AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released a statement Friday after the Texas House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee held a hearing on several pieces of dangerous gun legislation.
Legislation including permitless carry bills that MDA says would strip the state of essential permitting and training standards for carrying handguns in public.
Passage of a permitless carry bill would allow a person to carry an open or concealed handgun without a permit. This would make Texas one of the few states where it is legal to carry a concealed handgun in public without a permit which MDA says would dismantle the culture of responsible gun ownership that Texas’s License to Carry helps promote.
"It’s honestly embarrassing that our lawmakers would even consider weakening our gun laws, especially after the week of gun violence we’ve seen across the country," said Molly Bursey, a volunteer with the Texas chapter of Moms Demand Action, originally from Boulder, CO, who testified at the hearing today. "As Texans, we’re still reeling from mass shootings in El Paso and Odessa, and our lawmakers have done nothing to prevent future tragedies. We’ll stand with responsible gun owners who know that Texas’s License To Carry system keeps us safe and against gun extremists and zealots who will stop at nothing to promote their deadly agenda of guns everywhere, for anyone, with no questions asked."
The hearing came in the wake of the mass shooting in and around Atlanta in which nine people were shot, including eight fatally, seven of whom were women, and six of whom were Asian women, and the mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado in which ten people were shot and killed.
"It’s never been more obvious that we need stronger gun laws," said Jacqueline Campos, a volunteer with Young Women's Leadership Academy’s Students Demand Action. "People deserve safety – in spas, in supermarkets and Walmarts, in our schools, on our streets, everywhere. Texas lawmakers shouldn’t even be considering legislation that would take us backward."
Texas law currently requires a person to obtain a criminal background check and complete firearms safety training, including live-fire training, in order to obtain an LTC. MDA says permitless carry would eliminate these safeguards, allowing unvetted and untrained people to carry handguns in public.