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Advocates Believe New Momentum For Open Carry Law

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Brian New
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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Many gun rights activists say now, maybe more than ever before, they believe they have the momentum to pass an open carry law for handguns in Texas.

More than 70 people with the group Open Carry Texas participated in an open carry walk Sunday afternoon in the Uptown neighborhood in Dallas.

Texas currently allows open carry of rifles and shotguns which is what these demonstrators were carrying as they walked around the West Village development.

State law, however; prohibits open carry of a handgun.  Activists want to change that.

“The Second Amendment is very clear – the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” said Daniel Woods with Open Carry Texas.

Sunday’s demonstration comes just days after Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis told the Associated Press she supports open carry.

Her position aligns her with Republican gubernatorial candidate Gregg Abbott but puts her at odds with many in the Democratic Party.

“Personally, I think Dodge City belongs in the Gun Smoke reruns,” said Dallas County Democratic Chair Darlene Ewing.

Ewing said while many in her party differ from Davis’ stance, she doesn’t believe it will affect Davis’ support from Texas Democrats.

“We are not anti-gun,” said Ewing. “We have some people who would like a lot of restrictions and some people who are not opposed to open carry and everywhere in between.”

Holly Burditt of Carrollton was one of the open carry demonstrators Sunday.  She said, “Everyone was shocked by Wendy Davis coming out and saying that.”

Proponents of open carry said Davis’ comment prove support is wide-spread and crosses political parties.

Gun reform groups, like Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, were also surprised by Davis’ comments.

In a written statement the groups co-founder, Shannon Watts, wrote, “Davis’s position is disappointing and dangerous given that there is no federal or state requirement for background checks on private gun sales in Texas, making it easy for felons and other dangerous criminals, including domestic abusers, to get guns. 

The group called on Davis to close “background check loopholes”.

(©2014 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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