AUSTIN, TEXAS — In 1995, Texas lawmakers finally allowed legally licensed gun owners to carry concealed throughout the state. By 2016, Texas gun owners could carry concealed on state college campuses. As much as Hollywood likes to depict Texas as a gun friendly state, it’s really only been a recent stark shift in politics that has allowed that to happen.
Now legislators are asking, “why have permits at all?”
A new bill proposed to the Texas House would allow unlicensed open carry. It’s still being hotly debated but there’s already some gun-rights activists who are planning two steps ahead.
via Star Telegram
“The top priority at the end of the day is seeing unlicensed carry signed into law by the governor,” said Terry Holcomb Sr., a pastor and executive director of Texas Carry, a gun-rights group. “Everything else is second in priority to this bill.
“It was the only priority last session that didn’t get done and it’s something that needs to happen,” he said. “We’re not leading in the nation on this issue. We are following. … It’s quite unfortunate.”
As more and more states remove the permit and licensing requirements from concealed carry, some people in Texas are thinking about doing the same.
Permitless open carry, if passed and signed into law (two BIG IFs), would basically mean so far as a Texas resident meets all the requirements for a concealed carry license and is legally able to possess a gun, he can carry it on him so long as it’s clearly visible.
“HB 1911 … is a major step forward to restore the handgun rights Texans lost in the 1870s,” according to a statement from the Texas State Rifle Association.
Texas LTC holders can still open carry as they normally would and all posted signs complying with state law must still be heeded by the gun owner. In many ways, if this bill passes, nothing really changes except less paperwork is involved.
For those who balk at fees associated with a license to carry, this would definitely be the way to go — if it becomes law.
Many critics are still skeptical it will pass. But those same critics were probably wrong about the 2015 decision to allow concealed carry on campus.
Anti-gun lobbyists are urging Texans to call their state legislators and demand an end to this bill. If you support such a measure, you would do well to contact your state representative and let them know it.
As always, we’ll be watching to see how this bill and others progress. In the meantime, keep carrying every single day.