Reaction to Abbott's Push for Open Carry

TX Attorney General Greg Abbott announced this week that if elected governor, he'd push to legalize the open carry of handguns. But, even some gun enthusiasts say open carry could pose some serious risks.

By Victoria Price

LUBBOCK, TX -- Attorney General Greg Abbott announced this week that if elected governor, he'd push to legalize the open carry of handguns. He also said he supports allowing licensed firearms on college campuses.

District 83 Represenative Charles Perry said on Thursday, however, that he isn't entirely sure how he'd vote on the issue of open carry.

"I'm definitely for concealed carry, I'm definitely an NRA supporter," Perry said. "But there's definitely a lot of issues related to open carry that I need to look at. I would just have to see what he's proposed."

Abbott also said he supports allowing guns on college campuses. Here in Lubbock, Texas Tech is known for gettin' their guns up. But, some students say actual firearms have no place on campus.

"I don't believe we should have guns on college campuses simply because it creates an unsafe environment on campus," said Tochi Imoh, a TTU junior. "One time when I lived in the dorms last year, a shot was fired off. But, if guns aren't allowed right now, and guns are getting shot off in the dorms, what happens when you give people access to guns on campus?"

Ben Linton is a certified concealed handgun instructor who lives in Lubbock. He says that openly carrying weapons can actually put gun owners in more danger, not less.

"If you are carrying open, and a bad guy comes in, he'll probably shoot you first. because he would want to eliminate any threats," according to Linton.

Linton also says that allowing open carry would require an overhaul of state gun license requirements, because concealed licensing courses don't require learning weapon retention skills.

"If someone were say, standing in the grocery line, open carry, and they didn't have any weapon retaining training, what would prevent someone from just pulling the gun out of their holster?" Linton says. "There's some real issues that need to be thought through."

Texas is one of just a handful of states that specifically outlaws the open carry of handguns.

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