The Texas House passed House Bill 1927 84-56, its version of a “constitutional carry” law which will allow Texans to carry a firearm openly or concealed without a permit or license, the measure will allow anyone allowed to legally buy a firearm in Texas to carry a firearm. Currently, Texans must pass an additional background check and pay an additional fee to obtain a concealed carry license which entitles them to carry a handgun openly or in a concealed manner. Rifles are already allowed to be carried without a permit or license. The bill was filed by Representative Matt Schaefer who represents Tyler, Texas and is a Republican.
Democrats in Texas fought the bill using a long line of arguments that are widely used across the United States in various forms of gun control. House members from El Paso fought particularly hard to stop the bill from advancing. In 2019, a Walmart in El Paso was the scene of a deadline shooting which was 23 people die from a mentally ill person with a gun.
“I think this law is foolish, irresponsible and promotes an unsafe environment for the public. I don’t see how anyone in their right mind could think this is a good idea, especially with all the mass shootings we have happening these day, I mean geez, what’s wrong” said Justin Fitzgerald of Round Rock.
Justin’s wife, Susan think’s differently. “In most of the mass shootings we have happening in out country, the gunman has no criminal background and often no documented history of mental illness either. What did work was when that guy started shooting at that church near San Antonino a couple years ago, a by-stander who was armed shot him. That’s what works. Police can’t be everywhere all the time and respond in seconds, that’s just not realistic or how things work, so we need to be able to take care of ourselves until police can arrive. But the bigger problem of gun crimes is not the mass shootings, I mean, those are just horrible, but far more gun crimes and gun deaths happen in the inner cities of our cities, used by felons who buy them illegally without ever having to undergo a background check or pay a fee. Why are we not addressing that? Why is it politicians and gun control activist don’t even respond to that when you ask them? No, they think making it harder for those who are obeying the law is the solution to gun crimes. We need to make laws based on facts, not emotions and not on fears and not about personal likes or dislikes.”
The Texas House will have a second reading and vote and then the bill will be sent to the Texas Senate. Both Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick have not come out in support of “constitutional carry” and have not indicated if they will support this bill.
So far, police we talked to have come out against this measure saying that if this passes into law, they will have no way of knowing “who they should be watchful of and who they can ignore” said a police chief who asked not to be named. Gun rights activists Garry Jones responded, “why do the police alway have this ‘us versus them’ mentality. That behavior is why more and more people don’t trust police and don’t respect them anymore, they are not acting respectful they are acting like we are the enemy.”
In 20 other states that have passed some form of “constitutional carry”, gun crimes have not increased according to data from the FBI.