Maine and Texas Advance Gun Carry Bills

Maine and Texas Advance Gun Carry Bills
photo from cnycentral.com

Last month we told you about two carry bills, one in Maine and one in Texas. Both bills are now headed to their respective governors to be signed into law.

A bill allowing Mainers to carry concealed weapons without a permit passed the state House of Representatives by a vote of 83 to 62. The new law will also allow residents to carry a weapon in a vehicle, according to this story on TownHall.com. The bill passed through the Senate on May 28 and now goes to Gov. Paul LePage, who has indicated he will sign it. UPDATE: An amendment restricting the privileges of the legislation only to those over 21 was added by the House. A vote in the Senate on the bill, including the amendment, was tabled Tuesday, June 2.

According to the story, Maine (a "shall-issue" state) has issued over 36,000 concealed weapons permits, including permits to out-of-state residents. It is already legal to openly carry a firearm in the state of Maine, which isn't so in the state of Texas...but that should change shortly.

The Texas House and Senate have officially passed the state's open carry bill ( HB 910 ). Once it is signed by Gov. Greg Abbott (as it will presumably be considering he sent out this tweet just after the vote)

Maine and Texas Advance Gun Carry Bills

Texans with concealed handgun licenses will be allowed to openly carry a handgun in a holster on their belt, or in a shoulder holster. An amendment that would have prohibited police officers from randomly stopping an individual openly carrying a firearm to check their license was removed by the Conference Committee, according to this story on Breitbart.com.

Concealed carry has been legal in Texas since 1995, but open carry has been banned for the past 140 years as a result of a post-Civil War prohibition meant to disarm former Confederate soldiers and freed slaves. Once signed, the new law will change all that as of January 1, 2016.

Go here for the conference report and the final version of the bill.