Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said Monday he was uncertain whether support exists in the Legislature for so-called "constitutional carry," which would give all Texans the right to openly carry a firearm — with or without a permit.
In a radio interview, Patrick noted that last session lawmakers passed legislation allowing the open carry of handguns, a proposal whose support he had also questioned at the start of the session.
"On constitutional carry, I’ll say the same thing: I don’t know if the votes are there," Patrick told San Antonio host Trey Ware.
Patrick did express some wariness about constitutional carry, citing law enforcement concerns. Patrick has made championing police a priority, especially after a shooting last year in Dallas that killed five officers and wounded seven others.
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"I think with all the police violence today we have in our state ... law enforcement does not like the idea of anyone being able to walk down the street with a gun and they don’t know if they have a permit or not," Patrick said.
Some conservative members of the House are already pushing for constitutional carry ahead of the 85th session, which opens Tuesday. State Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, has authored a bill proposing the practice.