The “open carry” movement is growing throughout the U.S.
Oklahoma recently passed their open carry law, but states like Texas and South Carolina are still fighting for their citizen’s rights to constitutionally carry firearms openly in public places. Open Carry Texas is a grassroots organization that seeks to educate the public about open carry in order to get public support for the next legislative session.
Open Carry Texas spokeswoman Victoria Montgomery told Fox44 that “An armed society is a polite society.”
This T.X. group is attracting interest by educating the public regarding the 2nd Amendment and their membership is growing.
Montgomery says by wearing her rifle proudly, she’s helping to educate the community about guns, in hopes of erasing fears. So, she and other open carry members travel around town with their guns strapped to their backs.
Montgomery says open carry support has been tremendous, with many people connecting through Facebook and the web.
In the state of Texas, it’s legal to carry a rifle or a shotgun in public but not handguns. Open Carry Texas members hope by peacefully carrying rifles, they can convince lawmakers to allow open carry of pistols during the next legislative session.
“A right not exercised is a right that’s soon to be lost,” said Michael Montgomery.
Open Carry is controversial for the six states that don’t have open carry laws. Earlier this year a woman spoke to a subcommittee hearing in S.C. and voiced her concern that open carry would deter S.C. tourism, but the majority of South Carolinians support open carry. Lee Bright’s constitutional carry bill, S.115, passed the subcommittee but died in full committee. The bill be reintroduced next legislative session.
Recently the Mississippi Supreme Court unanimously upheld the state’s open carry-gun law. Earlier this year, legislators passed and Gov. Phil Bryant signed the bill that says adults don’t need a permit to carry a gun that’s not concealed.
Lt. Brian Myers of the Ridgeland Police Department in Miss. said “I personally do not have any reservations about the (open carry) law. We handle the situation no differently whether or not they are openly carrying a weapon … for officers on the scene, knowing what the weapon is, where it is, and who is carrying it, is simply a bonus.”
Officer Myers states that “criminals do tend to target more vulnerable people.”
The simple truth is criminals won’t target their victims in a burger joint with patrons strapped with semi-automatics—it’s one of the safest places in T.X.