Wendy Davis supporting 'open carry' in Texas, ETX democrats and republicans weigh in
POSTED: Monday, February 10, 2014 - 7:12pm
UPDATED: Monday, February 10, 2014 - 10:56pm
Tyler, Texas (KETK) — The debate weather to openly carry a handgun on your hip in Texas has long been debated. Now, the likelihood of "open carry" proposals becoming law are much higher.
Gubernatorial candidate, Wendy Davis, has joined her Republican rival in supporting a proposed "open carry" law. Which would allow people with concealed handgun licenses to wear a pistol on their hip, in public.
Davis telling the Associated Press said supports expanding gun rights. In a statement to AP she said that includes open-carry. Gregg county republican chairperson, Keith Rothaws tells KETK news, "She is the epitome of why people don't trust public officials." Rothaw said, "we can't trust this Wendy Davis, she says whatever is politically expedient, and that's scary."
This position Davis is taking is putting her at odds with some of her Democratic colleagues. However, Smith County Democratic chairman, David Henderson says Davis is running for Governor in a deeply conservative state, and this is politically a wise move, "This is Texas, you know, we still remember the Alamo, and Texans want people who will fight for them so I think think is the kind of campaign Wendy Davis is clearly going to run," Henderson said, "She's taking a page out of the Ann Richards play book keeping everyone guessing, particularly the Republicans, meaning that they can't define her, so yes I think it was a good move."
Henderson said he believes we will see more head-turning democratic moments from Davis, "I think it gives everybody whip lash and says wow this is not your average democrat running a campaign for governor of Texas," Henderson said. But, Henderson said he believes the "open carry" issues is going to be minor compaired to other things that need to be addressed by Davis, and by her opponent, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot, her Republican rival on the campaign.
Texas has about 600,000 concealed handgun license holders, who must be at least 21, pass criminal background checks and go through a training course. In 2013, state lawmakers relaxed the training requirements, reducing the minimum time required for classroom and shooting range instruction from 10 to 15 hours to four to six hours.