Texas bill seeks to drop handgun license requirements
Texas House Bill 1927, which ends those requirements is inching closer to becoming a state law
LAREDO, TX. (KGNS) - Texas is considered one of the few states with loose gun control laws and now, a new house-passed state bill allowing people to carry handguns without a license reinforces that reputation.
In order to carry a handgun in the Lone Star State, either openly or concealed, it requires a license.
To get a license a criminal background check, training in safety and gun laws, and demonstrated proficiency in firearms use is needed.
Texas House Bill 1927, which ends those requirements is inching closer to becoming a state law.
Texas State Rep. Richard Pena Raymond says, “It’s called Constitutional Carry. In other words, the people have the constitutional right to own and carry guns, in this case handguns.”
The statehouse passed the measure last week and it now heads to the Senate for a vote.
Laredo representative Richard Pena Raymond was one of eight Democrats who crossed party lines to support the bill.
Raymond believes if a person qualifies to own a gun by way of state or federal law, they should not need a permit to carry it.
Raymond says, “It doesn’t go beyond what we already do. You don’t need a license to own a gun, you don’t need a license to have a gun at your house...this simply says you don’t need a license; it does not create additional rights.”
Supporters of the bill say it would allow Texans to better defend themselves in public, but also end unnecessary barriers to the second amendment.
However, opponents, which includes law enforcement agencies say this measure could place officers in danger.
Lt. Cyrus Zafrani of the Dallas Police Department says it puts 100 percent of the burden ensuring individuals the right to carry a weapon on law enforcement.
By having to deal with more weapons on the streets, putting them in a position to figure out who can legally carry and who cannot.
Raymond says, “What I’ve seen in the past with concealed carry, the right to open carry and now the right to constitutional carry, because it is your constitutional right to own and carry a gun, is if we are wrong then we can always change it. But I don’t think we are wrong.”
House Bill 1927 still only allows people age 21 or over to carry handguns and people with violent crime convictions or some other legal prohibition would still be forbidden from carrying them.
The measure allows businesses to ban guns on their property and federal background checks for some gun purchases would remain in place.
Representatives Tracy King and Ryan Guillen also supported the bill. If the Texas Senate passes the bill, it will head to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.
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