Gov. Abbott Signs Bill Allowing Unlicensed Carrying of Handguns

The law goes into effect Sept. 1

NBC 5 News

Beginning Sept. 1, Texans will no longer need a license or training to carry a handgun.

Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday signed House Bill 1927, which allows anyone over the age of 21 to carry a handgun as long as they are not prohibited from doing so because of felony criminal convictions or other legal reasons.

With the adoption of permitless carry, Texas joins 20 other states with similar gun laws.

Opponents of the bill have pointed to incidents of gun violence in Texas including the 2018 Santa Fe High School shooting that left 10 dead and the 2019 mass shooting at an El Paso Walmart, where a gunman authorities said intended to target Mexicans killed 30 people.

Last week, one person was killed and 13 were injured in a mass shooting in downtown Austin.

Texas police chiefs and some firearm instructors who run licensing courses have also opposed the bill.

Prior to the permitless carry law, applicants for a license would have to attend a training class, pass a shooting proficiency test and exam, and undergo fingerprinting and background checks.

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