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Texas Senate approves dangerous new gun law that opponents believe threatens public safety

Texas Senate approves dangerous new gun law that opponents believe threatens public safety

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Despite the epic amount of gun violence that America has experienced in the recent past, the 2nd Amendment-worshiping lunatics in the Texas Senate approved a bill today that would allow citizens in its state to carry handguns without a permit or any certification that they are qualified to own and use a weapon.

While a clear 84% majority of Americans support universal background checks and other commonsense gun regulations — with even 77% of Republicans in favor of these types of restrictions on gun ownership in recent polling — the paternalistic GOP lawmakers in the Lone Star State think that they know better about what is good for its populace, or at least for the bottom line of arms manufacturers who likely contribute substantially to their political campaigns.

The bill now moves to the desk of Texas Governor Greg Abbott who has previously said he would sign the bill legalizing “permitless carry” as an affirmation of 2nd Amendment rights.

“We should have ‘constitutional carry’ in Texas,” Abbott told a Texas radio host last month.

The Texas State Senator who sponsored the bill also cited his own interpretation of the Consitution while discussing the bill on the floor of the legislature.

“This is a simple restoration of Texans’ constitutional right under the Second Amendment, a right of the people to keep and bear arms,” Senator Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, said earlier today. “I think it is a bill that is the strongest bill I’ve seen in my legislative career regarding the rights of our Second Amendment.”

According to an article in The Texas Tribune:

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“Under current state law, Texans must generally be licensed to carry handguns openly or concealed. Applicants must submit fingerprints, complete four to six hours of training and pass a written exam and a shooting proficiency test. Texas does not require a license to openly carry a rifle in public.”

Opponents of the bill cited the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll that found that a majority of Texas voters thought that permitless carry was a bad idea and questioned the wisdom of expanding gun rights after the deadly shootings in El Paso and the Midland-Odessa area left 30 people dead.

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“’All [El Paso community members] wanted was something better. All they wanted was some accountability. Yet here we are,’ state Rep. Joe Moody, an El Paso Democrat, told colleagues on the floor Sunday. ‘When the doors were closed, I heard lots of promises. I haven’t heard them since,’” The Texas Tribune reports.

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Gun regulation activists on social media were incensed by the news of the bills’ passage.

Texas conservatives may not be any more gun-crazy than deluded right-wing activists in other states, but the failure of moderate Republicans to prevent this dangerous weakening of gun regulations makes the passage of this legislation a conspicuous sign that the takeover of the GOP by extremists and conspiracy theorists in thrall to Donald Trump is complete and that no rational public policy will likely emerge from the GOP — which surely now stands for the Gun Owners Party — anytime in the near future.

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Original reporting by Sami Sparber at The Texas Tribune.

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