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Texas Lawmakers Put Communities at Risk By Pushing a Bill to Authorize Permitless Carry

Washington, DC — Despite the continued surge in gun violence across the United States, Republicans in the Texas House of Representatives are moving ahead with a bill to authorize permitless carry. The legislation they passed, HB 1927, would allow people without any training or a background check to carry handguns in public. Giffords, the gun violence prevention group led by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, denounced the dangerous policy. 

“The Texas House of Representatives is further endangering Texas communities with the advancement of this reckless bill,” said Nico Bocour, Government Affairs Director. “Texans are already grappling with a gun violence crisis every single day, and instead of passing effective laws, Texas Republicans are eliminating protections that help prevent people who can’t pass a background check from being able to carry loaded weapons in public spaces. Texas families deserve better. It’s past time for the Texas Legislature to stop listening to the corporate gun lobby and instead focus on the policies that can truly make a difference in saving lives.” 

HB 1927 would allow citizens to carry loaded, concealed handguns in public without any background check or training whatsoever, and  significantly weaken other protections and safeguards that are currently in place. Other dangerous provisions in the bill includes allowing more people with demonstrated histories of violence to carry hidden loaded guns outside the home. Lawmakers today advanced HB 1927 despite strong law enforcement opposition to the bill. The Texas chapter of Giffords Gun Owners for Safety also sent a letter to lawmakers ahead of the vote today to voice their opposition to the legislation.

According to Giffords Law Center’s Annual Gun Law Scorecard, Texas received an F due to its extremely weak gun laws. The state’s existing gun laws are filled with gaps and loopholes that endanger community safety and make the state a leading source of guns trafficked to other states and nations across its borders. Nonetheless, existing state law at least requires people to pass a background check and complete a basic safety training course to be licensed to carry loaded concealed handguns in public places. HB 1927 would do away with these basic protections.