On Thursday, the Texas House of Representatives passed a bill allowing residents of the state to carry handguns without requiring a permit, as reported by USA Today.
Multiple attempts had been made to pass such a bill in previous legislative sessions, but none ever saw the bill pass through the chamber altogether. If passed into law, Texas would become the latest of about 20 states with such non-permit carrying rights.
After debate took place on the House floor for approximately five hours, House Bill 1927 passed in a roughly party-line vote of 84 to 56. The bill allows any residents of the state of Texas over the age of 21 and who is already legally allowed to possess a firearm to carry a handgun in public, without requiring a permit.
The bill was opposed by Democrats and gun control activists, who baselessly claimed that the bill would lead to more mass shootings. Democrats had hoped to advance more anti-Second Amendment legislation following the mass shooting in El Paso in 2019, which killed 23 people. But the legislature did not meet at all in the year 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, only returning to session earlier this year.