Currently, in Texas, people have the legal right to carry guns in public. Long weapons, such as shotguns and rifles, can be openly carried without a license. However, a license is required to hide, carry, or carry a handgun in public. This applies to any situation where a gun is carried outside of one's property, including vehicles owned by them.
The Legislature voted to allow Texas to openly carry handguns in public and carry them on college campuses. In Fort Worth, Barbara Gerke, 58, a gun owner, carried a cardboard sign calling for increasing the age limit for the purchase of assault rifles, expanding background checks and establishing a waiting period for the purchase of firearms. Unsecured firearms in the home can cause suicide, homicide and involuntary shootings, and thousands of firearms are stolen every year in Texas and used to commit crimes. Recently, protestors have been showing up in several public places, including coffee shops and fast food restaurants, openly carrying a variety of tactical long weapons.
Last week, a Navy veteran was harassed and chased through the streets of Fort Worth on Memorial Day. In addition to Fort Worth, there were demonstrations in the largest cities in Texas, such as Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and El Paso, as well as Amarillo, Longview, Lubbock, Pharr, Rockwall, Wichita Falls and The Woodlands. Texas law allows rifles (but not handguns) to be displayed in public but some customers and employees were nervous and angry at the demonstrations. A national group that advocates for reforms called Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America pressured companies through social media campaigns.
In Austin protesters marched on Capitol Hill to try to influence a legislature that has repeatedly relaxed gun laws over the past decade. It is rare to see someone lining up next to you for lunch with a 7.62-inch rifle hanging on their chest or even a group of people going to the same public place with similar weapons. No matter why you choose to carry a firearm it's essential to make sure you learn to do so safely and comply with the laws in your jurisdiction. In San Antonio protesters marched from Milam Park to City Hall chanting: “No more silence let's end gun violence” and “Hey hey ho ho Greg Abbott has to go” in reference to the Republican governor who has resisted calls for a special legislative session to address gun violence. The NRA Institute for Legislative Action issued an extensive statement seeking to distinguish between “responsible behavior” and “legal mandates”.
Cotton and Tripp who have been heavily involved in passing pro-gun laws in Texas for many years warned Grisham that their group's demonstrations were causing him great discomfort to his allies on Capitol Hill. No less than seven restaurant chains have spoken out against the introduction of firearms into their businesses after Texas activists organized provocative demonstrations in which semiautomatic rifles were introduced into several restaurants. Carrying firearms while protesting is legal in Texas but it is important for individuals who choose to do so to understand their rights and responsibilities under the law. It is also important for individuals who choose to carry firearms while protesting to be aware of the potential risks associated with doing so.
It is essential that individuals understand the laws governing firearms possession and use in their jurisdiction before carrying firearms while protesting or engaging in any other activity involving firearms.