Open Carry gun law effective Jan 1

(ROCKWALL, TX – Jan. 1, 2016) Rockwall residents learned all about the new Open Carry law that takes effect today during a special information session put on in mid-December by CARGO (Citizens Association for Responsible Gun Ownership) at The Center in Rockwall.

CARGO invited State Senator Bob Hall – who was active in getting the new law passed – to provide opening remarks, followed by a presentation by Rockwall Assistant Police Chief Kirk Aldridge and Lieutenant Joseph Florance on exactly what the new law entails and how the Rockwall Police Department will respond to calls concerning Open Carry. Those in attendance were also encouraged to ask any questions they had about the new gun law.

As of January 1, 2016, concealed handgun licenses become carry licenses and with a valid concealed license issued before that date will still be allowed to openly carry or conceal a handgun in public. Anyone who receives a license after Jan. 1 will get a Carry license that will allow them to openly carry or conceal a handgun.

A license holder may generally carry a concealed handgun or openly carry a handgun in a belt or shoulder holster anywhere, provided the holder keeps the gun concealed or in the holster and is not intoxicated. A license holder may not carry in a place prohibited by law or on private property when notice is given. Other places a license holder cannot carry include:

  • Premises of a polling place on the day of an election or while early voting is still in progress
  • Premises of any government court or offices utilized by the court
  • Into a secured area of an airport
  • On the physical premises of a school
  • On the premises where a high school, collegiate, or professional sporting event or interscholastic event is taking place

According to the presentation, if a citizen reports a person carrying a weapon in public, communications personnel will ask specific questions to determine if the person is acting in a threatening manner. Police officers responding to these types of situations will always use caution and ask the person to show them a valid carry license.

If a license holder refuses to show their license, they may be charged with Unlawful Carrying of a Weapon.

For questions regarding the Open Carry law, contact Rockwall Assistant Police Chief Kirk Aldridge at 972-772-6455 or , or Patrol Lieutenant Joseph Florance at 972-772-6736 or .

By Austin Wells, Blue Ribbon News staff writer. 

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