December 16, 2014 at 1:04 PM CST - Updated July 11 at 11:11 PM
Wichita Falls, TX – As Texas lawmakers prepare to return to Austin the talk about packing heat legally here in the Lone Star State is firing off. Texas is one of six states in the country without an open carry law, but that could soon change. At least six bills have been filed prior to the start of the 87th legislative session.
Newschannel 6 asked viewers their thoughts about the possibility of the state repeal its 140-year ban to open carry. Viewers voiced their concerns on our Facebook page.
Heather Gressett wrote "I don't want to go to the grocery store to get eggs with some idiot that thinks he needs an assault rifle. It's just not necessary."
Michael Caraway posted "If Texas goes open carry i think i will still conceal carry."
Terri Madison commented " although I personally prefer constitutional carry, I like it, it will be nice to have the option to carry open or concealed.
One attorney I spoke with, said while this issue affects many Texans, this decision does not rest in the hands of the public opinion.
"Texas is in a unique situation because there is no substantial anti-gun political movement out there," said Edwin Walker, program attorney with Texas law shield, a law firm that represents people in second amendment cases around the country says the battle to open carry in Texas is between pro-gun groups.You have the old line groups, the NRA and TSRA that believe we should change the concealed handgun licenses into just a handgun license.Then there is a new group, a new movement that sprung up over the last two years that a lot of your viewers may know as the open carry movement. The open carry movement and the open carry movement don't accept anything less than fully recognized unlicensed constitutional open carry of handguns."
Walker said in order for a bill to be passed this upcoming legislative session, both sides must find common ground.
The 87th legislative session reconvenes on Aug. 13. Governor elect Greg Abbott pledges to sign an open carry bill into law once it makes it ways to his desk. Abbott will be sworn into office on Jan. 20.