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Texas Lawmakers Advance Permitless Carry Legislation, Ignoring Law Enforcement, Gun Safety Instructors, Faith Leaders, and More; Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Respond

April 15, 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 statements after 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. The bill also would allow people to carry firearms in places where state law prohibits firearms, including K-12 schools, bars, sporting events, polling places, hospitals, and more, until asked to leave.

“Apparently, our lawmakers would rather listen to gun extremists than to the broad coalition of law enforcement officers, faith leaders, veterans like me, and Republicans and Democrats alike – who all agree that our License to Carry system is the bedrock of Texas’s culture of responsible gun ownership, and that training is absolutely vital,” said Persis Beaven, a veteran and volunteer with the Texas chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Today’s vote just proves that our representatives’ promises to support law enforcement were empty words.”

“It’s bad enough that this bill allows people to carry guns in public without a background check or a shred of safety training,” said Jesus Ramos, a volunteer leader with Students Demand Action in El Paso. “But that wasn’t extreme enough for our lawmakers. If this bill passes, someone could buy a gun from a stranger online with no questions asked, carry it in public with no training, and walk into my school, into a bar, into a Longhorns game without breaking any laws. For lawmakers who spend so much time trumpeting their support for the rule of law – why don’t they?”

“Faith leaders across Texas have spoken out against permitless carry because we know that it is our job to promote life,” said Rev. Deanna Hollas, Gun Violence Prevention Ministry Coordinator, Presbyterian Peace Fellowship and Member of the Everytown Interfaith Advisory Council.. “We’re deeply concerned that this dangerous bill will increase the number of funerals we have to preach, the number of families we have to console, and the number of holes in our congregations and in our hearts.” 

On Tuesday, 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 make Texas one of the few 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 K-12 schools, bars, polling places, and everywhere else that firearms are prohibited under state law until they are asked to leave.

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