Constitutional Carry Bill Inches Closer to Gov. Abbott’s Desk
The idea of Constitutional Carry has historically struggled to gain any real traction in the Texas Legislature. But Texans could see that change in 2021, as the Constitutional Carry bill made its way one step closer to fruition on Thursday, April 29.
According to the Texas Tribune, House Bill 1927, also known as Constitutional Carry, was advanced to the floor of the Texas Senate after a 5-2 vote of the Senate Special Committee on Constitutional Issues.
House Bill 1927 struggled to stay alive in the Texas House, even though it was passed, so much so that Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick felt a need to create the Senate Special Committee on Constitutional Issues in order to ensure it would see the Senate floor.
Constitutional Carry is a simple concept that essentially allows any Texan to lawfully own and carry a firearm, whether concealed or not, even if they do not have a gun license or have taken any gun safety courses. The argument behind the idea is that the 2nd Amendment, which is a constitutional right, should not have stipulations in order for people to exercise that right.
In early April 2021, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said he didn't think the measure had enough votes to pass in the Senate, but that's apparently changed over recent weeks. Constitutional Carry has seen growing support among Texas Republicans and even Gov. Abbott himself says he'll sign the bill if it makes it to his desk.
Texas Democrats are of course opposed to Constitutional Carry, for the most part, as it poses a huge obstacle for any gun control legislation they may want in the future. However, there are a few proposals in the Senate that might amend the bill more to Democrats liking.
There are six amendments that could be implemented, one of which would create an offense for carrying a handgun while intoxicated. Another amendment enhances penalties for convicted felons caught with a firearm. Another set of amendments would remove the $40 license to carry fee and require Texas DPS to create a free online gun safety course.
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