Legislature gives final approval to bill allowing Texans to carry handguns without a permit

Legislature gives final approval to bill allowing Texans to carry handguns without a permit

The Texas House and Senate have given final approval to a bill that would allow the permitless carry of holstered handguns, sending the measure to Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday. Abbott has said he would sign the bill. Texas would join at least 20 other states where handguns can be carried without a permit. House Bill 1927 would allow anyone over the age of 21 who can legally possess a firearm in Texas to carry a handgun in public without a permit. Current state law allows residents 21 or older to carry a handgun only after completing the required training and criminal background check to obtain a license to carry. More: Bills targeting protesters who block roads, use fireworks or lasers sent to Abbott Republicans argued that the measure, which they often call "constitutional carry," appropriately expands gun rights under the Second Amendment. Democrats and gun safety advocates criticized the measure, which they said would increase gun violence in Texas and make it easier for criminals to obtain a gun. State Rep. Matt Schaefer, a Tyler Republican and author of the bill, praised a compromise reached between members of the House and Senate over differences in versions of the bill approved in each chamber. "Ultimately, we came out with a bill that is strong, and no doubt is the strongest restoration of Second Amendment rights that any of us have ever seen in the history of the state of Texas," Schaefer said. The House approved the deal in a […]

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