After a concerted effort spanning several years, the Texas legislature passed a bill that would make the state the 21st in the nation to allow for permit-less carry, also known as Constitutional Carry, and Gov. Greg Abbott has vowed to sign it.
House Bill 1927 would allow anyone over the age of 21 who can legally possess a firearm in Texas to carry a handgun in public without a permit. Current state law allows residents 21 or older to carry a handgun only after completing the required training and criminal background check to obtain a license to carry.
The criticism of the bill from the pro gun control left is as predictable as it is inaccurate.
Democrats and gun safety advocates criticized the measure, which they said would increase gun violence in Texas and make it easier for criminals to obtain a gun.
Of course the new law has zero impact on acquiring firearms. It does not affect one way or another the ease of getting a gun in the Lone Star state. For every state that has adopted constitutional carry, gun control advocates have warned of incipient violence and a return to the "Wild West" (as do some in the comments of articles reporting on the law); it never happens.
The bill additionally has a provision that would allow those convicted of unlawfully carrying a handgun in public to have the conviction expunged from their record.
A license to carry will still be available for those who want one; often for carry in other states requiring a permit, but which offer reciprocity with Texas.
Texas joins Tennessee, Montana and Iowa that have passed bills allowing Constitutional Carry this year. Louisiana is also considering Constitutional Carry legislation, but that bill faces a veto from Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards and a potential for an override by the legislature.