House Bill 1927 passed with an 87 to 58 majority. The bill gives those legally permitted to possess a firearm to carry a gun in public without carrying the corresponding paperwork.
“This bill should be called common sense carry because this bill is about common law-abiding citizens being able to carry commonly owned handguns in common public places for the common reason of personal and family protection. Under this bill, people who are prohibited from possessing a handgun will still be prohibited from possessing a handgun. Sensitive places where the unlicensed carry of a handgun is prohibited will still be prohibited. But if you are a law-abiding citizen age 21 or older that can legally possess a handgun you will be able to carry that handgun in a holster in public places where it is not otherwise prohibited,” said State Rep. Matt Schaefer.
Despite the majority vote, there were staunch opponents of the bill in the Texas State House. “Members, there are many things that are wrong with our gun laws, but in my opinion, at least one thing that is not wrong with them is our current system of permitting for carrying a handgun, and one reason that system works is the training requirement that exists, and another reason, in my view, is that there is, in essence, a background check if you will. Before you get your license, you have to meet certain eligibility criteria,” said State Rep. John Turner.
Following up on Rep. Turner’s sentiment, Irving Police Department Chief Jeff Spivey said, “There are safety issues and responsibility that go along with carrying a firearm. If you’re just going to allow anyone and everyone to have that opportunity, to walk around in public without any training, without any demonstrable abilities to use a firearm, to know when they can and can’t use a firearm, I think you’re creating an opportunity to have something bad happen to someone.”