- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 18, 2015

Texans could soon be allowed to openly carry handguns, a change gun-rights activists have been seeking for years. 

On Friday the Texas House of Representatives voted 96-35 to allow Texans with concealed-handgun licenses to openly carry their guns in public in holsters, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

A similar open-carry measure passed the Texas Senate last month. Both open-carry measures must be squared and sent to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who has indicated support for the idea, The Journal reported.

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Texas is currently one of six states, including California, New York and Florida, that bars citizens from openly carrying handguns. But Texans can carry long guns in public, which has prompted gun-rights activists to carry assault rifles into restaurants and stores to highlight what they consider a senseless legal distinction.

Gun-rights groups are also pushing for legislation to allow some students and university employees to carry concealed handguns on college campuses. The state Senate passed a campus-carry measure last month and the House is expected to pass a similar measure. Mr. Abbott also supports the campus-carry idea.

That law would make Texas one of only eight states with campus-carry laws permitting guns on college campuses.

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“We are seeing historic progress in Texas,” Terry Holcomb Sr., executive director of Texas Carry, a gun-rights group told The Wall Street Journal. He noted that open-carry legislation had never even made it out of a Texas legislative committee before this year.

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