Texas Senators Advance Permitless Carry Legislation, Ignoring Law Enforcement, Gun Safety Instructors, Faith Leaders, and More; Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Respond
Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action Volunteers Are Available for Interviews
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 newly-formed Texas Senate Committee on Constitutional Issues 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 bars, sporting events, polling places, hospitals, and more, until asked to leave. The bill now moves to the full Senate.
“First of all, let’s be clear – this sham ‘committee’ was thrown together at the last minute for the sole purpose of advancing this dangerous policy,” said Molly Bursey, a volunteer with the Texas chapter of Moms Demand Action. “It’s not a committee on constitutional affairs so much as it’s a committee hell-bent on destroying Texas’s culture of responsible gun ownership. And with their votes today, that’s exactly what they’re trying to do.”
“81% of Texas voters—including law enforcement, faith leaders, veterans, gun safety instructors, medical professionals, and more—support our permitting system,” said Jesus Ramos, a volunteer leader with Students Demand Action in El Paso. “But apparently, lawmakers who voted for permitless carry don’t care about any of those folks. With their votes, they’ve told us that they’d rather appeal to gun extremists than live up to their promises to support law enforcement. I’d tell them to go get jobs at NRA HQ, because that’s where their extremism belongs, but the morally and financially bankrupt NRA might not have two nickels to rub together.”
“Jesus said, ‘I came that you might have life and have it abundantly,’” said Rev. Miles R. Brandon, II, Vicar, St. Julian of Norwich Episcopal Church, Austin, TX. “Gun violence diminishes the abundance that God brings into our lives and world. States that have weakened their permitting systems have seen on average an 11% increase in handgun homicide rates. You can not promote abundant living if you also allow people to carry deadly weapons untrained and unlicensed.”
Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers from as far away as Sutherland Springs and El Paso drove to Austin to testify in today’s hearing. Before the House vote, law enforcement officials joined gun safety instructors to hold a press conference urging lawmakers to oppose permitless carry. On Tuesday, doctors, law enforcement officials, leaders in the fight against domestic violence, and other advocates called on their senators to reject permitless carry, as have the editorial boards of the Houston Chronicle, Dallas Morning News, and San Antonio Express-News. Poll after poll has shown widespread opposition to permitless carry legislation and support for requiring permits to carry guns in public. 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 bars, polling places, sporting events, and everywhere else that firearms are prohibited under state law until they are asked to leave.