From Staff Reports
There are only six states that do not currently allow open carrying of handguns in the United States. A bill was introduced this week to the Texas House of Representatives for open carry of handguns to be allowed in Texas. If the bill is passed, people could wear a firearm in a holster on their belt in public places. Sulphur Springs New-Telegram staff asked people around the community what they thought about open carry in Hopkins County.
If the state of Texas passes a new open carry law, what are your thoughts about the change in policy?
“I would love to be able to carry a gun on my side. I think it would be better to have open carry in Texas, so that everyone would know that you would have the firearm. I would rather know that someone has a gun than surprise me with it.”
“I don’t really have a problem with it because, whether or not it’s open carry or the weapon is concealed, they’re there regardless, so I think I would be fine with it. I almost think it would be better actually, now that I’m thinking about it because then you know who might have one, if you’re concerned with it. And you know, who has a gun and who doesn’t. If it’s concealed, you know know. I really don’t have a problem with it. It would almost make me feel more safe sometimes. Well, I’ve never been a part of anything like that happening, but you know people. The things that happened in the movie theater before, you know, in other states. I mean if more people were able to carry their guns, maybe it would be a little safer. I’m sure not just anybody can carry the guns, I’m sure they have to go through courses or something.”
“I would want to see a firearm rather than it being concealed. I mean, it worked back in the western days. I think open carry would especially be helpful for law enforcement, so they would be able to see who is carrying a firearm, it really would be a wise decision for Texas.”
“I still believe people generally need to be educated in carrying a gun and how to handle gun safety features on a gun. Generally, people in general don’t know how to handle a gun properly and safely, especially when you’re getting out in the public with a loaded pistol; it can be very dangerous. I’m not against people carrying guns, but I still think they ought to go through courses to educate them how to carry a gun safely in the public because it just takes one mistake and then somebody loses their life. I’m not against carrying guns, but I still think people ought to be educated how to carry a gun safely.”
Elder Mack Barrett Sr.
“Well, I have my opinions about handguns. I can understand people want protection, but people don’t need to to carry it around with them everywhere. Unless they live in a very violent area, where it’s necessary. Just to have the gun out in the open could warn off some criminals, but it could also get them killed.
I just don’t think anybody, especially if they’re in an area where there isn’t that much violence, should always carry a gun. Some people will carry just because they can but they can also be bully-like.
It all depends on the person that’s going to be carrying that thing.
I also think people need to take a handgun course and there should be an investigation on why they would want to take the course. I think someone can carry a gun if their life has been threatened once before or they’re in a violent area where there’s a possibility they could be hurt. Other than that, it’s unnecessary to carry handguns.”