Texas House approves open carry without a permit for handgun owners

Texas House approves open carry without a permit for handgun owners

The Texas House passed a bill Thursday that would allow people to open carry handguns without a permit. If approved, it would make Texas the largest state in the nation to allow no-permit handgun carry. The bill is advancing through the Texas legislature despite opposition from local police chiefs , who said it puts officers at risks and lets citizens carry guns without proper training and vetting. The GOP-led state House passed the bill in 84-56 vote, mostly along party lines. More than 20 proposed amendments, mostly from House Democrats, failed to make it into the final legislation. Under current Texas law, residents must obtained a permit to carry a handgun, which requires a training class, shooting class, written exam and an application fee of up to $40. The bill would allow for anyone 21 or older to carry a handgun — either concealed or openly in a holster — without fulfilling those steps. It also says business owners must verbally tell customers if guns aren’t allowed in their businesses, rather than only posting a sign. Restrictions would still apply to people convicted of felonies and domestic violence, and for carrying guns in certain areas, including state hospitals and at sporting events. The bill’s lead sponsor, GOP state Representative Matt Schaffer, called it “constitutional carry” legislation and argued that many people don’t have the time and money to get a permit. Earlier this week, a group of Texas police chiefs held a news conference opposing the bill, arguing that […]

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