As we note in our own constitution, FPC believes that how a government or society regulates the right to keep and bear arms indicates how that government or society does or will approach regulation of other natural rights and personal property. Accordingly, we believe that all liberty and property interests will generally track the progress (or regression) of the right to keep and bear arms. With that in mind, we have some great news—and a great exclusive interview with Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who just last year signed the FPC priority bill HB 1927, establishing permitless carry in the second most populous state.
Despite false narratives from the corporate press and billionaire-backed anti-rights radicals, the People want to restore the right to bear (carry) for self-defense through “permitless carry” legislation, sometimes called “constitutional carry,” where states roll back some of their criminal restrictions on the right that prevent ordinary, peaceable people from exercising their fundamental rights without a government license. And constitutional carry is gaining traction across the country. So far, twenty-one states have passed some form of constitutional carry legislation and others, like Ohio, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Indiana, are considering it this session. (If you support constitutional carry, stop by FPCAction.org and tell these states to enact it today!)
To this end, FPC recently reached out to Gov. Greg Abbott to discuss what Texans are doing to defend their right to keep and bear arms, the work involved in passing constitutional carry in Texas, and how voters in other states can fight for similar policies.
FPC: Before we get into your efforts to enact constitutional carry in the State of Texas, what do Second Amendment rights mean to you personally?
Gov. Abbott: The right to bear arms is one of the most sacred in our Constitution. The Founding Fathers ensured we had the right to defend ourselves and in Texas we take that seriously. The Lone Star State was settled by brave men and women who knew that, when faced with adversity and the unknowns of the West, they would be able to defend themselves. We have always cherished our right to defend our lives, our property, and our family, and I was proud to sign constitutional carry, which allows law-abiding Texans to safely carry a firearm without a license.
FPC: Why do you believe that a constitutional carry law was necessary for Texas?
Gov. Abbott: The Second Amendment guarantees law-abiding citizens the right to keep and bear arms. However, some politicians in Washington threaten to take firearms away from law-abiding citizens, and we cannot let that happen in Texas. That is why I have signed over 20 bills to protect an individual’s Second Amendment rights.
FPC: What were the largest obstacles facing constitutional carry and how did you and your state legislature overcome them?
Gov. Abbott: Detractors speaking against constitutional carry in Texas claimed that criminals would more easily get their hands on guns and that it would make the state less safe. That couldn’t be further from the truth. During the regular session, constitutional carry was successfully passed by the state legislature with overwhelming bipartisan support, and I was proud to sign it into law.
FPC: What do you see as any remaining threats to constitutional carry or the Second Amendment in Texas?
Gov. Abbott: Even after signing over 20 pro-Second Amendment bills into law, including constitutional carry, the federal government will try to abuse its authority and prevent the progress Texas has made with gun rights. I will push back against any federal overreach and continue protecting Texans’ right to keep and bear arms.
FPC: Other than voting, how can citizens in other states best support their elected representatives to pass constitutional carry?
Gov. Abbott: Twenty-one states, including Texas, have now passed constitutional carry. Voting for candidates that support the Second Amendment is critical to passing constitutional carry bills in other states, but the grassroots getting engaged and working to bring about change during the legislative session is also important to getting a constitutional carry bill across the finish line.
We thank Gov. Abbott for taking the time to share his thoughts with the members of the FPC Grassroots Army. Anyone interested in joining FPC’s effort to advance similar legislation can #fightforward at FPCAction.org.