Open carry information session Thursday

SAN BENITO — Local business operators interested in the new open carry gun law will have the opportunity to hear from local law enforcement Thursday.

The luncheon info session will feature San Benito Assistant Police Chief Michael Galvan, who will be discussing the law that could potentially impact communities across Texas, said Martha McClain, the city’s public relations director.

The new law went into effect Friday, the first day of the New Year.

It will allow residents to openly carry licensed handguns in Texas, where nearly a million people currently have permits to carry concealed weapons.

“Open carry supporters in the state’s Legislature had argued that Texas lagged behind other states in allowing open carry, tying it to Second Amendment rights,” McClain said.

“Opponents of the measure, mostly Democrats, argued that the open carry was dangerous and pandered to the gun lobby.”

Retail and commercial businesses can decide whether to opt out of open carry. They are required by law to post signs in accordance with penal code 30.06 in English and Spanish at each entrance.

The new law will ban guns at schools, courts and jails. Bars, polling places and sanctioned sporting events remain off limits, too.

Government meetings also can be designated gun-free with a notice.

Texas is the 45th state to become an open carry state. California, Florida, Illinois, New York and South Carolina still ban open display of firearms.