Governor Of Texas Signs Bills Expanding Gun Rights

Greg Abbott, the governor of Texas, has signed into law a bill that provides Texans with more gun rights. The bill, known as open-carry, had been expected to be passed in the Texas state legislator for some time. With the proper license, Texans will now be able to lawfully carry handguns in a hip or shoulder holster, openly.

“Today, I am proud to expand liberty in the Lone Star State.”

Gun rights groups have been lobbying for years to get open-carry passed in Texas. After relentless demonstrations, the gun lobby has finally got their way. As the Texas Tribune reported, Governor Abbott praised the National Rifle Association and other groups that worked to get the law passed.

“I don’t think there are any groups in this state — or in this nation — who worked as profoundly to ensure that the Constitution is lived up to,”

The new open-carry law is set to take effect on January 1, 2016. Texans will be required to obtain an open-carry permit before they can legally openly carry their firearms.

Along with the open-carry bill, the Republican governor also signed into law another gun rights bill. The other bill allows for concealed carry of handguns on college campuses throughout the state. The campus-carry law is set to take effect on August 1, 2016 according to Reuters.

Many schools across the state opposed the campus-carry law in fears that it would enable on-campus violence. Public colleges and universities will be able to decide where firearms are allowed to be carried on campus and how they’re stored. Private schools will be able to prohibit the carrying of firearms on their property.

After the recent attack on Dallas’ police headquarters, gun-control advocates argued that the new laws could allow for more violence. Early Saturday, a gunman opened fire on the police headquarters in Dallas, Texas, and planted explosives outside the building. The gunman did not wound anyone during the attack.

Governor Abbott addressed critics of the new laws at the signing of the bills. He also mentioned the attack that took place on the same day the bills were signed into law.

“The event in Dallas was an isolated incident by someone who had serious mental challenges, as well as a possible criminal background,”

To obtain a concealed-carry permit–the license required for open-carry or campus-carry– a citizen must be at least 21-years-old. This age requirement disqualifies many college students.

[Photo by Bill Pugliano / Getty Images]