HOUSTON, Texas – Over 1 million Texans are now licensed to carry a handgun. Harris County (Houston) leads the state with nearly 150,000 licensees.
A report (attached below) issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), the state agency charged with administering the Texas Handgun License, reveals that 1,017,618 licenses are currently active in the Lone Star State. Harris County represents 13.71 percent of that total with 139,563 licenses.
Since the beginning of this year, when Texas’ open carry law went into effect, about 80,000 new licenses have been issued.
One of the people who helped push through the new open carry law said he is not surprised at the rapid growth in licensees. “We couldn’t be happier but are not surprised,” said Texas Carry Executive Director Terry Holcomb, Sr. “I predicted exactly this would happen when testifying the Senate.” Holcomb is second from the left in the photo above showing Texans openly carrying handguns at the Texas GOP Convention in Dallas.
“Now, on to removing the immoral tax to exercise this God given right,” Holcomb said about the requirement to have a license to exercise a constitutionally guaranteed right. Holcomb, and many others, are pushing for Texas to join with other states who already have what is known as “Constitutional Carry,” the ability to carry a handgun openly or concealed, with or without a license.
Currently, ten states are listed as “Constitutional Carry.” Mississippi became the tenth state to re-establish constitutional carry when Governor Phil Bryant signed the enacting legislation into law, Breitbart News’ AWR Hawkins reported in April. The other constitutional states are listed as Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
The West Texas county of Borden is one of the least populated counties in Texas. However, it leads the state in per capita licensees. Of its 641 residents (2010 census) 108 (16 percent) are licensed to carry. Harris County’s 140,000 or so represents only about 3 percent of its population. Harris County is the highest populated county in the state with more than 4 million residents.
Armstrong County, located southeast of Amarillo, came in second on a per capita basis with 12.69 percent of its nearly 2,000 residents packing heat.
Rounding out the top five counties, in terms of numbers of licensees, are: Tarrant County (Fort Worth) with 71,504, Dallas County (Dallas) with 53,620, Bexar (San Antonio) with 53,855, and Montgomery County (Conroe) with 31,248. More than 11,000 residents of other states also carry Texas Handgun Licenses.
In total, 1,017,618 people are licensed to carry a handgun, concealed or openly in Texas. While Texans like to think we are number 1 at most everything, Florida actually leads the nation with 1,556,578 holders of Concealed Weapons Licenses. Florida only allows open carry in limited circumstances.