Gun owners in the Lone Star State are already granted a series of facilities in public spaces, but on Friday Texas regulators decided to loosen even more gun restrictions across the state.
Texans are now allowed to openly carry their handguns at work, while shopping, dinning out or driving their cars in a bid to discourage would-be criminals from attacking law-abiding citizens. Gun owners in Texas can now carry fire arms in hip or shoulder holsters under the open-carry law.
Pro-gun advocates who have been pushing for the law for years said that they would celebrate the new rules by proudly displaying their weaponry at their gatherings in Dallas, Houston, and other locations.
Though about 40 states allow their residents to openly carry their guns under some conditions, the new rules in the more populous Texas sparked mixed emotions over the possible consequences. Gun rights advocates however say that people are overreacting.
Some residents are concerned that the new law could spark even more mass killings, others are concerned over police’s ability to tell the difference between an would-be offender and a regular citizen.
The new law will affect about 925,000 Texans that obtained a concealed-weapon permit. Gun advocates say that the number of gun owners is quite small compared with the state’s 27.4 million residents. Plus, gun owners will need to undergo a criminal background check and allow police to insert their fingerprints into a national database.
In Texas, people did not need a license to buy a gun, but they needed the license to carry their weaponry outside their homes. And only those who are 21 years old or more, pass a written exam, and undergo some training can have the state license.
The promoters of the new gun law argued that most licensed gun owners would continue to conceal their weapons in public spaces. The proponent of the law, Larry Phillips, believes that people won’t notice a big difference. Phillips added that he himself doesn’t plan to openly wear his handgun.
Police departments are now concerned that their officers would not be able tell an open carrier from a criminal. This is why many of them plan to start some training sessions.
Texas plans to expand even more its gun laws in summer, when people on campuses would be allowed to carry weapons but not display them.
Image Source: Wikipedia
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