Texas is becoming a battleground for expanded authorization for citizens to carry guns, whether concealed or out in the open, at colleges and pretty much anywhere else they’d like, reports the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Two months before the Legislature reconvenes, gun advocates are already asking state lawmakers for proposals geared to give gun owners more freedom. “There’s no viable reason why Texans are denied their rights the way they are,” said John Pierce, co-founder and spokesman of opencarry.org, a group championing expanded gun rights nationwide. “We’re talking about a tradition and history of rugged individualism that Texas embodies.”
Several gun bills have already been filed, including measures to allow guns at colleges, temporarily exempt guns and ammunition from sales taxes and exempt guns, ammunition and gun parts made in Texas from federal regulation. Pierce said there’s no bill filed yet to make Texas an open-carry state, allowing gun owners to freely and openly carry firearms wherever they go. But he and others who could not find lawmakers to file such a measure in 2009 are working to change that. Brian Malte said he and others at the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence are keeping an eye on gun-related bills in Texas.