Texas Governor Greg Abbott loosens gun laws, pushes forward with new Mexico border wall

Greg Abbott.
Greg Abbott. Photo credit: Getty Images

Legislation allowing Texans to carry handguns without any permit has been signed by the state's Governor.

Greg Abbott signed the measure into law on Wednesday (local time), making Texas the 21st US state to have some form of permitless concealed carry.

The Republican who authored the legislation, Matt Schaefer, called it "the answer" to restoring "freedoms lost".

"Laws only constrain the law-abiding. Criminals don't care," he said on Twitter. "Defending the #2A (second amendment of the US Constitution) is my duty."

The signed legislation includes compromises that address concerns of the law enforcement community, including getting rid of language that would have prevented a police officer from questioning a suspect based solely on the fact that they were carrying a gun.

Firearm regulation advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety has previously described the legislation as dangerous.

"We're putting them on notice - we'll stop at nothing to make sure Texas voters know just how much danger these representatives have put them in," spokeswoman Elizabeth Hanks said last month.

Gun control is a divisive issue in the US, which has experienced a significant number of deadly mass shootings at schools and other public venues for decades. 

According to Reader's Digest, about 40,000 US residents die each year from gun violence. 

The legislation's signing came a day after former US President Donald Trump said he'd visit the Texas-Mexico border with Abbott later this month, as both have complained about a rise in migrants crossing into the United States. 

Abbott and other Republicans have criticised Democratic President Joe Biden for rolling back Trump immigration restrictions as the number of migrants arriving at the border has reached the highest monthly levels in two decades.

The Washington Post reported on Thursday that Abbott had placed a US$250 million deposit on a border wall, after saying last week the state would build its own one.

Reuters / Newshub.