125 Years Later, Texas Revisits Open Carry Law

Posted: Feb 04, 2015 6:30 PM

Only six states prohibit open carry and—rather surprisingly—the red state of Texas is one of them. However, this may not be the case much longer. Two Senate Bills (SB 342 and 346) which would legalize open carry, are now making their way to the state Senate.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R ) said Monday that he is making them a priority:

"I have asked the chair of the committee to schedule these two bills, and the Campus Carry (Senate Bill 11) bill which was referred last week, for a public hearing as soon as possible.

Over the past week the senators have been working hard to build support and I look forward to working on these 2nd Amendment priorities."

The third bill mentioned, SB 11, would allow college students to carry on campus, which are traditionally gun-free zones. At least, as the Las Vegas Journal Review pointed out, they are gun-free zones for those who obey the law.

Bad guys don’t obey gun laws, on college campuses and elsewhere. Lawmakers who oppose campus carry proposals must acknowledge that gun-free zones essentially create defenseless target zones. Considering the president of the United States and college administrators claim there is a sexual assault crisis on college campuses, why would lawmakers deny women the ability to defend themselves?

It’s a sound argument. Last year at the Students for Concealed Carry Conference held in Washington D.C., Dartmouth student Taylor Woolrich shared her terrifying story of being stalked by a man more than 40 years her senior. Without the right to carry a gun, she never felt safe.

Another woman, Nicole Goeser, explained how her husband was shot six times in a gun-free zone. He was murdered right in front of her.

As John R. Lott Jr., economist, Yale Professor, and president of Crime Prevention Research Center, explained to Townhallindividuals with gun-permits are extremely law-abiding. Less than one percent of licensed firearm holders have had their permits revoked due to misdemeanors.

“If you look at similar surveys of people who use guns defensively, it’s about two million times a year. So basically people are using guns defensively to stop crimes about four to five times more frequently each year than guns are used to commit a crime.”

Texas’ gun restriction laws date all the way back to the aftermath of the Civil War, when open carry was banned to ensure that the government could control Confederate sympathizers. In other words, the 125-year-old ban is long overdue for a revamp and 2015 could be the year for change.