Fairfax, Va. - Texas Gov. Greg Abbott welcomed NRA EVP & CEO Wayne LaPierre along with NRA President Carolyn Meadows, 1st Vice President Charles Cotton, and 2nd Vice President Willes Lee to a special bill signing ceremony for House Bill 1927, NRA-backed legislation that allows law-abiding citizens to carry handguns for self-defense without a license from the state.
“In this historic place--the Alamo--one of our nation’s earliest battles for freedom was fought. And today, another has been won, as Texas becomes the 21st state to allow law-abiding gun owners to carry a firearm,” said LaPierre. “The United States Constitution sets forth this fundamental right to freedom, and it is an honor to be here as Gov. Abbott signs into law a new bill furthering these rights for all Texans. In an increasingly dangerous world, Texans--and all Americans--deserve the right to protect themselves, their loved ones and their fellow citizens.”
The ceremony took place earlier today at the Shrine of Texas Liberty - the Alamo. The governor signed seven bills total, including one that protects organizations like the NRA.
"Politicians from the federal level to the local level have threatened to take guns from law-abiding citizens — but we will not let that happen in Texas," said Gov. Abbott. "Texas will always be the leader in defending the Second Amendment, which is why we built a barrier around gun rights this session. These seven laws will protect the rights of law-abiding citizens and ensure that Texas remains a bastion of freedom. Thank you to the Texas Legislature for getting these bills to my desk."
In addition, the NRA’s efforts to protecting and expanding Second Amendment freedoms were recognized by both the lieutenant governor and the speaker. Stephen Willeford, the Texas hero and NRA instructor who put his life at risk to save lives during the Sutherland Springs shooting, was also recognized at the event.
"There is no reason a law-abiding person should have to seek government permission to carry a handgun for self-defense," said Jason Ouimet, executive director of NRA-ILA. “Passage of this measure demonstrates Texas' commitment to restoring and protecting our Second Amendment freedoms. We thank Gov. Abbott, bill author Rep. Matt Schaefer, legislative leaders, and every lawmaker who supported this landmark legislation.”
HB 1927 affirms law-abiding citizens’ right to carry a handgun for protection without a state-issued license to carry. It does not affect previously issued licenses to carry and allows those who still wish to obtain a license in order to carry in states recognizing Texas permits to do so.
Criminals who are prohibited from possessing firearms (i.e., felons, fugitives from justice, domestic abusers) and individuals committed by the courts for mental illness, are still barred from carrying guns.
The new law will take effect Sept. 1, 2021.
“Too often we watch as politicians attack their law-abiding citizens and blame them, and sometimes even punish them, for the crimes and heinous acts of others. But, not in Texas and not under Gov. Abbott, said NRA President Carolyn Meadows. “From this day forward those who follow the law will have the right to carry a firearm to protect themselves and their families without any interference from the state. Thank you, Gov. Abbott and members of the Texas state legislature for passing this common sense law."
It’s important to note, Texas has signed more pro-Second Amendment bills than any other state in the country. Gov. Abbott also signed the following NRA-supported bills into law this week;
- HB 1500 prohibits government officials from shutting down firearm-related businesses during a future disaster;
- SB 19 restricts companies who discriminate against the firearms industry from obtaining contracts with state and local governmental entities;
- SB 20 allows hotel guests to transport and store firearms in their rooms while traveling; and
- SB 550 removes the requirement that a holster for an openly-carried handgun be a belt or shoulder holster.
Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America's oldest civil rights and sportsmen's group. More than five million members strong, NRA continues to uphold the Second Amendment and advocates enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. The Association remains the nation's leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the armed services. Be sure to follow the NRA on Facebook at NRA on Facebook and Twitter @NRA.