AUSTIN, Texas - Gov. Greg Abbott announced he will sign constitutional carry into law if it were to make it to his desk following the Texas Legislature.
"I support it and I believe it should reach my desk, and we should have constitutional carry in Texas," said Abbott.
On a North Texas radio show, Abbott announced he would sign legislation giving Texans the ability to carry a handgun openly or concealed without a license or permit. Currently, 20 states have constitutional carry in place.
"It's time for Texas to adopt it too," said the Governor.
Constitutional carry isn't anything new. The bill has reappeared at every Texas legislative session for the past decade. The only difference this year is it's never made it this far in the process.
"I'm a little surprised that it moved this quickly and is now at the point where it could actually get out of Senate committee, get out of the Senate, and then go to the Governor," said Jerry Patterson, former member of the legislature.
The bill is set to have a hearing in front of a special committee Thursday. The governor's stance has received a mixed reaction and the debate on both sides continues to grow as officials figure out if it should become law.
"It just makes guns more available and more visible in public without the license, without the background check, and without the training," said Eg Scruggs with Texas Gun Sense.
People who have a criminal background will not be eligible for constitutional carry if it passes.
Scruggs says, if passed, this could feed into the growing gun violence problem. "There are so many firearms already in circulation. Why do we need more? Why do we need to make it easier for people with bad intent to have a firearm in the first place in public? It makes no sense."
With the backing of the Governor, Andy Hogue with the Travis County GOP says now is the time to pass constitutional carry. "If Governor Abbott's behind it, I think every Texas Republican should be behind it, and there should be no more reason to oppose it."