Last week, the Texas state legislature — in a move that surprises no one, passed a bill allowing for the open-carry of handguns. The bill is currently awaiting Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) signature, one that he has promised to give, CBS News reported.
Texas has had an open-carry ban since the post-Civil War era, but has allowed for the concealed-carry of handguns for 20 years, even allowing those with concealed-carry permits to bypass metal detectors at the state Capitol.
“We think of Texas as being gun-happy, but we didn’t afford our citizens the same rights most other states do,” said state Rep. Larry Phillips (R), one of the bill’s authors.
The bill passed both the House and Senate mostly on party-lines, with all Democratic senators opposing the bill.
Almost immediately after the bill passed, Gov. Abbott sent a tweet, which of course included a shout-out to the National Rifle Association, saying that he was going to sign it.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) May 29, 2015
Gun-control advocates have argued — and correctly so — that open carry laws do not actually offer the protection that gun-rights activists claim they do, and that this law is more to appease the overly-powerful NRA than it is to protect Texans.
“This session has been an alarming show of politicking that caters to a gun lobby agenda,” said Sandy Chasse of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.
Democratic politicians in the state have also expressed their concern over public safety once the law goes into effect.
“I hope we don’t have a host of Texans running around with a Rambo mentality,” said state Sen. Rodney Ellis.
Can’t imagine what would give Ellis that idea….