AUSTIN, Texas — Texas will now let people carry handguns without first getting a background check and training. It's the latest and largest on a growing list of states to roll back permitting requirements for carrying guns in public.
Republican Gov. Greg Abbott held a ceremonial bill signing at the Alamo in San Antonio on Thursday.
The Texas bill eliminates the requirement to obtain a license to carry handguns if the resident is not prohibited by state or federal law from possessing a gun.
He signed the bill over the objections of law enforcement groups who say the change will endanger the public and police. It’s backed by gun rights groups including the National Rifle Association.
Tennessee, Utah, and Iowa have passed similar bills this year, and GOP-controlled legislatures in Pennsylvania and Ohio are considering similar measures.
According to Statista, there are currently 19 states that allow the permitless open carry of firearms, not including Texas.