The Texas Senate has passed HB 1927 a permitless carry bill that was passed overwhelmingly by the House and Governor Greg Abbott has promised to sign into law. The bill needed the votes of all 18 Senate Republicans to pass and was cleared by a vote of 18-13.
That constitutional carry has finally gotten as far as it has is a result of intense pressure from Texas conservatives as well as gun rights orgs and supporters who have leaned on Senators to support the bill and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick to twist arms and get Republicans on board.
From the Texas Tribune . . .
Patrick has expressed reservations about permitless carry in the past. Ahead of the 2015 session, he said he did not think there was enough support among lawmakers or the public, a sentiment he reiterated in 2017 while citing law enforcement concerns with “anyone being able to walk down the street with a gun and they don’t know if they have a permit or not.”
With constitutional carry already the law in 20 other states (and progressing in Louisiana), Texas has been a gun rights laggard. So the pressure on Patrick and Senate Republicans to finally get something done this legislative session has been significant.
Getting all 18 GOP votes required some changes from the House bill.
The Sheriffs’ Association of Texas signaled tepid support on Wednesday when they sent a letter to Schwertner that outlined three key areas of the bill that required “critical, must-have clarifications and amendments.” Those tweaks, offered by Schwertner on the floor, strike from the bill a provision that would’ve expunged certain weapons-related charges on Texans’ criminal records, allow law enforcement officers to temporarily disarm a person who is detained and temporarily strip the permitless carry rights of people accused of certain violent crimes.
“With this language in the final version of the bill that protects law enforcement officers and the rights of law-abiding citizens, SAT supports HB 1927,” the sheriffs wrote.
We’re hearing, however, that changes the Senate made could be problematic in terms of passage in the House, but details are still emerging.
The changes the Senate made to the bill mean it will have to go back to the House. If the House accepts the changes and votes to pass the Senate version, it goes to Abbott for his signature. If the House objects to some or all of the changes, that will require a conference committee to reconcile the bills with new votes on the final product on both sides of the legislature.
As GOA Texas cautions, don’t celebrate yet. This from HB 1927’s author . . .
No celebration yet folks! We are now reviewing amendments that were added by the Senate to look for issues that would break House rules governing the purpose of HB 1927. Our first impression has us very concerned. Will share more as soon as we can. #txlege #2A #HB1927 https://t.co/K0OKBeEzMl
— Matt Schaefer (@RepMattSchaefer) May 6, 2021