If you missed it late last week the Texas House has approved House Bill 1927 which will now move on to the Senate for their consideration.

House Bill 1927, introduced by State Rep. Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler), deals with the right for Texans 21 and up who meet eligibility, to carry a firearm openly or concealed without a permit.

The law currently requires Texans to have a license to carry. To hold a valid license individuals must take training and safety class and pass a written exam. They must also be fingerprinted and pass a shooting test.

Representative Schaefer spoke on the house floor Thursday and said, "This bill should be called 'common sense carry' because this bill is about common, law-abiding citizens being able to carry commonly owned handguns in common public places for the common reason of personal and family protection."

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While opponents of the bill think that waiving the safety class and exams are a problem, they are also not happy with a clause in the bill that instructs business owners that they must verbally inform customers of the policy. They won't be able to just post a sign. Opposition to the bill feels this may lead to unnecessary confrontations between store owners and customers.

Under the new bill, firearms would still be prohibited outright in a number of places including the following:

  • On the grounds of a business that has an alcohol permit with at least 51% of sales coming from alcohol.
  • On the grounds of any sporting event (professional or amateur with some expectations).
  • At a correctional facility.
  • At a civil commitment facility.
  • On the grounds of a state hospital or nursing home, or on the grounds of a mental hospital unless authorized to do so.
  • At any amusement park.

KVUE reports the bill passed the house by a vote of 84 to 56 with eight Democrats voting in favor of the bill. There is a long road ahead in the Senate for the bill to become law and there are plenty of people in Austin ready to stand opposed.

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