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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.

Go deeper

38-day Texas House standoff ends after Democrats' return

Texas state Reps. Carl Sherman (center) and Rep. Ana-Maria Ramos (right). Texas House Democrats lobbied for an end to the filibuster, passage of the For The People Act and restoration of the Voting Rights Act while in D.C. this month. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

The contentious holdout that followed 50 Texas House Democrats' departure from the state came to an end on Thursday after 38 days, AP reports.

Why it matters: Democrats fled the state in July to protest GOP-led voting restrictions, flying to D.C. instead to urge federal action on voting rights. Enough returned on Thursday to resume quorum, days after the Texas Supreme Court ruled that they can be arrested if they don't attend the state Capitol.

Aug 19, 2021 - Health

Texas ban on second-trimester abortion procedure upheld by appeals court

Photo: Pete Marovich/Getty Images

Texas can ban the most common procedure used by doctors for abortions in second-trimester pregnancies, an appeals court ruled Wednesday.

Why it matters: The ruling in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals marks the first time a U.S. federal court has upheld a ban on dilation and evacuation, the standard method of abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The ban is expected to be challenged in the Supreme Court, per the Texas Tribune.

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.