House Bill 1927 which eliminates the requirement of having a license to carry handguns, has been signed into law.
Before HB 1927 was signed, Texans generally needed to be licensed to carry handguns openly or concealed. Applicants had to submit fingerprints, complete four to six hours of training, and pass a written exam and a shooting proficiency test.
But starting September 1st, Texans will now be able to carry handguns without the need of a permit or previous training.
According to the Austin Statesman, the bill also allows those previously convicted of unlawfully carrying a handgun in a public place to have the conviction expunged from their record and provides a limited affirmative defense for those who mistakenly bring their handgun to certain prohibited places.
“In passing permitless carry, Republicans are saying that you no longer need a license to carry a gun, but you still need one to vote,” said Progress Texas executive director Ed Espinoza “The public was not asking for this and voters overwhelmingly oppose the measure, but right-wing legislators forced it through anyway.”
On Thursday morning, Abbott had a ceremonial signing for several bills related to guns, accompanied with other Texas lawmakers and representatives from the National Rifle Association.
Other gun bills included:
SB19 – Prohibits banking & lending institutions from contracting with a Texas government entity on $100K+ contracts if they “discriminate” against firearm trade associations or entities.
SB 20 – Allows Texans to carry guns and firearms in hotels, superseding property rights of hotel owners, if they are going straight to their hotel room. Expands Castle Doctrine to hotels.
SB 550 – Removes specification that an openly carried handgun be in a specific type of holster.
HB957 – Repeals Texas’ own law criminalizing possession of suppressors, as well as establishing a class of suppressors (“Made in Texas”) that state and local law enforcement will be prohibited from enforcing federal regulation.
HB 1500 – Prohibits restrictions to sales and transportation of firearms and ammunition or any restrictions to the manufacturers during a disaster.
HB 2622 – It prohibits law enforcement from enforcing or assisting federal law enforcement with federal firearm laws that go beyond state laws or potentially any federal laws that do the following: create a firearm registry, require a license to carry or to own firearm, mandate background checks for private sales of firearms, create a gun confiscation or gun buyback program.
While preparing for a future where anyone can carry a gun we can’t help but wonder, how many people will lose their loved ones to mass shootings in the state of Texas?