An uptick in mass shootings around the United States the past few decades has created a new national debate on gun laws, leaving Americans polarized when it comes to discussing the right to bear arms. Texas is one of the few states that already has minimal restrictions when it comes to carrying a gun in public. On May 24, Republican lawmakers pushed through a bill retiring some of the few restrictions left.

The new bill allows Texans to carry a handgun in public without a license and does not require a background check or any type of training after purchasing a handgun. Anyone over the age of 21 will be legally allowed to “carry, possess, transport, or store a firearm or other weapon.” Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has already agreed to sign this bill into Texas law once it is  approved.

The imminent change in Texas law has sparked national public outrage, as law enforcement and gun control groups have expressed their objections due to the risk this law would pose to the public. The bill’s supporters claim that it allows private citizens to better defend themselves in life-threatening situations – while it supporters say it simply enshrines a conservative interpretation of the Constitution’s right to bear arms.

President Joe Biden, who promised to reduce gun violence and increase federal restrictions on firearms while in office, has repeatedly pressed Congress to enact new gun legislation.

Texas, the second most populous state, already has over one and a half million licensed handgun carriers. This new bill, known as House Bill 1927 and commonly referred to as the “constitutional carry,” takes those “rights” to a new level.

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