With Texas Governor-elect Greg Abbott’s (R) pledge to sign open carry legislation once it reaches his desk, and state lawmakers introducing six open carry bills since the November 4 midterm elections, it appears Texas is getting closer to the open carry of handguns.
It is already legal to openly carry long guns in the state of Texas, but handguns have to be carried concealed. Abbott and a growing number of Texas legislators want to add handguns to the open carry mix as well—and they view open carry as a wider exercise of Second Amendment rights.
Ironically, the AP reports that for all its pro-gun culture and lifestyle, Texas is “one of the few states with an outright ban on the open carry of handguns.” In fact, when state legislators pass open carry legislation and Abbott signs it into law, it will mark a roll back of a “140-year ban.”
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America suggests the reason behind the push for open carry in Texas is not gun rights but “intimidation.” Claire Elizabeth, head of Moms Demand Action’s Texas chapter, said that when someone carries openly “there is no way to know…if that person is a threat to moms and our children.”
Of the six bills that have been introduced, some would require a license to carry a handgun openly—as they require in Missouri—while at least one would allow the open carry of handguns without a license—as in Mississippi and Arizona.
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