Legal Issues

In Texas, Gov-Elect Abbott Would Sign Open-Carry Bill

Open Carry

One of the great oddities of state gun laws has been Texas’s longtime prohibition on open carry. In the past, the generally gun-friendly Lone Star State aligned with California, the District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, New York, and South Carolina as jurisdictions that don’t allow open carrying of handguns. But that may change in a couple of months.

Texas’ Governor-elect Greg Abbott supported open carry of firearms throughout his campaign, and as the state’s next governor, he said he would sign an open-carry bill if the legislature sends him one.

“Texas, as I understand it, is one of only about seven or so states in the United States of America that does not have open carry. If open carry is good enough for Massachusetts, it’s good enough for the state of Texas,” Abbott said.

“If an open carry bill is passed by the House and Senate and arrives at my desk, I will sign it into law,” he said.

And there’s already a bill filed to that effect. On the first day Texas lawmakers could file bills for the upcoming legislative session, Rep. Daniel Flynn has proposed an open-carry measure.

Abbott’s campaign website was clear about his general position on gun rights. As Texas attorney general, Abbott championed the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision District of Columbia v. Heller that struck down a handgun ban and protected an individual’s right to bear arms. He was also one of the first attorneys general in America to challenge the Obama Administration’s efforts to use the United Nations to regulate guns in the United States.

Now he’ll have a chance to make good on a campaign promise that will endear him to most gun owners in Texas.

The Texas governor is sworn in on the third Tuesday of January every four years. In 2015, that’s January 20.

On Nov. 4, Abbott crushed Fort Worth Democrat Wendy Davis in the governor’s race 59.3% to 38.9%.

MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports http://www.myfoxaustin.com/clip/10823463/open-carry-in-texas

Are you for or opposed to open carry? Tell us in the comment section.

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Comments (40)

  1. I also live in Texas and have been carrying concealed for many years. I support open carry and would love the legal option to do so. I certainly wouldn’t open carry most of the time however, because you lose the element of surprise in case you really need to present and use your weapon. I guess this is the opposite position where some feel that open carry prevents crime because a potential miscreant will be reluctant to act out if they see a gun. Even though, carrying a slim handgun in an IWB will probably not be that noticeable except for people who are close to you. Most of us (even those of us who endeavor to live in condition yellow) don’t “see” details of everything around us. If I was walking along with a 1911, an M&P Shield or XD-S with a dark shirt, many people wouldn’t realize I was armed until they got quite close to me.

  2. I have a Texas CHL and I probably will not open carry, but I will carry more often, because I will not get into trouble if my Gun is seen or makes a profile.

    1. Sec. 46.035. UNLAWFUL CARRYING OF HANDGUN BY LICENSE
      HOLDER. (a) A license holder commits an offense if the license
      holder carries a handgun on or about the license holder’s person
      under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code,
      and intentionally [fails to conceal the handgun] displays the
      handgun in plain view of another person in a public place in a
      manner calculated to cause alarm and not pursuant to a justified use
      of force or threat of force as described in Chapter 9.

      Fails to conceal was stricken from the statute in 2013.

  3. Many senior citizens in Texas have their CHL because they know they are at a great disadvantage in any physical altercation requiring self defense. Reflexes tend to slow with age and conditions such as osteoarthritis make drawing a firearm from a concealment holster more difficult when seconds count. Open carry provides additional safety in two ways: (1) the firearm is much more quickly accessible, and (2) the open advertisement that the person is armed and presumed trained should convince a perpetrator to avoid a confrontation.

  4. I have a TX CHL. I support either open or concealed carry by CHL holders. I would likely conceal, but in the long hot summer months, maybe not!

  5. I believe that open carry should be my license also just like the CHL. It would just be the holders choice as to whether he carried concealed or open carry. that way he would still have the training and the state required background check.

  6. I also have a CHL but would have the option to carry either way. this is a WIN-WIN for all Texans. I feel that open or concealed carriers should have the hand gun training and also pass the same requirements as I had to go through to get my CHL. After all, some guns were meant to be seen..

  7. It is good that those who carry would have a choice of either open or concealed carry as it helps confuse potential predators. Not all predators are smart but all smart predators human or otherwise only attack those that at least appear to be weaker than they and turn shy of those who look like they might make prey out of them.
    When the evidence to predators that guns are clearly prevalent in an environment or situation is in the seeing of some, it would remind them that they can’t be very certain about what others might be available that they do not see. I have always said that women should always be allowed firearms carry as they are otherwise the most targeted.

  8. Everyboby knows and says it is ‘Unconstitutional’ to infringe or prohibit the carry of any sort of reasonably useful weapon whether brass knuckles, billies, any sort of knife, shotguns or rifles of any barrel length the user feels good for a defensive application. etc. I really don’t myself consider full auto or excessive pattern spread shotguns to be very reasonable as they spray too widely and indiscriminately. What the statement ‘Unconstitutional’ is not really understood to mean is that all present firearms laws are unlawful period and one has the same choice to comply with them as you would a robber or would-be murderer, rapist.
    People feel that if it is ‘law’ they must comply with it, but the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution was the law before it was unlawfully changed to allow unlawful and unconstitutional gun control laws that we will have to eventually eliminate the hard way..

    1. I consider full-autos and slug barrel shotguns to be very reasonable. Not that I will ever own one but I do not believe the guvmint should be restricting my access to them nor should I have to pay a higher price to get them. As long as I can lawfully posess firearms IAW the Constitution the guvmint and/or liberals should not be concerned what I own as it is none of their damn business.

  9. Has anyone in Texas read the CONSTITUTION
    No state has to give you the right to bear arms
    All of Government shall not infringe on that right

  10. While I also prefer Conceal and Carry to open carry the only reason I don’t carry open is because I know it makes some people feel uncomfortable. So for me C&C is a compromise I can live with that sustains my 2nd Amendment Rights and also accounts for people who feel uncomfortable knowing someone is carrying a firearm. However, I live in Colorado where we have both C&C and Open Carry. The one advantage of open carry is that when people see you carrying it does make them “uncomfortable” and that would include would be perpetrators of a crime. Assuming carrying concealed deters crime better than carrying open I believe is a misnomer. When you walk into any firearms store the people behind the counter generally open carry. You don’t read too many stories about people robbing a firearms dealer in their store or anyone shooting up a police department. So I would have to respectfully disagree with your assumption. If you walked into a bank with an intent to rob it and there were 10 customers in there open carrying, I think you might have second or third thoughts about trying to rob that particular bank. There is also nothing that says a state can’t require the same training for open carry as they do for conceal and carry and perhaps that would be a good idea in any event. Firearm safety is important and we should train as many people as possible to handle firearms safely.

    1. @ Doug Prato.

      Yeah, nothing gives that special “kumbaya” moment, like going into a Texas Truckers Food Station, and “all-eyes” train on you and everybody, with the exception of the people behind the counter. Go into “weapons-hot” mode.

    2. Very good post here. I share the same sentiments. I will continue to carry concealed until a situaiton occurs that causes me to decide to carry open. I want that personal independent discretion to do so without fear of legal problems. The bottom line is to provide WE THE PEOPLE the abilty to exercise our rights in the most lawful manner(s) possible.

  11. Man, nothing but good news from this post! I have always thought it was odd that of all states, Texas didnt allow open carry! The best part of that video is where they went and got people who actually know what they are talking about and were able to give good counsel to the reporter.

  12. Texas is the epitomy of a United States Constitution friendly state. With our border to Mexico and the traffickers, cartels and human smugglers invading our lands, Texans embrace the ability to protect themselves, their families, one another and our beloved state from INVADERS. While many states have become drug friendly with marijuana becoming legal and chosing to “feed their heads”, we in Texas chose to eliminate drugs and drug importers from our state and feed a reliable weapons platform with as many rounds as we care to. Like the commercial said…Texas, it’s like a whole other Country. Governor Abbott is a visionary, a forward thinking leader and a Patriot. He had and will continue to have my vote. GOD BLESS TEXAS!

  13. Davis had some good ideas, but the firearm issue in America is hot hot hot. Good for Abbot, hope he is sent something to sign.

  14. I have a Texas CHL and am a Republican voter. I am 100% for CONCEALED carry. Concealed carry should be allowed everywhere for those who are licensed to do so. However I am firmly against open carry. Open Carry doesn’t make sense to me. Why would you want potential criminals to know you are armed and where your weapon is? Texas CHL process requires extensive background checks as well as written and weapon proficiency tests. Open carry would require none of that and as a CHL holder, it would even have me in an uneasy mindset. It seems to me that people that are for open carry just want to show off their guns and show people how “Badass” they are. Leave open carry to LEOs. Concealed carry works because no one know who’s armed. What do insurgents fear more? A platoon of Marines or the sniper team that’s covering the platoon of Marines? Concealed will always be better. What are the benefits of open carry? In a state that allows concealed carry and issues a CHL to ANY citizen that meets the criteria, open carry doesn’t make sense. Open carry would be for any person that doesn’t meet the CHL requirements but still wants to carry a firearm. If you’re denied a CHL, there is a good reason. I welcome all reply and discussion. If there is a good reason for it, I will absolutely change my tune… I’ve just never heard a good enough argument to sway me yet.

    1. You’re entitled to your opinion as is everyone but if it comes to a vote please don’t vote line a RINO and ruin it for those who think differently from you.

    2. I’m glad that you have a CCL and an opinion. I would defend your opinion while at the same time I am opposed to it. Do you agree with the 2nd Amendment? Why would you deny MY choice of how I wish to carry?

    3. I had sent you the response below but somehow it did not get included in replys to you but wound up elsewhere so I am including it again under a reply to you directly in hopes you will get it this time.

      While I also prefer Conceal and Carry to open carry the only reason I don’t carry open is because I know it makes some people feel uncomfortable. So for me C&C is a compromise I can live with that sustains my 2nd Amendment Rights and also accounts for people who feel uncomfortable knowing someone is carrying a firearm. However, I live in Colorado where we have both C&C and Open Carry. The one advantage of open carry is that when people see you carrying it does make them “uncomfortable” and that would include would be perpetrators of a crime. Assuming carrying concealed deters crime better than carrying open I believe is a misnomer. When you walk into any firearms store the people behind the counter generally open carry. You don’t read too many stories about people robbing a firearms dealer in their store or anyone shooting up a police department. So I would have to respectfully disagree with your assumption. If you walked into a bank with an intent to rob it and there were 10 customers in there open carrying, I think you might have second or third thoughts about trying to rob that particular bank. There is also nothing that says a state can’t require the same training for open carry as they do for conceal and carry and perhaps that would be a good idea in any event. Firearm safety is important and we should train as many people as possible to handle firearms safely.

    4. You Use cops as an example of people who can open carry, but then claim that criminals will ambush you specifically if they see you are carrying. But that almost literally never happens, to cops or open carriers. If you want to CC then CC, If you want to OC then OC. DO NOT write laws or pressure others to carry guns how you like only, let them decide what is best for them. Thankfully I live in a state where OC is legal with a permit, but I kind of CC (i just throw on a shirt that covers my gun,) but if I reached up or bent over and my gun shows/ pops out, I don’t have to worry about getting in trouble for something because I live in a state with CC only. I can also draw MUCH faster the way I carry compared to having it tucked in under a shirt in my waistband.

  15. This is more important than defending guns. It is about defending the sanctity of the Constitution, our defense against tyranny.

  16. Texas sounds like a great place to live! I’m all for open carry as it seems more comfortable. But concealed carry would work too. Here in CA they banned both so as to end our ability to bear arms. Now a judge has deemed the law enforcement crowds strict limits on who can carry concealed to be unconstitutional and limiting our 2nd Amendment rights. So soon CA should allow concealed carry permits.

    I remember a woman from Texas with a story about how she couldn’t carry her gun in her purse in Texas and so left it in her car. Then a madman drove his car into the restaurant and started shooting people. If she had her gun she could have stopped him. But no it was against the law at the time and so her parents were killed.

    This kind of scenario will end when people are free to defend themselves. Hearing that Texas protects students with armed guards and gun toting people means terrorist will not bother with Texas. But you can believe that terrorists will strike in states that are easy targets! So Texas will be a shining example of what a free country called America is supposed to be like, from coast to coast.

    1. I am with you on your thoughts. It seems the criminals and terrorist only want to strike where there is no chance of people fighting back. They are in essence Cowards. And tho our liberal law officials have other views it seem’s the people have had enough and want a chance to protect themselves and thus give them and their family’s a decent chance at surviving an ordeal. The people have had enough of this liberal bull shit and therefore came to the poles and crossed party lines to send a message to both party’s you will serve for the people of the people.

    2. Make no mistake, Texas IS a great place to raise your family, to thrive and flourish. It IS God’s Country. Why do you think Mexicans are pouring through our border (I mean besides the fact the Federal Government is inept)? Not to get to America. To get to Texas! It is a bi-lingual state. Darn near every sign or placard is written in English AND Spanish. I would surmise, if terrorists come to Texas, they better understand what the term “crossfire” pertains to. Damn near every person I know either owns a firearm, carries a firearm or sells firearms for a living. Texas and Texans welcome y’all! Come and visit. You’ll NEVER want to leave. GOD BLESS TEXAS!

    3. I am also a Texas CHL holder. I do support open carry for those who want to do it, but I will continued concealed. I am concerned that we will see more 30-06 signs go up everywhere if Open Carry is passed. Right now, I rarely see them.

  17. Yes because it is their way of life and a frequent occurrence. Those of us who support 2nd Amendment Rights realize that the anti gunners get confused with the facts and the truth. They are not interested in either but simply want to impose their will on those of us who do know the facts and the truth. Unfortunately, they still haven’t figured it out that if push comes to shove we are the ones with the firearms not them. Read something today that was a Gallup poll indicating that 42% of American FAMILIES own at least one firearm. There are something like 312 million people in the USA so at a minimum that is slightly over 130 million people who have firearms in this country and that only assumes one firearm for one person in the family. So tell me how many people and how many firearms can you imagine that really exist in this Country. You always hear the old FBI figure of 100 million but I think based on the current poll it far exceeds that number and that there are probably more than the 300 million firearms they estimate in the Country. Considering there are only 5 to 6 million military and law enforcement people in the entire Country, does anyone think most of those folks are going to want to go door to door collecting our firearms? I have been told by friends in law enforcement “no way” and in many States the County Sheriffs who are elected have taken a stand against many of the frivolous gun control laws proposed by Democrats in particular. After this last election the anti gun movement should be effectively dead for a while at least.

  18. Well, yes – exactly. But why is it that nobody ever seems to notice that in a country in which the average citizen walks around armed to the teeth, people open-carry AR-15s on the street everywhere, there is almost no crime and no shootings and no mass shootings? If guns caused all these horrible crimes they are blamed for in this country, Israel would be awash in daily shootings and gun incidents. Somehow that basic fact never sees to come up. Probably because it is politically inconvenient for somebody. By the way, every school is guarded with armed guards, and every school outing is accompanied by a couple of young ladies with AR-15s. The kids seem to be OK with it.

  19. The only thing you left out is that their situation if quite a bit different than ours and for them that is a way of life. In order to survive almost everyone is armed in Israel because of the Arabs. While we have our own security issues they pall by comparison to a Nation that many people would like to wiped from the face of the earth and try continually in real time to do so.

  20. Well in Europe in many places nudity is socially acceptable – for example on beaches. (We are such prudes here) Some people show it off and some don’t. I am all in favor of rights for individuals. But having taste and public behavior require some modicum of maturity and judgement. Each person has to chose for themselves. But the rights should be there and people should be allowed to make their own choices. Some people, given the options, do chose childish behavior sometimes.

  21. I fully support open carry as I totally support Constitutional carry. I really don’t believe in permits. I think the decision to carry open or concealed should be left up to individual personal discretion and others, regardless of their personal preference(s), should respect each individual’s decision. I say full speed ahead on open carry!

  22. Actually they did and do have a point and it was simply to show the anti-gunners that they could exercise their 2nd Amendment Rights as long as they stayed within the legal parameters which they did for their particular State. Not my cup of tea but I support their right to do it.

  23. Have you seen all the young ladies open-carrying AR-15s (fully auto) on the streets in Israel? No fear or panic, no crime. Very civilized young ladies. (Wish I could post the pictures but you can find them on web sites if you look)

  24. I live in Colorado where we have both open and conceal and carry. I have a conceal and carry permit and never carry open. In my entire time in Colorado which is approximately 8 years I have only seen 3 or 4 people open carry in public places. I do support open carry although I do think those folks who have tried to make a point in the past and have open carried AR15’s where allowed in public places are a little over the top for me. One of the reasons I carry concealed is because I know it does make some people uncomfortable. I personally have no problem with those who choose to carry handguns as open carry. And while I understand why those other folks who carried rifles open did so, I don’t believe that is or should be the norm.

    1. Yeah, I agree… Why do people need to carry a rifle into a store??? Where are you going to put it in a restaurant??? It’s just a sign of a person that doesn’t understand the point of the 2nd…

      It’s like that in Montana, I have seen 2 people open carry in 3 years… I just conceal, no point in showing off

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