Smith County sheriff reacts to Rep. Schaefer’s bill allowing for carrying guns without a permit

Updated: Apr. 16, 2021 at 10:49 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Representative Matt Schaefer’s House Bill 1927, which would allow for guns to be carried without a permit in certain situations, passed its final hurdle in the Texas house on Friday.

The bill passed its final reading with an 87 to 58 vote. On Thursday during his presentation, Schaefer was adamant that this bill would not impact law enforcement at all.

“I would not be bring this bill to this body if I believed this would make life more difficult for our men and women in law enforcement because they have a very difficult job,” said Schaefer.

Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith agrees with Schaefer. He says that officers are prepared for any citizen to be potentially armed regardless of whether they have a license or not.

“A bad guy is going to be a bad guy, and a good guy is going to be a good guy, so from that perspective I am not concerned whatsoever,” said Smith.

Smith is glad that the bill has a chance to get passed because he says it will help protect people who they serve that live in a rural area where response times may take longer.

“15 minutes, a lot can go on in 15 minutes and we can’t be the be-all save-all for everybody. They need to be able to have the ability to help themselves in the meantime,” said Smith.

Ultimately Smith hopes citizens take the time to learn how to use the gun even if the law is passed and they don’t need a license.

“If somebody buys or purchases a firearm and plans on taking it, carrying concealed or open carry either one will get the proper training they need in order to do so,” said Smith. “But does the government need to regulate that? No, they don’t.“

The bill is now off to the Texas Senate for consideration. It will also require the governor’s signature before it can become law.

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