HB 1911 could allow unlicensed carry if passed - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

HB 1911 could allow unlicensed carry if passed

(source: KCBD video) (source: KCBD video)

New tonight, a Texas house bill involving unlicensed carry of a firearm is making its way through different House committees in Austin.

In this bill, gun owners would still have to meet the same restrictions to obtain a license to carry: being 21 and having no felony convictions.

But having an actual license to carry would be optional.

State Representative Brooks Landgraf of Odessa is a co-author on House Bill 1911.

KCBD spoke with him via email, and he explained this bill would allow for permit-less carry for certain people in certain locations without paying a fee or taking a mandated course.

He says it doesn’t change who may legally possess a firearm.

He says you still must be 21, and must have no felony convictions.

Representative Landgraf says this allows an individual to carry, if they choose, without required training.

Although if a felon was caught illegally possessing a firearm, they would be subject to criminal prosecution.

But a group called Texas Gun Sense out of Austin is fighting this bill.

In an emailed statement tonight, Executive Director Andrea Brauer says the group believes this bill puts the public at risk.

“Without a requirement of the LTC, felons, and domestic abusers who can easily get guns without background checks from private sellers will be carrying guns in public.  Law enforcement opposes this bill, and we do too.  It's a solution in search of a problem,” Brauer said.

Here in Lubbock, Steve Farley, owner of Cornerstone Tactical Institute and former Lubbock Police Officer, says he can see both sides.

He says he does feel the bill is too restrictive.

“From what I’ve looked at it, it’s even more restrictive than if you have to, the requirements for someone who is authorized to apply for a license now...right now you can get a concealed handgun license with a conviction of a class c misdemeanor disorderly conduct without a question. But they are actually putting this in this 1911 bill that you would not be able to if you’ve been convicted of that in the last five years. Just a class c misdemeanor,” Farley said.

But Farley says he finds the training that comes along with a license is valuable for those carrying.

“I understand people having the right of being able to carry, you know if they meet certain requirements, and not having a license and stuff like that. But what the license does is it does provide some type of training for someone to get some knowledge about what the laws are in your state,” Farley said.

Representative Landgraf says “I support the right of Texans to protect themselves with the use of firearms and support House Bill 1911. I prefer the training and coursework that I took, and enjoy the benefits of licensure, including reciprocity with other states when I travel, but I understand that some Texans would rather the ability to have a permit-less carry, and I am glad that House Bill 1911 affords them that right. Additionally, I trust law enforcement to protect and defend our communities and know that they will continue to serve our state proudly.”

Meanwhile, Texas Gun Sense says it is rallying the group’s supporters to speak up against this bill.

Brauer says the bill heads to the House Calendars Committee next. 

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