A Senate committee on Monday approved an open-carry bill that had been stripped of a House amendment seeking to ban police stops to check for concealed handgun licenses.
House Bill 910 next goes to the full Senate for consideration.
The Senate voted along party lines two months ago to approve a similar bill.
Sen. Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls, said the amendment was removed from HB 910 at the request of Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, who is chairwoman of the State Affairs Committee. The committee held a public hearing before approving the bill Monday.
HB 910 had been amended on the House floor to bar police from stopping or detaining people with a holstered handgun solely to determine if they have the required concealed handgun license.
The amendment was added on the House floor last month by Rep. Harold Dutton, D-Houston, who said police have no business stopping citizens engaged in a legal activity.
“We don’t let the police stop every car just to figure out who does and who doesn’t have a driver’s license,” Dutton said. “I think the same principle applies here.”
Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo and other critics have said the amendment would handcuff police in dealing with potentially dangerous situations.