Trust Index: Did new Texas law put guns in the hands of criminals?

HOUSTON – After circulating on social media, KPRC 2 Investigates took a closer look at one section of a recently passed resolution by Harris County Commissioners. On Tuesday, Commissioners passed a resolution regarding what’s behind rising crime rates.

The resolution came as Commissioners were debating whether to voice support for a proposed bond reform bill pending in Austin. Most of the resolution, drafted by Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia, blames rising crime rates on pandemic-related issues and a massive backlog in our courts. However, one section drew the ire of some conservatives.

“Whereas, the signing of House Bill 1927 by Gov. Greg Abbott, allowing permitless open carry of firearms, has helped put guns in the hands of criminals,” the section read.

The problem with that statement is HB 1927 does not go into effect until Sept. 1. Therefore, what impact it may or may not have on crime rates is unknown. The new law allows those 21 years and older, who can legally own a firearm, to carry a handgun openly in a holster or concealed without a permit.

Trust Index (KPRC 2)

Given the new law has not gone into effect, KPRC’s trust index marks that section of the resolution as not true.

In a statement to KPRC, Commissioner Garcia wrote, “In response to a ‘felony bail reform’ (which Harris County has never enacted) Resolution from a fellow Court member, our office offered the amended Resolution in its place. With HB1927, Texas GOP state leaders have sent a clear message to criminals: feel free to carry weapons unchecked. Its signing inevitably meant more guns on the streets in the hands of violent felons and is at least partly responsible for the increase in crime being experienced across Texas.”