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article imageTexas legislature legalizes open carry of handguns

By Alex Allen     May 31, 2015 in Politics
Austin - Gun owners in the state of Texas could soon be able to open carry their handguns, which is something that has previously been illegal in the usually gun-friendly state.
Texas has always been a very conservative state and a very gun-friendly state. When Guns & Ammo magazine ranked the states based on their gun rights in 2013, Texas was towards the top of the list at number 15; and with a score of 45 out of a possible 50 points, they ranked just one point lower than Montana, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, the number 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th states, respectively. Still, Texas is one of the very few states that completely bans the open carry of handguns. That could all change very soon, however, with House Bill 910 now headed to Governor Greg Abbott's desk.
The bill passed through the state legislature on Friday with overwhelming support. The House sent it through with a 102-43 vote and the Senate approved, 20-11. The vote was mostly partisan, with most Republicans voting yes and most Democrats voting no. Of course, the bill is not officially law just yet as it has to get the governor's signature, but Governor Abbott has been very vocal about his support for open carry so he is not expected to veto it. In fact, Abbott sent out a tweet Friday that read, "Open Carry just passed in both the Texas House & Senate. Next destination: My Pen."
According to current state law, Texans can carry their shotguns and rifles openly but if they wish to carry their handguns, they must carry them concealed, which requires a permit. Activists have been pointing this out in recent years and trying to get the laws changed with numerous open carry events. Earlier this year, activists gathered outside the state capitol in support of a bill that would have not only legalized the open carry of handguns but would have gotten rid of concealed carry permits as well.
More about Texas Open Carry, Open Carry, Guns Laws, Gun rights
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