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Texas Legislature 2021

Texas Republican leaders promised action on gun safety after the El Paso shooting. Instead, they passed permitless carry.

The Legislature passed a bill allowing Texans to carry handguns without a license or training — an expansion of gun rights so divisive Republican leaders in previous years refused to touch it.

A M&P Shield handgun, small enough to be ideal for conceal carry, in Austin on April 23, 2021.
Gov. Greg Abbott prays after a vigil at a Catholic church as El Paso Mayor Dee Margo stands in the back, Saturday, August 3, 2019, in El Paso, Texas.

Democrats’ legislation fails

“When the doors were closed, I heard lots of promises. I haven’t heard them since.”

— state Rep. Joe Moody, D-El Paso

Report Recommendations

Flanked by El Paso lawmakers, Gov. Greg Abbott talks to the press after meeting with state legislators on Wednesday, August 7, 2019. From left (in front of flag): State Rep. Mary González, D-Clint; state Sen. José Rodríguez, D-El Paso; state Rep. Joe Moody, D-El Paso; Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick; and El Paso state Reps. Cesar Blanco and Lina Ortega. Also present, not pictured: State Rep Art Fierro and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen.

Political pressure

“I can’t imagine a worse slap in the face to all those people who have advocated, to the victims and to the family of those victims.”

— state Rep. Chris Turner, D-Grand Prairie

El Paso lawmakers hopeful

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Politics State government Dan Patrick Greg Abbott Guns In Texas Texas Legislature