The Dallas Police Association is joining statewide police associations, police chiefs, and firearm safety experts to announce their collective opposition to the carry of firearms without a permit during a press conference at the Texas Capitol on Tuesday.
According to the Dallas Police Association, the press conference is in response to discussions in the halls of the legislature to dismantle the state's current License to Carry program and allow any Texan with no training in firearm safety to openly carry a pistol or rifle in public without a permit.
During the press conference, which will take place at 10 a.m. on the south steps of the State Capitol in Austin, instructors and police officers will provide personal accounts of the danger of allowing people with no training or understanding of basic gun safety rules to openly carry firearms in public, the Dallas Police Association said.
"Every police officer in Texas supports the right of our citizens to arm themselves for sport, hunting and protection," Dallas Police Association President Mike Mata said. "But as with any Constitutional right there comes great responsibility. For the safety of Texas residents, we want to make sure everyone who carries a firearm is well trained, follow basic gun safety measures and understand the importance of responsible gun usage."
The Texas GOP will also hold a press conference regarding constitutional carry on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. in at at the Texas Gun Experience, located at 1901 South Main Street in Grapevine.
According to the Texas GOP, chairman Allen West will express his support for the current constitutional carry legislation in Austin.
These two press conferences come after the Senate State Affairs Committee heard and approved several pro-gun bills on Thursday. These bills including legislation to make Texas a “Second Amendment sanctuary” and expand the locations and ways in which firearms can be carried.
The following bills were approved by the committee on Thursday:
- Senate Bill 18 would repeal the provision in the Texas Disaster Act that allows firearms to be regulated while the state is under a disaster declaration.
- Senate Bill 19 would prohibit state agencies from entering into a contract with businesses that discriminate against firearm organizations or companies.
- Senate Bill 20 would require hotels to allow guests to carry firearms to their private rooms, though the hotels could require guests to carry the weapons in a case or a concealed manner.
- Senate Bill 513, also called the “Texas Firearm Protection Act,” would make Texas a “Second Amendment sanctuary” by prohibiting state and local government entities from enforcing federal firearm regulations that are not adopted in the state.
- Senate Bill 550 would permit License to Carry holders to carry a handgun in any holster, not just a “shoulder or belt” holster.
- Senate Bill 737 would establish a training and certification program for first responders that would allow them to carry firearms in “gun-free zones” while they are actively engaging in their duties as first responders.
- Senate Bill 1253 would require the License to Carry program to remain in place if constitutional carry or carry without a permit becomes law so that individuals can use their Licenses to Carry in states where they are recognized.
The bills will now go to the chamber for a potential vote to send the legislation to the House.
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The House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee has also approved two constitutional carry bills, House Bill 1911 and House Bill 1927, that would allow most Texans to carry a handgun without a License to Carry.