The governor of Texas has enacted a bill permitting the public carrying of concealed and unauthorized handguns.
The governor of Texas enacted a bill allowing people to wear concealed handguns without any permits, joining 20 other states that already have such measures.
Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, introduced the law as part of a package he says turns Texas into a “Second Amendment sanctuary” where no new federal gun restrictions will be enforced.
Abbott hosted a bill signing ceremony at the Alamo in San Antonio on Thursday, but had already signed the bill on Wednesday, according to the Texas Legislature website, as first reported. both the Texas Tribune.
The law comes into force on September 1.
“You could say that today I signed laws that protect gun rights, but today I signed documents that instilled freedom in Lone Star State,” said Abbott when signing the bill on Thursday.
“Those who believe and support the rights of the Second Amendment, we support the right of every law-abiding American to have a weapon to defend themselves,” he added. Among those who joined Abbott at Thursday’s ceremony was National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre.
LATEST NEWS : @GovAbbott signed the NRA-backed constitutional law today alongside the lieutenant governor. @DanPatrick, Speaker @DadePhelan and NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre! pic.twitter.com/MIrRdT5MUs
– NRA (@NRA) June 17, 2021
Texas law is the latest in a back-and-forth state-level battle between those who support stricter gun laws and those who want to remove most of the barriers to gun ownership.
Gun violence killed 38,707 people in the United States in 2019, the most recent year for full statistics, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – far more than any other developed country.
Rep. Matt Schaefer, a Republican who drafted the bill, which gun rights advocates call a “constitutional carry” law, said in a written statement that the law upholds the Second Amendment to the US Constitution. , which protects the right to bear guns and restores all rights of law-abiding Texans to bear guns.
Kevin Lawrence, executive director of the Texas Municipal Police Association, the largest group representing officers in the state, said the law would be a huge burden on police on the streets.
“We opposed this bill from the start,” Lawrence said.
He noted that although the new law adds to the list of people banned from carrying a gun, it will now be up to the cops to determine whether a person is banned from carrying a gun.
“We have shifted the burden to the cops on the streets and made it a lot harder for them,” Lawrence said.
He added that the police much preferred an administrative vetting process that determines who can carry a gun, “rather than a cop having to find out at 3 a.m. on the south side of Lubbock.”
Previously, if a person in Texas wanted to carry a concealed weapon, they had to undergo a background check and complete four to six hour training on gun laws, conflict de-escalation and live-fire training, before to obtain the permit.
Everytown for Gun Safety, an advocacy group that works for tighter gun regulation in the United States, has strongly criticized the bill, saying it would increase the number of gun deaths in Texas .
At the Governor’s Manor with others @MomsDemand volunteers to leave @GovAbbott know that # AbbottTexasFailure while at the Alamo signing a bill for unlicensed transportation. From 9/1, people can carry firearms without background checks or training. #TXLege pic.twitter.com/CYnrhFHCe7
– Marissa’s Votes (@mlcg_tweet) June 17, 2021
The group, which spends millions of dollars on political races across the country, has pledged to target Texas politicians who have backed the measure.