Our 2nd Amendment gives us the right to keep and bear arms. If you ask most people, they have completely different opinions of what that means. For better or for worse, gun law changes are on the horizon for Texans. What could changes in gun laws mean for El Pasoans?
I’m Lawyer Alexandria Serra, this is Lawyer Talk Thursday (catch it every week on Instagram @alexandriaserra), and you’re about to find out.
Potential Changes: License to Carry No More!
House Bill 1927 (HB 1927) would do away with the requirement for Texans to get a license in order to carry handguns. Passed in both Houses of Texas Congress already – although different versions of the bill - it’s headed to the conference committee to sort out the details. Once a single version is agreed upon by in both houses, the bill will be given to the governor for his signature.
Eighteen states across the country allow permitless carry of handguns right now. Unrestricted access allows state residents to not be required to have a permit for a concealed handgun, also known as constitutional carry. Texas is not one of them... yet. Among these states are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, and West Virginia. Tennessee and Wyoming have new “constitutional carry” laws that take effect on July 1, 2021, adding them to the list . It is your responsibility to know the law in your state. Be sure to stay informed!
Some states offer reciprocal protections, some don’t, which means that even if you can carry without a license in your homes state, you may not be able to when you travel!
The Current Situation, As It Stands
Governor Abbott already said he would sign the permitless carry bill into law.
As the law stands now, Texans must be licensed to carry handguns – either openly or concealed. An applicant for a LTC must:
- submit fingerprints,
- complete 4-6 hours of training,
- pass a written exam, and
- a shooting proficiency test.
Under the new law, you’ll still have a background check to buy a handgun from a store or gun shop (no felonies or crimes of violence), and the age to carry would be 21.
On the other hand, lawmakers’ views might not be the same as Texans as a whole.
What the People Say
A University of Texas Poll showed that 59% of Texans polled oppose unlicensed carry.
Almost half of Texas voters polled would make gun laws stricter, and 75% of the state’s voters think Texas should require criminal and mental health background checks.
What do you think? Tell me your thoughts!
Remember, this is a safe space, be true to your opinions but kind to others.