Law enforcement meet with Angelina Co. residents about upcoming open carry law

Law enforcement meet with Angelina Co. residents about upcoming open carry law
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A crowd of a little over 400 residents packed the hall inside the Pitser Garrison Convention Center Tuesday to learn more details about the upcoming Open Carry law.

"We are here to tell you what we know and answer any questions you might have," said Angelina County Sheriff Greg Sanches.

The Open Carry law will go into effect on Jan.1 and will allow people with a current up-to-date concealed carry license to openly carry their handgun in public as long as it is in an approved holster. Local government officials have already put some restrictions on certain areas.

"No guns are allowed in the courthouse," Sanches said. "We will keep it that way until the Attorney General makes a ruling that says we cannot. It is a safety concern."

The City of Lufkin has also looked into what is allowed while on city property.

"Open carry is allowed with a few exceptions," City Manager Keith Wright said. "People will not be allowed to bring a gun, under any carry law, into our municipal court building, any public city meeting or a place being used for voting during elections."

The guest at today's Q and A said they are pleased with what has taken place during the discussion.

"People carrying firearms in defense of their 2nd Amendment rights is good and lets the naysayers say all these people are carrying guns and they're not creating any crimes," Gary Hubbell said. "It is a great thing, but I don't plan on doing it. I will use concealed carry because I don't want someone to see it and then take me out in the process."

Jannie McCann attended the meeting and was concerned about how open carry would effect the school districts. McCann said her concern was from the recent shootings that have dominated headlines.

"Several things I have worried about with the school situations," McCann said. "My daughter is a principal at a school so I worried about that. I talked to the sheriff afterwords, and he cleared up many of the questions I had. I also was concerned about how to open carry. I needed to know what kind of holster to get that would be good for a woman."

Sanches believed the biggest issue would be the signs. Depending on what they decide a business will have to put either one or two signs up for how they feel about the issue of guns on their private property. According to Sanches, if a business does not want to allow for concealed carry, they must now post a sign citing section 30.06 of the Texas Penal Code. Sanches said if they do not want to allow for open carry they must also post a sign for section 30.07 of the penal code.

"A lot of it is going to be dealing with the signs," Sanches said. "A lot of places don't know which ones will go up and which one's don't. If a business has a concern, they can call us at the sheriff's department, and we can get them with the right combination they will need for what they want to do."

The new law will go into effect on Jan. 1.

For more details, click here.

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