Texas Lawmakers Approve Legislation That Would Let People Carry Handguns Without a License. In Other News, I'm Never Traveling to Texas

Illustration for article titled Texas Lawmakers Approve Legislation That Would Let People Carry Handguns Without a License. In Other News, I'm Never Traveling to Texas
Photo: Lynda M. Gonzalez-Pool (Getty Images)

You know, if I were a lawmaker in a state where multiple mass shootings have taken place this year alone, I probably wouldn’t be gung-ho about making it easier for the wrong people to get a gun. Texas Republicans will never miss an opportunity to have the wrong priorities, though, and are set to approve legislation that would let people carry a handgun without a license.

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So yeah, don’t ask me to do anything in Texas. Ever. Sorry, it’s just that self-preservation is kind of a big thing for me.

According to the Texas Tribune, the bill is set to go to Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s desk after receiving approval in the state House on Sunday, and the state Senate on Monday. Abbott has previously said he would sign the bill that would allow anyone 21 and over to carry a handgun without a license. Under current state law, people have to submit fingerprints, complete four to six hours of training, take a written test and a shooting proficiency test.

Sounds reasonable, right? Well, not if you’re a Republican lawmaker in Texas.

“This is a simple restoration of Texans’ constitutional right under the Second Amendment, a right of the people to keep and bear arms,” state Sen. Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown), said on the floor Monday. “I think it is a bill that is the strongest bill I’ve seen in my legislative career regarding the rights of our Second Amendment.”

What’s even weirder about this move is that there wasn’t widespread public support for it. In fact, it was quite the opposite, as the Texas Tribune notes that a recent poll revealed a solid majority of Texas voters don’t want this. It only goes to show that Republicans are really just doing things based on ideology, and not on what the public actually wants. Even the blue they love to talk about backing has been like “What the fuck are you guys doing?”

“The right to bear arms is not unfettered,” Kevin Lawrence, president of the Texas Municipal Police Association, said at the state Capitol last month, according to NBC News. “We disagree with the folks that push this issue. They take one half of one amendment and ignore the rest of the Constitution.”

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Some lawmakers from El Paso were particularly disheartened by the bill, which is understandable given that this was the first legislative session since the 2019 mass shooting in an El Paso Walmart where 23 people were killed.

“All [El Paso community members] wanted was something better. All they wanted was some accountability. Yet here we are,” state Rep. Joe Moody (D-El Paso) said Sunday on the House floor. “When the doors were closed, I heard lots of promises. I haven’t heard them since.”

The stylin', profilin', limousine riding, jet flying, wheelin' and dealin' nerd of The Root.

DISCUSSION

muddybud
Mud Dedoochka

I can’t decide if of this legislative shit is overconfidence on the Qpublicans part because they think they’ve stacked the courts sufficiently so shit like this will stand. Or if they can see the writing on the wall about how increasingly unpopular they are becoming and want to fuck everything up on their way out. Probably in the hopes the voters will get fed up with the inability of their replacements to fix the mess and re-elect them.

That last bit might sound silly but its how the Conservative and Liberal parties operate on the provincial level in Canada. And it works.