Conceal or Carry? Residents weigh in



By Alexandria Randolph

After the year anniversary of the Open Carry Texas movement, opinions on the wisdom of open carry and constitutional carry of handguns are still widely dispersed.

Currently, Texas law allows for the open carry of rifles and shotguns, but prevents the open carry of handguns, and the concealed carry of handguns without a license.

Open Carry Texas, a movement originating in Temple, aims to educated the public about their rights to openly carry long-barreled firearms.

C.J. Grisham, a Temple man and active duty US Army Master Sergeant stationed at Fort Hood, is the president and founder of Open Carry Texas. He decided to form the group last year after a personal firearm related incident.

“I was arrested while hiking with my son; legally carrying,” he said.

Grisham said one mission of Open Carry Texas is to convince legislators to pass less restrictive open carry laws, meaning that handguns could be carried openly as well as rifles.

For Grisham, it shouldn’t stop there.

“We are fighting for open carry without a license. That’s a long-term goal for us,” he said, but added that he might change his tune if licensing fees were less oppressive in Texas.

Grisham said that Texas is one of six states that do not allow the open carry of modern handguns. In July 2010, Arizona legalized the constitutional carry of handguns, meaning that citizens can carry a concealed handgun without a license.

Since then, crime rates have fluctuated, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics. There were 31,567 violent crimes in 2008, with a decline to 26,528 violent acts in 2010, jumping up to a total 28,108 in 2012 – leaving constitutional carry considerations inconclusive.

For the full story, see the latest issue of The Highlander

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