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New Poll Shows Overwhelming Support in Texas for License to Carry System, Background Checks, Texas George Floyd Act

April 21, 2021

AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement after new polling, conducted by Everytown and SurveyUSA, showed overwhelming support for Texas’s License to Carry system, for background checks on all gun sales, and for the police reform measures included in the Texas George Floyd Act.

“Poll after poll clearly shows that across party lines, everyone – Democrats, Republicans, and gun owners alike – supports our License-to-Carry system, and no one wants permitless carry. That is, except for the morally and financially bankrupt gun lobby and their extremist lackeys in the legislature,” said Liz Hanks, a volunteer with the Texas chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Texans are seeing every day the toll gun violence is taking on our state, whether it’s mass shootings, gun suicide, daily gun violence, police violence, and more. We want policies that will end gun violence – not those that could make it worse.”

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. From that poll:

“By 58% to 26%, Texans oppose a bill the House approved — and sent to the Senate Friday — that would allow people to carry handguns without a permit.”

“At the same time, confidence that elected officials are doing enough to prevent mass shootings has ebbed. In early 2020, not long after Trump, Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick mused publicly about possible gun law changes in the wake of the August 2019 slaughters in El Paso and Odessa-Midland, up to 47% of Texans agreed that elected officials were doing enough to avoid repetition of the tragedies.

“This month, 38% agreed and 59% disagreed — including 86% of Black people, 65% of Hispanics and 46% of Republicans.” 

On Thursday, the Texas House of Representatives advanced HB 1927, a dangerous permitless carry bill 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. Last week, law enforcement officials joined gun safety instructors to hold a press conference urging lawmakers to oppose permitless carry. Nearly 60 faith leaders and nearly 30 veterans sent separate letters to the legislature announcing their opposition to this dangerous policy. 

More on HB 1927:

  • HB 1927 would allow a person to carry an open or concealed handgun without a permit. This would put Texas in a minority of states where it is legal to carry a concealed handgun in public without a permit and would dismantle the culture of responsible gun ownership that Texas’s License to Carry (LTC) helps promote.
  • Texas law currently requires a person to obtain a criminal background check and complete firearms safety training, including live-fire training, in order to obtain an LTC. HB 1927 would eliminate these safeguards, allowing unvetted and untrained people to carry handguns in public.
  • HB 1927 would also let people carry firearms in courthouses, sporting events, bars, polling places, and everywhere else that firearms are prohibited under state law until they are asked to leave.

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