GUEST VIEW: Carrying forward with “Constitutional Carry”

As a life-long gun owner and as a proud Constitutionalist, I have always been a strong advocate for the protection of our Second Amendment rights here in Texas. These principles have also guided me during my time as your state representative.

Our right to bear arms is enshrined in the Constitution, and as a state representative, I took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, meaning I took an oath to uphold and defend the constitutionally given right of law-abiding citizens to bear arms, and I take that oath very seriously.

Because of this, I’m proud to report that this last week, the Texas House of Representatives took a big step in better protecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Texans by passing House Bill 1927 to ease restrictions related to carrying handguns in Texas. You’ve probably heard this bill referred to as our “Constitutional Carry” bill.

I proudly co-authored and voted for this bill.

House Bill 1927, filed by Representative Matt Schaefer, reduces barriers to the free exercise of Texans’ constitutional right to bear arms and defend their lives and property by making it legal for individuals who are 21 years of age or older, and who can legally possess a firearm, to carry a handgun without first paying fees to the government to obtain a license.

I do want to take some time to reassure you that this bill would not allow bad actors to put the lives of innocent people in danger. This bill still prohibits those who are not legally allowed to own or carry a firearm from carrying a handgun, and it explicitly expands the offenses for criminals who carry a handgun. As well, this bill still does not allow those under the legal age to obtain and carry a firearm, and it does not affect the areas where a firearm is already prohibited from being carried, including schools, hospitals, and correctional facilities. Lastly, this bill applies only to handguns: Texans have never been required to obtain a permit to carry rifles or shotguns

This bill does not expand who can carry a handgun or where you can carry a handgun, and it doesn’t make it easier for dangerous individuals to acquire a firearm. HB 1927 merely expands how law-abiding citizens can legally carry a handgun in Texas.

As well, this bill still allows the option to get a handgun license if you so choose. There are several reasons for this including allowing you to be able to carry your handgun in other states that have not yet passed similar constitutional carry legislation, and with a Texas LTC you would not be required to complete a federal background check when purchasing a firearm.

Many of you have been asking for this reform for years, and I’m grateful to work on this. I believe this bill is a smart and safe way to allow law-abiding Texans to exercise their constitutionally-protected right to bear arms. I’m proud of the work of the Texas House on this issue, and I’m hopeful that it will soon be passed into law so that Texans can better protect themselves and their families without having to jump through unnecessary bureaucratic hoops.

God bless Texas,

State Representative Brooks Landgraf