Should you need a license to tote a handgun?
Some insist you should, while others call carrying without a permit “doing what the Constitution says.”
Consider a group of Texas state senators more inclined toward the latter.
Hence, on Wednesday, the Senate passed a bill aimed at letting adults over 21 carry without burden of licensing.
That allowance, of course, depends on the person in question not being otherwise prohibited from possessing a firearm.
That success was paired with added changes that’ll require approval from the House.
As worded by the Senate’s website, Republican sponsor Charles Schwertner colored the requirement of state licensing an “artificial barrier to the exercise of a citizen’s Second Amendment rights.”
To Charles, the permit’s already been issued:
“HB 1927 would recognize the United States Constitution as our permit to carry and allow all law-abiding adults, aged 21 years or older, to carry a handgun for the protection of themselves or their families, in public places, in a holster, without the requirement of a state-issued license.”
America’s carry permit — and general gun ownership — situation is definitely a wild ball of yarn.
If you’re in Southern California, for example, with rare exception, a carry permit isn’t in the cards. And the state hosts a list of guns for purchase as new that’s dwarfed by options in the rest of the country.
If you’re in Alabama you can obtain a license for a gun bought in California, but only if you’re an Alabama resident.
And if you’ve managed to acquire a California carry license, Alabama won’t honor it.
On the other hand, if you have a license from one of 32 other states, it’s valid.
One of those 32 is Florida, which recognizes permits from 37 states.
However, to obtain a Florida license, individuals don’t have to be residents of The Sunshine State.
As for carrying without a permit, Tennessee recently joined the states which allow for such. Gov. Bill Lee signed its “Constitutional Carry” bill last month:
I signed constitutional carry today because it shouldn’t be hard for law-abiding Tennesseans to exercise their #2A rights. Thank you members of the General Assembly and @NRA for helping get this done. pic.twitter.com/xv2ZenOEZq
— Gov. Bill Lee (@GovBillLee) April 8, 2021
It goes into effect July 1st.
Back to Texas, Sen. Charles noted, “The premise of the bill is not about trying to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. This is about trying to reinstitute a constitutional right for law-abiding citizens.”
Republican Sen. Donna Campbell championed the bill, saying, “Gun-free zones are victim zones, and I don’t like them.”
As for modifications to HB1927, Austin’s NBC affiliate has the 411:
Senators made several changes to the bill in the upper chamber. Senators added a provision to allow law enforcement officers to secure a handgun in a gun locker or other secure area when taking a person into the secure area of a police station. They also approved a measure to prevent anyone from legally carrying a handgun in Texas if that person was convicted of crimes in the past five years such as terroristic threat, deadly conduct, assault that causes bodily injury and disorderly conduct with a firearm.
After the bill’s passage in the Senate, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick — who presides over the chamber — expressed pride:
“I am proud that the Texas Senate passed House Bill 1927 today, the Constitutional Carry bill, which affirms every Texan’s right to self-defense and our state’s strong support for our Second Amendment right to bear arms. In the Lone Star State, the Constitution is our permit to carry. … We have moved quickly on this legislation and I want to thank all those involved who helped gather the votes needed to pass this historic bill.”
Gov. Greg Abbott’s indicated he’s happy to sign the bill.
If it makes it all the way through, Texas will become the 21st state to grant permitless carry.
But again, that’s if–
No celebration yet folks! We are now reviewing amendments that were added by the Senate to look for issues that would break House rules governing the purpose of HB 1927. Our first impression has us very concerned. Will share more as soon as we can. #txlege #2A #HB1927 https://t.co/K0OKBeEzMl
— Matt Schaefer (@RepMattSchaefer) May 6, 2021
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