Let’s say you own a legal handgun, hold a state license to carry it publicly where permitted and are a strong supporter of Second Amendment rights.
Up to now you’ve had to conceal your gun when you carry it in public. But the Legislature passed a bill last May allowing open carry of handguns by all permit holders, with the new law going into effect Jan. 1.
Do you intend to carry your gun openly in a belt or shoulder holster as the new law permits? Will you continue to carry it concealed? What influenced your decision?
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I will continue to carry my gun concealed most of the time. I recommend folks give the bill a little time, and once most of the open-carry folks realize just how uncomfortable carrying a gun can be they will go back to the concealed method.
Mitch Huffman, Arlington
“Open carry” has only one function, that of intimidation — to suggest to those with whom you interact that “If I don’t get my way, I just might go off on you.”
The professor who won’t change a grade, the store owner who declines to issue a refund, the banker who won’t extend a loan, and so on, face the question of whether they’re dealing with a loose cannon who won’t take “no” for an answer.
The suggestion only need be in place, in the form of a gun on the hip. I would not do that to my fellow citizens.
Mark Rush, Arlington
Concealed handguns? Fine. Hunting rifle in the pickup? No problem.
But if you walk into a restaurant openly carrying firearms, how do I know you are not a lone-wolf terrorist and not just some gun nut? Why is the onus on me to keep an eye on you while I dine? It’s rude.
Blake Kevin Wallace, Arlington
I intend to openly carry a handgun, but I will do so cautiously and with respect for businesses and others who choose to post the proper opt-out signage. I can still carry concealed in those places.
I am very much aware of how the actions of innocent people can become suspicious behavior in the eyes of some police officers. I urge everyone to be aware of their rights and to be respectful to law enforcement.
Larry Keilberg, Fort Worth
I’ve had a CHL for about three years. I typically carry the largest handgun that I can conveniently conceal, given the clothes worn at the time.
I have absolutely no intention of carrying openly, because I believe the element of surprise is very important in self-protection. Telegraphing to a would-be assailant that one is carrying a handgun makes no sense to me.
While I support the fundamental right of open carry for those who are trained and competent to do so, I feel that those who choose to carry openly do so more for show than for their personal protection.
Steve Dixon, Arlington
I look forward to the new open-carry law, not so that I can walk around showing everyone that I am carrying a gun, but because until this law goes into effect, if my concealed handgun is even accidentally exposed, I am subject to arrest, fines and potential loss of my CHL.
I will more than likely continue to carry concealed, depending on the location or my clothing choice, but it’s good to know I have an option. I will respect private businesses that choose to disallow open carry, and I will not patronize those who refuse to allow even concealed carry.
Cory Standerfer, Alvarado
I will continue to carry concealed, because it is an advantage. Doing away with permits would be better than the open carry law, however this a step in the right direction.
David J. Stetson, Azle
Many have supported the movement only as a way to help in maintaining our Second Amendment rights. I have watched the government of the past seven years erode the Constitution to where it is almost unrecognizable.
Everyone who knows me knows that I have a CHL, but they never know if I am carrying. I think if I ever need to utilize my weapon the element of surprise will be in my favor. More establishments will be posting the signs prohibiting. That is their right.
Con Shuck, Granbury
I will continue to carry concealed.
If I were to mistakenly go into a hospital while carrying openly, I would immediately be embarrassed when told I was there illegally. It might not even be noticed if my gun was concealed.
If I was not paying attention while openly carrying, a person could grab my gun and do damage to me and others. If it were concealed, the person wouldn’t even know I was carrying.
With open carry, non-carrying folks are going to look to me to take care of situations that demand possible fire fights with a perpetrator. With a holstered gun showing, I am the center of attention to a criminal.
Gene L. Colvin, Fort Worth
I have carried concealed off-and-on for over 30 years in different states and circumstances. Other than in some questionable support for the Second Amendment I can see no rational purpose in displaying a holstered handgun in public.
Richard M. Holbrook,
I will not carry openly because of the threat of confrontation from liberal fools. I will continue to legally carry my pistol concealed. I will also continue to refuse to patronize any business that denies my right to carry concealed.
Paul Stuart, Saginaw
I do not plan on openly carrying a firearm, but it is nice to know that I, as a common individual citizen of this republic can, in the state of Texas, without the threat of becoming public enemy No. 1. It all boils down to individual choices and individual liberty. As Calvin Coolidge said: “Liberty is not collective, it is personal. All liberty is individual liberty.”
Gary Lawless, Euless
Let’s say you had a choice to openly carry a human tranquilizer gun versus a deadly weapon. Would you?
Deborah Fleischmann, Fort Worth
The primary reason uniformed officers carry openly is to visibly reaffirm their authority and enable them to efficiently and effectively bring order to chaos, by publicly demonstrating their capacity to do so by force if necessary.
A publicly viewable firearm on a civilian has exactly the opposite effect — creating questions and concerns and tension where none would have otherwise existed.
A law enforcement officer’s first duty is to de-escalate any potentially dangerous situation. I would argue that this same responsibility is carried by every citizen.
Mark Greene, Fort Worth
Most of the people around me do not know when I carrying a weapon. I will keep it that way. To me, a weapon is a last-choice mechanism. To people who openly carry, it is used as a threat.
Even after 27 years in the military, I basically do not like guns. Too often they end up killing the wrong person. I do not wish to become a statistic.
Ron Slate, Fort Worth
I am a CHL holder. A gun is the last means of self-defense. Use your gun and your life is forever changed. Open carry is tacit approval of moving the use of a gun to the first means of self-defense.
Bruce Lockwood, Granbury