Senate Bill 17, authored by Senator Craig Estes, was passed out of the State Affairs Committee on Thursday. If passed through the Senate and House Chambers, this bill would authorize open carry of modern handguns in Texas by anyone with a license, so long as the handguns are carried in shoulder or belt holsters.
"I was very pleased to see this important piece of legislation pass favorably out of the first State Affairs hearing of the 84th Legislative Session," Senator Estes said. "I appreciate Lt. Governor Patrick for making this issue a priority, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate and House to ensure this bill makes it to Governor Abbott's desk to be officially signed into law."
Texas is currently one of six states that does not permit citizens to openly carry modern handguns under any circumstances. The other states that deny their citizens the right to carry handguns openly are: California, Florida, Illinois, New York, and South Carolina. Thirty states allow open carry without any type of license, and the remaining fourteen allow open carry by people who have satisfied a licensing requirement.
If passed, the new license to carry created by this bill would replace the existing concealed handgun license. Applicants would have to meet the same requirements that they currently do to get a concealed handgun license. Those who already have concealed handgun licenses would not have to re-apply; their licenses would automatically allow open carry after the effective date of the bill.