Handgun open carry debate may have local ties - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |


Handgun open carry debate may have local ties

The front-runners in the Texas Governor's race are making headlines for their stance on handgun open carry laws.  The hot topic may have local ties.

You may remember when CJ Grisham was arrested last summer after carrying his rifle through a Temple park.  He started Open Carry Texas last June, and the group now has about 10,000 members.  

Grisham says, "Since my arrest last year, I think people started waking up and going, wait a minute this is absurd. This is the law. He's allowed to legally do this and the only reason he's carrying his rifle is because he can't openly carry his pistol."

Regardless of why, handgun open carry is a hot topic this election season.

Grisham says, "We're obviously excited that this is a campaign issue not only for the governors, but for the lieutenant governors and the attorney generals. I mean when you've got someone like Wendy Davis pretending to like open carry...."

This month Davis did release a statement showing her support for handgun open carry.  Then her Republican opponent Greg Abbott took to Twitter to share his stance.  But local lawmakers say handgun open carry is a topic they don't want to touch before elections.  And others are downright horrified by the idea.

Grisham says, "They say that it's barbaric and we're back to the wild wild west.  To a law abiding citizen, if you're concealed carrying or open carrying, it doesn't make any difference."

We also spoke to some police officers in the area.  They didn't want to comment on handgun open carry, saying they're here to enforce laws, not give opinions about them.
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