The Texas state Senate passed a bill intended to allow adults over the age of 21 to carry handguns without a license Wednesday evening.
H.B. 1927 passed the state Senate with an 18-13 margin after adding additional changes to the bill that will require approval from the state House, KXAN reported. Republican state Sen. Charles Schwertner, a sponsor of the bill, said the legislation defines the U.S. Constitution as a gun owner’s permit to openly carry a handgun in public.
The bill “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,” Schwertner said in a statement Wednesday.
The Republican-led Texas Senate continues to protect the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms. Today the Republican-led Senate passed HB 1927, the “Constitutional Carry” bill sponsored by Senator @DrSchwertner. #txlege pic.twitter.com/dyeR1e7jBq
— Texas Senate GOP (@TexasSenateGOP) May 5, 2021
The “Constitutional Carry” legislation is intended to allow adults to carry handguns without a permit or a license if the state or federal government had not prohibited the person from carrying a firearm, the Daily Caller News Foundation previously reported.
The Senate’s changes, if approved, will allow law enforcement officers to secure handguns when a person is under arrest, prohibits handguns in polling places, hospitals and schools and all public places if the gun owner is intoxicated. Any person who committed a crime regarding terroristic threats, deadly conduct, assault leading to bodily injury or disorderly conduct with a firearm in the past five years will be prohibited from carrying a handgun, according to KXAN.
If the House does not approve the Senate’s changes, a conference committee will be required to resolve the differences in opinion regarding the changes, KXAN reported.
Democratic state Sen. Judith Zaffirini issued a statement after the passage saying the bill enables dangerous people to obtain handguns and increases the chances of violence.
“This bill enables dangerous persons, including domestic abusers, to purchase a firearm without any vetting or oversight. This is particularly worrisome because 59 percent of women murdered by their partners were killed with a firearm,” Zaffirini said.
In 2020, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) denied 2,422 gun license applicants in the state. The DPS recorded a total of 26,304 people convicted of crimes while holding a handgun license that year.
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