Gun Laws & Legislation

Abbott Signs ‘Constitutional Carry’ Into Law

(Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)

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Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed legislation Wednesday that will allow Texans to carry a handgun without a license starting Sept. 1.

HB 1927 will allow individuals 21 and over to carry handguns without a license. The state currently allows individuals to carry a rifle without a license.

As of current, Texans are required to have a license to open or conceal carry a handgun. Texans seeking a license to carry are currently required to submit fingerprints, undergo a background check and take a training course along with a shooting test.

Abbott signaled his willingness to sign the measure in April while speaking to WBAP.

“Once the Senate passes it out, the House and Senate will convene and work out any differences and get it to my desk,” Abbott said. “And I’ll be signing it.” (RELATED: Missouri Governor Set To Sign Bill Banning State Police From Enforcing Federal Gun Laws)

AUSTIN, TX - JUNE 08: State Rep. Chris Paddie (L) and State Senator Kelly Hancock (R) watch as Texas Governor Greg Abbott signs Senate Bills 2 and 3 during a press conference at the Capitol on June 8, 2021 in Austin, Texas. Governor Abbott signed the bills into law to reform the Electric Reliability Council of Texas and weatherize and improve the reliability of the state's power grid. The bill signing comes months after a disastrous February winter storm that caused widespread power outages and left dozens of Texans dead. (Photo by Montinique Monroe/Getty Images)

AUSTIN, TX – JUNE 08: State Rep. Chris Paddie (L) and State Senator Kelly Hancock (R) watch as Texas Governor Greg Abbott signs Senate Bills 2 and 3 during a press conference at the Capitol on June 8, 2021 in Austin, Texas. (Montinique Monroe/Getty Images)

“This is something that 20 other states have adopted and it’s time for Texas to adopt it, too.”

A University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll found 59% of Texans oppose permitless carry. When broken down among party lines, 56% of Republicans support the legislation.

Republican state Rep. Matt Schaefer, who sponsored the legislation, said it would help Texans protect themselves, according to The Dallas Morning News.

“The bill should be called common-sense carry,” Schaefer reportedly said. “Law abiding citizens need the ability to protect themselves and their families.”

Democratic Texas Rep. Veronica Escobar said Abbott betrayed victims of gun violence by signing the legislation.

“After the August 3rd attack on El Paso, Governor Greg Abbott promised victims and our devastated community that he would take action against gun violence. Almost two years later, Governor Abbott has chosen to betray the victims of gun violence and legislators who believed him, proving he is neither a man of his word nor a leader with courage.”

“The permitless carry bill will cause more violence and loss,” she continued. “Texas Republicans, led by a cowardly governor, are more interested in groveling for the gun lobby’s attention than they are in preventing gun violence.”

Texas joins more than a dozen other states such as Iowa and Tennessee that have recently passed similar legislation.