'Constitutional carry' bill in Texas will make officers' jobs 'incredibly tough,' union says

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Texas House of Representatives issued the final stamp of approval on Friday for the 'constitutional carry' bill to advance to the Texas Senate.

The bill, also known as House Bill 1927, would allow Texans 21 years or older to carry a handgun in public without a license.

READ MORE: Texas House OKs bill that would allow gun carry without license
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The law would allow Texans to carry a handgun without a license. But several law enforcement agencies and unions from Houston and across the state oppose this.

The Houston Police Officers' Union along with other law enforcement agencies spoke out against the bill, saying it would make officers' jobs harder and fear safety concerns.

"We feel it would be a danger to a general public, and we're against it," said Douglas Griffith, the president of the Houston Police Officers' Union. "We wouldn't know who we're stopping. Who is going to have a weapon? Who is not going to have a weapon? Who is trained proficient in that weapon and who's not? I think it's very important when you're talking about people having something that could take someone's life that they have to be trained in that."

Meanwhile, Fort Bend County Precinct 3 Constable Chad Norvell has been vocal about his support for a similar bill, called House Bill 1911, and said he fully supports 'constitutional carry' in Texas.

"Currently in Texas, you can carry a weapon, obviously in your house," Norvell said. "Most people are not aware you can carry one in your car without having a license. You can carry a rifle, or a shotgun, anywhere in Texas. It's almost pointless at this point to say, 'Well, you can't carry if you walk outside on your lawn without [a permit.] It's something that should be permitted to Texans."

The bill will advance to the State Senate next week. If it passes, there will still be restrictions against carrying a gun in certain establishments.

READ ALSO: Some Americans were asked about gun control measures. Here's what they said

Eyewitness News spoke with George Abrego and Javier Garcia on Friday, the co-owners of HTX Tactical.

They're in support of the bill and believe if it passes, it would help people who currently can't afford to take the training and required classes to obtain a license. However, the duo emphasized that continued education and training is important for all firearm owners.

"Like anything you do in life, [it takes] education and training," Garcia said. "You have to continue to do that."

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