Tag Archives: open-carry legislation

Open carry bill set to become state law

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.


An interesting argument on open-carry …

Many of my friends, acquaintances and colleagues seem to think I live, breathe, eat, drink and smell politics and policy … 24/7. Most of them know that I once was a full-time print journalist whose job was to stay abreast of these things.

That’s all they want to discuss with me. That and my granddaughter.

A friend and colleague, though, posed an interesting notion this week about the proposal in the Texas Legislature to allow Texans to carry firearms openly, where everyone can see them.

My friend told me he has a concealed-carry license and carries a gun, presumably where the sun doesn’t shine.

“I think open-carry is a stupid idea,” he said. “Why? Because of something happens and someone starts shooting a gun, he’s going to shoot the guy with the gun. The individual who’s carrying openly becomes a target.”

Interesting, yes?

My friend wants the open-carry legislation to become law in Texas. He and I shared our views on it and I told him I remain concerned about it, although I perhaps could change my mind on it over time as I did — more or less — with the state’s concealed-carry law.

I certainly will pray my friend’s concern about the target aspect of open-carry legislation doesn’t pan out.



Open-carry in Texas? Let's talk about this one

Gun-packing in Texas took another step toward something that makes me quite uncomfortable with passage by the state Senate of a bill allowing licensed concealed-carry permit holders to pack heat in the open.

Man, this one give me the heeby-jeebies.


Senate Bill 17 passed 20-11 in the Senate. Republicans supported it, Democrats opposed it.

It allows those who already have a concealed carry permit to strap a gun on their holster and display it in the open, kind of the way they did in the Old West days — which made the Old West a much safer place than it we have today, correct?

A four-hour debate ensued before the Senate voted for it. One of the more interesting comments came from the “dean” of the Senate, Democrat John Whitmire of Houston, who’s hardly a squishy liberal. He argued in vain for an amendment that would ban carrying openly in the State Capitol. Why? Well, he said the Criminal Justice Committee he chairs often gets unstable witnesses testifying before it and he fears someone might pull out a gun and start blazing away.


The Texas Tribune reported Whitmire’s comments this way: “Relating his experiences dealing with angry or mentally ill individuals before his committee, Whitmire said it would now be easy for such a person to grab handgun out of a holster to use it to attack bystanders.

“’It’s dead wrong … to say there’s not disturbed people in this building,’ said Whitmire, who chairs the Criminal Justice committee. ‘It’s not if it’s going to happen it’s when it’s going to happen, and you know it and I know it.’”

Sen. Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls, called Whitmire’s scenario “far-fetched.”

Interesting. OK, assume it’s far-fetched. Does that somehow justify allowing just one individual to twist off in a rage that results in gunfire?

What am I missing here?