Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick isn’t sure if there is enough support from the Legislature to push a proposal through allowing all Texans the right to openly carry a firearm, with or without a permit. During last session, lawmakers passed a proposal that allowed open carry, however Patrick said he is not sure the support is as strong this time around. Constitutional carry is being pushed ahead of the 85th session, which opens Tuesday by conservative members of the House.
“On constitutional carry, I’ll say the same thing: I don’t know if the votes are there,” Patrick said.
Patrick says he fully supports open carry, but it’s not without a few reservations. Patrick’s focus is on police and protecting them since the shooting last year that killed five officers and wounded seven others.
Patrick said, “I think with all the police violence today we have in our state … law enforcement does not like the idea of anyone being able to walk down the street with a gun and they don’t know if they have a permit or not.”
Texas became the 45th state to allow concealed-carry permit holders to openly carry their firearms on January 1, 2017. Concealed carry has been allowed in the state since the 1990s. Patrick said on January 3, “Everywhere that we have more citizens carrying guns, crime is less. There’s a study showing that where states have open carry or concealed carry, but particularly open carry, the crime is down 25 percent. Murders are down. Having law-abiding citizens having guns is a good thing.”