FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 04/21/2015
Representative DeWayne Burns Champions Licensed Open Carry
AUSTIN, TX - On Monday, the Texas House of Representatives passed a groundbreaking piece of legislation that will enhance the rights of gun owners and help ensure the 2nd Amendment rights of all law abiding Texans are never infringed upon. Representative DeWayne Burns and a bipartisan group of 100 other House Members joined together to move House Bill 910, also known as the Open Carry bill, through the lower chamber by a vote of 101-42.
As a co-author of the bill, Burns explained that it expands the scope of a license to carry a concealed handgun to include the ability to carry openly so long as the gun is holstered. As Texas is one of the few states that completely prohibits the open carry of a handgun, he said he believed it was time to remove the restriction to better comply with the 2nd Amendment.
"As a member of the Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee, I'm glad to see this bill pass with such an overwhelming majority," Burns said. "This legislation will bring state law more in line with the values most of us share as Texans."
In addition to co-authoring the bill, Burns played a critical role in the floor debate when he offered an amendment which reduces the charge against a licensed individual who inadvertently carries a handgun into a prohibited establishment. The amendment will change the charge from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class C misdemeanor. If, however, the person is asked to leave the premises and refuses, the infraction reverts back to a Class A misdemeanor.
Burns explained, "Too many good people are being prosecuted for simply not seeing a posted sign which asks individuals not to carry a gun into a building," Burns stated. "The punishment for the oversight shouldn't include the possibility of jail time. A Class C misdemeanor, in line with a traffic ticket, is much more appropriate. I'm glad to be a part of this historic day, and proud that I was able to insert this amendment into the bill."
House Bill 910 will now be sent to the Texas Senate for consideration, and if passed there, to Governor Abbott's desk to be signed into law.
CONTACT: Joy Davis