Firearm owners may carry concealed guns anywhere in Texas without needing to obtain a state permit starting from Sept. 1.
House Bill 1927, also known as the constitutional carry law, lets Texans quietly bear arms on public property without requiring a license.
The legislation, which Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed into law on June 16, makes the Lone Star State the 21st jurisdiction since the mid-1990s to let residents carry concealed guns without a permit. Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Montana, New Hampshire, and North Dakota have also enacted similar legislation.
Prior to September, Texans needed state licenses, background checks, safety training, and a certain degree of proficiency to carry concealed guns in public.
“To me, this bill is about two things: the advancement of self-defense, and a belief in–and trust of–law abiding citizens to avail themselves of their Second Amendment right to self defend by carrying a sidearm,” bill sponsor and state Sen. Charles Schwertner (R) said in a statement. “I think this is an advancement that is going to improve safety both for the individual and society at large.”
Cato Institute research fellow Trevor Burrus agrees the new law will make the crime rate fall because future victims could stand a better chance of survival if they are armed.
However, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg (D) is not convinced firearms are the solution.
“As evolving gun laws give more people access to guns more often, we are concerned that we may see more disagreements escalate to shootings and instances of firearm injuries and deaths due to negligent access,” she said according to the Washington Examiner.
The law received support from most state lawmakers. It passed the state Senate in an 18-13 vote, and state House (84-56) back in May.