On Thursday, Texas’ House of Representatives gave its initial approval to a bill that allows the constitutional carry of handguns, either openly or concealed, without a permit.
The bill would remove the state requirements residents need to obtain a license so that they can carry a handgun. The state’s House approved the said bill with an 84-56 vote and will now move to Texas’ Senate.
If the said bill passes and gets signed into law, it will allow Texas residents aged 21 years and up to carry a handgun even without permit, as long as the residents are not disallowed by the state or by federal law to carry one.
As per the Texas Tribune, the Texas House passing the constitutional carry bill came following some of the most heated debates seen in the state’s House floor.
Rep Matt Schaefer sponsored the bill, reportedly saying that people should call it “common-sense carry” prior to arguing that they should not prevent residents of the state from defending themselves and their families if they lack time and resources to obtain a license.
Additionally, Schaefer said that the bill would not remove the ban on carrying firearms in restricted places. Additionally, under it, business and property owners still have the right to deny people with handguns access to enter their area.
Texas House of Representatives Approve Constitutional Carry Bill Following Intense Debates
Democratic Speaker Pro Tempore Joe Moody, during the debate for the said bill, tried to push for an amendment that could have killed the legislation effectively, but he failed. In rejecting the said measure, Moody mentioned the El Paso Walmart shooting in 2019, saying no action has been made after that incident.
The prospects of the bill passing the state Senate remains unclear. The Senate typically is the more conservative body. However, similar proposals have failed to move on from there recently.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patric, who oversees Texas’ Senate, have expressed his hesitation over the proposal in 2017. He said that given all the political violence in the state, law enforcement is not keen on the idea of people having the ability to walk around with a gun knowing they could have a permit or not.