The Texas governor has signed a bill to take people away hidden guns without any permission, joining 20 other states that already have such measures.
Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, promulgated the law, saying it would turn Texas into a “Second Amendment sanctuary” where new federal gun restrictions will not go into effect.
Abbott made the signing of the bill for the ceremony in San Antonio’s Alamón on Friday, but already signed the bill on Wednesday, according to the Texas Legislature website, the Texas Tribune reported for the first time.
The law will take effect on September 1st.
“I can say today that I signed into law some laws that protect gun rights, but today I signed the freedom in Lone Star State,” Abbott said at a signing ceremony on Thursday.
“For those who believe and accept the rights to the Second Amendment, we accept the right of all Americans who comply with the law to have a weapon to defend themselves,” he added. Among those who joined Abbott at Thursday’s event was Wayne LaPierre, director general of the National Rifle Association.
🇺🇸🎉 BACKGROUND: @GovAbbott He signed the NRA-backed Constitutional Act today along with the lieutenant governor. @DanPatrick, Speaker @DadePhelan and NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre! pic.twitter.com/MIrRdT5MUs
– NRA (@NRA) June 17, 2021
He is the latest in a statewide back-and-forth fight among those who support Texas law stricter gun laws and those who want to remove most of the obstacles to owning a weapon.
Armed violence killed 38,707 people in 2019 in the United States, much higher than any other developed nation in the last year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Representative Matt Schaefer, a Republican who defended the gun rights bill, said in a written statement that it is a “constitutionally carried law,” which protects the right to take up arms and advocates a second amendment to the U.S. Constitution. all the rights of law-abiding Texans to bear arms.
Kevin Lawrence, executive director of the Texas Local Police Association, the largest group representing state officers, said the law will be a huge burden for street police.
“We were opposed to this bill from the beginning,” Lawrence said.
He noted that while the new law adds to the list of people who are prohibited from carrying a weapon, it will now be the responsibility of police beatings to determine whether a person is prohibited from carrying a weapon.
“We took the load to the street police and made it a lot harder for them,” Lawrence said.
The police preferred an administrative investigation process that determines who could carry a weapon, “he added, adding that police were in South Lubbock at 3am instead of figuring that out.”
Previously, if a person in Texas wanted to carry a concealed weapon, they had to examine their background and do four to five hours of training before they could get a gun law, escalate conflict, and get a live fire training license.
The U.S. arms advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety, which is working on tougher regulations, has strongly criticized the bill, saying it will add to the number of guns killed in Texas.
With others at the Governor’s Palace @MomsDemand to leave volunteers @GovAbbott know that #AbbottFailedTexas Signing an unauthorized take-away bill while in Alamo. Starting with 9/1 people, they can carry firearms without any background or training. #TXLege pic.twitter.com/CYnrhFHCe7
– Marissa Votes (@mlcg_tweet) June 17, 2021
The group, which spends millions of dollars on the country’s political races, pledged to take action against Texas politicians who supported the measure.