On Wednesday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott quietly signed HB 1927, allowing all eligible Texans to carry handguns without a firearms license starting Sept. 1.
Nearly three weeks after the Texas legislature enacted the permitless, Abbott’s signature comes.
“Constitutional carry” bill, which was passed on May 27. The final measure was approved by the state House by an 82-62 vote, and the Senate by a 17-13 vote the next day. The bill was delivered to Abbott the next day.
The law would allow eligible Texas individuals over the age of 21 who are not otherwise forbidden from having a firearm by state or federal law to carry a firearm openly or hidden without a permit or training.
Before receiving a gun license, qualified citizens had to submit fingerprints, complete four to six hours of instruction, pass a written exam, and a shooting proficiency test.
Carrying handguns while intoxicated will still be prohibited in schools, polling places, bars, hospitals, and elderly homes, athletic events, courts, and several airport areas.
If the bill passed, Abbott would sign it, but it is unclear why he waited over three weeks. The bill was one of more than 100 signed by Abbott on Wednesday, implying that a backlog of bills may have contributed to the delay.
Abbott stated to the Texas radio host Rick Roberts in April saying, “I support it, and I believe it should reach my desk, and we should have ‘constitutional carry’ in Texas, this is something that 20 other states have adopted and it’s time for Texas to adopt it, too.”
Twenty additional states, according to the United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA), already have permitless carry laws in place. Texas is the twenty-first and largest state to do so.
State Rep. Matt Schaefer, tweeted who introduced HB 1927, after Abbott’s signing, saying: “Today, Gov. Abbott signed HB1927 to make Tx the 21st state to allow handguns to be carried by law-abiding citizens age 21 & up. Laws only constrain the law-abiding. Criminals don’t care. Defending the #2A is my duty. But when do we restore freedoms lost? The answer is now.”
Today, @GovAbbott signed HB1927 to make Tx the 21st state to allow handguns to be carried by law-abiding citizens age 21 & up. Laws only constrain the law-abiding. Criminals don’t care. Defending the #2A is my duty. But when do we restore freedoms lost? The answer is now. #txlege pic.twitter.com/DB2UvWJZid
— Matt Schaefer (@RepMattSchaefer) June 16, 2021
At a press conference on Thursday, Abbott is expected to sign the bill ceremonially, along with several others. Representatives from the National Rifle Association, which has long lobbied for permitless gun carry in the state, are slated to attend, as are Schaefer and other state lawmakers.
— Patrick Svitek (@PatrickSvitek) June 16, 2021