Texas bill allowing unlicensed carry of guns clears committee

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SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) -- Open carry has been in Texas now for a year for those with a concealed carry license, but a new House bill would allow open carry without permits.

"It's very intimidating to the public to have a gun out, showing it and I don't think that's really a good idea," said Clark Van Dyck, who said he's opposed to open carry altogether. "They are showing everybody they have a gun, so if there was some kind of a conflict, they might be the first to get shot, to get them out of the way."

Van Dyck said it would concern him if a bill passes in Texas allowing people without a permit to do so.

"I would want them to have a class in it, because it's more than just carrying a gun. You learn in those classes what you have on the law in case you actually do fire the gun, are you within the law at that point or not?," said Van Dyck.

Red River Firearms owner Jason Webb said he supports the bill, but only to a certain extent.

"In my opinion, there should be at least a qualification course on shooting," said Webb.

The bill, HB 1911, is being called "constitutional carry" by its backers.

The committee passed a modified version of the bill, which requires guns to be in a holster.

"The definition of holster is very loose and very, very gray so they'll have to go and get more detail of what kind of holster are allowed or what's not allowed," said Webb.

The bill also now requires people openly carrying guns to be at least 21 without any prior felony convictions.

The original bill would've allowed almost anyone in the state who was 18 or older to openly carry a handgun.

"The analogy I use is, I believe in the right to bear arms, I believe in the second amendment, but you need to ask yourself, "Should everybody drive?," said Webb.

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