State Committee Approves Open Carry Of Handguns

AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – The House Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety wants to take the concealed part out of concealed handgun licenses.

The committee voted 5-3 in favor of a bill that would remove the word concealed from the law that allows Texans to have a handgun license. The so-called “open carry” law would allow license holders to carry their weapons in plain view wherever they would be allowed to carry a concealed handgun. The rules for getting a license would not change.

Texarkana state Rep. George Lavender authored the bill that was approved Wednesday. In a committee hearing last week, advocates said the law would deter crime. Opponents warned it would create a dangerous and intimidating climate in densely populated cities.

Hurst Mayor Richard Ward doesn’t think the law is needed. “If people see you carrying a weapon it might incite them to create a ruckus just to show ‘Boy, what a big guy I am’,” he said. “I’m just concerned that it might create more of a problem than it would help.”

Mayor Ward said one of the reasons he’s against the bill is that he thinks it could make things more dangerous. “If you wanted to rob somebody you could kinda come up behind them, or even to the side of ‘em, grab their weapon, hold them at bay, or rob them, where if they didn’t know whether you had one or not… [the criminal might think] ‘If I try to rob this guy he may have a gun under his coat’.”

The bill now goes to the full House for consideration.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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  • Sam streep

    Finally, Texans can be Texans. Eliminates crime and promotes public safety. Only the crooks will be intimidated. They can depart Texas and take their illegal activities elsewhere!

    • Gary Grasshoff

      Thank goodness Texas has a CHL program, however I would perfer to have my weapon concealed, thus elimanting me as a crimanls first threat!

      Wearing a visible weapon is a sure first threat BULL’EYE!

      I would rather be the crimanls worst nightmare by keeping my weapon concealed!

      Does this make sense?

      Mr G

  • jimbo

    how about constitutional carry?

  • d. smith

    about time, texas is a hot dry state and trying to conceal your weapon is down right ridiculous ,yeah under your coat in the summer there mayor….

  • george

    Mayor Ward , WAKE UP . This law works great in Az.. A concealed weapon is harder to access and a criminal will think a bit more when they are sure you are armed.Of course not much of anything will stop these pathetic drug addicts and dealers from stealing.

  • Texan

    What a stupid analogy by a mayor!

  • george warren

    I am glad to be one of hundreds that signed that petition for open carry and supporting our Constitutional rights . There you have it Mayor. welcome to the real world Ward

  • Eric

    A redneck law for stupid people. Hopefully all the tough guys out there just kill each other. I can see it now…short guys driving around in big trucks strapped! My only issue will be paying for court and prison fees. Why don’t we just disband police and other law enforcement and let those with guns in the vicinity take care of problems. Does it also mean that we can shoot illegals if we know them to be illegals?

    • Your King

      If you don’t like it Eric you can always leave Texas.

      Also, in response to your question, “Does it also mean that we can shoot illegals if we know them to be illegals?”

      Why should we know they are “illegal”?

      How about just a strong (or weak) suspicion they are illegal?

  • RussP

    Doubt if I would ever open carry but this would eliminate the fear that if my shirt happens to ride up and expose the gun for a second, some citizen can call the police and I be charged with brandishing a weapon costing me my license.

    It’s still a shame the supreme court allows the states to stomp all over the second amendment with all their different rules and restrictions.

  • Jason

    “Opponents warned it would create a dangerous and intimidating climate in densely populated cities.”

    You bet it would! If I see someone doing this just scream out loud rape or something. Make it a hassle so they will soon choose not to display in public. Hopefully this bs doesn’t make it through the House!

    • RussP

      24 states already have open carry laws and quite a few others allow it in certain situations without the existance of a dangerous and intimidating climate. As usual, the antigun crowd bases their assumptions on absolutely nothing but knee jerk reaction instead of looking at the facts.

    • Tom Whitfield

      If you did that, you could be charged with disturbing the peace. Why would you do something like this when someone would be doing nothing illegal, simply because you don’t agree with it?

      If you don’t want to carry a firearm, then don’t carry. Where do you get off on imposing your personal beliefs on everyone else around you?

  • Conserned Conservative

    “For every fatal shooting, there were roughly three nonfatal shootings. And, folks, this is unacceptable in America. It’s just unacceptable, and we’re going to do something about it” –President George W. Bush

  • GJW

    What is Houston, San Antonio, Dallas/Ft. Worth et al.? The “Wild West?” As far as I can tell, a stupid law. Problem is as the saying goes, ‘you can’t fix stupid.’ You want to compare Texas to Arizona because they are claiming success with such a law? One other state? Take the time to think it throug, people.

    • Gumby rules

      I did, and you are WRONG!!!

    • Tom Whitfield

      44 other states allow open carry in some fashion. Texas is one of only six states where open carry is illegal. I would say 44 other states have success with such a law, not just one.

  • RussP

    With that mentallity, should we also dump freedom of speech and the press, the right of women and blacks to vote, protection from unreasonable search and seizure and all those other “old” laws contained in the constitution? Also with that mentallity, why do so many hang to questionable 2000 year old religions? I guess we should outlaw those also; they’re just more trouble than they’re worth.

    • Reeper

      Look out RussP, those freedoms are exactly what people that make these kind of bills want dropped. Always heard the root of all evil was money, seems religion is on the fast track to take that over no matter what source it comes from (Islamic or Christian extremist).

    • RussP

      My above comment was in reply to a poster who stated the 2nd amendment should be ignored because it was a 200+ year old law written in a different time. I guess she rethought her statement and pulled her posting.

  • Busto

    What a self perpetuating wacko law. Really, If you think you need to carry a gun in a public place then your a bigger threat to everyone around you. If something goes down I wouldn’t know if you were any more stable than the perpetrator, so I’ll just smash a chair on your head if I get a chance. It would be my gut reaction.

    • Paragrouper

      Hey Busto, a chair in a gunfight? Not the brightest light are you?

    • BullDude

      Son, I already carry a gun in a public place. This law just means that I don’t have to worry about some gun fearing person like you, seeing it and screaming and calling the cops.
      And if something goes down that causes me to have to draw said gun, you won’t be “smashing a chair” on anybody’s head. You will either be laying on the floor bleeding from the gun shot the perpetrator fired at you, or hiding under the table with the rest of the women and children. Course you won’t be any farther away from guns because I will bet at least half the women there with you will be packing.
      Don’t worry, you just continue being a sheep and let us sheep dogs take care of the bad guys.

    • Heretic

      That’s called “aggravated assault”.

      • Gumby rules

        Please don’t confuse him with the laws and definitions.

  • Larry

    I am a native Texan. I have been carring a weapon since late teens , law or no law. Our national constitution alows the right to keep and bare arms. I think concealed carry should be licensed, but open carry should be legal. You cry babies against carring a weapon have never had to defend your life or that of a loved one.

    • Martha

      U killed someone Larry? And you spelled “bare” wrong. Anyway, I hope you get your chance to fire away and inflict your Native Texan stupidity on those around you. BTW what does being a native texan have to do with it. That’s like saying I own a lot of CDs so I must be a music expert.

  • RussP

    I always find it amusing that when someone can’t back their opinion with intelligent facts, they resort to name calling, insults or criticism of grammar.

  • Gumby rules

    And for those interested there is a bill in the House in Washington, D.C. HR 822 that will allow those licensed in one state to carry in any state that has CHL laws in place. Write your congressman to support the bill. If you are an anti-gunner then keep this to yourselves.

  • concerned conservtive

    “We will never stop thinking of ways to harm America.” –George W. Bush –

  • concerned conservative

    Texas has a lot of stuipid laws. Like this one:The entire Encyclopedia Britannica is banned in Texas because it contains a formula for making beer
    at home.

    • Tom Whitfield

      Urban legend. Not true.

  • nessa

    well let me say i am a woman that carries a gun ….38 special to be exact …now i would love this law to pass …here’s why ..when i go out jogging i don’t have to worry where am i going to put the gun with the clothes i wear …..and i bet any attacker would think twice about tryin to come up and rob me just cause i’m an “easy” target ….i have a membership at a gun range and go a minimum of twice a week to practice so yeah pass the law !!! it will be the greatest thing to happen 90%of texans already carry you just don’t know it cause you can’t see it

  • Reeper

    I would rather see it stay attempted concealment, yet not get in trouble if for some reason someone else sees it or thinks it might be one. Having a gun does not make anyone macho and believe me a lot of women are paying for the right.
    Scream rape and you’ll end up going to jail for making a false accusation. Remember these people have to pass tests and pay for the privilege of carrying a gun to defend themselves with. I’m sure some not great people slide through that, yet a vehicle is a deadly weapon that also kills and many drive drunk even knowing that fact.
    It’s been years since people around you have been packing heat without a lot of bad incidences.
    In order to call it Wild West Days everyone would be able to carry a weapon without passing any tests. As a child visiting my grandmother, an old man sat across from the court house with his empty six shooters always worn, telling his story’s of days long gone. That story was the same it is today, defense from those who could care less about the lives of others and very willing to take them. For a long time people would commit crimes without killing others, yet those days are back and as in the past there will never be enough police or protection around to save your life.
    Why should my life be taken just because criminals carry guns illegally and the police are always a day late and a dollar short? Remember they didn’t storm troop in to save lives during mass shootings anymore due to protocol, so it has gotten to the point it’s solely up to you to protect yourself.
    My real wake up call came in Germany when a guy whose parents had disowned him for getting into trouble lost both of his upstanding brothers in a 7-eleven in Houston during a robbery. When I came home crime had still not taken off bad all over Texas, yet since then it has. Even sleepy little towns are seeing murders from crime. Some still do put a gun in your face with no intension of using it, but to many that have used them has made it a world in which you don’t want to risk they won’t.
    I hope I make it through this life with never having to use it, yet given the swinging doors of criminals that hope is getting slimmer by the day.
    FYI we are not the police and we can sit back and let others be killed with no repercussions of not protecting the lives of others just because we are armed, we pay for the right to carry only to protect our own lives. That is not to say some might bravely step in putting their life at risk in order to protect yours after others have been shot, but they are not obligated to do so. Since many of you do not want that to happen you had better hope you never get into a bad situation just going to the store, bank, gas station, eating out, walking the dog, etc. since you are well aware of the fact the police aren’t capable of being everywhere and many have been killed that way. It’s a mad, mad world getting madder by the day. You put an end to these deadly crimes and I’ll never carry my gun. Believe me I hate doing it and would love to live in a safe world.

    • RussP

      As the saying goes, “When seconds count, police are just minutes away”.

  • RB

    Mayor Ward once again shows himself to be an idiot. The people of Hurst should be embarrassed to have this guy representing them.
    Sign me up for Constitutional carry

  • Steve Roberts

    Hurst Mayor Richard Ward is stupid…..I will work to prevent his re-election.

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