Abbott signs bill making concealed carry without permits legal in Texas

Texas Gov. Greg AbbottGreg AbbottWhere election review efforts stand across the US The Memo: Trump's Arizona embarrassment sharpens questions for GOP Texas limits business with Ben & Jerry's over Israel move MORE (R) signed a bill into law on Wednesday making concealed carry without permits legal in the state. 

He said at a signing ceremony that the new law will help turn Texas into a “Second Amendment sanctuary,” The Texas Tribune reported.

We will always protect #2A rights in the Lone Star State,” Abbott said in a tweet on Thursday.

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The bill will allow those who aren’t barred by state or federal law from having a gun to carry one concealed with no license. 

The law also expands who is barred from carrying a weapon, allows police to question a person based solely on them carrying a gun, increases penalties for those carrying illegally and makes the Texas Department of Public Safety offer free online gun safety courses, according to the Tribune. 

The law, set to go into effect on Sept. 1, puts Texas alongside 20 other states with similar concealed carry laws.

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Kevin Lawrence, executive director of the Texas Municipal Police Association, is against the law, saying it makes it harder for police to figure out if someone is allowed to be carrying a gun, Reuters reported

"The permitless carry bill will cause more violence and loss," Rep. Veronica EscobarVeronica EscobarThree Democrats call for investigation into Sidney Powell to move 'swiftly' Court rulings put Biden in tough spot with Trump's 'Remain in Mexico' policy Supreme Court ruling on Texas abortion law rattles lawmakers MORE (D-Texas) said in a statement to the Tribune. "Despite overwhelming support for common-sense gun violence prevention legislation like universal background checks, Texas Republicans, led by a cowardly governor, are more interested in groveling for the gun lobby’s attention than they are in preventing gun violence and honoring victims and survivors in El Paso and across Texas."

The author of the bill, state Rep. Matt Schaefer (R), says it protects Texans' Second Amendment rights.