AUSTIN – Tyler Representative Matt Schaefer says law-abiding citizens are at a disadvantage to criminals on the street and his bill, House Bill 1927, is a way to restore a right for 21-year-old Texans and older to be able to carry a handgun without the need for a license.
“This is about restoring the right of law-abiding citizens to carry handguns in a safe manner for their own personal protection,” Schaefer said.
Schaefer said the law would benefit women and those in domestic violence situations, who do not have time to wait for the training process to be able to defend themselves.
However, the bill has been met with concerns from law enforcement agencies and community partners who worry that it will impact public safety.
Joseph Chacon, interim chief of police in Austin, has been one of several agency heads to speak out against the bill.
“It’s reasonable and important to know that someone handling a firearm in public know how to safely handle and store a gun and have a basic awareness and the laws related to weapons and the use of deadly force,” Chacon said.
Mike Taylor, a San Antonio Firearms instructor, says he also has concerns about the bill based on his experience and said that a lot of well-intentioned people have little experience handling a gun.
“The students that I have come into my class are not very prepared and a lot of them are very nervous on the range,” Taylor said. “They have limited skills and in almost every other class I have someone loading the bullets to the magazine backward.”
According to Taylor, people need to be taught the seriousness of gun laws and how to control fear and their impulsiveness.
“The main thing about carrying a gun realistically is to have humility, have humility and have compassion for a criminal that may be doing something that’s going to get them hurt,” Taylor said.
Governor Greg Abbott has already vowed to make Texas a second amendment sanctuary state.
The bill has been heard and approved in the house and senate committee, the Texas State senate will take the bill for a vote this week. If signed by the governor it will become law in September 2021.