POSTED: Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 7:33pm
UPDATED: Friday, August 29, 2014 - 12:28pm
Tyler, TX — Recent Supreme Court decisions have reaffirmed that the Second Amendment is a personal right.
But according to the Texas Land Commissioner, there’s still one hurdle to clear before that right is fully enjoyed.
The right to keep and bear arms is pretty well understood by most of us, but there is one area that is not.
And it’s a kind of arms bearing that we all know well, thanks to Hollywood.
That’s right, we’ve seen it in a thousand movies. The long walk, the holstered guns, the ultimate confrontation. But that’s the movies. You couldn’t possibly carry that way in real life, right?
In Texas, there a couple of ways you can carry a pistol. You can now carry it in your car. Or, if you have a license, you can carry it concealed on your person. But what if you could carry it out in the open?
Jerry Patterson is the Land Commissioner of Texas and the former State Senator who authored the concealed carry law back in the mid-nineties.
“Anytime you have a choice between advancing liberty and there’s no reason not to, no public harm that will result. You should do it. 44 states allow open carry,” he says. “And most of them don’t even require a license. And this provision in Texas would require a concealed handgun license.”
And the Dallas Morning News thinks, it’s a terrible idea.
“This newspaper’s concern with open carry is more about common sense. Two words come to mind, and neither is positive. One is intimidation. The other is provocation.
Texas’ gun laws are effective as they are. The Legislature would be wise to steer clear of open carry.”
“You know, my response to the Dallas Morning News,” Patterson says, “I thought was pretty cordial, but I reminded them that they were opposed to the concealed handgun law. They said it was a bad thing. They were among those that predicted doom and gloom. None of that happened. And it’s really about having faith in citizens to make the choices and to comply with the law.”
Of course in the real west, there were laws against open carrying in most Texas cities, but Patterson says, the record nationwide is good.
And it looks like Representative George Lavender may introduce an open carry bill in the upcoming legislative session.
Oklahoma was the latest to allow open carry. The law went into effect November 1st.