At a Texas Senate committee hearing on April 7, more than 60 witnesses spoke passionately about why the state should have open-carry laws, and Texas Law Shield hopes that passion compels the Legislature to update the state’s carry laws next year.
C.J. Grisham, president of Open Carry Texas, told the Senate Agriculture, Rural Affairs and Homeland Security Committee that “Texas law against open carry puts our gun rights on a par with anti-gun states like Illinois, California, New York, as well as the District of Columbia.”
Grisham then asked, “Is the home of the Alamo and Gonzales really content with being associated gunwise with states from which people are flocking in droves because of their gun laws only to be confronted with the reality that we aren’t as gun-friendly as our reputation would suggest?”
Texas law allows people carry a long weapon like a rifle or a shotgun, provided the firearm is not carried in a manner calculated to alarm. A failed bill in last year’s session would have allowed people with concealed handgun licenses to wear a pistol in full view.
“There are 45 other states that allow some form of open carry,” Tara Reilly Mica, a National Rifle Association lobbyist, told the panel. “Thirty of those there require no license to carry openly, and another 14 or 15 — depending on how you read the law — those require a license. We aren’t plowing any new ground here. We’re talking about changing a method of carrying, not any of the qualifications or requirements we go into acquiring a license.”
Will Open Carry finally come to Texas next year? Let us hear your forecast in the comments section below.