Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Petition Circulating for Open Carry of Guns in Texas

If you ask people what comes to their mind when they think about some stereotypical representations of Texas, you may hear comments about open spaces, oil rigs, tumbleweed and cowboys (and when you think of the Cowboys, you may now think of Jessica Simpson … but that is irrelevant here). There is a sense that, despite large cities and unbearable traffic, some of the Wild West still exists here. Therefore, it may be a surprise that Texas is one of only six states that does not allow its citizens to carry their handguns in plain view.

There is a petition circulating online that already has 3500 signatures asking Governor Rick Perry and the Texas legislature to remove the firearms restriction from the books. The request is supported by the Texas Citizens Defense League and is receiving publicity from Open Carry, a website that is dedicated to the promotion of open-carry laws. The co-founder of the site, John Pierce, believes that the freedom to have a holstered firearm outside of one’s clothing is a fundamental right protected by our Constitution. I am sure that famous Texas cowboys of days passed, such as Jim Bowie and Davy Crocket, would agree.

Of course, there is also organized opposition to any further expansion of gun ownership in the state of Texas. The Houston-based Texans for Gun Safety asserts that the state is already friendly enough to those to wish to carry handguns. The petition is also being fought by some members of law enforcement, as they believe more prominent displays of guns will only lead to greater tension and perhaps some quick-trigger reactions to a perceived threat.

While the majority of legal scholars concur that citizens are granted the right to bear arms to some extent by the Second Amendment, there continues to be heated debate over how far the ability of an individual has to carry and use his gun should go. If the state government decides to allow the citizens of Texas to wear their firearms publicly, it certainly will not be breaking any new ground. But, it will provide more ammunition (intentional pun) for those who believe that Second Amendment freedoms are broad and should be granted with as few restrictions as possible.


David said...

The petition now has over 8,000 signatures.
"...the right of the People to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Unknown said...

A further update: it's approaching 9500 (currently 9433).