Texas Has A New Outlook On Firearms
The state of Texas has a new outlook on firearms that gun activists may be quite pleased with. Apparently, there are distinct changes being made to the gun laws that will allow citizens to openly carry handguns in public.
According to the Washington Times, the turning point came on Friday, April 17, when the Texas House of Representatives voted 96-35 in favor of the open carry bill, HB910. The new bill will make it permissible for citizens to carry handguns in holsters.
Currently, citizens are required to have a license to carry firearms and must keep weapons concealed. With the approval of the new bill, such stipulations will be deemed null and void. However, citizens still would not be allowed to bring weapons into facilities where concealed carry is currently barred. So, weapons still will not be allowed inside schools, places of business, bars, and nightclubs
“It’s time to go ahead and take this next step,” said Rep. Larry Phillips, R-Sherman, the bill’s primary author. “It’s time to join the ranks of states like Massachusetts … and allow our citizens to have this right.”
“Supporters said they were upholding constitutional rights and allowing greater liberty for gun owners that was long overdue. Though Texans can already openly carry long guns, such as rifles, the state has long banned the practice for handguns,” reports Dallas News. “The bill would align Texas with 44 other states that allow some open carry of handguns.” Currently, nearly 850,000 Texans have a concealed gun license.”
Gun activists, who serve as powerful constituents with the Texas Republican Party, have been working diligently for quite sometime to surpass legislation controlled by the GOP. After a staggering number of delays, it appears the law will finally be approved.
Needless to say, the new bill has sparked quite a controversy. Of course, gun activists are thrilled but there are a number of concerns about potential issues the bill may cause, if approved. A number of Texas police chiefs have expressed opposition toward the changes. With the staggering number of shootings involving unarmed victims, many police chiefs argue changes in open carry laws will only make it more difficult to tell who should and should not be carrying a weapon.
Cedar Park Police Chief Sean Mannix, with the Legislative Committee Chair of the Texas Police Chiefs Association, recently voiced his concerns about the possible changes to come during an interview with KXAN-TV.
“It is going to be difficult for the beat cop to know who should have a gun, who shouldn’t have a gun, and frankly there are people out there who shouldn’t own guns,” Mannix said.