Looks like Rep. George Lavender (R, District 1, “A” grade from the NRA) has filed HB 2756 “related to the authority of a person who has a license to carry a handgun to openly carry the handgun.”
I’ve given the bill text a read and it looks like what’s been done is go through the Texas law books and cross out or repeal portions of the law pertained to concealed carry. For example: “who possesses a [
concealed] handgun”. I’m not sure anything was added, I unfortunately don’t have the time right now to do a side-by-side comparison of the submitted bill vs. the present books.
I’d like to hear reader thoughts on this.
My initial reaction is this may not go far enough for many open carry advocates. Many of them have changed from advocating “open carry” to advocating “constitutional carry”, the difference being that 2A is all the “license” needed so no other regulations should be on the books. So what this really comes down to is a continuum and how far along it you wish to go.
As well, if I’m understanding the bill, you are still going to have to be licensed to carry, it just doesn’t matter if it’s open or concealed. That might make the CHL Instructors happy because suddenly a need for their classes won’t go away (like the income that goes with it). But could it create more hassle for citizens and law enforcement? Perhaps, because someone will freak out about a “man with a gun”, LEO has to check it out. Or perhaps LEO’s just start randomly checking.
I’ll be curious to hear what the NRA and TSRA have to say on this. My feeling is, from a political standpoint it’s good to start talking about this, it’s good to start crafting legislation and see how people stand on it, how business and special interest react. But it may be too big a leap yet for people to make. But as I said, on the continuum, it may be a small enough leap that people could accept (i.e. it won’t get all “wild wild west”, there’s still licensing to ensure only good people can do this). Who knows. We’ll see. Sometimes it’s better to chip away at the stone instead of dynamiting the entire quarry.