On March 24 Texas state representative Drew Springer (R-Muenster) introduced legislation to abolish gun free zones throughout the state of Texas.
Springer argued that so doing would not only protect but also “advance” the rights of Texas’s approximately 826,000 concealed handgun license holders.
According to The Dallas Morning News, Springer pointed out that his bill would only impact “responsible, law-abiding citizens,” as they are the only ones who now refrain from carrying guns in zones marked “gun free.”
But state representative Eric Johnson (D-Dallas) cried foul, saying the removal of gun free zones would mean law-abiding citizens could carry their guns into hospitals. He suggested this could lead to a scenario where “a victim of gun violence [has] to enter a hospital where people could openly carrying handguns.”
Johnson added: “Maybe [gun violence victims] don’t want to see a waiting room full of people openly carrying firearms.”
Springer said he is open to the “possibility” of tweaking the bill so that open carry continues to be barred in certain settings–such as hospitals–but that’s about it. Another supporter of the bill–state representative Molly White (R-Belton)–said her chief concern is not with how people react to law-abiding citizens carrying guns for self-defense but with her colleagues who oppose making it easier for law-abiding citizens to defend themselves.
“What I’m concerned about… is why we would oppose someone’s right to carry,” White said.