After years of work from grassroots gun-rights supporters in Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott has signed Constitutional Carry into law in the Lone Star State. When the law takes effect on September 1st, Texas will become the 21st Constitutional Carry state.
Constitutional Carry simply re-affirms the rights outlined in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, allowing citizens to carry firearms openly or concealed without requiring a government permission slip through a concealed carry permit.
House Bill 1927, sponsored by Texas State Rep. Matt Schaefer allows any Texan who is at least 21 years old to carry a firearm without a permit, assuming they are legally allowed to own that firearm.
Abbott’s signature on this important bill, which doesn’t go far enough for many Second Amendment supporters, helps solidify Texas as the pro-gun state many already believed they were.
But it should never be forgotten that Gov. Abbott’s signature on Constitutional Carry was never a guarantee. He has previously opposed such pro-gun legislation.
Both those groups, along with their hundreds of thousands of supporters have been pushing for Constitutional Carry since the 2015 session of the legislature.
Former State Rep. Jonathan Stickland filed HB 195, the first Constitutional Carry bill in 2015. Despite his attempt at a floor vote, which can be seen in the video below, the bill was killed by the political establishment in the state, led by then-Republican Speaker of the House Joe Straus.
In response, the National Rifle Association and their state affiliate promoted a compromise open carry bill in order to kill support for Constitutional Carry.
The 2017 session saw the next Constitutional Carry bill (HB 375), which received its first hearing, only to never receive a floor vote.
Due to pressure from grassroots gun-rights supporters, the bill was finally passed during the most recent session, which forced Gov. Abbott to reverse his previous position and sign the bill.
As Texas Gun Rights executive Director Chris McNutt explains, it was due to grassroots pressure that the bill was able to pass.
“Year after year, we were making progress and exposing the anti-gun hacks in the political establishment until they realized they could no longer take the heat for killing Constitutional Carry,” McNutt said.
While this law is a huge win for gun owners, it doesn’t go far enough.
While most true Constitutional Carry laws include every legal adult over the age of 18, the new law in Texas only allows those over the age of 21 to carry a handgun. This also includes military-aged Texans under the age of 21.
It also only applies to Texas citizens, forcing those visiting of living on college campuses in the state to obtain a licence to carry to practice their Second Amendment right to bear arms.
Pro-Gun News encourages our Texas readers to join Texas Gun Rights, who are working to expand this bill to cover all Texans, along with anybody who visits the state.
We will keep you updated on any developments.