Days after the Texas House passed a landmark bill that would allow permitless carry of handguns, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said that there currently aren’t enough votes in the Republican-led Senate to pass the measure.
“If we have the votes to pass a permitless carry bill off the Senate floor, I will move it,” Patrick said in a statement. “At this point, we don’t have the votes on the floor to pass it.”
Patrick added that he would meet with representatives of law enforcement groups that oppose no-permit carry as well as groups such as the National Rifle Association (NRA) and Gun Owners of America that back the measure in order “to see if we can find a path that a majority of senators will vote to pass.”
Senate bills in Texas typically need 18 votes from the 31-member chamber to be considered on the floor and so the no-permit carry bill would need all 18 Republican senators—or some Democrat votes—to proceed.
Passing constitutional carry while maintaining licensing as optional for reciprocity purposes is one of the legislative priorities of the Texas GOP.
“Anyone who legally possesses a handgun should be able to carry it, open or concealed, without a permit,” the Texas Republican Party said in a statement.
“Criminals do not follow the law. The permit requirement disarms their victims. Based on evidence from other states, a permit requirement does not make people safer,” the GOP stated.
Opponents of the measure, including Democrats and some law enforcement officers, have instead called for stricter gun control measures.
“We are looking at all of these bills as they are working their way through the Capitol,” Abbott told reporters when asked about House Bill 1927. “While we are working to see what happens with legislation like that, what I am focusing on are the items that I listed as emergency items.”
“We urge all Texans to contact your State Senators to be sure they know that their constituents want them to prioritize this policy.”
“It would be unthinkable for the Senate to let this bill die after the House has taken such strong and decisive action on it,” Malone told the Texas Tribune.