Texas – the second most populated state in the U.S. — passed a bill recently, which allowed people to carry concealed firearms on the streets. Another bill called “Campus carry” was also passed, which will allow students to carry concealed weapons in the educational institutes. The New York Times reported on when the public could expect such measures to become law.
“The so-called campus-carry bill is expected to be signed into law by the Republican governor, Greg Abbott. It would take effect in August 2016 at universities and August 2017 at community colleges.”
In response to this, Whataburger — with some 780 locations in 10 states — has defied the law and the CEO himself has published an Open Letter on their website and clarified that they will not allow people carrying concealed weapons on their property, notes the Huffington Post. It is expected that other restaurants will follow the same trend.
People supporting the bill were of the view that carrying weapons in public was not to intimidate them, rather it’s for personal defense. State Representative Jonathan Stickland, a Republican and Tea Party favorite, drove the point home.
“The criminals aren’t going to obey the laws. It’s the responsible folks who we should be encouraging to protect themselves in the community they live in.”
The public opinion is mixed about concealed versus visible weapons. On one hand, Dixie Cichinski of Roxbury shopped in the Price Chopper supermarket on Barre Montpelier Road with a visible handgun, reports The Bridge.
“It’s protection. I’m going to use it if I have to.”
Whereas Mary Jones, reports the New York Times, was happy with Whataburger’s stance of banning the open carry.
“Why do you need to bring a gun into a store where there are kids? We are not in the Wild, Wild West.”
Police, however, wanted the bill vetoed but it wasn’t. Now, all they can do is ask Texans with handguns in plain sight if they have proper licenses or not. Republicans and Democrats are divided over the issue. Democrats like Sen. Rodney Ellis of Houston is of the view that this law will further worsen the situation and increase violence. Sen. Craig Estes, a Wichita Falls Republican, has great faith in concealed license holders. He said that they will do the right thing and carry their guns appropriately.
According to the New York Times, Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants a national gun policy and he strictly lashed the bill.
“How many weeks do we have to have with the same story over and over and over about the insanity that this country is allowing to continue with violence and loss of life of innocent people, because we have people who have no business having guns having guns?”
[Image: Warren Little/Getty Images Sport]