Freedom Expands in Texas

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posted on September 3, 2021
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Texans recently saw a dozen NRA-backed bills go into effect, most notable among them being constitutional carry.

These pro-freedom measures went into effect Sept. 1, and would not have come to fruition were it not for the tireless work of pro-Second Amendment legislators in the Lone Star State, the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (ILA), and dedicated NRA members and other activists that support our right to keep and bear arms.

“This year we have seen unprecedented movement to restore our rights in Texas and demonstrate that the Lone Star State is the leader in the fight to protect and preserve our firearm freedoms,” wrote NRA-ILA.

As mentioned, the biggest win is the enactment of constitutional carry in Texas, which removes the statutory restriction prohibiting gun owners from carrying a handgun without a license. With this bill becoming law, Texas joined four other states—Iowa, Montana, Tennessee and Utah—that enacted some form of permitless carry just this year, bringing the total number of constitutional carry states to 21. This number is even more astounding considering that in 1990, only 16 states allowed concealed carry with or without a permit.

“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 permitless carry for law-abiding gun owners,” said Wayne LaPierre, NRA executive vice president, at the time of the bill’s signing by Gov. Greg Abbott (R). “In an increasingly dangerous world, Texans—and all American—deserve the right to protect themselves, their loved ones and their fellow citizens.”

Other bills that were passed and just went into effect include S.B. 19, which discourages banks, payment processors, and other financial-services providers from discriminating against members of the firearm and ammunition industries, an underhanded tactic long employed by well-connected, anti-gun elites.

H.B. 1500, meanwhile, establishes that firearm and ammunition manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, suppliers, and retailers are essential businesses that shall not be prohibited by state or local officials from operating during a declared disaster or emergency. This is a more than welcome protection in Texas, where local politicians across the state failed to designate firearms businesses as essential, and shut them down during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic .

Fortunately, the good news just keeps coming. Other laws include protections for the ability of hotel guests to store lawfully owned firearms and ammunition in their rooms, the elimination of the requirement that a holster for an openly carried handgun be a shoulder or belt holster only, and multiple other pro-Second Amendment laws.

The new laws listed above—all of which are thankfully now in effect—are a combination of efforts to restore our rights protected under the Second Amendment, as well as a response to recent overreaching actions from anti-freedom politicians who look for any rationale to restrict your rights.

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