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Dan Patrick uncertain if 'votes are there' for constitutional carry gun bill

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said Monday he was uncertain whether support exists in the Legislature for so-called "constitutional carry," which would give all Texans the right to openly carry a firearm — with or without a permit (Cropped Photo: Dan Patrick)

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said Monday he was uncertain whether support exists in the Legislature for so-called "constitutional carry," which would give all Texans the right to openly carry a firearm — with or without a permit.

In a radio interview, Patrick noted that last session lawmakers passed legislation allowing the open carry of handguns, a proposal whose support he had also questioned at the start of the session.

"On constitutional carry, I’ll say the same thing: I don’t know if the votes are there," Patrick told San Antonio host Trey Ware.

Patrick did express some wariness about constitutional carry, citing law enforcement concerns. Patrick has made championing police a priority, especially after a shooting last year in Dallas that killed five officers and wounded seven others.

"I think with all the police violence today we have in our state … law enforcement does not like the idea of anyone being able to walk down the street with a gun and they don’t know if they have a permit or not," Patrick said.

Some conservative members of the House are already pushing for constitutional carry ahead of the 85th session, which opens Tuesday. State Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, has authored a bill proposing the practice.

This story originally appeared here: https://www.texastribune.org/2017/01/09/dan-patrick-uncertain-if-votes-are-there-constitut/

The Texas Tribune is a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them – about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

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