Constitutional Carry Bill Introduced in Texas
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As we reported earlier this week, an open carry bill was proposed on the first day that bills could be filed for the 2015 session. Now, we have a competing pro-gun bill which has also been filed.
This bill, HB 164, takes things a step further and aims for constitutional carry in the Lone Star State.
The bill’s sponsor, James White, said the following in a recent radio interview:
“If the state of Vermont not only has open-carry but it has constitutional-carry, and everyone talks about how blue the state of Vermont is, surely in the big ‘red state’ of Texas, we can have open-carry.”
Texas has a solid Republican majority in the legislature as well a very pro-gun governor (based on his comments to date), so it would seem like a slam dunk that constitutional carry should pass, right?
Not so fast, despite its pro-gun reputation Texas actually has pretty restrictive carry laws compared to many other states including Arizona (constitutional carry), Vermont (constitutional carry), New Hampshire, Georgia, Florida, Alaska, and many others which all make it easier to carry a handgun than Texas.
There is also the possibility that having competing pro-gun bills on the docket could split legislators on which one they support and could result in no bill being passed, which would be a huge blow for Texas due to the fact that they only a legislative session every two years.
Governor Elect Greg Abbott has said that he will sign any open carry bill that reaches his desk.