Open carry I voted protest pennsylvania
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

A pair of bills by state Reps. James White and Matt Schaefer would eliminate the requirement for Texans to obtain a license to carry handguns — either openly or concealed — so long as they’re not prohibited by state or federal law from possessing a gun.

“It’s important we keep allowing as many citizens [as possible] to be able to protect themselves, because if you can’t carry your firearm with you, then how can you protect yourself?” said state Rep. Kyle Biedermann, R-Fredericksburg, whose permitless carry bill, backed by the state Republican party, was left pending in committee last week.

Gun control advocates have fought against permitless carry efforts in past years, worried about increased violence and undermining what they say is a strong state permitting system. The debate became more urgent after recent mass shootings in Georgia and Colorado, which moved Abbott and other Texas Republicans to double down on protecting gun owners as President Joe Biden and Congressional Democrats renewed calls for stronger gun laws. …

“[Constitutional carry] has less of a chance of passing than bills that are on the governor’s list,” said state Sen. Bob Hall, R-Edgewood, who is pushing the measure in the upper chamber. “I just don’t think this is the year for it. … To even get a hearing would be a step forward.”

— Sami Sparber in Texas Republicans have long pushed to allow “constitutional carry” of guns. Proponents say this year is their best chance.

73 COMMENTS

  1. When you have to “fight” to exercise a constitutional right, something is very wrong in this country!

    • Sad part is there are gun owners who want to complicate the matter of what amounts to being able to put a coat on that conceals the firearm that you had to pass a background check to purchase.
      This you’ve got to pay extra and go through a more deeper anal exam to wear a coat is as stupid as it sounds.

      • The men who wrote the 2nd amendment did not just finish a hunting trip.
        They just finished liberating a nation!

    • “When you have to “fight” to exercise a constitutional right, something is very wrong in this country!”

      The founders told us, “The price of Liberty is eternal vigilance.” Reinforced by, “A Republic, if you can keep it.” Are those not advisories that struggle would always be necessary?

      The founders were never unaware that the public would be required always to be engaged in a fight to retain and sustain the rights codified by the Constitution.

      • Correct. There are always those who wish to exert their desire for power over others, and will work to curtail your rights. The most insidious is the trap of accepting conditions, which in effect reduce “rights” to mere “privileges”.

        Background checks are a farce, and turn the entire jurisprudence of “innocent until proven guilty” on its head. A requirement to pass through a background check assumes your guilt, and forces you to prove your innocence.

        Imagine if this were to be applied to any other right.

        You want to worship at that church? Give a speech? Travel unhindered to the destination of your choice? Associate with the friends you choose? You need to ask the government’s permission.

  2. I just don’t think this is the year for it.

    Waiting for an unfavorable legislative body to get elected so they can beat people over the head for donations to the cause citing the struggle.

    • It’s the right thing to do, the bill is ready to go, and 20 other states have already shown that it works just fine…but this isn’t “the year for it.”

      This is the problem with conservatives in a nutshell. The only thing most of them want to conserve is their own accustomed position in the current status quo — and I’m not talking only about legislators, either. The conservative movement is a failure at conserving anything that matters.

      The best way to conserve any important right and protect it against progressive erosion is to *expand* it. The Texas legislature needs to take a cue from noted cultural conservative Shia LaBeouf and JUST DO IT.

      • I agree. I want names on a list, “voted for” or “voted against”, so that *I* will know who to vote for! and contribute to. I cannot understand why that is not done EVERY year.

  3. Constitutional carry or not, Texas will still keep their onerous 30-06 and 30-07 signage…I guess, in retrospect, that the signs at least identify which stores you should not support with your hard earned $$.

  4. WARNING

    If constitutional carry is passed in Texas they better keep the existing LTC laws in place, otherwise people who currently have a LTC will be more limited where there can carry. If they remove existing LTC rules / laws, I seriously doubt it will continue to be a class C misdemeanor to carry concealed into a place that has a no guns ghostbuster sign. Think back to when open carry was passed. 30.06 signs(to prohibit concealed carry) starting popping up in places where they weren’t before. Most people don’t know the difference between a “no guns allowed” sign and a 30.06 / 7 sign, much less between a 30.06 and 30.07 sign.

    I often carry concealed into places posted with a 30.06 sign because it’s only a class C misdemeanor. If it was anything higher I wouldn’t do it. Currently you can be arrested if you carry concealed in public without a LTC. I seriously doubt it will be a class C misdemeanor if constitutional carry passes and you carry concealed into a place that has a no guns ghostbuster sign.

    • I often carry concealed into places posted with a 30.06 sign because it’s only a class C misdemeanor.

      I carry “concealed” EVERYWHERE that does not have some sort of metal detection or x-ray scanner because “concealed” means NO ONE but you should know you are carrying, because “CONCEALED”… That means hidden, secreted, NOT visible… If you are doing it properly (not “printing”) no one should know if you are carrying or not…

    • “If they remove existing LTC rules / laws, I seriously doubt it will continue to be a class C misdemeanor to carry concealed into a place that has a no guns ghostbuster sign.”

      This exactly what happened in IA a week ago. The “logic” was that it makes an offense the same as Fed law but I could see no reason to raise the IA penalty to a Class D felony from aggravated misdemeanor.

      The very concept of permitless carry, and that’s what we should be calling this, is sound and reasonable and would make sense if every state was required to comply. Having worked closely with gun people for 40 years or so, whose IQs have ranged from room temperature to genius level, I can see many situations where someone without a permit will find him/her/itself at odds with laws, particularly if they visit another state. Or for some rube who is caught packing when he/she/it had a domestic abuse charge 30 years ago.

      So- dump the permit and lose reciprocity with other states and in IA- lose the NICS waiver when purchasing any firearm from an FFL? And with no permit, lose the ability to check on the state and federally-mandated proof that the person trying to buy/sell a gun as a private citizen is not a “prohibited person? The telling clincher for me was IFC’s lobbyist admitting he wasn’t going to dump his permits for the same reasons… they should be publicizing that heavily.

      • No they shouldn’t be publicizing any of the leftist/liberal bullshit you just described. Very few in Texas care about having an unconstitutional and always useless NIICS check done when they buy a firearm as you have to complete an ATF 4473 anyway which proves you bought a firearm. Texans care about exercising Constitutional rights and being able to purchase firearms in private sales as @n option AS WE DAMN WELL SHOULD.

        If you prefer so much control and record keeping you should move to CT, NY, CA, IL or some other such shithole as w really don’t care for your ignorance in Texas.

        • I live in IA where it would appear we have better situations concerning firearms, self protection without duty to retreat, open carry and purchasing requirements than the majority of states, including TX.

          The “publicizing” that needs to be done involves IFC making certain gun owners realize they don’t have the same rights (actually privileges) in other states without an IA permit that they may have with one. (With my IA permit and 3 others I’m covered pretty well in 40+ states.). And owners need to understand that, in IA, they will undergo a NICS check every time they attempt to purchase a firearm under the permitless system where none would be administered if they had/have the permit. Plus Iowans can also transfer a firearm with confidence no laws are being violated if the transferee/transferor are the holders of a permit. One takes their chances if they sell or trade a gun to someone they don’t know who is later determined to have been disqualified.

          I don’t see why this is so difficult to understand. By all means, let your permit expire if you want but don’t try to make permitless carry sound like a better thing than it really is. I lobbied for it at our Statehouse but I’ll not participate in it until/unless all 50 states acknowledge it.

  5. Would like to see Texas catch up their gun rights reality to all their big talk.

    So Good Luck to them, they are going to need it!

  6. I believe it’s at 19 states that have already done this, Texans should be disgusted than we haven’t. This needs to get pasted NOW before more liberal dems and Kalifornians rule the state.

  7. I’ve lost touch on this matter. Do “constitutional carry” states dismantle their entire permit system? Do states permitting the Second Amendment to apply lose the prior ability to carry concealed with other states?

    • Good morning Sam,

      In Montana we retained our permitting system to facilitate travel to reciprocity States and to keep the NICS convenience.

      Fortunately, we are a “Shall Issue” State and most of our Sheriffs are staunchly Pro2A.*

      *Montana CWP’s are issued by the County Sheriff.

    • In Mn., that would be the case for reciprocity. When Nevada lowered the minimum age for permits to under 21, they lost reciprocity , even if they met the 21 year old age requirement. That is why we would be better off with some sort of national permitting only because it would be less of a shit sandwich for carriers…

      • MN also requires an “enhanced permit” meaning one must demonstrate general safe handling, loading/unloading and ability to shoot a stationery target with a reload. I had to qualify for a MN permit 5 or 6 years ago when they added the “enhancement”. (I live half the year in MN). Iowa, on the other hand, accepts all state CC permits and covers “concealed weapons”. The MN permit covers ONLY handguns, nothing else.

    • Iowa has retained the permit system already written within the Code and added the permitless language, along with raising the penalties from aggravated misdemeanor to Class 4 felony for an illegal transfer- meaning your gun rights would then be “history”.

      • You’re a liberal fucking idiot and you’re full of shit. What makes you think Texas can’t handle it’s own business is what makes you more obvious than anything you’re no friend of Constitutional rights. It’s long been proven NIICS is a damn joke and always will be. Your very statement of NIICS giving Iowa a peace of mind proves you know nothing of NIICS whatsoever outside of what the govt. tells your gullible ass.

        You worry about your fucked up state and we’ll worry about our’s and stay your lunatic ass the he’ll out of Texas.

        • Wow, that’s got to be one of the most well-worded and thoughtful posts ever on TTAG. Big assumptions concerning someone you’ve never met and it’s pretty obvious you still don’t understand my explanations nor the law as written that’s contained in either state’s code, nor do you understand politics nor how to influence people.

          I really hate to have to tell you but I’ll be in Houston over Labor Day weekend. And I’ll happily be carrying as I do every time I’m in TX because your state’s law says I can. Remarkable. Be careful with your guns and sharp objects.

      • The state of Iowa has zero jurisdiction over your gun rights, which are guaranteed by the US Constitution and states may not infringe upon them. Making your entire argument moot, except for the “yeah, but they will shoot you” argument.

    • Many states have retained the permit requirement for concealed carry (10 do not), reciprocity agreements will most likely need to be reexamined to include no permit concealed carry for those people from states that no longer require a CCL.. Currently states not requiring a permit for CC do make permits available for those residents traveling to other reciprocity states…

      • “…reciprocity agreements will most likely need to be reexamined to include no permit concealed carry for those people from states that no longer require a CCL..”

        My advice here is to not hold your breath.

        • Texas doesn’t need your liberal-leftist and paranoid advice. It’s like talking to Pelosi and Feinstein about another AWB.

        • You and your moron pal may have a point on the general philosophy with which I agree but you’ll have to sell it to a judge until you get it changed and no matter what either of you huff and puff, it’s not going to happen anytime soon, in TX or CONUS.

          I suppose what GRA is really burned about is that I can legally open-carry in IA…

  8. “In Montana we retained our permitting system to facilitate travel to reciprocity States and to keep the NICS convenience.”

    Thanks for the insight. Do you happen to know if all the other constitutional carry states are doing the same? Curious about what might happen in my state, if it ever gets around to the matter.

    Asking for a friend.

    • The only one I’m familiar with (since I live next door) is Idaho. They kept their permit system in place, but simply removed the requirement to use it for Idaho residents. The utility of the permit is that it maintains existing reciprocity with other states and gives carry privileges in places that would otherwise be prohibited, like college campuses.

      • No SHITHEAD … I simply don’t like liberal/leftists trolls like YOU coming in here trying to tell others how to run their state. Texas can care less how you do something wherever you’re at and we never will. You’re a real powerhouse on the keyboard but I’m sure you didn’t do anything exceptional to get the laws changed in your state unless of course all they needed was some punk troll to run his damn mouth. You can go to hell as far as I’m concerned.

        • Well GRA- you can have the last word.

          I go by the old axiom of never being in much of a long argument with an idiot because after a while it becomes hard to tell which one is the idiot. I tried- by putting forth the facts and info as they really are at present, along with my long-held beliefs in treating the entire Constitution as it was originally written and obviously intended.

          You, on the other hand have responded only with profanity, derision and many things you hope will happen but NEVER will if you are, in fact, a spokesperson for moving us forward in gaining back our rights. Please don’t ever grant an interview with a local or network news crew… Good luck and may God help Texas

      • And as I’ve already stated neither I nor Texas gives a damn what your liberal interpretations are and again, you and your’s c#n go straight to Hell.

  9. “That is why we would be better off with some sort of national permitting…”

    Understand the sentiment, however….

    Federalism is designed to allow and foster a hodgepodge of state (once written and understood as “State”) differences in governance. The appeal of federal control over states, and individual, is strong among leftists, and non-leftists. In the end, federal control is federal control, and subject to the winds of power.

    “Constitutional carry” is a legislative attempt to shore-up a US constitution protected, natural, civil and human right. Politicians know there are not enough votes to repeal the Second Amendment, so it is done by the routine legislative process. While we consider each “constitutional carry” state a victory, the victory is fragile as it can be; changing political winds can remove “constitutional carry” after the next general election cycle. A national permitting system will be controlled by the coastal elites. Note that “constitutional carry” legislation is not happening in those states.

    • Sam, I agree with your statement… perhaps it could be more accurately be described as a ” Universal State’s Standards Agreement” or some other non-federal uniform system. If you can drive a car from state to state, you should be able to carry from state to state. Not sure how you’d get the bluer states on board, so maybe I’m just whistling out my butt.

      • If you can drive a car from state to state,

        Keep in mind that when you cross a state line in a vehicle you become subject to THAT states laws and regulations pertaining to motor vehicles… Speed limits vary, equipment regulations etc.. I have received a ticket for exceeding a speed limit in one state that was perfectly legal in the state I just left…

  10. “If you can drive a car from state to state, you should be able to carry from state to state. ”

    You can easily drive a vehicle from state-to-state because driving a vehicle is a privilege controlled by the states. You cannot carry a firearm easily from state-to-state because it is a natural, human and civil right protected by the US constitution.

    It’s a brave new world.

  11. “I think I’d like it if better if it were a ” Brave heart” world.”

    Until your first bathroom break, when you find out just how harsh the world was in the time of William Wallace?

    • There was far more common sense and smarter judgment in the time of William Wallace. It’s a matter of personal perspective.

    • Ahh, yes… ” In days of olde, life favored the bold, as toilets had yet been invented ; ye’d lessen your load, near the side of the road, then stroll on quite contented “

      • You reminded me of an old story:

        The King and Queen were having a loud disagreement. She stormed off to her quarters and left the King stewing on the throne surrounded by his faithful retainers. Thinking over the argument, the King muttered “Fvck the Queen”…and ten thousand men died in the rush…for, in those days, the King’s word was Law.

  12. “There was far more common sense and smarter judgment in the time of William Wallace.”

    Indeed, there was.

    But, as Thomas Hobbes cautions: “…worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”

    So many look fondly upon a time “when life was simpler.” Then, we learn that for its time, life was not so simple after all.

    • I have a book, given to me by my smart-alec son, years ago…”The Good Old Days…They Were Terrible!” (author: Otto Bettmann). Read it if you get the chance…it is entertaining, educational and illustrates how crappy Life in general was way back when (unless you were an elite aristocrat…and it still sucked even for them).

      • My hemorrhoids? NO. Obviously your Momma’s got in somebody’s way once upon a time. And both of you, dead or alive, can go straight to hell with all the other snotball trolls on here.

  13. To give folks a subtle hint, the key phrases of the first two paragraphs explain a significant reason why Texas will have an enormous struggle passing this.

    Rep. White chairs the committee that will oversee these bills. He and Schaefer have submitted screwed-up, watered-down bills that please the overlords they are obviously beholden to, these being the bills moved out of committee for hearings, etc.

    The other bill submitted by Biedermann which is the closest (and smartest) to true Constitutional Carry is the bill these two RINO shitheads left pending in committee. Biedermann’s bill represents what most Texans truly want AND feel is really needed and it’s obvious he did a better job. And obviously is why this better bill and another have been left “pending” in committee.

    Y’all can fill in the blanks on the rest of that but I’ll add that it shows just how screwed up Texas govt. is internally regarding individual liberties provided by the Bill of Rights.

    You also have the corrupted TSRA expressing their gratitude the lame/joke bills are moved out because TSRA doesn’t really care for Texas gun laws to be less controlled by the state govt. as the governor gives them special support by allowing a TSRA firearms instructor a special office in the capitol (or used to) but nobody else. This leftist-leaning demeanor is what Abbott and Suicide Dan Patrick actually prefer, ad neither really support Constitutional Carry unless doing so will somehow get them votes.

    Equally as troublesome is a clown in the Texas office of the GOA that is willing to compromise and negotiate for the two lame bills as she thinks she’ll somehow become a hero overnight by getting anything at all passed whatsoever. This attitude by this idiot and the corrupted TSRA is what is hurting Texas the most along with the self-serving RINO(s) unfortunately in public office.

    And don’t even get me started about former Speakers Strauss, Bonner, and the current Phelan who could’ve selected the committees better and knew it but didn’t because he’s a lame and corrupted RINO himself.

    All the above folks is a continuation of the BULLSHIT that Texans have been facing for the last 12+ years regarding Constitutional Carry alone.

    • Will the watered-down/inferior bills still be an improvement, or are they essentially worthless? That seems like the core question to me. If it improves the ability to exercise the right to keep and bear, it’d be worth supporting even if an objectively better bill died in committee.

  14. GOOD GUYS with guns would have STOPPED those MASSACRES . . . so called “gun control” LAWS – DON’T. One Enlightened Patriot. Team Trump And His Allies 2020 – MAGA (WE’RE NOT going away!).

  15. The Ohio legislature is currently considering several bills that loosen burdens on gun owners (plus, of course, a few token gun control bills sponsored by the left). One of them would add Ohio to the list of “constitutional carry” states. Pretty comprehensive at 143 pages, looks like it covers the bases, including leaving a license to carry system in place for reciprocity, NICS checks, etc. It also changes the phrase “concealed handgun” to something like “concealed weapon, including firearms” which is a big deal. At this time, Ohio issues a “Concealed Handgun License” that does not include knives, batons, “truck guns” etc. (some of which are expressly prohibited in other sections of the law). It looks like they are moving towards catching up with other states. The voters gave the legislature a super majority of Rs, so maybe they are going to actually accomplish good things.

    • Yeah, Florida issues a Concealed “Weapons” permit that covers a long list of devices… That would most likely need to remain in place even if/when they finally do get constitutional carry passed since that only covers firearms…

  16. “Currently states not requiring a permit for CC do make permits available for those residents traveling to other reciprocity states…”

    Good know….and watch for.

  17. “The only one I’m familiar with (since I live next door) is Idaho. They kept their permit system in place, but simply removed the requirement to use it for Idaho residents.”

    Thanx for the additional information.

    • All bills submitted in Texas mandate the permit system staying in place to possibly facilitate reciprocity. It’s complicated somewhat but one thing I really despise is the bills moved forward does not allow for military members and/or dependents aged 18-20 a chance to exercise their rights at all and mandates a minimum age of 21 and this really sucks. All they have to do otherwise would be to show a military ID card (which to two bills kept back allows) to prove they can qualify for an LTC and therefore can exercise their rights to Constitutional Carry. Once upon a time we changed the voting laws to 18 so military members could vote so I don’t understand the intent to deny a whole group of people.

      I have no faith and confidence whatsoever in any bills now put forward will be modified to accommodate the shortcomings above prior to coming to a vote. This is absolutely wrong in not providing for our military families.

  18. Yer losing yer grip, mate.

    @Craig in IA simply answered a question I asked. To contend with @Craig over interference with Texicans, please use the correct reference to do so. Using the most recent, unrelated comment by @Craig is not the proper protocol.

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