AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - A Constitutional Carry bill approved by the Texas House will be considered by a newly-formed Senate Committee later this week.
The Constitutional Issues Committee has set 9 a.m. Thursday, April 29, for a hearing on House Bill 1927.
It comes as Texas Republican Party Chair, Ret. Lt. Col. Allen West has urged Governor Greg Abbott and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick to support the measure.
In an interview Monday, April 26, West said, "We don't need to study the issue. Either they see it as a constitutional right or they don't. Twenty other states have said that they do see it as a constitutional right."
On Friday, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick formed the new Committee, and the Chair, Senator Charles Schwertner tweeted that he supports HB 1927.
Schwertner proposed a similar measure last week that has been referred to the Senate Administration Committee.
If approved, it would allow anyone over 21 who's passed a background check and eligible to carry a handgun without a license and training, which is required now.
A variety of Texas Police Chiefs, including Eddie Garcia of Dallas, oppose the measure.
A Senior Advisor to the Lt. Governor, Sherry Sylvester said there aren't enough votes in the full Senate to pass Constitutional Carry.
In a statement Friday, she said the Lt. Governor "will continue meeting with law enforcement, gun rights stakeholders and Senators on this issue to find consensus and the votes needed to pass."
West said, "The thing that is very disconcerting for a lot of Texas Republicans is that Constitutional Carry is one of the eight legislative priorities that were voted upon last summer by the delegates to the Texas Republican convention."
North Texas Republican Senator Drew Springer, whose Constitutional Carry bill, SB 540, has been in the State Affairs Committee since March 11, said on Twitter he would vote for HB 1927 and that he strongly supports Constitutional Carry.
Republican Senator Angela Paxton of McKinney said she also backs the bill saying, "Protecting our Constitutional rights is of the utmost importance, and to me, the Second Amendment continues to be a priority."
Senator Bob Hall of Van County said he backs HB 1927 as well.
Last week, Governor Abbott was asked if he supports House Bill 1927, and on Monday, his Press Secretary referred us to his comments.
He said, "While we are working to see what happens with legislation like that, what I am focusing on are the items that I listed as emergency items in my State of the State address."
Those emergency items didn't include Constitutional Carry, but he said he wants to make Texas a Second Amendment sanctuary state from restrictions on gun rights.
While speaking with Harris County Republicans at the Lincoln Reagan Dinner April 8, the Governor praised South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem for strongly supporting the Second Amendment.
"She signed into law a Constitutional Carry law like what the State Legislature is working on as we speak."
Many Texas Democrats oppose Constitutional Carry.
CBS 11 called and emailed a number of Republican State Senators to see if they support the bill, but we haven't heard back.
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