Despite opposition from liberal gun control advocates, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is expected to sign a bill that will reverse a nearly 140-year-old ban on open carry gun laws in the state.
Rep. Debbie Riddle, co-sponsor of the bill, states that the change in Texas gun policy will have a substantial effect on Second Amendment rights, according to Fox News.
“Everywhere there is a denial of Second Amendment rights, crime is through the roof,” Riddle said. “It’s a deterrent. If someone is going to rob a convenience store and there are other people inside with guns on their hips, they might think twice.”
Supporters of the bill emphasize that the new reforms will effectively discourage crime in the state, giving the everyday citizen the right to openly defend themselves. The bill passed through the Texas state legislature last Friday across party lines.
The bill comes just days after another Texas legislation passed a proposal that could allow students at Texas universities to carry concealed weapons on campus. Abbott stated that he will almost certainly sign both bills into law, according to a report by the Los Angeles Times.
“Concealed handgun license holders are the safest, most responsible gun owners in Texas,” Texas state Sen. Donna Campbell said in a statement. “It is irresponsible on our part to disarm the good guys where violent offenders disregard the law.”
Texas is one of only five states in the country that have an unmitigated ban on the right to openly carry guns. Citizens hoping to participate in these new reforms must apply for a gun carrying license, attain firearms training and undergo a thorough background check.
Abbott, an outspoken supporter of the Second Amendment, tweeted his support for the bill on Wednesday evening.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) June 4, 2015
The bill would become law on Jan. 1, 2016.