Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday signed a popular measure to recognize that a state-issued license isn't required to legally carry a concealed handgun in the Lone Star State.
The Republican governor approved House Bill 1927 this week, with the new law set to take effect in September. It had been approved last month in its final form by a 17-13 vote in the state Senate and an 82-62 vote in the state House.
"Laws only constrain the law-abiding," said state Rep. Matt Schaefer, the sponsor of the bill, in response to Abbott's actions. "Criminals don’t care."
The move keeps the state's long-running carry permit process in place for those who elect to obtain one for reciprocity purposes in other states. The fee for Texas Concealed Handgun License is $40 on both initial applications as well as renewals and requires six hours of training by one of 3,800 state-approved firearms instructors. As of the end of 2020, there were 1,626,242 active licenses in Texas, according to statistics from the Texas Department of Public Safety.
"HB 1927 does not affect previously issued Licenses to Carry and allows those who still wish to obtain a license in order to carry in states recognizing Texas permits to do so," explains the NRA on the law. "It also does not allow anyone prohibited under state or federal law from possessing a firearm to carry a firearm."
Other states recognizing the right of law-abiding individuals to carry a concealed handgun without a government-issued permit include Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming, almost all of which adopted such laws in the past 20 years.