The pro-gun culture and generous gun laws in Texas provide an interesting case nationally in the debate over gun control.
According to a 2013 poll by The University of Texas/Texas Tribune
, 43 percent of Texans surveyed said they or someone in their family owns a gun. The poll also said that almost one in four said they or a family member are members of the NRA.
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Also, Texas has more gun dealers than any other state in the nation, USA Today reported
Given the high rate of gun ownership in the state, it’s little surprise that Texas has resisted calls for stricter gun control laws.
"We believe an armed society is a peaceful society. This is Texas, and everybody has a gun," Texas pastor James McAbee, who offered free concealed weapons classes to teachers after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, told USA Today.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry has spoken out against nationwide efforts to strengthen gun laws in the face of mass shootings such as the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting.
“The piling on by the political left, and their cohorts in the media, to use the massacre of little children to advance a pre-existing political agenda that would not have saved those children, disgusts me, personally. The Second Amendment to the Constitution is a basic right of free people and cannot be nor will it be abridged by the executive power of this or any other president,” Perry said in a 2013 statement.
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In 2013, the Texas legislature passed a record number of pro-gun bills, including loosening restrictions on concealed handgun licenses.
As of Dec. 31, 2013, there were 708,048 individuals in Texas with a concealed carry permit, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Texas law allows open carrying of long guns, but prohibits the open carrying of handguns.
Open Carry Texas, the state’s leading advocacy group on the issue, drew attention in March when one of its members was arrested in San Antonio in March for carrying a rifle on city streets, against a city ordinance.
"We want to get people used to seeing guns and not fearing them," C.J. Grisham, founder of Open Carry Texas, told the Houston Chronicle
. "We're trying to change that paradigm, that these guns are only intended to kill. They are a deterrent to violence," he said. "Especially after what happened in Newtown and Fort Hood, we need to counter that narrative."
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