State Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, has filed legislation (HB 375) that seeks to allow Texans to carry a firearm with or without a concealed carry permit. Such measures are commonly referred to as Constitutional Carry. Currently, ten other states allow Constitutional Carry. For much of the twentieth century Vermont was the only state to allow concealed carry without requiring a permit, but in recent years more states have looked at adopting Vermont's model.
Rep. Stickland's bill does not do away with the entire concealed weapon permitting system for Texas. Instead, citizens will still have the option to apply for and obtain a permit though it would not be required should the measure pass. Still providing the option for permitting would give Texans the ability to obtain a permit should they need to travel to other states that do require a permit to carry concealed.
Attorney Jake Posey noted that this is not the first time Constitutional Carry has been brought before the Texas Legislature for consideration. In fact, it's not even the first time Rep. Stickland has proposed the law. Last year, he submitted similar legislation but it did not pass.
Some opposition has already been raised to his latest attempt to pass Constitutional Carry in Texas, with State Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, reportedly calling the policy "unnecessary." Advocacy group Moms Demand Action also spoke out against the measure.
Rep. Stickland does have company in supporting, at the very least, making it easier for Texans to carry concealed with other proposals having been submitted to abolish the fees to apply for a concealed carry permit. It appears that gun laws will continue to be a hot topic at the Texas State House for another legislative session.