Texas Senate approves bill allowing people to carry handguns without a license

Republican lawmakers said the law would not allow people who are prohibited from owning a gun to open carry.

Updated: May 6, 2021 - 12:11pm

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The Texas Senate has approve a bill that would allow people in the state to carry handguns without a license, which if enacted would make the state the largest the country to have a so-called permit-less carry law.

The legislation passed the GOP-controlled chamberWednesday in an 18-13 vote, along party lines, according to The Hill. The bill now heads to the Republican-majority House. Should it pass the House, it will go to GOP Gov. Greg Abbott.

The bill will allow adults 21 and older to carry a handgun in public, so long as it is in its holster.

Twenty other U.S. states have permit-less carry laws.

Some Texas Democrats the bill, if enacted, will allow more criminals to walk the streets with guns, including state Sen. Roland Gutierrez, who said criminals and vigilantes would "rise up."

A sponsor of the bill, Republican state Sen. Charles Schwertner, pointed out the bill does not apply to criminals or others who can not possess a firearm.

"Nothing in this bill regarding possession is changed," he said