Gun enthusiasts rally at Capitol for open carry law

C.J. Grisham, president and CEO of Open Carry Texas, headlined a rally at the Capitol on Monday with fewer than 100 gun enthusiasts.

Grisham and members of his organization want see the passage of House Bill 195 by Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford. The measure would allow Texans to carry handguns — as well as shotguns and rifles — in public without a permit.

Speaking to the crowd, Grisham reminded supporters to “be respectful, polite, but be firm” as they speak to their representatives and state senators.

“Talk to them in terms they can understand,” he said. “Speak like a politician.”

Monday’s rally came about a week and a half after another collection of gun rights activists heatedly confronted state Rep. Poncho Nevárez in his office, leading lawmakers to vote to install so-called panic buttons in their offices. Read the coverage here.

Grisham, who believes an open carry policy will deter criminals from committing crimes, told supporters at the rally to remind politicians who oppose the legislation that open carry proponents will work to find primary challengers unless they come around.

The rally was more sparsely attended than Grisham would have wanted, he said.

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But one attendee, Dan Henderson, made the trip from Cibolo and brought his two sons. Henderson, who wore an empty holster on his hip, said he went to the Capitol to fight for his Second Amendment right.

“We need the right to bear arms without government permission,” he said after the conclusion of the rally.