FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 01/19/2016
Open Carry is Now A Freedom Enjoyed by Texans
On January 1st, Texas became the 45th state in the nation to legalize the “open carry” of a handgun. This came about due to House Bill 910, which passed last year during the 84th legislative session. The new law expands the scope of a license to carry a concealed handgun to include the ability to carry it in plain sight, so long as the gun is holstered. Representative Andrew Murr, one of the co-authors of the legislation, said that it was needed to better comply with the 2nd Amendment.
“Texas was one of the few remaining states that prohibited the open carry of a handgun,” Rep. Murr said. “Only California, Florida, Illinois, New York and South Carolina still ban it, so this change helps bring the law more in line with the values most Texans share; particularly out in rural Texas.”
The procedure to legally open carry will still be the same as it was to legally concealed carry. Applicants must be at least 21 years old, have a clean criminal and psychological background, finish a training course and pass a shooting test. The nearly one million Individuals who already hold a valid Concealed Handgun License will not require a new or separate license to open carry, and no additional fees or training will be required.
One of the greatest areas of confusion over the new law is whether or not open carry is allowed on private property. Property owners may prohibit open carry in their place of business, but in order to do so, they must display proper signage alerting a license holder of the prohibition. Although there is prescribed language in the law that must be posted verbatim in order to legally ban firearms on private property, Rep. Murr encouraged all gun owners to respect the wishes of a business regardless of the law.
“There are no bigger advocates for the right of private property than gun owners,” said Rep. Murr. “So even if a business does not display the proper signage that prohibits open carry, or any signage at all for that matter, if a person is asked to remove a weapon from the premises, I hope that license holders will abide by the business owner’s wishes and respect their fellow Texans. After all, that is one of the fundamental tenets of private property ownership.”
In recognition of his efforts surrounding the open carry legislation and other 2nd Amendment issues, the Texas State Rifle Association PAC, which represents more than 40,000 gun owners across the state, and the National Rifle Association's Political Victory Fund, have both recently awarded Rep. Murr an “A” rating and officially endorsed his campaign for re-election. Rep. Murr said he is gratified to receive their support.
“These groups work tirelessly to protect our 2nd Amendment rights, to promote hunting as a tool for wildlife management and conservation, and to educate young people about responsible gun ownership,” concluded Rep. Murr. “All of the recent tragedies involving gun violence end in calls from many, to restrict the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. That’s why I believe it is vital we remain vigilant in protecting our rights to ensure that future generations enjoy the same freedoms that we do. Let us never forget the simple words of Andrew Jackson that "eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty."