Open carry is now in effect across Texas
Opt out signs are posted anywhere from restaurants to apartment complexes. Meanwhile, the capitol was host to a big celebration for guns on display earlier today.
At the state capitol New Year's Day there was a celebration for renewed rights.
"Today is a very historic day for Texas," said C.J.Grisham of Open Carry Texas.
Open carry is now in effect. Due in part to the effort of Open Carry Texas founder C.J. Grisham.
"We didn't stop and you didn't stop. We proved the sight of a firearm is not something to fear," said Grisham.
Grisham caught the attention of police in 2013 when he openly carried this rifle while walking in temple with his son.
He was arrested and convicted of the class b misdemeanor offense of interference with the duties of an officer. His arrest spawned a wave of demonstrations and legislative action.
On Friday, he openly carried and marched down congress with other open carry supporters.
"It feels great. I want to say it feels like I have more freedom," said Eleazar Paradise. "I just feel safer."
When it comes to open carry, handguns must be carried in a shoulder or belt holster. Long gun rifle laws have not changed and can now be open carry. Minors under the age of 18 cannot openly carry without a parent present.
Carrying a handgun is still restricted at the following places: schools, businesses receiving 51% or more of income from serving alcohol, secures areas of government buildings, voting locations, courtrooms, sporting events, correctional facilities and meeting locations pursuant to the Texas Open Meetings Act.
Police departments across the state including Austin PD have released videos to help educate the public.
Privately owned businesses can opt out and many have. The following business prohibit Open Carry.
- Alamo Movie theaters
- Kerby Lane
- Torchy's Tacos
- Whole Foods
Businesses wishing not to participate will display signs to remind customers before entering.
This may be a day worth celebrating, but gun rights supporters say they aren't finished. They wish for constitutional carry where all legal gun owners can carry without a license.
9-1-1 call takers have been trained to handle additional calls because of the law change.
Police say before you call 9-1-1 ask yourself, is the gun out of the holster? Is the person acting reckless, threatening or a danger to the public? Then, decide whether a call is necessary.