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Texas House approves bill to carry guns without a license

The bill allows individuals with a misdemeanor or felony conviction for unlawfully carrying a firearm to have those convictions expunged from their record.
Updated: May. 25, 2021 at 10:24 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - Texas could allow permitless carrying of firearms.

The Texas House approved a consent bill between the house and senate Sunday with the senate following suit Monday afternoon, sending the legislation to Governor Greg Abbott’s desk.

The new measure, House Bill 1927 allows anyone over the age of 21 to carry a firearm without a license or training.

The bill allows individuals with a misdemeanor or felony conviction for unlawfully carrying a firearm to have those convictions expunged from their record.

It includes penalties for felons caught carrying firearms illegally and it would not prevent businesses from banning guns on their property.

“You don’t have a license and you don’t need a license to own a gun,” said Richard Raymond. “You don’t need a license to own and protect your house. You don’t need a license to have one in your car. You don’t need a license when you go to your ranch. You don’t need a license when you’re standing outside in your yard... and this simply says you don’t need to have a license.”

In an interview just before it’s passage, State Representative Richard Raymond expressed his support for the governor’s intention to expand gun laws.

“It was a bill that I supported and I voted for, it’s called constitutional carry. In other words, people have a a constitutional right to own and carry guns, handguns... in this case.”

The White House is quick to express its disapproval.

“I would say there’s a gun problem, that’s something the president would say,” said Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary. “There are communities where local violence, community violence is an issue. It’s one of the reasons we have proposed and are now implementing funding for community violence prevention programs across the country.”

A series of mass shootings over the weekend left at least 11 people dead and another 69 injured.

The shootings took place across eight states including our own, plus Illinois, New Jersey, Ohio, Indiana, South Carolina, Virginia, and Minnesota.

So far this year, more than 7,500 people have died from gun violence across the United States, but legislation on background checks continues to roll over.

“The law today, is somebody wants to do something wrong or a crime, they’re going to do it and can do it. I think they’re less likely to commit a crime against someone if they, see, they can protect themselves. So, that’s why I’ve always supported a person’s right to carry.”

The legislation has been sent to Governor Greg Abbott’s desk who has indicated he would sign the bill.

Once signed, it will go into effect in September.

Nineteen states already allow permit-free carrying of weapons or have laws set to go into effect in the coming months.

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