May 24, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Texas will likely allow people to carry handguns without a license

Handgun holsters during an open carry rally in Austin, Texas in 2016
Handgun holsters during an open carry rally in Austin, Texas in 2016. Photo: Erich Schlegel/Getty Images

The Texas lawmakers approved a bill Monday that would allow people 21 and older to carry handguns without a license, or the accompanying background check and training, the Associated Press reports.

Why it matters: Once signed, Texas will be the 19th state to allow permitless carry, per the Austin American Statesman.

  • The bill now heads to Gov. Greg Abbot's desk for signing, which he has indicated he will do.
  • Texas already has some of the loosest gun restrictions in the country.

The big picture: This would apply provided the owner "as long as they don’t have violent crime convictions or some other legal prohibition in their background," though it's not clear how this will be determined without background checks currently part of the licensing process.

Of note: Gun control groups have opposed the measure, pointing to Texas' history of mass shootings, per AP.

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