House committee approves open carry of handguns

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Associated Press

Posted on April 28, 2011 at 11:03 AM

Updated Thursday, Apr 28 at 11:05 AM

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The House Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety wants to take the concealed part out of concealed handgun licenses.

The committee voted 5-3 in favor of a bill that would remove the word concealed from the law that allows Texans to have a handgun license. The so-called "open carry" law would allow license holders to carry their weapons in plain view wherever they would be allowed to carry a concealed handgun. The rules for getting a license would not change.

Texarkana state Rep. George Lavender authored the bill that was approved Wednesday. In a committee hearing last week, advocates said the law would deter crime. Opponents warned it would create a dangerous and intimidating climate in densely populated cities.

The bill now goes to the full House for consideration.

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