Texas Moving Closer To Becoming Constitutional Carry State
With the passage of House Bill 1927 through the Texas Senate late yesterday (05.05.2021), the Lone Star State is moving closer and closer to becoming a constitutional carry state.
Obviously, the idea of unlicensed carrying of a handgun is a frightening thought to some people. To others it's a breath of fresh air, after all, the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America does say:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
On the surface the idea of permitless carry would mean that literally anyone could carry a firearm. That's not exactly true, there are limits and qualifications. You must be 21 years old and legally able to purchase a handgun, and according to an article in the Texas Tribune the Senate added an amendment barring permitless carry from people who have been convicted in the past five years of making a terroristic threat, conducting deadly conduct, conducting an assault that causes bodily injury, or being convicted of disorderly conduct with a firearm. So there will be restrictions. The Texas House and Senate are still working through the exact wording of those amendments but Governor Abbott has indicated that he will sign the bill into law if / when it reaches his desk.
It is also important to note that the right to CARRY a firearm, whether by obtaining a license to do so or by living in a constitutional carry state does not change any of the laws regarding the USE of said firearm. It is still illegal to fire a weapon inside most city limits. It is still assault with a deadly weapon to use that weapon in a threatening manner on another person. And on and on as all of the current laws on firearm usage remain in effect whether you are legally allowed to carry or not. Or, as was pointed out to me recently by a License To Carry instructor, it doesn't instantly turn you into a police officer. It simply means that you are legally allowed to carry a firearm.
And there are limits on that. If there's a 30.06 or 30.07 sign on the outside of a business that prohibits the open or concealed carrying of a firearm inside, you can't carry it there. If it's an establishment like a bar where 51% or more of the sales of alcohol are consumed on premises you cannot carry it there.
In short, whether it's licensed or constitutional carry, this will not bring Texas back to the wild west days of shootouts in the streets. Unlawful use of a firearm will still be unlawful use of a firearm.
A quick Google search indicated that there are currently more than 20 states with some form of constitutional or permitless carry laws on the books and that number seems to be growing. We will soon know if Texas will be added to that list.