Push for Open Carry Gun Law Hits Texas 28,000 sign online petition
ByLindsay Wilcox

Updated 7:30 AM CST, Tue, Dec 2, 2008


Getty Images
"Winnetka is a better community because of the handgun ban," Village President Ed Woodbury had said prior to Tuesday's vote.

Since 1996, people who want to carry a gun in Texas have had to apply for a license and conceal it in public, but some said the rules are too strict for a state known for its love of arms.

Now, there is a new push to loosen gun laws in Texas. A group of gun advocates are hoping the next legislature will consider a bill that would allow people to carry guns out in the open.

Texas is one of just six states requiring people to carry their handguns concealed. The law means people have to be licensed and pass a training course.

It's something gun advocates like Duane Suddeth don't like.

"So, for aperson to exercise their right to self-defense, theyneeds to shell out about $225 or more," said Suddeth.

Suddeth is fighting for an open carry law in Texas; something 44 other states already have.

It would do away with all the fees and mean you could carry a gun on your hip for all the world to see.

"Criminals are not going to want to target a person who has the ability to fight back with lethal force," said Suddeth.

"Ever since this country was founded, the legitimate way to carry was open, so people knew what you were doing was legitimate, you had a gun and you're not trying to hide anything," saidDaniel Vanhoose, employee at DFW Gun Range,

Most gun owners obviously support the law, but some said they won't benefit much from it.

"Ithink I would still conceal mine, because I think I would feel more safe," said Crystal Ellenbrook.

For many, like Louis Alexander,who don't carry guns, there's a concern that an open carry law would mean a return to the wild west.

"People walking around with guns in the wide open, they're just ready for a challenge.You know? I'm going to get you before you get me," said Alexander.