After stalling for years, effort to allow permitless carrying of handguns sees major breakthrough in Texas House

Sign up for The Brief , our daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news. In legislative session after legislative session late last decade, gun rights supporters pushed for a new law that would allow Texans to carry handguns without a license. Their cause did not go far in 2015 — and neither did it in 2017. In 2019, a Democratic lawmaker recalled Thursday evening, the bill didn’t even get a hearing “when folks with armed weapons were walking the streets of some of our leaders in this chamber that are still here today — some of them are — asking the wives and spouses of those individuals where their husbands stood." "I remember that that was just enough to say we’re not gonna even hear the bill," said the legislator, Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer of San Antonio. But minutes after Fischer spoke, the bill passed the House. Earlier that day, Fischer said, he and a senior Republican colleague "reflected for a very brief minute on how much things have changed over our times here.” Indeed, the cause has come a long way in the Texas Capitol, quickly — and it broke through this week in resounding fashion. The legislation not only attracted a somewhat bipartisan coalition — seven Democrats voted for it — but its passage suddenly put pressure on a less enthusiastic Senate. Under Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick , the upper chamber has become the better-known chamber for pumping out legislation […]

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