Open Carry Open for Debate


As of Jan. 1, Texas is allowing anyone to openly carry a handgun, yet they must still meet the eligibility criteria to obtain this license. However, many people have been questioning if this will increase gun violence.

On Jan. 5, President Barack Obama, in an emotional speech, called for more gun control and less gun violence by expanding background checks. Many critics believe that strengthened measures like this will not make it more difficult for criminals to obtain firearms.

Obama replied, “We know we can’t stop every act of violence, every act of evil in the world. But maybe we could try to stop one act of evil, one act of violence.” Repeatedly, he expressed that Congress needed to take the action for safer measures regarding gun control.

Responding to Obama, Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott said, “the President trampled the purpose and substance of the Bill of Rights by unilaterally imposing Second Amendment restrictions. Despite the President’s latest attempt to undermine our liberty, Texas will take every action to protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.”

In disagreement with Obama, Open Carry Texas, a nonprofit organization, advocates for constitutional carry where “if you can legally own and purchase a gun, you should be able to legally carry that gun without begging for government permission in the form of a license and 2nd Amendment tax.”

Fifteen states require a permit for handgun open carry. Thirty states do not require a permit. Five states do not allow open carry at all.

Sophomore Sarah Kate Feferman, who does not agree with the open carry law in Texas, believes that it will produce more fear and more violence. “People are going to see guns as more a part of daily life,” Feferman said. “Since guns are used for violence, that adds violence as a part of our daily lives.”

Junior Elinor Sachs, who hunts with her family, worries about guns falling into the wrong hands.

“With open carry, people are more able to protect themselves,” Sachs said. “At the same time, it’s easier for unsafe people to have guns.”

History Teacher Tracy Walder does not think that the accessibility of handguns to criminals will change as a result of the open carry law. In her opinion, those that had concealed weapons will now just openly carry their firearm.

“Chances are that I was standing next to them at Tom Thumb and they had a concealed handgun,” Walder said. “Now, I just know that they have a handgun.”

Get ready to see more guns in your daily life. Campus carry goes into effect on Aug. 1 allowing those with a handgun license to carry their firearms on college campuses and universities.

– Maria Harrison – Asst. Perspectives Editor