LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Just days before open carry goes into effect around the state, East Texas gun store owners said they're seeing a hike in sales. Beginning January 1st, Texas will become the 45th state to legalize carrying a gun in plain sight if you have a conceal-carry license.
Some residents said they purchased a gun for a concern many of us all have, our safety.
"I use them for protection," William Wooten, a gun owner said.
"Self-protection, period," said Karl Hogsett, one of the owners of Lufkin Hog Arms. "I mean mass shootings happen more and more every day. So it pays to be armed."
With terrorist threats becoming a reality, many residents want to stay strapped in plain sight. That will soon happen as the state of Texas will go open carry Friday.
That up-coming deadline has East Texans preparing to see a lot more guns.
"It's part of our right, and I firmly believe it's something we should have access to," said Jared Johnson, a gun owner.
"We get a lot of mixed reviews on the open carry," Karl said. "A lot of people are saying, 'I'm not going to carry openly' or 'I'm going to continue to carry concealed.'"
One of the most important things to remember when purchasing a gun is to find one that fits your hand comfortably and is easy to maneuver.
"The gun ought to fit them, not buy something that's cool," Karl said. "They ought to know how to operate and store it safely. Not every pistol fits every person's hand."
"It has to fit your lifestyle, how you plan to wear your gun, and how you plan to conceal it if you plan to open carry when the new law comes out."" said Laura Hogsett, one of the owners of Hog Arms said.
Something that's just as important as purchasing a gun, is knowing how to use it.
"The concealed-carry course is a great program; you learn a lot by going through that program," Johnson said.
Some residents said it's never too early to teach your kids how to protect themselves.
"Be aware of where its at and that it's loaded at all times," Wooten said. "Teach your children that as well, and respect it."
In an effort to answer questions about the new open carry law Angelina County Sheriff Greg Sanches said the Angelina County Sheriff's Office will be hosting a free public forum on open carry and what is allowed.
It will be Tuesday, December 29th at 11 a.m. at the downtown Civic Center.