U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- Constitutional Carry, in the form of HB1927, is coming close to passage in the Texas legislature.
Constitutional Carry has been pushed for several years in Texas, only to be held back by a combination of Democrats and a few Republicans. 2021 is different. One of the big differences is the sheer number of states which have restored the right to carry a handgun in most public places without special permission from the government. Earlier in 2021, four states restored Constitutional Carry, joining 16 others already in the Constitutional Carry club.
States in the East and West, North and South, Atlantic and Pacific, with large rural areas and large metropolitan areas had all restored Constitutional Carry without any statistically meaningful problems.
The Republican Party in Texas, with Allen West in charge, enthusiastically embraced Constitutional Carry in 2021, along with Dade Phelan, Speaker of the House. With considerable pressure from the conservative base, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and Governor Greg Abbott both got on board.
HB 1927 passed the House with a large margin on April 15. Then, with considerable help by Lt. Governor Patrick, and several amendments, it passed the Senate with the minimum number of votes to overcome a filibuster. It took all 18 Republicans on the Senate to do so.
The amendments were a problem. Democrats said they violated the requirement for a law to be on one subject. The House sent the bill to the conference committee.
On 21 May, 2021, the Chairman of the Conference Committee, and sponsor of the HB 1927, Matt Schaefer, announced they have reached an agreement. From Representative Matt Schaefer:
The House and Senate conferees have reached an agreement on House Bill 1927, a critical benchmark before this bill reaches Gov. Abbott’s desk. By working together, the House and Senate will send Gov. Abbott the strongest Second Amendment legislation in Texas history, and protect the right of law-abiding Texans to carry a handgun as they exercise their God-given right to self-defense and the defense of their families. Speaker Dade Phelan has been rock-solid every step of the way as House Bill 1927 has progressed, and I am grateful for his leadership and the bipartisan coalition who supported House Bill 1927.
The agreed-upon bill is expected to be presented to both the Senate and House on May 24th or 25th. The Texas legislature adjourns on Midnight, May 31. There is enough time to pass the bill, but not much extra.
Governor Abbot has said he will sign the bill when it reaches his desk.
Constitutional Carry is a reasonable approximation of the state of firearms law when the Second Amendment was ratified, in 1791. At that time, no permit was required to carry weapons, concealed or openly, by the federal government or any state.
Nineteen states have restored Constitutional Carry since 2003. Vermont has always had Constitutional Carry since before statehood in 1791. From 1777 to 1791, Vermont was an independent state. The 20 states which have Constitutional Carry, or where Constitutional Carry will soon go into effect are:
Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
If HB 1927 is signed into law by Governor Abbot, Texas will become the 21st state in the Constitutional Carry club. The legislature in Louisiana has passed a Constitutional Carry bill by veto-proof margins in Louisiana, but Governor Bel Edwards has said he will veto it.
If either Texas or Louisiana join the Constitutional Carry club, over 50% of the land area of the United States will be governed by jurisdictions where the right to Constitutional Carry is enforced.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.