Shannon Watts Moves Goalposts: Open Carry in TX a Victory for Gun Control

AP Photo/Elaine Thompson
AP/Elaine Thompson

On February 17, Breitbart News reported that Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America lost when Texas Governor Greg Abbot used his State of the State Address to make clear that Texas will be the 45th state in the country to allow the open carry of handguns.

Open carry in Texas is something Moms Demand Action has been fighting against for more than year. And as recently as February 13, Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts described open carry as an “unsafe” behavior promoted by the NRA and claimed it “is bad for America.”

Watts wrote:

The safety of our children and families in our communities is paramount, and open carry is not a step in the right direction. We refuse to have to consider whether people who are open carrying around our children and families are members of law enforcement sworn to protect us, or if they are activists making a political statement, or dangerous criminals we should run from.

She even quoted former Governor Rick Perry (R) favorably because he said he wasn’t “all that fond” of open carry.

Yet, just hours after Governor Abbott made clear that Texas will allow open carry, Watts moved the goalposts and suggested Moms Demand Action still hadn’t lost because the bill Abbott will sign has yet to land on his desk and, even when it does, “it will likely require permitting.”

So, is Watts saying she now supports open carry with a permit? If so, that seems like a seismic shift from her declaration that “open carry is bad for America” just days ago.

The odds are better that she’s just reacting this way in order to keep from adding Governor Abbott’s announcement to the growing stack of rebuttals Moms Demand Action has received from stores like Kroger, Fred Meyer, Harris Teeter, and Staples.

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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