Image: State Representative Matt Schaefer, Republican of Tyler, was the primary Author of the Constitutional Carry legislation, which passed the Texas Legislature on Monday, May 24, 2021.
The Golden Hammer Staff Reports
Austin, May 24 – Both Houses of the 87th Texas Legislature adopted House Bill 1927, the Constitutional Carry legislation, which State Representative Matt Schaefer, Republican of Tyler, originally authored, earlier today on Monday, May 24, 2021. The Conference Committee Report, created to iron out differences between the House of Representatives and Senate versions of the bill, passed the Texas House on an 82 to 62 vote and the Texas Senate on a straight party-line vote of 17 to 13.
Constitutional Carry means “Constitutional Carry” if you can legally buy a gun, you can legally carry a gun without a government permission slip or license.
Senator Charles Schwertner, Republican of Georgetown, who was the Senate sponsor of the legislation, began his presentation to the Texas Senate by saying “This is a simple restoration of Texans’ constitutional right under the Second Amendment, a right of the people to keep and bear arms…I think it is a bill that is the strongest bill I’ve seen in my legislative career regarding the rights of our Second Amendment.”
Schaefer said on the House floor during debate, “The simple truth is that those who intend evil… don’t care what we do in this building…We are charged with defending the freedoms that are owed to Texans and guaranteed by the constitution…Ultimately, this bill restores a right to Texans that, to my knowledge, has not existed prior to 1871.”
Schaefer had previously argued that Constitutional Carry particularly benefits women who can enjoy the added security of carrying a handgun for protection without having to spend money on a license which would take funds away “from her children’s clothing, food, or other needs.” Schaefer told his colleagues in the House, “This bill should be called common sense carry, because it’s for personal and family protection…Under this bill, people who are prohited from possessing a handgun will still be prohibited from possessing a handgun…It’s time for Texas to join other states, which have common sense carry.”
Governor Greg Abbott has indicated that he intends to sign the legislation into law.
The main compromise in the Conference Committee Report, which both Houses of the Legislature, ultimately adopted, contains the following exceptions to Constitutional Carry:
(1) A peace officer who is acting in the lawful discharge of the officer’s official duties may disarm a person at any time the officer reasonably believes it is necessary for the protection of the person, officer, or another individual. The peace officer shall return the handgun to the person before discharging the person from the scene if the officer determines that the person is not a threat to the officer, person, or another individual and if the person has not committed a violation that results in the arrest of the person.
( 2) A peace officer who is acting in the lawful discharge of the officer’s official duties may temporarily disarm a person when the person enters a nonpublic, secure portion of a law enforcement facility, if the law enforcement agency provides a gun locker or other secure area where the peace officer can secure the person’s handgun. The peace officer shall secure the handgun in the locker or other secure area and shall return the handgun to the person immediately after the person leaves the nonpublic, secure portion of the law enforcement facility.
Constitutional Carry is a Legislative Priority of the Republican Party of Texas.