Police do not support Texas ‘constitutional carry’ bill, police chief says

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Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo stressed Tuesday that police departments across the nation do not support a Texas gun bill that would allow adults to carry a handgun without having a background check, license and training.

“From chiefs to sheriffs to police labor, we do not support permit-less, open carry” measures, said Acevedo, the former Houston Police chief.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has said he would sign the bill into law. Supporters of the bill call it “constitutional carry” and argue that requiring a permit or license impedes their constitutional right to bear arms. 

“We do not support it. It is not needed … So he’s either going to support [police] in word and deed, or only in word” Acevedo said.

Abbott’s office did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

In an interview with CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith,” Acevedo added that “most responsible gun owners” don’t  support permit-less, open carry as well.

Host Shepard Smith also asked Acevedo about declining police recruitment numbers and about the mass exodus of officers leaving the force. Almost a quarter of the officers in Minneapolis have resigned or have gone on leave since George Floyd’s death, according to a report from Minneapolis-based outlet The Center Square. Police officials in Seattle say they’re losing officers at a “record pace” with at least 249 officers leaving last year. 

Acevedo told Smith that policing is “in flux” right now, but that departments should use it as an opportunity to move the profession forward. 

“It’s a tough time to be a police officer in our nation, but I think it’s also a time where there’s a lot of great opportunity with what happened last year with George Floyd,” Acevedo said. “There’s good opportunity to be the next generation, the change agents that our community wants,” Acevedo said.

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