Some East Texans say carrying a gun to work is a right to be pro - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Some East Texans say carrying a gun to work is a right to be protected

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Billy F. Pate sells firearms at Bill's Gun Trader in Lufkin. Billy F. Pate sells firearms at Bill's Gun Trader in Lufkin.
Ricky Smith is the owner of Fiesta Auto Insurance in Nacogdoches. Ricky Smith is the owner of Fiesta Auto Insurance in Nacogdoches.

By Holley Nees - bio | email

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) – Being in the business of selling firearms, Billy Pate knows his gun laws.

He wasn't expecting the Texas Legislature to consider changing the gun laws in the middle of a budget crises.

"It surprised me, but I'm glad they did," said Pate, a co-owner of Bill's Gun Trader in Lufkin.

The Senate passed a bill that would allow Texans to take their guns and ammunition to work, as long as they leave them in their car on the job.

"I think it's fine," said Pate. "You ought to be able to take them in though."

However, the owner of Fiesta Auto Insurance in Nacogdoches, Ricky Smith, said it unfairly targets business owners.

"It does violate my right to say no weapons on the premises," said Smith. "I think that should still be left to the business owner or the company director whether they want weapons on the premises or not."

"If it's locked in the car, how does it violate our rights," asked one East Texan.

"You have to agree with the owner of the business if they say no firearms, well there should be no firearms," Pate said.

Since he sells guns and ammo himself, Pate knows business owners have rights, but said lawmakers could even take it a step further.

"A lot of those colleges around, we might not have had all the deaths we've had if somebody was able to carry a gun," said Pate.

However, the proposal doesn't apply to school districts, company vehicles, or anywhere firearms are prohibited by state or federal law.

East Texans still have mixed emotions.

"As long as you don't take them in the office, I mean, you know you got it locked up in your car, it's fine with me," said one East Texan.

"You've got a lot of high stress and high pressure jobs and if you know you've got a gun outside and you have a real, real bad day, what's to stop you from going out there on lunch and coming back in and taking it out on your boss because you're mad at him," Smith said.

It's not the law yet. The bill is a long way from reaching the Governor's desk. It still needs approval from house committee, before a vote in the full house.

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