As of today, gun owning Texans will be able to openly carry their handguns in public. The state already allowed citizens to carry rifles and shotguns, but the open carry of handguns had been prohibited since after the Civil War.
Some Second Amendment advocates like the group Open Carry Texas were so eager for the new freedom to go into effect that they had a countdown to the New Year.
The open carry law is no doubt a victory for gun rights activists. Yet, Texans who want to take advantage of it will be expected to go through the following screening process:
Texas had nearly 826,000 concealed license holders in 2014, which ranks among the nation's highest. Openly carrying a gun will require obtaining the same license concealed weapons holders have -- be at least 21, have clean criminal and psychology records, complete a training course and pass a shooting test. Concealed handguns are even allowed inside the Texas Capitol, where license holders can bypass metal detectors.
With Texas’ new law going into effect, now only five states do not allow open carry in some form, including Florida, Illinois, South Carolina, and the usual suspects: New York and California.