Gov. Greg Abbott: ‘I will make Texas the 45th State to Allow Open Carry’

During his 2015 State of the State Address, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott made it crystal clear as to what his intentions are with respect to open carry.

“Let me briefly follow up on a word I mentioned a moment ago–liberty. In a single word, it encapsulates what the country stands for, what Texas symbolizes,” said Abbott, according to Breitbart News. “I will expand liberty in Texas by signing a law that makes Texas the 45th state to allow Open Carry.”

Abbott’s unflinching support for open carry is arguably a hot dagger in the eye of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, the Bloomberg-funded coalition that has been fighting tooth and nail to persuade restaurants and corporations to ban the open carry of firearms on their premises.

With an open carry law on the books, the hope is that the practice becomes more widespread and mainstream in the Lone Star State.

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 24 comments… add one }
  • Spencer Craig December 29, 2017, 10:45 pm

    I didn’t know there were states that allowed open carry. If Texas is planning to be #45, what are the 44 which allow it?

  • pepper martin February 26, 2015, 5:34 pm

    Any open carry law should have a provision stating that ANY level of alcohol or other intoxicant affecting judgement (which should be defined specifically) eg. marijuana, is prohibited and the persons LICENSE IS SUSPENDED FOR 1 YEAR.

    • Gary R. Anderson July 30, 2017, 7:15 pm

      YEAH!!! If some cowboy pack heat on his hip, tokes it up, and plays fast draw in a debate over “who ate my fries”, THAT VICTIM should have his life restored and the cowboy’s LIFE SUSPENDED in-definitely. Trouble is, the poor bloke CAN’T get his life back, and ol’ Rick O’Shay will never give up his gun or his life willingly. So we’ll make a REALLY TOUGH law like taking his license away for a WHOLE YEAR!

  • robert p February 23, 2015, 9:18 pm

    Interesting that one might think Texas is weapons friendly but the fact is 44 states by definition are more so. Keep in mind one cannot have a bowie knife or a machete or a knife with a 5 1/2 blade in the entire state. Nor can one have a silencer while 39 other states allow it (unless a trust is set up at $300). I am glad the new governor will sign the law when it is presented to him. But Governor Perry should have done this decades earlier. And he wants to run for Prez in 2016. In my view, there is no way I would vote for a Prez candidate restricting guns from good citizens nor pushing religion. That means absolutely no votes from my hands for Gov Christy, Gov Perry, nor Senator Cruz. Nor Senator Clinton. 2A rights rank up at the top five issues for me, right after national defense, lower taxes, strong immigration laws, and keeping social security solvent for the generations to come. .

  • peter wrabbit February 23, 2015, 2:51 pm

    ex police officers dont want us to carry guns they all carry conceal weapons they also dont obey the laws they enforce,i think it is only right if we have a clear back ground we should have our rights,i am a born texan never been in trouble with the law

    • Dan Hoot Woods July 28, 2017, 9:44 am

      I’m a retired Texas State Trooper. I believe in open carry and would be willing to say more than half of our police officers are for open carry.

  • James Williams February 23, 2015, 10:40 am

    This was published by the NATIONAL SAFETY COUNCIL in the


    Published: Dec. 12, 2014 Updated: 3:26 p.m.

    Economist and columnist John Lott seems to have said it best in the title of his book, “More Guns, Less Crime.” Using state, county and city crime data, Mr. Lott argued that more guns and looser gun laws raise the cost of committing crime because a would-be criminal is more likely to encounter someone with the means to protect himself or herself, and thus the criminal is less likely to risk being injured or killed in the effort.

    Americans seem to be increasingly embracing this idea. According to a November Gallup poll, 63 percent of Americans believe having a gun in the house makes the home safer, a marked and steady increase from the 35 percent who said so in a 2000 Gallup poll. Just 30 percent feel it makes the home more dangerous, down from 51 percent in 2000.

    Despite media portrayals of high-profile school shootings and occasional tragic gun accidents as evidence of an epidemic of gun violence, the truth is that gun violence has been declining dramatically for a long time, both in the home and outside of it. National Safety Council data reveal that accidental gun deaths in the home have dropped 60 percent over the past 20 years, and now make up just 0.6 percent of such unintentional fatalities.

    Crimes committed with guns have also dropped steadily for over 20 years. And since that 2000 Gallup poll, the rates of crimes committed with a firearm are down 23 percent for murder, 26 percent for robbery and 15 percent for aggravated assault, with all but the latter falling even faster than the overall crime rates.

    During this time, state restrictions on carrying concealed weapons have been relaxed – the number of “shall-issue” concealed-carry states has increased from 31 to 42 – and gun sales and trade show attendance are now at record levels. The FBI conducted more than 21 million background checks for gun purchases in 2013 – nearly 2.5 times the number of checks in 2000.

    Contrary to gun-control advocates’ warnings of blood running in the streets if government does not further restrict access to guns, the easing of gun laws and the rising number of guns sold has coincided with significantly less gun crime and fewer gun-related accidents. It turns out that punishing criminal behavior, while allowing law-abiding citizens the tools with which to defend themselves and their families, leads to both a freer and safer society.

  • Charles Pugh February 23, 2015, 10:25 am



    AUSTIN — After pledging in his campaign to fight for open carry of handguns in Texas, Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick now says it’s not a priority and doesn’t have the votes to pass.

    The issue seemed to be gaining strong momentum for the 2015 session with support from Gov. Greg Abbott, Patrick and other top Republicans who swept into office in November. But Patrick doused the hopes of gun rights advocates with his remarks Tuesday at a forum hosted by the Texas Tribune.

    See what we are dealing with here in Texas? These politicians claim one thing on their agenda ( just to get voted into office I might add) then change their stance once they are elected. For us as citizens the only thing we can do is to not vote for them when reelection time comes.

  • George Williams February 23, 2015, 10:05 am

    I see no reason whatever for frightening the hell out of little old ladies with an open carry.
    Many reasons it’s a bad idea….
    Anyone with evil intent of their mind would know exactally how to counter your defense.
    You would become a “target” for anyone needing a gun to commit other crimes.

    There is only one reason why 2nd ammendment advocates (such as myself) would want to draw a line in the sand
    over this issue…… to spit in the eye of ANTI gun opponents…..tempting….but childish.
    I don’t want to create more dissention in America…..concealed carry is right & proper….open carry has no purpose except to exacerbate the political gun-anti-gun war….we have enough enemy’s… need to create more, by scaring the hell out of people on the street!

    • Dennis Ramsey February 23, 2015, 10:48 am

      I think your missing the point! Most states already have open carry and very few people exercise that right. No one wants to intimidate those who are afraid of gun owners or allow them selves to be a target. This is about liberty, scaling back some of the restrictions that have been placed on gun ownership. I live in Texas and am proud of Abbott.

    • NavyVet1959 February 23, 2015, 11:08 am

      If you do not support open carry, then you have already succumbed to the leftist brainwashing that somehow firearms are different than other *tools* that can be deadly and as such need to be treated differently. Maybe I wouldn’t open carry much, but it would be nice to at least HAVE THE OPTION. This is Texas. Our “little old ladies” are made of stronger stuff — they’re not going to be wetting their granny-panties when they see someone open carrying a firearm.

      Currently, I find it inconvenient that I have to put on a covering garment to conceal my firearm when I get in my car to travel from one property that I own to another one that I own. At each property, I can open carry because I own the property, but I must conceal my handgun while in my car or if I stop for gas. Maybe in the winter it’s not that big of a deal having to add another layer of clothing, but with a Texas Gulf Coast summer, even a t-shirt is too warm. 🙂

    • Darryl February 13, 2017, 3:55 am

      Jim, you do know there are a lot of states who already have open carry and some that is all they allow don’t you?

      the tired line of upsetting some is just to bad they get use to it if they see it enough and about being the first shot because a person is open carrying is just as a tired line too. don’t you think if there was a lot of open carry people that this was happening to that the liberal news would have it all over their news? that way they could say see we told you so. but this is not what happens in real life. if by me using my constitutional right up sets someone will all i say is to bad and that they need to grow up. i also think that you give the anti-gun people ammo to say see they can’t even agree on something like open carry. i’ve open carried since our state passed it and never had any problems. the truth is i’ve had more people ask me about what they need to do to get a license and other questions about carrying CC or OC. the thing is i don’t tell people how they such use their 2nd amendment and don’t think you should either.

  • ron driver February 23, 2015, 9:40 am

    one rarely hears a word about it but
    of course along with gun control comes knife control
    right behind the gun. clearly a left leaning dems ”thing”.
    recent (x) ranking politicians now thinking we need her
    as a president? you know, the lady who upon leaving her
    office announced she was broke. broke??? just another
    outright lie she and her husband are so very good at.
    (2 totally disgusting public figures from day one)
    boomberg is simply an obama clone. between this pair
    YOU clearly have a couple of totally dysfunctional
    human waste matters to deal with.
    of course he (boomberg) forever denies any wrong doing
    in his life and times but where there is so much smoke –
    there is a fire.
    never forget your 2nd amendment rights. never cower
    at the expense of the 2nd.
    more and more i find reason to salute the folks in texas.
    i used to be firmly convinced the people in oregon had it
    together. no longer. i side with the people of texas more
    and more over the past two years! you people ROCK.

  • ibjj February 23, 2015, 8:41 am

    If MDAGSA put it’s efforts into firearms safety education for young people in the nation the already low accidental shooting rate would plummet even further. Their interests only lie in vilification of gun owners and the removal of guns from society…aka Totalitarianism.
    No man can amass the fortune of a Bloomberg without criminal actions upon his part and I call for ALL pro-gun organizations to research these criminal acts and publish them nationally. We need to educate the public to what a despicable individual he really is. Why hasn’t this already been done???

  • Robert R February 23, 2015, 3:14 am

    While I probably wouldn’t open carry I do support the law and the purpose behind the law. We need to take our country back and that starts with the states. These Bloomberg and Soros biddies can do take a flying leap for all I care. They have no right to destroy our freedoms and they would in a heartbeat if they could. So the obvious answer is to enhance our freedoms. The more rights gun owners and citizens have the more difficult it will be for them to take any of them away. The more these freedoms transfer to the citizenry the more citizens you’ll have fighting for those right. He has my full support. I think he’ll be the best governor the State of Texas has ever had. He’s extremely intelligent and he’s one of the best lawyers in the country. He’s made Obama’s little world less comfortable and will now continue to do so.

    • haroldtx February 23, 2015, 1:55 pm

      I am a gun owner and an ex police officer. I fine it very humorous of the statement “take back the country” and “my second amendment rights” . The only people I hear that says it, are some gun owners, many I bet who cannot pass a background test. I only began to hear that about 2008. Is that the most important thing in ones life is to walk around in public with a firearm openly? I do not hear in the same conversation for stiffer penalties for unlaw use of firearm in a crime or felons caught with a firearm. How about increase safety requirements in the CHL classes, and that ALL medical institution and doctors MUST report to law enforcement any one diagnosis with mental or depression ailments. I hope all businesses in American unite to NOT Allow anyone to carry a weapon openly in their businesses. What I would like for all the law abiding citizens unite together for a CHL that is good in ALL states and support stiffer penalties for weapon violators.

      • JeeperD February 24, 2015, 6:42 pm

        I found this to be one the most intelligent comments I have read in a long time. I agree with you completely!!

      • James F March 11, 2015, 2:29 am

        I agree with the CCW that is honored nationwide.
        As to the comment on open carry, we differ. I believe that “an armed society is a polite one” and with your stated experience in law enforcement there is little doubt in your mind that the police are score keepers, namely who won and who lost. Sadly, how rare we hear of an officer present during the commission of a violent criminal act to intervene . Fact is, and always will be… There isn’t enough. You need an example ?? How many patients did you transport for a rape kit to be submitted?? Very little compared to the ER staffs at your local hospitals ! Extreme?? Look at the national numbers just for this type of violent criminal behaviors that far outlast the anguish of being mugged on the street.
        Here is my point: open carry can and does influence criminal behavior not just for “petty crimes” as you would classify mugging, purse snatching, assault… It sure ain’t petty when your the “loser” in that scenario …. Agree ? Now factor in more violent crimes… Take that rape statistic for example… If she or someone in the vicinity has a firearm in open carry, wouldn’t you reason the prospective rapist would choose NOT to attack ? Either blind, unaware of the surroundings or with a death wish. Easy choice for me, a chl holder since Texas first started issuing them… Open carry increases the pressure for violent (and even the not so “petty” ones) to re-examine their choices on who and when they decide to violate. Yes. I’m fully aware that even justified use of deadly force will financially ruin me. Wouldn’t be any different for someone that has open carry. Hell, even police officers are not exempt: just look at Darren Wilson !
        Unlike many readers and armchair lawyers, I KNOW the pain of a bullet in your body… Which is nothing compared to the anguish one goes thru when you made the decision to end another human beings’ life. For God and Country doesn’t excuse, recuse, or change it. I truly wish no one ever faces that decision, and even more so that no one causes that decision to be made towards them. It is MY opinion that open carry reduces that possibility. Dispute that with statistics. Not the cooked up stats, not a speculation…. Real stats. Here is a starting point: when was the last time you had a weapon displayed in your holster….. And a perp attempted a violent act after seeing you had a weapon ? That’s the point: they are very unlikely to. Think it’s your police hat that deters them? Really ??

      • David W Stephenson July 13, 2015, 8:51 am

        And just how long were you in Law Enforcement, are one of these new types that believe there is only black and white ,or do you believe in the GRAY area. I have been retired for almost 20.I believe Americans should have the Right to chose In or Out carry. And why do you find it humorus about taking our county back, Presonally I think this county is in a world of SH&T. And if you think its just gun owners then I for one am GLAD you retired. You mean to tell me that you really can’t see all the stuff thats has happened since 2009? If we get out of this mess without having to fight our own gov it will be a miracle. I for one will STAND MY GROUND, Been doing it all my life. Also did you ever have to take you weapon out of its holster other thatn to Qualify? And I agree with Stiffer penalties for weapons violators,but not doctors giving info unless they send you for mental help that they can’t give. Give the politicians who think the good gun owners are the problem hell, because they are the wrong ones, like one commentator stated an armed society is a ppolite sociity, A person who intends to do harm to others, will think twice about dying at the hand of a regular JOE who is a responsible CCW, Just my 2 cents from an old time retiree!

      • David W Stephenson July 13, 2015, 8:53 am

        And just how long were you in Law Enforcement, are one of these new types that believe there is only black and white ,or do you believe in the GRAY area. I have been retired for almost 20.I believe Americans should have the Right to chose In or Out carry. And why do you find it humorus about taking our county back, Presonally I think this county is in a world of SH&T. And if you think its just gun owners then I for one am GLAD you retired. You mean to tell me that you really can’t see all the stuff thats has happened since 2009? If we get out of this mess without having to fight our own gov it will be a miracle. I for one will STAND MY GROUND, Been doing it all my life. Also did you ever have to take you weapon out of its holster other thatn to Qualify? And I agree with Stiffer penalties for weapons violators,but not doctors giving info unless they send you for mental help that they can’t give. Give the politicians who think the good gun owners are the problem hell, because they are the wrong ones, like one commentator stated an armed society is a polite sociity, A person who intends to do harm to others, will think twice about dying at the hand of a regular JOE who is a responsible CCW, Just my 2 cents from an old time retiree!

      • Darryl February 13, 2017, 4:21 am

        there are laws on the books already for just what you asked for. it’s getting the states to enforce those laws to their limit. so passing more laws to do the thing like you say will do no good because the courts don’t enforce the ones they have. i open carry and don’t care who it upsets or makes mad like it does you. i also don’t go around tells others to use their right or what a bunch of dummies they are like you and others do who think THEY have the right to tell all gun owners how to carry doesn’t matter to me as long as their lawful people.

      • John F. Remenyi September 15, 2017, 11:08 am

        Stiffer penalties for weapons violators seems like a good idea to me, provided we are talking about people who engage in a criminal act such as robbery or rape using a weapon, and not simply technical or clerical “violations” of regulatory law without intent to do harm to another party. There are so many convoluted and contradictory laws and executive “rulings” which vary from city to city and state to state, as well as from year to year at the national level, that any responsible gun owner might easily be in violation at any time without even knowing it and without causing or seeking to cause harm to anyone else, merely by traveling to a hunting preserve or shooting range or by not keeping abreast of current events in a given jurisdiction.

        I have a few small problems with your suggestion to require medical professionals/institutions to report cases of mental illness and depression: Diagnosing these conditions is rarely as simple as a pass/fail selection. A huge percentage of Americans suffer from depression, but that depression takes many different forms and is caused by many different factors. Many people may suffer depression on a seasonal or temporary basis for any number of reasons, but very few of them would turn to violence, whether using a gun or any other means, as a result. Should those citizens lose their second amendment rights? What about the right to own or operate a car, or a kitchen knife? Can you suggest a reliable way to tell a mild, temporary case of depression from a severe (meaning dangerous) one? Are doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, hospital administrators, etc. infallible? Can you also ensure that they won’t falsely report someone because of some personal or political agenda? Perhaps some sort of review board would be in order, but then, can you ensure it will not become a political pawn or engage in selective enforcement or jurisprudence on the basis of race, color, creed, wealth, shoe size or hairstyle? How do you propose to enact such rules without coming into direct conflict with doctor-patient confidentiality rules and laws? Would any of this be feasible in terms of the additional staffing and paperwork necessary to ABRIDGE AND SUSPEND THE CONSTITUTIONALLY GUARANTEED RIGHTS OF TENS OF THOUSANDS OF LAW ABIDING AMERICANS without even mirandizing most of them, let alone following due process and trying them in a court of law (see amendments 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, & 14, as well as the second), and if due process is observed, how will the millions of hours of jury duty, attorneys’ fees and other employment necessary for this process be funded?

        As for open carry in businesses, I don’t see any why reason it should not be left up to the individual business owners, much as is currently is in many states. I am a small business owner myself, and I very much prefer to have law-abiding legitimate customers open-carry on my premises vs. turning their business away or asking them to leave their guns at home. My shop is not in the nicest part of town, and I have observed a steady reduction in theft, vandalism, loitering and soliciting on and near my property since 4 years ago when I began to build a customer base largely comprised of responsible gun owners, many of whom do open carry. It’s my belief that some lawless and dishonorable individuals observe the visible presence of legal, privately held firearms at my place of business, and that after talking amongst themselves, they and their cohorts tend to take their trouble to other businesses which appear less able to defend themselves. I have also been shown, first-hand, that law enforcement in my town will NOT appear in time to prevent or mitigate a robbery or shooting. After a thankfully minor burglary a couple of years ago, local police took a full hour to respond to the alarm, and did virtually nothing to apprehend to perpetrator. This in spite of several patrol cars routinely operating within 5 minutes of my address and ample physical evidence being available at the scene. If that event was a robbery at gun or knife-point, I or one of my employees would likely be dead (as was a victim of a similar incident that took place a few minutes away earlier that year), unless we had the means on our person to neutralize the attacker.

        I do think a nationwide concealed-carry would be a positive thing, if only to preempt certain states and municipalities from illegally suspending the rights of law abiding citizens within their jurisdictions, and to streamline and simplify enforcement and comprehension of concealed-carry, but here I still see the potential for the federal government to usurp those rights and/or privileges it is meant to protect by way of executive fiat, such as refusing to process applications or only granting licenses contingent upon unrelated concerns such as back taxes, bankruptcies, past-due medical bills, etc. Perhaps, instead of nationalizing the permit-issuing process, enacting a law which requires reciprocity between all of the states would be most effective.

  • James February 18, 2015, 1:42 pm

    I don’t think that Gov. Abbott said he wanted to “sing” an open carry law, I think he said that he wanted to “sign” it.

    • S.H. Blannelberry February 18, 2015, 8:30 pm

      I dunno, I think he’s got a very powerful singing voice. (Good catch, thx!)

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