The Texas State House on Thursday had its new bill, HB 1927, pass the first hurdle to becoming law. The bill would allow for both open and concealed carry without needing a licence.
The bill in its nascent form has been introduced by State Rep. Matt Schaefer (R) and would completely eliminate the requirement for people to get a license in order to carry a firearm within the state of TX, as long as there are no other legal impediments, such as a previous criminal record.
According to the Texas Tribune, Schaefer said when introducing the bill, "This bill should be called common-sense carry." He brought up the point that people who don't have the resources (especially the time) to get a gun license shouldn't be discriminated against when it comes to their right to defend themselves.
State Rep Joe Moody (D) instantly proposed a change the the bill so severe that it would have rendered the whole project irrelevant. The change was voted down 79 to 63, however. More than 20 other proposed changes to the bill met the same fate at this early stage.
Moody commented on the State House Floor the following, remembering the 2019 El Paso mass shooting, which left 23 people dead.
“After those shootings ... there were roundtable discussions and stakeholder meetings and a lot of promises — and I was hopeful, members, even knowing the political realities, I was hopeful."
"Members, I’m so tired of doing nothing. … When are we going to do something?"
Other changes to the bill which were summarily voted out were State Rep. Jeff Cason (R)'s suggestion that the minimum age for carrying a firearm be lowered from 21 to 18, and State Rep. Rafael Anchia (D)'s suggestion that "violent white supremacist extremist[s], as defined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security" be barred from carrying.
"I think it’s always the right time to be talking about denouncing white supremacists and preventing guns from falling into their hands," stated Anchia.