Washington D.C., May 5, 2021 / 10:00 am
Catholic bishops in Texas have voiced opposition to a bill allowing certain adults to carry handguns without permits, which they say “advances a culture of violence.”
House Bill 1927 would allow residents of the Lone Star State to carry handguns without permits if they are at least 21 years old and if they are not “otherwise prohibited by state or federal law from possessing the firearm.” Texas law currently requires a license to carry handguns.
The bill has passed the state House and could be voted on by the state Senate next week, according to the Texas Tribune.
In an open letter to Texas lawmakers and Catholics, the state’s Catholic bishops said they are “alarmed at the aggressive calls for the unfettered presence of weapons carried into public places."
“Too often we have seen how guns are used in the public forum by someone acting in anger,” they stated. “Instead of relying on law enforcement and our justice system, people with guns in public areas can become the aggrieved, the jury and the judge, in swift and violent sequence.”
The bill, they said, “fails to reflect a commitment to life or a vision of hope and instead accomplishes nothing more than to make it easier for potentially violent persons to act in anger or delusion. This will cause people to feel more threatened and more afraid.”
The letter was signed by the ordinaries of the state’s 15 Catholic dioceses, as well as Bishop Stephen Lopes of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter; the ordinariate has jurisdiction over a Houston Catholic parish of the Anglican Use.
Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas) signaled his support for the bill during a recent radio interview on WBAP.