The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states: “A well regulated Militia,

The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states: “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.” The awkward wording of this provision has produced two centuries of debate on how it should be applied and what limitations are appropriate.
Texas law on carrying guns has changed dramatically in recent years. Before 1995, Texans who were not licensed peace officers were generally prohibited from carrying weapons in most circumstances. In 1995, Texas passed the “concealed carry” law, allowing Texans to carry a concealed handgun by obtaining a permit which required passing a criminal background check and completing a 4-hour gun safety and marksmanship class. Beginning in 2016, the “open carry” law allowed Texans with a permit to carry a firearm without concealing it.
A few weeks ago, legislators passed H.B. 1927, which allows Texans to carry weapons – concealed or not – without a permit of any kind. There are some restrictions. To carry a firearm, you must be at least 21 years old, not drunk, and have never been convicted of a felony or of certain serious misdemeanors. Property owners have some ability to prohibit the carrying of firearms on their property.
The politics behind this were interesting. An unusual partnership between gun control advocates and law enforcement officers opposed the bill. Conservatives were caught between their pro-gun constituents and their “back the blue” pro law enforcement constituents – two important groups for Republican legislators worried about being reelected. Ultimately, the bill passed with certain concessions to law enforcement groups.
Write our usual 2 – 5 page essay about this bill. What are the advantages and disadvantages? What ultimately happened to the bill? If you had been in the Texas Legislature, how would you have voted and why?

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