There are not enough votes in the Texas Senate to pass legislation allowing Texans to openly carry handguns, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said Tuesday.
Legalizing open carry is a high priority for many gun-rights advocates, and the issue has drawn supporters to several rallies in the 2-week-old legislative session.
But Patrick said other priorities — including tax relief for businesses and property owners, school choice and the state’s infrastructure needs — will consume much of the Senate’s attention in the 140-day session.
“Second Amendment rights are very important, but open carry has not reached the level of being prioritized at this point,” Patrick said during a Texas Tribune event Tuesday morning. “I don’t think there’s support in the Legislature to pass it.”
There have not been enough votes to send an open-carry bill to the governor in past legislative sessions, he said, and this session, “I haven’t had anyone bring it up to me.”
Texas allows rifles, shotguns and other long guns to be carried in public but is among only six states that do not allow holstered handguns. Several bills have been filed in both houses to allow open carry for those who hold a concealed handgun permit. Another bill by Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, would allow all Texans who can legally own a gun to openly carry a firearm even if they do not have a concealed gun permit.