The Republican signed permitless carry legislation on Wednesday after it cleared the state Senate in early May by an 18-13 vote and the state House with an 84-56 vote. The law, which implements what is commonly referred to as “constitutional carry,” allows Texans over 21 to carry their firearms if they’re not precluded from owning weapons due to prior criminal history.
The second bill, which Abbott signed on Tuesday, according to the state Legislature’s webpage, exempts Texas-made suppressors, also known as silencers, from the National Firearms Act, a body of laws that in part require gun owners to register NFA items, including suppressors and short-barreled rifles, with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives before paying a $200 tax.
The legislation cleared the House in early May by a 95-51 vote and passed through the Senate by a 22-9 vote.
Both laws take effect on Sept. 1.
Abbott’s signature on the constitutional carry proposal is of little surprise as the Republican governor previously vowed to OK the legislation once it hit his desk.
“I support it, and I believe it should reach my desk, and we should have constitutional carry in Texas,” he said on April 28.
Questions were raised as the carry bill made its way through the state Legislature after law enforcement groups came out in droves to oppose it.
“It makes our job, the job of our men and women, more dangerous,” said Dallas Police Chief Garcia ahead of the vote. “Gun owners have a duty to ensure that their firearms are handled safely and a duty to know applicable laws. The licensing process is the best way to make sure this message is conveyed.”
The U.S. Concealed Carry Association, one of the largest pro-Second Amendment groups in the country, commended Abbott.
We applaud Governor Abbott for taking this important step to recognize Texans’ natural born right to self-defense. Texas now joins a growing number of states in upholding its citizens’ Constitutionally protected rights while understanding that responsibly-armed citizens can make our communities safer,” USCCA president Tim Schmidt said in a statement. “Today, the USCCA remains dedicated to educating Americans on firearm safety and their Constitutional right to carry a gun.”
Texas joined 20 other states with similar laws on the books, including Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Montana, New Hampshire, and North Dakota.
Abbott’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Washington Examiner.
Author: Jake Dima
Source: Washington Examiner: Texas adopts permitless gun carry and loosens suppressor laws