The “Open Carry” movement, which was advocating for a change to Texas’ concealed carry law to allow guns to be worn in plain view, appears to have failed as no bill was filed to achieve this end.
[A]fter months lobbying the Legislature, members of the grassroots gun group [OpenCarry.org] have conceded that they could not persuade any Texas lawmaker to file open carry legislation this session, said Ian McCarthy, a student who chairs the Texas Open Carry Work Group.
“I’ve been calling, meeting, doing everything but nobody wants to introduce it,” he said.
It’s not as if there wasn’t ample interest among lawmakers, McCarthy said, but “most of them are just loaded down with so many bills they’ve already introduced.”
State Rep. Debbie Riddle, whom the open carry folks tagged months ago as the bills presumptive sponsor, had the legislation drafted but never introduced it. Her chief of staff explained to open carry members in an email that such legislation was unlikely to pass and that talks of an open carry proposal have already caused difficulties for other Second Amendments bills.
I find this more than a little surprising, but as had been noted before, this may have been a bit of a turf battle.
In the roughly six months since the group started fundraising through online donations to pay for radio spots, billboards and advertising on taxi’s across Texas, they apparently did little to gain favor with the gun lobby.
The Texas State Rifle Association, a state affiliate of the National Rifle Association, never publicly supported the proposal, saying instead they were focusing this session on their current agenda, which did not include open carry. Ultimately, the lack of support from the influential gun lobby could have doomed the group’s efforts to get a bill introduced, open carry members opined on their forums.
I have a hard time believing that a bill like this can’t get passed in Texas. But it’ll have to wait till next session.