Texas is poised to become the largest state in the U.S. to allow citizens to openly carry handguns, a change long sought by gun-rights activists.
The Texas House of Representatives on Friday voted 96-35 to allow residents with concealed-handgun licenses to openly carry their guns in public in holsters. A similar open-carry measure passed the Texas Senate last month; the two open-carry bills must be squared before being sent to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who has indicated support for the idea.
In contrast to its reputation for being permissive on firearms, Texas is one of six states, including California, New York and Florida, that currently bars citizens from openly carrying handguns. People who want to carry handguns in public on their person must obtain concealed-weapons permits and keep the weapons hidden.