A new bill is making its way through the Texas state legislature, and its enactment could lead to substantial changes to state gun laws. House Bill 1927 proposes to remove the licensing requirement for Texans to carry handguns, as long as the state or federal law doesn’t prohibit them from possessing a gun. As this bill moves through the Texas House and Senate, it’s worth considering how this legislation could impact Texans, especially those facing assault or domestic violence charges.
Eliminating Handgun Licensing Requirements in Texas
Under current Texas law, individuals need to obtain a license to carry a handgun openly or concealed. The application process typically entails submitting fingerprints, participating in training, passing a written exam, and demonstrating shooting proficiency. At least 20 other states have enacted what has been called “constitutional carry” laws, and some Texas lawmakers are hoping to follow their lead. House Bill 1927, also known as the Firearm Carry Act of 2021, aims to end licensing requirements for Texans to carry handguns. While members of the Senate requested that those convicted of certain offenses be excluded from permitless carry, House members are pushing back.
Impact on Texas Criminal Laws
Texas law enforcement has voiced concern over this bill, urging lawmakers to exclude those with previous convictions from permitless carry. Senators recently approved an amendment “barring permitless carry from people convicted in the past five years of making a terroristic threat, deadly conduct, assault that causes bodily injury or disorderly conduct with a firearm.” Additionally, the Senate voted to approve enhanced criminal penalties for felons in possession of illegal weapons as well as for people with family violence convictions. However, many House members announced that they intended to reject these amendments, sending the bill behind closed doors for further negotiations.
How a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
If you’ve been convicted of an assault or domestic offense and you’ve lost your right to bear arms, you could face additional criminal penalties for unlawful possession of a firearm. As this bill moves forward, it will be interesting to see how it will impact Texas gun laws, particularly for those currently prohibited from possessing firearms. Therefore, it’s always in your best interest to contact a skilled criminal defense lawyer as soon as you suspect you’ll be charged with an assault, domestic violence, or unlawful possession of a firearm offense. Together, you and your attorney can discuss your situation and determine the most strategic path forward.
If you or a loved one is currently facing assault or domestic violence charges in the Pearland, Brazoria County, or Houston area, call the Law Offices of Keith G. Allen, PLLC today at (832) 230-0075 to schedule a free consultation with a trusted criminal defense lawyer.