Texas Gov. Signs Measure to Allow Unlicensed Carrying of Handguns

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Texas lawmakers approved a measure on Monday, allowing people to carry handguns without a license.

Background checks and training will also not be required.

The House approved the HB 1927 bill behind closed doors on Sunday, in an 82-62 vote. The Senate then approved it on Monday in a 17-13 vote.

“This is a simple restoration of Texans’ constitutional right under the Second Amendment, a right of the people to keep and bear arms,” the Senate sponsor, Sen. Charles Schwertner, said on the floor Monday. “I think it is a bill that is the strongest bill I’ve seen in my legislative career regarding the rights of our Second Amendment.”

The deal also maintains a Senate amendment increasing criminal penalties for felons and family violence offenders caught carrying.

Last month, Gov. Greg Abbott said he would sign the bill to allow Texans to carry without a permit.

“I support it, and I believe it should reach my desk, and we should have ‘constitutional carry’ in Texas,” Abbott told North Texas radio host Rick Roberts at the time. He was also optimistic that the bill would receive the green light.

“I believe it is making progress,” Abbott said. “Once the Senate passes it out, the House and Senate will convene and work out any differences and get it to my desk, and I’ll be signing it.”

Several law enforcement groups have expressed concerns about the legislation, citing public safety as a concern. But Abbott and fellow Republicans have shrugged off any criticism.

On Monday, Abbott also vowed to sign legislation to prevent cities from defunding the police after a shooting Saturday in Austin. “This is what defunding the police looks like,” he tweeted. “Austin is incapable of timely responding to a victim shot in the head. Texas won’t tolerate this,” he said.

Last year, the City Council voted to reallocate up to $150 million from the police department.

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