Updated on Wednesday, May 5
By Megan Wehring
Texans are one step closer to carry handguns without a permit under a bill approved by the Senate on May 5.
With a 18-13 vote, senators passed HB 1927 on Wednesday that would allow eligible Texans to carry a gun on their person, in a holster, without a license from the state. Last week, the Senate Special Committee on Constitutional Issues approved HB 1927 with a 5-2 vote before it made its way to the Senate floor.
Texans are currently required to have a license to carry a handgun, concealed or openly. In order to obtain one, they must: be 21 years old, complete a safety course, pass a proficiency demonstration and pay a license fee.
HB 1927 is moving to the House with amendments. If the amendments are approved by the House, the bill will be sent to Gov. Greg Abbott. But if the amendments are not accepted, both chambers will meet in a conference committee for discussion.
Some of the amendments would prohibit carrying a handgun while intoxicated; create a free online firearm safety course; increase penalties for felons and those convicted of family violence offense who illegally carry a handgun; and designated areas including schools, polling places and hospitals can prohibit carrying handguns on the property. It would also prevent Texans from legally carrying a handgun if that person was convicted of crimes in the past five years such as terroristic threat, deadly conduct, assault that causes bodily injury and disorderly conduct with a firearm.