The Texas House passed legislation Thursday to abolish the state’s requirement that law-abiding citizens acquire a permit from the state before exercising their right to bear arms.

CBS DFW reported that the House passed the legislation, House Bill 1927, on a vote of 84 to 56.

HB 1927 is sponsored by State Rep. Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler), who listened as State Rep. Joe Moody (D-El Paso) suggested that a permitless approach helps criminals.

Schaefer responded, “Criminals don’t care about our gun laws and so they have an advantage over the vulnerable.”

The Texas Tribune noted that Schaefer suggested the permit requirement creates a situation where self-defense can be cost prohibitive. He told a story of two women going for a walk, one of whom had the resources and time to do what was necessary to get a handgun permit, and the other did not. Both lives were valuable, yet one woman was armed and able to feel safe as she walked, and the other was not.

“Nearly two dozen” Democrat attempts to alter Schaefer’s legislation failed to garner the votes necessary to pass.

Currently, 20 states do not require residents to acquire a permit before carrying a concealed handgun for self-defense: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming. (NOTE: Tennessee’s constitutional carry law goes into effect July 1, 2021.)

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