The governor of Texas has signed into law a bill that allows him to carry unlicensed pistols and pistols in public.
The Texas governor has signed into law a bill that allows people to bring flat guns without any permission, adhering to 20 other states that already have such measures.
Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, passed the law as part of a package that said it would transform Texas into a “Second Amendment Sanctuary” where any new federal arms restrictions will not apply.
Abbott held a ceremonial project signing at The Alamo in San Antonio on Thursday, but had already signed the bill into law Wednesday, according to the Texas legislature’s website, according to the first report from the Texas Tribune.
The law goes into effect on September 1st.
“You could say I signed into law today some laws that protect gun rights, but today I signed documents that instilled freedom in the Lone Star State,” Abbott said at Thursday’s law signing event.
“Those who believe in and support the rights of the Second Amendment, we support the right of every American respecting the law to be able to have a weapon to defend himself,” he added. Among those who joined Abbott at Thursday’s ceremony was CEO of the National Rifles Association Wayne LaPierre
🇺🇸🎉NEW BREAKS: @GovAbbott signed today the constitutional transmission supported by the NRA alongside the lieutenant governor. @DanPatrick, Speaker @DadePhelan and NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre! pic.twitter.com/MIrRdT5MUs
– NRA (@NRA) June 17, 2021
Texas law is the latest in a back-and-forth battle at the state level between those who support it tighter gun laws and those who want to break down most of the barriers to having a gun.
Armed violence killed 38,707 people in the United States in 2019, the most recent year for comprehensive statistics, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – much higher than any other developed nation.
Rep. Matt Schaefer, a Republican who wrote the bill, which gun rights advocates call a “constitutional law,” said in a written statement that the law defends the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which protects the right to bear arms, and restores all the rights of Texans who abide by the law to bear arms.
Kevin Lawrence, executive director of the Texas Municipal Police Association, the largest group representing officers in the state, said the law will be a tremendous burden for street police.
“We’ve been opposed to this project from the beginning,” Lawrence said.
He noted that while the new law adds to the list of people who are prohibited from carrying a weapon, it will now be the responsibility of the battered cops to understand if a person is prohibited from carrying a weapon.
“We shifted the weight for the cops on the road, and it made it a lot harder for them,” Lawrence said.
He added that police have much preferred an administrative verification process that determines who can carry a rifle, “rather than a cop having to understand that within 3 hours of the south side of Lubbock.”
Previously, if a person in Texas wanted to carry a concealed weapon, they had to go through a background check and undergo four to six hours of training on gun laws, de-escalation of conflict and live fire training, before get the license.
Everytown for Gun Safety, a defense group working for gun regulation in the United States, has harshly criticized the project, saying it would add to the number of gun deaths in Texas.
At the Governor’s Mansion with others @MMaestracci volunteers to leave @GovAbbott you know that #AbbottFailedTexas while he is at the Alamo signing a transport bill without permission. Starting from 9/1 people can carry firearms without background checks or training. #TXLege pic.twitter.com/CYnrhFHCe7
– Marissa Votes (@mlcg_tweet) June 17, 2021
The group, which spends millions of dollars on political races across the country, is committed to targeting Texas politicians who support the measure.