Gun rights in Texas see major expansion as Legislature rejects bills to address gun violence

Gun rights in Texas see major expansion as Legislature rejects bills to address gun violence

State Sen. Charles Schwertner, R – Georgetown, speaks in favor of House Bill 1927, the permitless gun carry bill, at the Capitol on Wednesday May 5, 2021. AUSTIN — Hotel guests could soon pack a gun in with their luggage. School marshals could carry one in the classroom. And firearm-criticizing companies could forget about doing business with Texas. Gun rights in Texas are poised for a major expansion under a series of measures that have gone barely noticed as a bill to let Texans carry handguns without a license or training sucked up all the political oxygen. The Republican-dominated Legislature typically chips away at the state’s already permissive gun laws, but this year is notable for the breadth and number of changes. “This was a very, very good session for the Second Amendment,” said Rep. James White, R-Hillister, who chairs the House Homeland Security and Public Safety. Several bills are heading to Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican who made protecting the right to bear arms a rallying cry this session. “Texas is on its way to becoming a 2nd Amendment Sanctuary State,” Abbott proclaimed on Twitter this month , touting legislation nearing his desk that bars local officials from enforcing new federal gun rules. “Don’t tread on Texas,” he wrote. The tone is an about-face from two years ago, when top Texas Republicans including Abbott pledged to address gun violence following mass shootings in El Paso and Midland-Odessa. Yet in the first legislative session since the tragedies, barely any […]

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