Texas House Passes Permitless Carry

(AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

Permitless carry, also called constitutional carry, is what should be the standard. It’s what we should all have and live with.

The truth of the matter is that law-abiding Americans shouldn’t have to beg permission to carry a firearm. Non-law-abiding criminals sure as hell aren’t asking if they can carry a gun, they’re just doing it. We shouldn’t be hamstrung in exercising our rights.

However, that’s not the case in most places, unfortunately. It is in some, but not in others.

Luckily for Texas residents, they’re one step closer to that becoming their reality, though.

The Texas House has approved a bill that would allow handguns to be carried without a permit, marking a win for gun rights activists who have for years pushed the measure at the Legislature but a blow to El Paso Democrats who have been fighting for gun safety measures since the 2019 massacre in their hometown.

Initial approval came Thursday in a 84-56 vote after several hours of some of the most emotionally charged debate yet this legislative session,with Democrats pleading to their colleagues to reconsider their position on the legislation. The House on Friday gave the legislation a final stamp of approval, sending it to the Senate, where the bill’s fate is less clear.

House Bill 1927, spearheaded by state Rep. Matt Schaefer, R-Tyler, would nix the requirement for Texas residents to obtain a license to carry handguns if they’re not prohibited by state or federal law from possessing a gun. Texans under current state law must generally be licensed to carry handguns, either openly or concealed.

“This bill should be called common-sense carry,” Schaefer said as he laid out the bill Thursday. He described a scenario in which two women — one who had time and resources to obtain a license to carry and another who did not — went for walks in different neighborhoods, arguing that the latter did not feel safe or well-equipped to protect their family.

In fact, seven Democrats voted for the bill, too.

Only in Texas.

Seriously, this is great news. There was opposition to the bill, even from some who were ostensibly pro-gun. Luckily, this is a big and important first step.

It’s worth remembering that none of the doom-and-gloom predicted for Texas by anti-gunners has come to pass in literally any other state which has passed permitless carry. Law-abiding citizens have started carrying their weapons and there haven’t been streets turning red, awash in the blood of the innocent.

It just hasn’t been the case.

So, Texas should pass this. It’s a big step forward and it needs to happen. It also needs to happen in every other state lacking such a law. The law-abiding citizens of this country deserve to have their rights respected, which includes the right to actually bear their arms. Permitless carry is called constitutional carry for a damn good reason, and it’s high time our political leaders learned to start respecting the Second Amendment.

Now, the bill goes onto the state senate and to pass in that chamber as well.