen firearms laws since he assumed office on Jan. 20. Gun ownership hit record highs amid the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic and during protests that followed the death of George Floyd.
Author : Jake Dima
Source : Washington Examiner : Constitutional carry clears Texas Senate as governor vows to sign