Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) is backing a proposed “open carry” law that would allow licensed Texans to wear a pistol on their hips in public, the Associated Press reported Thursday.
In a statement to the AP, Davis said her support for expanding gun rights for Texans includes open-carry. She joins her rival in the gubernatorial race, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (R), in supporting the proposed open-carry law for handguns (Texas already allows open-carry of long firearms, like rifles and shotguns).
Davis said the “open carry” law should allow private property owners to decide whether to allow openly carried weapons on their property, according to the AP, adding that background checks and training requirements would “help ensure that only mentally stable, law-abiding citizens may carry, whether concealed or open.”
Her support for the law is at odds with the state party’s stance.
“There is little or no public safety justification for open carry,” Emmanuel Garcia, a spokesman for the Texas Democratic Party, told the AP.
One Democratic consultant suggested that since Abbott supporters already tried to paint Davis as an anti-gun candidate, it may be pragmatic for the state senator to support the proposal.
“If the issue isn’t important to you, then it would be smart to take it off the table by saying, ‘Me, too; now let’s go back to talking about education and how we fund road building and the stuff the mainstream of Texas is really concerned with,'” strategist Harold Cook told the AP.