Abbott Signs Texas Constitutional Carry Legislation
Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed major gun legislation into law on Wednesday. House Bill 1927, also known as Texas Constitutional Carry or permitless carry, was signed by Abbott on Wednesday and will go into effect on September 1.
Beginning September 1, Texans 21 years old and older who are legally allowed to have a firearm can begin carrying that firearm without needing to get a License to Carry. Abbott had previously said on The Chad Hasty Show that they were hoping to do the signing at a ceremony. Instead the bill was signed on the same day Governor Abbott went into further details about the border wall plan.
It was not an easy path for Constitutional Carry in Texas. The issue had been defeated in past sessions over and over again. Going into this session, few thought it would make it across the finish line. The House passed Constitutional Carry first and then sent the legislation to a Senate that was not fully on board. Lt. Governor Dan Patrick met with law enforcement groups and Senators to see if they could work out language to be added as amendments. Those amendments passed and were included in the final language of the bill according to the Texas Tribune.
The compromise lawmakers reached behind closed doors kept intact a number of changes the Senate made to the House bill, including striking a provision that would have barred officers from questioning people based only on their possession of a handgun.
The deal also preserves a Senate amendment enhancing the criminal penalties for felons and family violence offenders caught carrying. Among other Senate changes that made it into the law was a requirement that the Texas Department of Public Safety offer a free online course on gun safety.
More than 20 other states have some form of Constitutional Carry. Texas will be the largest of those states.
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