Which side of these pro gun advocates are you on?
The first day of legislation for the state of Texas is underway as of Tuesday, January 13th. On this date, lawmakers for the state came together to debate several key gun laws that may go into effect, or even repeal a few others.
On this same day, pro gun advocates also came together on the steps of the state capital, armed with long guns to show support for pro gun laws. They also built a gun just to show everyone how easy it is, with the help of a device called a Ghost Gunner.
Members of Come and Take it Texas organized this rally in protest of the current laws that they are hoping to have repealed that do not allow for open carry inside the state. However, long guns are allowed. They also rallied in protest of handgun licensing in general.
The entire event is based on a single bill that Representative Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, proposed to repeal handgun licensing requirements, stating that they are unconstitutional due to the costs and restrictions, as well as allowing public open carry.
Not only did the pro gun advocates carry long guns like rifles and ARs, they also carried a copy of the bill with the Gov-elect Gregg Abbot's signature on it. According to the original Texas Tribune, Abbot stated that he would sign any such bill that made its way to his desk.
Despite the message that the Come and Take It Texas are trying to convey, there are other pro gun advocates that feel they are going about supporting their cause the wrong way.
Another organized group, Open Carry Texas, led by the founder, CJ Grisham, will be demonstrating later in the month with empty holsters in protest of the current open carry ban. Grisham feels the use of carrying weapons in support of lesser gun laws sends a bad message, going so far as to even reach out to Come and Take It Texas asking them to not demonstrate with their weapons.
"I don't understand the purpose of it. It seems confrontational and, really, needless," said Grisham, "I mean, it's the first day of the Legislature, we are this close to getting open carry passed, and now these guys want to come and manufacture a firearm on the steps of the Capitol? I just don't get it."
Chuck Richter, one of the members of Come and Take It Texas, carried a Chinese SKS rifle that he used for hog hunting, does't really see it that way.
"It's less about intimidation than re-sensitizing people to something that should be customary," Richter stated. "This is not North Korea, where only the state gets to carry protection."