Open carry might limit where firearms can be
Editor, the Advocate:
Recently, there has been a lot of interest about open carry. Long guns are not regulated like handguns, and the Open Carry Texas movement's ultimate goal is to change the law so that handguns can legally be carried in the open. The general public is not allowed to carry the handgun unless they have a CHL - concealed handgun license - and they keep the handgun concealed. Many open carry advocates do not realize that voting for open carry is also voting for fewer places that firearms will be allowed. More businesses will put up signage that prohibits firearms on their property.
Sure, Texas is a pro-gun state, but it is not pro-carry. Of the 27 million people, only a fraction have their CHL. Texas respects private property owners' rights, and they have the right to ban firearms on their property. With less than 800,000 CHL holders and a law that requires handguns to be concealed, there are many businesses that have chosen to prohibit these "unseen" firearms from their property. How many additional places will post their property when guns are in plain view?
The general public reluctantly tolerates people being allowed to carry concealed, and they are concerned or alarmed when they actually see someone with a gun. Even a pro-open carry business does not want to lose its customers, and when enough customers complain, it will ban firearms from its property. Sure, we could try to boycott a business that posts its property, such as is being done at Parkdale Mall in Beaumont. However, to date, this call to boycott has been largely unsuccessful. Parkdale Mall had a no-gun policy, but CHL holders were allowed to carry at this mall until a store owner walked through the mall with a rifle strapped to his back, and now, all firearms are prohibited. Unfortunately, this is the unintended consequence of open carry - fewer places that firearms will be allowed and fewer places that the firearm will be a deterrent to violent crime.
Daryl and Jenny Smith, Defense Firearms Training LLC,Victoria