Taking a Shot: Texas Again Considers Constitutional Carry

There are now 19 states that have legalized constitutional carry of firearms, but Texas still is not one of them. After years of failed attempts at passing constitutional carry, advocates are cautiously optimistic this is the year. "We've had four bills that have gotten hearings--four separate constitutional carry bills---and two of those bills have been passed out of committee," says C.J. Grisham, president of Open Carry Texas.

One of the bills still pending is House Bill 1238, by State Rep. Kyle Biedermann (R-Fredericksburg). "We support them all, but we specifically support Biedermann's bill," says Grisham.

Open carry advocates are especially optimistic because of new House Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont), a noted supporter of Second Amendment rights, after previous GOP House Speakers Joe Straus and Dennis Bonnen were both cool to constitutional carry. "We have a good Speaker who has also signed onto constitutional carry in the past, and we've had a really good relationship with Phelan, and we're excited about that," says Grisham.

Still, Grisham acknowledges a lot of uncertainty remains about getting a bill over the finish line, starting with the top of state leadership. "I haven't heard anything from Governor Abbott, I haven't heard anything from Lt. Governor Dan Patrick," he tells KTRH. "Where are the leaders in the Republican party, pushing for this to make this happen?"

"I think we have a good chance of getting a bill out of the House this year," he continues. "But I think our biggest challenge is going to be in the Senate. Really, it's up to Republicans...if this thing fails, it fails because of Republicans, and no one else."

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