Rep. Schaefer explains meaning of permitless carry bill advancing to Texas Senate

Updated: Apr. 30, 2021 at 2:18 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - House Bill 1927 has passed the Texas House and Thursday passed a Senate committee advancing it to the Texas Senate floor. Rep. Matt Schaefer said in an interview Friday he is hoping his bill on permitless gun carry will be passed unchanged in the Senate.

Schaefer said the Second Amendment grants the constitutional right to bear arms for self-protection. He stressed this bill’s aim to help those law-abiding citizens who would carry a gun for self-defense.

The bill would allow vulnerable Texans, such as a woman who feels “insecure in that dark parking lot”, to carry a handgun in her pocket or purse for her own safety, according to Schaefer.

HB 1927 or the Firearm Carry Act of 2021, would allow a person 21 years or older to carry a handgun either concealed or in a holster, expanding the places where weapons are prohibited. Schaefer clarified that the bill only applies to handguns, not AR-15s, or rifles.

Schaefer stressed the bill is meant for law-abiding citizens and does not include those currently restricted by Texas law such as felons or someone convicted of family violence. He said those restrictions would not change.

He also said laws prohibiting guns in “sensitive places” like schools, courthouses, and bars will still be in place.

To those who shared concerned testimony against the bill, Schaefer urges them “to look at the 20 other states with laws similar to this” like Arizona or Vermont that have had successful results over the past years.

For those questioning the risks of untrained people carrying guns or being overpowered and the gun used against them, Schaefer recognized the potential for that to happen. He said “you cannot remove all risk from society” giving the example of driving a car.

The support for the bill coming out of the House has strong bipartisan support, according to Schaefer and he hopes it will not be amended, with the core part of the bill remaining intact.

Schaefer said he’s encouraged this will pass in the Texas Senate, and Texans’ response in support of the bill is overwhelming.

He pointed out that “the ordinary citizen is the first responder” and having the ability to defend yourself is a “God-given right.”

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