A number of GOP-controlled states have helped lead the way in fighting against federal efforts to implement strict new gun control legislation.
In a move earlier this month, the Texas Senate passed a bill allowing residents to carry a handgun without a permit — and Republican Gov. Greg Abbott signaled his intention to sign it into law.
“I believe it should reach my desk”
The new measure allows residents over the age of 21 to carry a handgun unless “otherwise prohibited by state or federal law.”
State senators passed the legislation by an 18-13 margin. The bill previously passed in the state House with a vote of 84-56 last month, prompting some speculation regarding whether it would be successful in the upper chamber.
Republican state Sen. Charles Schwertner presented the bill and defended its expansion on gun rights in a statement.
“We cannot allow another session to come and go where we paid lip service to the second amendment while failing to fully restore and protect the rights of citizens granted by the constitution,” he said.
For his part, GOP Gov. Greg Abbot has already expressed his approval of such a measure, stating: “I support it, and I believe it should reach my desk and we should have constitutional carry in Texas.”
“To move this important bill forward”
The Texas chapter of Gun Owners of America also encouraged state lawmakers to pursue such provisions on constitutional grounds.
“Constitutional Carry is commonsense legislation that reduces barriers to self-defense,” said Director Rachel Malone. “Thousands of GOA members in Texas have taken part in the legislative process to move this important bill forward because they know it will help keep their families safe.”
She went on to add that the advocacy group remains “eager to push forward and get a strong bill to the governor’s desk.”
Existing state law reportedly mandates that most gun owners maintain a license to carry a firearm, requiring them to pass extensive background and proficiency tests. The statewide measure comes as President Joe Biden pushes forward with a federal agenda to implement further restrictions on gun ownership.
“Congress should close those loopholes and go further, including by closing ‘boyfriend’ and stalking loopholes that currently allow people found by the courts to be abusers to possess firearms, banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines, repealing gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability, and investing in evidence-based community violence interventions,” the White House asserted last month. “Congress should also pass an appropriate national ‘red flag’ law, as well as legislation incentivizing states to pass ‘red flag’ laws of their own.”