Open Carry a factor in rise of License to Carry students

Local News

The change of law that has made open carry an option for license holders in the state of Texas has been in effect since the beginning of the year. The attention open carry has received has sparked the interest of many to get a license to carry.

“I decided to take the license to carry because i don’t want to be the weak female that can’t take care of herself, i don’t want to be in a situation where i have the kids with me and I’m not able to protect them because my husband is not there and i regret it later,” says Donna Hendrick.

Harlingen resident, Donna Hendrick is one of many who have found an interest in obtaining a license to carry, especially after the new law change… the option to open carry.

“Most people would look toward the men to be the ones that would be carrying and wouldn’t maybe suspect the female to have a gun and so maybe you get to surprise them,” says Hendrick.

License to carry instructor Dave Osborne believes ever since the law changed on January 1st, more people, especially women, are ready to find a way to protect themselves.

“It used to be, my husband bought me a gun and i really don’t want to do this  and we’re actually encouraging them to come to the class and now we’re seeing more women bringing their friends, we’re going to come as a group and we’re going to get this done because we can protect ourselves,” says Osborne.

Another instructor, Julian Guerrero in Brownsville agrees open carry is a factor in the new numbers. Those who have a license to carry can now do so openly if they use a proper holster… with only a few exceptions, such as in hospitals, courts, and certain businesses that use the proper signage.

“The last time the law was passed was in 1995, now that a new law was integrated into that, now people are starting  to revisit it, it was reborn,” says Guerrero.

“But even right now, a lot of people we’ve talked to in our classes are not going to open carry. They’re going to still conceal carry because they believe that having that advantage of conceal carry as opposed to having an open carry weapon, they want to make sure that they have the element of surprise,” says Osborne.

For most, open carry simply brought forth the topic of weapon carrying. Concealing is still the preferred method.

“I don’t think I’d ever want to, i don’t want to draw the attention but i just want to be able to protect my kids, or myself or my family if i need to,” says Hendrick.

So whether the chosen option is to carry concealed or open, the number one reason for obtaining a license is protecting yourself and your family outside places where a license is not required, such as your home and vehicle.

“You know law enforcement can’t be at every corner, they can’t be everywhere all the time. You are charged with your own safety and the safety of your family to an extent,” says Osborne.

 “We live in a dangerous society, very dangerous, and it’s not going to get better it’s only going to get worse and that’s the reason why a lot of people are willing to take the class or are wanting to take the class for self-protection, because a lot of times, seconds can mean your life,” says Guerrero.

Guerrero says he has been about a 65 percent student increase in the last couple of months… and women account for almost half of the class.

“Again, not be the dingy female that doesn’t know anything and is always looking towards someone else to take care of them,” says Hendrick.

Tune in Friday at 10, for the second installment of this License to Carry special. News Center 23’s Emily Jimenez will give you a behind the scenes look into the process of obtaining a license to carry.

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