Texas Governor Signs Constitutional Carry Into Law

Following a recent trend of second amendment momentum around the nation, Texas Governor Greg Abbot signed permitless carry into law. Texans will be able to carry handguns concealed or openly without a license starting September 1st.

House Bill 1927 allows Texans to carry a handgun without a permit provided they are not a prohibited possessor of firearms by federal or state law. Information on the signing of the bill can be found at the Texas Legislature website. Abbot’s office plans to hold a celebratory signing of the bill on Thursday, June 17th at 11:00am.

The new law is welcome news to many gun rights advocates as years of efforts had previously fallen flat. Abbot and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick had refused to commit support of the bill in the past, with Abbot finally breaking his silence on the matter only a couple of months ago. Political pressure from various conservatives and second amendment activists appeared to at last push Texas politicians over the edge.

Just before approval of the bill, Texas lawmakers worked out a compromise with lawmakers behind closed doors, which included axing a provision that prohibited police officers from questioning a citizen solely on the basis of having a weapon. Senate changes also included mandating a free online course on gun safety provided by the Texas Department of Public Health.

Proponents of the bill, often colloquially called “Constitutional Carry” argue that it is simply restoring the second amendment rights promised to all Americans in the Constitution and that Texas’ move is simply following the lead of around 20 other states with similar laws.

Meanwhile, some gun control advocates in Texas have been singing a different tune.

“The permitless carry bill will cause more violence and loss,” said U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-El Paso, in a statement Wednesday. “Despite overwhelming support for common-sense gun violence prevention legislation like universal background checks, Texas Republicans, led by a cowardly governor, are more interested in groveling for the gun lobby’s attention than they are in preventing gun violence and honoring victims and survivors in El Paso and across Texas.”

Escobar did not explain how continued failed gun control policies would curb gun violence.

Texas’ latest”Constitutional Carry” bill was part of a larger trend nationwide, with Louisiana and Alabama recently making similar moves.