Republicans support ‘constitutional carry’ legislation, say it boosts Second Amendment rights
The Texas Senate version of the bill, passed on a party-line vote, according to FOX 4, differs slightly from similar legislation already passed by the state’s House. That means the chambers will have to resolve their differences or the House will have to simply adopt the Senate bill, though it is expected to eventually make it to Gov. Greg Abbott‘s desk.
“People are already allowed to have constitutional carry for long guns in the state of Texas. This just adds handguns, someone has to still go through a background check when they buy a handgun,” Abbott said of the bill, according to FOX 4.
Republican supporters of the bill noted that the bill does not change the requirements for people to buy handguns. It only removes the permit requirements to carry guns in public.
“This bill doesn’t change public safety laws. Individuals currently prohibited from possessing a firearm will still be prohibited. Openly carrying a handgun in places where carrying is now restricted, like schools, polling places, & hospitals remain prohibited,” the Texas Senate GOP tweeted. “HB 1927 does not impact the purchase or transfer of a firearm, background checks required to purchase a firearm, and the ability of business and private property owners to exclude the use of handguns on their property.”
State Sen. Charles Schwertner, a Republican and the chief sponsor of the bill, implored fellow legislators to take action to expand gun rights in a speech ahead of the bill’s Senate passage.
#HB1927 is on the Texas Senate calendar today. We can't allow another session to come and go where we pay lip service to the #SecondAmendment while failing to fully restore & protect the God-given rights of our citizens. It is time for Texas to pass #ConstitutionalCarry. #txlege pic.twitter.com/UgFGlEfQfA
— Charles Schwertner (@DrSchwertner) May 5, 2021
“We cannot allow another session to come and go where we pay lip service to the Second Amendment while failing to fully restore and protect the God-given rights to our citizens,” he said. Schwertner continued to say that the bill “represents one fo the most significant efforts to secure the rights of gun owners that I’ve seen in more than 10 years serving in the Texas legislature.”
Democrats, meanwhile, slammed the bill as putting Texans’ safety at risk.
“Today, by allowing dangerous permitless carry legislation to move forward, disgraced Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is setting Texans up to lose more loved ones to gun violence,” the Texas Democratic Party said in a statment. “Texas Republicans continue to be a major threat to public safety, this time attempting to remove all requirements for people to carry a handgun in public.”
The Texas Senate Democratic Caucus, meanwhile, said, “Republicans in the Texas Senate have prioritized more unregulated guns at the expense of public safety.”
— Royce West (@SenRoyceWest) May 6, 2021
“Texas Senate Republicans are making it easier for dangerous individuals to carry a gun nearly everywhere they go,” they added.
Republicans refer to the bill as “constitutional carry,” and note that several other states have similar laws, allowing those who legally own guns to carry them in public without needing a permit.
“I think it can get across the finish line. Constitutional carry exists in 20 states already,” Abbott said recently, according to FOX 4.
Tyler Olson covers politics for FoxNews.com. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at @TylerOlson1791.
Author: Tyler Olson