Believe it or not, I’m going to keep an open mind on open carry.
The Texas House of Representatives has approved a bill that would allow licensed concealed carry holders to wear their sidearms openly. The state Senate already had approved it. Gov. Greg Abbott says he’ll sign it when it gets to his desk.
Some legislative Democrats had sought to soften the bill by allowing big-city residents to vote on whether to opt out of the state law. That was a reasonable amendment to the bill, given that urban residents have a different view of open carry legislation than rural residents. Someone in the Oak Cliff neighborhood of south Dallas thinks differently of the bill than, say, someone living in Dumas or Dalhart.
“Rural open carry is different than densely populated open carry,” state Rep. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas, said. “If you put this to a vote in big cities, I think people are going to say resoundingly no.”
The amendment failed.
Now that I am resigned to open carry legislation set to become law, I’ll respect the Legislature’s decision — even though I disagree with it.
I now will hope that open carry doesn’t become the monstrosity I feared back in 1995 when the Legislature approved concealed carry legislation.
The concealed carry bill hasn’t produced shootouts in intersections, for which I am grateful.
Time will tell on this open-carry legislation. I’m going to hope for the best.