New legislation introduced to the 85th Texas Legislature by State Rep. Jonathan Stickland aims to pass Constitutional Carry in The Lone Star State.
Texas’ HB-375, known as the “Texas Constitutional Carry Act of 2017″, would make licensing and training optional, allowing law-abiding gun owners to legally carry firearms open or concealed.
“Constitutional Carry would make the CHL process optional. We feel that Texans should not have to beg the government for permission for their God-given right to the second amendment. It would make paying the fee and taking the classes optional,” said Rep. Jonathan Stickland.
“I think it’s the way the founders who wrote the Constitution originally intended it to be. I think they’d be very upset if they saw that government had put a surcharge on using the rights that they fought for,” said Stickland.
Stickland also said the legislation would not change who is eligible to carry a gun, pointing out citizens interested in carrying would still need to pass a background check to legally obtain a firearm.
Currently, Texans are required to submit $140 with their concealed carry permit application and complete 4 to 6 hours of training, pass a written test and demonstrate their shooting abilities.
“You have to have safety training with that gun because when you’re carrying in public, that is a safety issue,” said Andrea Brauer of Texas Gun Sense.
“The gun lobby likes to say all the time ‘we’re law abiding citizens, we’re responsible gun owners’ so if we lose that program, we lose all of those statistics,” added Brauer.
But Brauer’s opinion may be a moot point. When asked if the bill has any momentum in liberal Austin, TX, Derek Wills from Lone Star Gun Rights said,“There is. Last session we didn’t get we didn’t get a hearing at all for constitutional carry. It was filed, but the focus was more on licensed open carry. This session we’ve already been assured…HB-375 will get a hearing this session.”