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Texas Gun Laws Open Carry
Texas is a traditionally rough-and-tumble state that has some of the most permissive guns laws in the country. But you may be surprised to learn that it is illegal to carry a gun openly there.
Texas is one of just seven states -- the others are Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, New York, Oklahoma and South Carolina, plus Washington, D.C. -- that does not have an open-carry law.
Gun advocates are trying to get the state legislature to pass an open-carry law, but so far it has been unable to do so.
"It's shocking that Texas, with its history of rugged individualism that the state symbolizes, doesn't allow open carry," John Pierce, a co-founder of OpenCarry.org told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Texans have been able to get licenses to carry concealed handguns in most places since 1995. However, carrying them openly remains illegal.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry doesn't shy away from his love of guns -- he admitted he takes his gun along with him on jogs, last year shooting a coyote that threatened his dog. The governor said he would consider an open-carry bill if it landed on his desk.
"The governor believes our concealed-carry law works for Texas and that a person ought to be able to carry their weapon with them anywhere in the state if they are licensed and have gone through the training," Perry's spokeswoman Allison Castle said. "He would be open to looking at any proposals lawmakers bring to the table regarding open carry. I suppose we've got what you could call a Texas open carry since you can hang your rifle in the window of your pickup truck."Tens of thousands of people have signed an on-line petition calling on the legislature to pass open carry. Here are some of the comments:
I'm a firm, long time believer in my 2nd Amendment right to keep & bear arms! I hope & pray that the open carry law comes to be in the state of Texas & I urge the powers that be in Texas to make it a law.
Criminals will not rob armed citizens if they SEE the citizen is armed.
However, opponents say open-carry is not necessary.
"If you see someone with a holster on, are you just to assume this is a law-abiding person?" said Marsha McCartney, state president of the North Texas Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. "Are you to assume this person is safe to be around your family? People don't know this. It's common sense thrown out a window."