Following Hurricane Harvey, Texans w/o LTC couldn't take weapons with them

With less than a two weeks left in the Texas legislative session, bills are being heard quickly in committee. Rep. Phelan (R-Beaumont) authored HB1177, would protect those being forced to evacuate their homes in times of disaster, forced to grab what they can and leave in a rescue vehicle. 

The bill would protect a person, eligible to purchase and possess a handgun but without a LTC to have that handgun on their person for a limited amount of time (48 hours or longer IF the governor extends the time frame at that point) until they have access to their own vehicle or are able to return to their home.

Many had that experience, during last year's hurricane or the floods in Houston that followed.

It’s now made it to the Senate Committee on State Affairs, where multiple people testified, including Senator Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe).

CJ Grisham with Open Carry Texas pointed out that currently, 36 states allow people the right to bear arms without a license to carry and 16 allow it to happen 100 percent of the time after an emergency.

"In other words, Texas is one of only 14 states that requires a government permission slip before law-abiding citizens can exercise their right to self-defense, even in a disaster declaration," said Grisham.

Meanwhile, criminals carry anytime without a license.

Grisham said he's concerned there are areas of Houston still recovering two years after Hurricane Harvey, not just 48 hours later.

"It's a shame that under this bill we must first lose everything before we gain an essential, fundamental and inalienable right to self-defense," said Grisham.

He said this bill shouldn't even be necessary.

The House passed the "as filed" version of Rep. Phelan's bill by a huge majority-(Yes 102 Nay 29) but the Senate is making changes. 

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