SAN ANTONIO, Texas (KXAN) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott held a bill signing ceremony for several bills related to guns in the state on Thursday in San Antonio.

Gov. Greg Abbott signs gun-related measures into law during a ceremony in San Antonio June 17, 2021 (Texas Governor's Office Photo)
Gov. Greg Abbott signs gun-related measures into law during a ceremony in San Antonio June 17, 2021 (Texas Governor’s Office Photo)

Abbott, along with other Texas lawmakers and representatives from the National Rifle Association, started the ceremony from Alamo Hall at 11 a.m.

“This year Texas passed seven laws protecting gun ownership rights in Texas,” Abbott said. “Last session, we actually passed 10 laws protecting gun owner rights, and so the two sessions combined — 17 laws passing gun rights in Texas. Surely there’s no state in America that’s ever done as much protecting gun rights in their state.”

Bills included in the ceremony were Senate Bills 19, 20 and 550, along with House Bills 957, 1500, 1927 and 2262. House Bill 1927, referred to as the “constitutional carry” or “permitless carry” bill, was actually signed into law by Abbott on Wednesday, and allows Texans over 21 years old to carry a handgun without a permit or prior training.

Here’s a breakdown of bills included in the ceremony:

  • Senate Bill 19: Creates a prohibition on contracts with companies that discriminate against the firearm and ammunition industry
  • Senate Bill 20: Allows hotel guests to have guns and ammunition in their rooms
  • Senate Bill 550: Permits a person to carry a gun in any type of holster
  • House Bill 957: Exempts suppressors made in Texas from federal regulations
  • House Bill 1500: Makes firearms and ammunition sellers and manufacturers essential businesses
  • House Bill 1927: Allows residents over 21 years old to carry a handgun without a permit
  • House Bill 2622: Creates a “Second Amendment Sanctuary State” in Texas

During a question-and-answer session, one reporter asked the governor about the timing of signing these bills after a recent shooting in downtown Austin that killed one and hurt 14 others. The crowd behind Abbott booed, and he remarked, “you must be from out of state,” at which the crowd cheered.

“You could say that I signed into law today some laws that protect gun rights, but today I signed documents that instilled freedom in the Lone Star State, and that’s what the Alamo represents,” Abbott said.

He went on to answer the question, saying last week he had spoken to the family of the 25-year-old man who died because of the shooting, Doug Kantor.

“The family members are heartbroken about what happened, but the family members were adamant about two things: one, do not let this crime committed by teenagers be a reason to eliminate gun rights in the United States of America. Second thing they told me is they were adamant also that they were against policies that defund police and our cities, like what happened Austin, Texas. The last thing everybody must understand, those who believe and support Second Amendment rights, we support the right of every law-abiding American to be able to have a weapon to defend themselves. That is different from teenagers unlawfully getting access to guns to commit crimes. Those are people who deserve to be behind bars for the rest of their lives.”

The group Moms Demand Action protested the permitless carry bill outside the Governor’s Mansion Thursday in Austin.