Texas House has issued initial approval of a “constitutional carry” bill that will permit Texans to carry a handgun in an “open Carry” manner with our a needed permit, according to Fox News.
Currently, gun owners are required to have permits for any manner of carrying.
“This bill should be called common-sense carry,” Rep. Matt Schaefer said.
“It’s time to restore faith in law-abiding Texans.”
Democratic state Rep. Joe Moody said, “Even knowing the political realities, I was hopeful.”
“But now here we are, the first legislative session back since then, and it’s another date that’s going to be burned into my heat.”
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said, “With all the police violence today we have in our state … law enforcement does not like the idea of anyone being able to walk down the street with a gun and they don’t know if they have a permit or not.”
From Fox News:
Schaefer argued that not everyone had the time and resources to obtain a permit. Obtaining a handgun license in Texas costs between $100 and $150, according to Schaeffer, and applicants must also go through criminal history and background checks. Those who commercially purchase guns will still have to undergo a background check.
Democrats, particularly those from districts near the 2019 El Paso Walmart shooting, fought against the bill and offered nearly two dozen amendments, all of which failed.
They said they’d been hopeful of passing further gun control measures in the wake of the El Paso tragedy that left 23 dead. The Texas legislature did not meet in 2020, making this the first year gun bills have been brought forward since the shooting.
The House will need to give the bill another stamp of approval before sending it to the Senate, where its fate is less clear. No-permit carry bills have been filed in the Senate, but have never advanced. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has not made “Constitutional carry” a priority, despite declaring Texas a “Second Amendment Sanctuary” state and backing other gun proposals.