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Houston Chronicle Editorial Board: “Dan Patrick, kill Texas’ ‘permitless carry’ bill before it kills us”

April 23, 2021

In a powerful editorial, the Houston Chronicle urged Texas lawmakers, including Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, to reject dangerous permitless carry bills that would strip the state of essential permitting and training standards for carrying handguns in public. The bill would allow people to carry loaded handguns in public without a background check or any safety training, dismantling the culture of responsible gun ownership that Texas’s License to Carry (LTC) helps promote. The House-passed version of permitless carry, HB 1927, would also allow people to carry firearms in places where state law prohibits firearms, including bars, sporting events, polling places, hospitals, and more, until asked to leave. From the editorial:

“Untrained gun owners pose untold risk to everyone around them, including their own families.

“Firearms instructor Lon Krieger summed up the situation best at a press conference last week to oppose the bill:

“What’s the downside of being trained?” he said. “There’s a downside of people walking around with dangerous weapons who don’t know how to use them.”

“Patrick has shown a willingness in the past to stand up to the NRA and has indicated support for expanded background checks. Beyond the politics, he understands how dangerous this legislation would be for Texas and that it couldn’t come at a worse time.

“We urge sheriffs and chiefs to keep the pressure on. We implore senators who oppose unlicensed gun ownership in Texas to stand strong, and for Patrick to stand with them: kill this bill, lieutenant governor, before it kills us.”

New polling, released this week by Everytown for Gun Safety, showed overwhelming support for Texas’s License to Carry system and for expanding background checks, which Lieutenant Governor Patrick indicated his support for. Findings from the poll, which sampled 810 adults in Texas who voted in the November 2020 general election, include:

  • 81% of Texans, including 79% of gun owning households and 79% of Republicans, support requiring a permit to carry a handgun in public in Texas.
  • 78% of Texans, including 78% of gun owning households and 73% of Republicans, support requiring all gun buyers to first pass a criminal background check.
  • 67% of Texans support banning police from using deadly force unless a person poses an imminent threat of causing death or serious injury.
  • 79% of Texans support requiring officers to intervene to prevent the use of excessive force by another officer and creating principles for officers to use to de-escalate situations.

This new poll follows a The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler poll which also showed wide opposition to dangerous permitless carry legislation being considered by the Texas legislature and that Texans believe that their elected officials aren’t doing enough to prevent mass shootings.

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