Texas is a Second Amendment bastion. And they’re poised to become the one of the newest members of the constitutional carry club. Local politics prevented this push in times past. Now, a bill allowing for permitless carry has passed a state senate committee. Gov. Greg Abbott has been clear: If the bill comes to my desk, I’ll sign it. It now goes to the Texas Senate floor for a full vote, where some reports say passage is not a slam-dunk. The senate is split 18-13, with Republicans controlling the chamber. That’s not a lot of wiggle room for antics. Still, should this pass, Texas will become the largest state in the country with constitutional carry (via ABC News):
In Texas, where gun laws are among the loosest in the U.S., there is one line the state has long resisted crossing: making it legal to carry a handgun in public without a permit, background check or training.
Governors didn't champion it. Police persuaded Republican leaders to avoid it. And two years ago, when a frustrated gun rights activist showed up outside the home of the Texas House speaker, the resulting outcry quickly snuffed it out again.
But in a span of just weeks, Texas has suddenly pushed ever closer to becoming the largest state in the country with unregulated or “permitless" carry — a move that is alarming law enforcement and has some Republicans staring down a vote they'd rather avoid. It has also disheartened lawmakers from El Paso, which is still recovering from one of the worst mass shootings in the nation's history, when a gunman at Walmart killed 23 people in 2019.
Yeah, the liberal media is going to enter panic mode if the gun laws are successfully tweaked in the Lone Star State. The Texas Tribune has the details of the bill:
Create an offense for carrying a handgun while intoxicated
Remove the $40 fee to receive a license to carry
Enhance penalties for people convicted of felonies who are caught carrying handguns
Strike a provision that forbade law enforcement officers from profiling a person based on whether or not they’re carrying a handgun
Remove a provision that had said that gun-free zone laws don’t apply unless a person is asked to leave
Require the Texas Department of Public Safety to create a free, online gun safety course
"I support it, and I believe it should reach my desk, and we should have 'constitutional carry' in Texas," Abbott told North Texas radio host Rick Roberts.
Separately, the Texas House on Thursday afternoon gave initial approval to a measure that seeks to follow through on Abbott’s pledge to make Texas a “Second Amendment sanctuary state.” House Bill 2262 would prohibit state officials from enforcing future federal gun laws that are more restrictive than those on the books in Texas.
In July, Iowa will become the newest member where constitutional carry goes into effect. It seems even with some intrigue regarding the Texas Senate vote—the Lone Star State isn’t too far behind adopting a similar law for carry rights.