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New Texas Governor Says He'll Sign Open Carry Law

Greg Abbott says he will sign open carry legislation once it reaches his desk.

Throughout his campaign for Governor of Texas, Republican Greg Abbott promised to approve open carry legislation if given the opportunity.

After a landslide victory against Wendy Davis, the Governor Elect reinforced his promise to sign open carry legislation if it makes through the legislative bodies and is presented for his signature.

"I announced my support for open carry in Texas and if an open carry bill is passed by the House and Senate ... I will sign it into law," the former Attorney General said.

Many states have open carry laws or pending legislation. In recognition of this, Abbott said, "If open carry is good enough for Massachusetts, it is good enough for Texas."

Since the 1800s, Texans have been prohibited from carrying certain hand guns openly and outside their homes. In 1995, Texas passed a concealed carry law that allows for a license holder to conceal a handgun, subject to some restrictions, throughout Texas.

Several groups have formed to push for open carry legislation including Open Carry Texas and Open Carry Tarrant County.

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Open carry legislation has been proposed before, but it has never made it out of the committees. A post on Open Carry Texas website says, "Call your representative and demand that he/she support Scott Turner for House Speaker over liberal Joe Straus. Straus is the reason open carry has failed every time it was submitted."

The Wall Street Journal reports that Texas is one of only six states that currently have a blanket prohibition to open carry firearms. Other states include Illinois, New York and California.

Thirteen states require a permit for open carry, and 31 states allow the practice without any permit or license requirements.

Greg Abbott takes office on January 20, 2015.

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New Texas Governor Says He'll Sign Open Carry Law