Open-Carry Push Has Texas in Its Sights

by JULIA HARTE, The Wall Street Journal  |  published on July 20, 2014

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Activists bringing rifles into Texas chain stores in recent weeks have put the state at the center of a national fight over “open-carry” laws, reinforcing many Americans’ perception of the Lone Star State as a haven for gun rights.

In reality, Texas has one of the nation’s more restrictive laws on the carrying of handguns—a policy that firearms-rights groups and state legislators are fighting to change. Those efforts, however, have been unsuccessful: Legislation in recent years proposing to allow people to carry handguns visibly has stalled.

Now, some Texas gun-rights supporters are concerned that negative publicity over the recent protests will make their struggle even tougher.

Proponents of open carry say they have resorted to toting long arms such as rifles into chains like Target and Chipotle to make a point—because it is all they are legally permitted to do.

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