The Lone Star State on Wednesday officially becomes the 21st – and largest – state to recognize that only the Constitution, not a permit, is needed to be able to legally carry a handgun. 

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in June signed seven pro-gun bills into law, sent to his desk by the state's Republican-controlled legislature. Among these measures was House Bill 1927, which recognizes that a state-issued license isn't required to legally carry a concealed handgun in Texas.

The move keeps the state's popular carry permit process in place for those who elect to obtain one for reciprocity purposes in other states. The current 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. 
 

Permitless carry states
Some 21 states recognize permitless carry laws, with 20 of those adopting such practices just in the past two decades. (Chart: Guns.com)

 

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. 

Banner image: A rare Smith & Wesson Model 544 Texas Sesquicentennial edition revolver in the Guns.com Vault. Just 4,782 of these cased guns were made in 1986, and it is known as the Wagon Train Commemorative among S&W collectors.  

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