Better East Texas: The controversy around open carry laws

Published: Jul. 20, 2015 at 5:00 PM CDT
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(KLTV) - The law permitting the open carry of firearms is still almost 6 months away from going into effect but already, it is creating controversy.

Texas was one of the last states to allow open carry and many in our population will, no doubt, lawfully exercise their rights. Recently the statewide burger restaurant Whataburger announced they were electing to prohibit open display of weapons in the restaurants. However, they were still allowing licensed concealed weapons.

This started a strong emotional campaign in social media by citizens both for and against the restaurant's decision. The most emotional against the decision vowed to boycott the restaurant – never to go there again. The reality is that this announcement was not that unexpected and many, many restaurants and other businesses for that matter will follow the example of Whataburger.

It was said in one story related to the decision that, appropriately, the law provides that gun rights cannot trump property rights. So property owners are well within their rights to pass on open carry. Expect more announcements in the coming months on businesses making similar decisions and be reasonable no matter which side of this issue you are on.

This new law is an advancement for gun owners and to assume there would be no restrictions or boundaries was not realistic. Those entities that prohibit open carry should be respected, not boycotted.

Next year, when this law goes into effect, it will be obvious Texas has turned a corner on Second Amendment rights.

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