WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A bill removing permit restrictions for the open carry and concealment of handguns is headed to the desk of Governor Greg Abbott.
House and Senate lawmakers reached a deal late Sunday night on the constitutional carry law which could have sweeping implications for gun owners across the state.
Given Governor Abbott’s vocal support of the measure, legal analysts say they fully expect the bill to be signed into law in the coming days.
Ready or not, lawmakers in Austin are pulling the trigger on gun licensing.
“The most difficult thing for Texans coming up here is deciphering what gun law is come September 1, 2021,” US LawsSheild Attorney Emily Taylor said.
Martin said the compromised version of the so-called constitutional carry law is bound to confuse gun owners.
“The Matt Schaefer drafted version would have simplified gun law in Texas like we have never seen before,” Taylor said.
If signed into law, H.B. 1927 would remove all permit restrictions on the open carry and concealment of handguns across Texas.
But Martin says last minute changes made by the senate mucked up the bill.
“To really muddy the waters from the house bill, is say there are actually five misdemeanors if you have been convicted of over the past five years, you don’t get to engage in constitutional carry,” Taylor said.
Regardless of the changes, Wichita Falls Police Department Sargeant Charlie Eipper says that his officers are ready.
“I think this is just another move forward of having that freedom to carry. And for us, it’s not any more concern because we are always up trying to be alert with who we are dealing with,” Eipper said.
Along with law enforcement, businesses who rely on gun licenses sales could be impacted by the bill.
“Unfortunately it may cause some of those businesses to shut down or lose business but really not that much because they still train. People still want to learn how to use these weapons,” Eipper said.
An assumption lawmakers are relying on as permit-free carry could soon come to Texas.
Under current law, Texans must be licensed to carry handguns, whether openly or concealed. Applicants must also submit fingerprints and complete four to six hours of training along with passing a written test and shooting proficiency exam.
A list of requirements bound to disappear this September if the measure is signed into law as expected.