Texas Poised to Legalize Open Carry for Handguns

In Texas, open carrying rifles is legal, but open carry for handguns is not. It’s one of those leftover laws from 125 years ago that never got repealed. In the wake of the War Between the States, Texas wanted to bar Confederate sympathizers from carrying pistols. The Houston Chronicle reported:

… That all changed in 1871, however, when the Legislature first outlawed the carrying of pistols outside of the home: “If any person in this state shall carry on or about his person, saddle, or in his saddle-bags, any pistol … he shall be punished by a fine of not less than twenty-five nor more than one hundred dollars,” or around $2,000 today.

The law, which did not apply to travelers or any “frontier county … liable to incursions by hostile Indians,” was passed by a Republican Legislature eager to ensure the Reconstruction government could disarm remaining Confederate sympathizers…

The law stuck around for another century and a quarter, while legislators gradually increased the fine throughout the years.

Finally, it looks like that law is being repealed. Both state houses have passed legislation that would no longer prohibit the open carrying of handguns, and Texas’s new governor is eager to sign the bill into law. The Blaze reported:

In a win for gun rights advocates, Texas lawmakers on Friday approved a bill that would allow for individuals to openly carry handguns.

The bill, which allows individuals to carry a firearm using a belt or holster, now heads to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk where he says he will sign it.

A post-Civil War era ban has prohibited open carry in Texas for decades, according to the Associated Press.

The legislation passed the Texas house 102-42 and was sent by the Senate to Abbott on a 20-11 vote, the Dallas Morning News reported.