Bill to let people carry without a permit during disasters overwhelmingly passes Texas state House

May 3, 2019 | Gun Control Laws

Republicans hold a somewhat narrow a 83-to-67 seat majority in the Texas state House, but a bill to let people carry concealed handguns without a permit during state-declared disasters passed by an overwhelming 102 to 29 vote. For 7 days after the disaster is declared, people are allowed to carry while evacuating or re-entering the disaster area. A copy of the bill is available here.

From 2001 to 2018, Texas governors declared a total of 39 states of disaster — only about 2 per year. In 92 instances, the state of disaster was extended. This means that legal gun owners are able to carry for an average of 7.3 weeks per year, and only in those parts of Texas with these declarations. On average, 37 of Texas’ 254 counties are affected by these declarations — about 15% of the state’s counties.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Dade Phelan (R), explained his position this way:

I don’t want someone to feel like they have to leave their firearms back in an unsecured home for a week or longer, and we all know how looting occurs in storms. Entire neighborhoods are empty and these people can just go shopping, and one of the things they’re looking for is firearms.



  1. Cathy McMahan

    This is for Government employees, it does not apply to flesh and blood men and women who are private State Citizens it’s for a person (see below). We the people should be able to protect ourselves at all times without being arrested for doing so. The Supreme court ruled the police have no obligation to protect us. The words “shall not” is easy to understand.

    Definition of a Person in the government code is (2) “Person” includes corporation, organization, government or governmental subdivision or agency, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, association, and any other legal entity.

  2. Ron

    I’ll bet that headline fools a lot of people, thinking Yea, Constitutional Carry at all times, you just set them up for disappointment, and will lead those to realize this is just click bait. Not very nice.

  3. Woody W Woodward

    Disaster or not, when the State of Texas requires a permit in order that a citizen might exercise his right to keep and bear arms the state is enforcing an unconstitutional law.

    United States Constitution
    Amendment II – Ratified 15 December 1791
    “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    Amendment XIV – Ratified 15 December 1791

    Section. 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    The only way the State of Texas may become in compliance with the US Constitution is to repeal every restrictive weapons law in the state statutes.