In signing HB 1927 into law, Texas joins a handful of other conservative-led states that have passed measures this year allowing some form of permitless carry and expanded gun rights at the state level. Democrats and some law enforcement officials in the state say the bill eliminates mandatory firearms training that helps protect the public and also makes it more difficult to determine who is unlawfully carrying a weapon.
Republican supporters of the permitless carry bill, who often refer to it as “constitutional carry,” argue that by removing the licensing requirement, they are removing an artificial barrier to residents’ right to bear arms and ensuring more Texans have access to personal protection in public.
Texas already allows citizens to carry rifles openly without licenses. Under current Texas law, residents must have licenses to carry open or concealed handguns. As part of the licensing process, residents must submit a fingerprint, undergo a background check, participate in a training course and pass a shooting proficiency test.
It’s been less than a week since 13 were wounded and one killed in an Austin mass shooting.
Police associations and chiefs from all over Texas Tuesday spoke about their opposition to bills gaining steam in the legislature that would allow people to carry a gun without a license.