ARLINGTON (CBS11) – Open Carry Tarrant County returned to the corner where their movement to legalize uncovered, holstered pistol gained notoriety. Their presence still drew emotional reactions. Some honked and waved and shouted support. Others weren’t as approving.
“I don’t like it,” said Chrysanthemum Pitts of Arlington. “I don’t want my grandkids, I don’t want my kids to be around any guns. I don’t!”
But this time the group is armed not just with weapons, but with a new open carry law on their side. And they handed out flyers letting people know about the change, where guns can and can’t be carried and how to identify a legal carrier so unnecessary, panicked calls aren’t made to police.
“I’m sure there are some people who are still going to be uncomfortable with it,” said Chris Miller, secretary for Open Carry Tarrant County. “But we’re all legal. That’s the main thing. No one here is a criminal.”
The new law prohibits open carry in government meetings, hospitals, jails and some places where alcohol is served.
But, perhaps surprisingly, few people were openly carrying where you’d expect to see it the most — at the shooting range.
“It’s been a busy day,” said Ryan Watts with the Alpine Shooting Range in south Fort Worth. “But there’s probably only been a handful, probably four or five that have chosen open carry.”
Watts said Alpine has seen a lot of interest from people wanting to get gun carry licenses. A person with a permit can choose to carry their gun concealed or in the open. But the people who work at Alpine say there seems to be more awareness of the classes because of the media coverage of open carry, not necessarily people wanting licenses to carry a gun on their hip.
“I think most of our customers like the idea of being able to conceal still,” Watts said. “They like the option of being able to open carry. But a lot of them still like the element of surprise. And not necessarily putting all their cards on the table.”
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