Right to open carry

HARLINGEN — Some may be so bold as to exercise their right to openly carry their handgun.

So police officers in the community are switching gears and preparing how to react when encountering lawful citizens wearing their firearms in shoulder or hip holsters.

Harlingen police Sgt. David Osborne said since the law went into effect Jan. 1, there have been no calls or concerns about citizens with concealed or open guns in town.

Officers are aware they are going to see citizens openly carrying legally, and it doesn’t mean Texans toting guns are going to be criminals.

“We’re making sure that the officers are aware of the spirit of the law and what it’s trying to accomplish,” Osborne said. “Our officers have a firm under-standing of the open carry law.”

He said police are trained to “articulate” to a certain level whether or not they need to approach a citizen openly carrying a handgun.

Under the law, officers can approach and ask to see identification and a gun permit.

But he said officers who see a citizen openly carrying a gun will use their judgment and assess the situation to determine whether they need to approach the person.

“We’re not in the business of disarming lawfully carrying citizens who are not violating the law,” Osborne said.

“We are using our good judgment.”

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