Legislation removing the requirement for Texas gun owners to hold a permit from the state in order to carry their firearms has finally been signed into law.
The bill’s passage was one of a few conservative victories during the most recent session. But the fight began long before this year.
A longtime Republican priority
Constitutional carry has been a top priority for the Republican Party of Texas and gun owners across the Lone Star State for a long time.
In fact, constitutional carry was the first “legislative priority” approved by the delegates to the Texas GOP’s convention a decade ago.
Even as the list of party priorities expanded to eight over the years, constitutional carry has remained one of the party’s top goals for the legislature, as 20 other states—including Vermont—enjoy some form of permitless carry.
Despite this fact, however, the bill had not received much traction in the Texas Legislature in recent sessions. In 2019, for example, the bill was sent by then-House Speaker Dennis Bonnen to a committee led by Democrat State Rep. Poncho Nevarez (Eagle Pass), where it was not even given a hearing. Bonnen himself even referred to supporters of the legislation as “fringe gun activists.”
That same year, the legislation was not even filed in the Texas Senate.
So entering the legislative session at the beginning of 2021, the fight to pass the bill looked like an uphill battle. As the session began, numerous bills were filed in the House to remove the permit requirement to carry handguns, while State Sen. Drew Springer (R–Muenster) filed similar legislation in the Senate.
The bill clears the Texas House
When committee assignments were announced in early February in the Texas House, new hope appeared for passing the bill.
Instead of appointing a Democrat to chair the Homeland Security
Continue reading on Texas Scorecard