Police urge residents to research new open carry law details

- On January 1, 2016, Texans will be allowed to openly carry handguns. With the law come specific rules for licensed gun holders.

Stores that do not allow open carry will post a 30.07 sign that bans it.

An officer with the Montgomery Police Department said courthouses have particular bans depending on the layout of the building so check the Department of Public Safety website for details.

“We, as peace officers of the state, will still be able to, much like we can with your driver’s license when you are operating a motor vehicle, if you are wearing a gun in the open in the state of Texas, law-enforcement has a right to ask you for your license,” said Jim Napolitano, the Montgomery Police chief.

The Montgomery police chief held a questions and answer session at Montgomery City Hall Tuesday evening. to make sure citizens know every angle of this law, including the new license to carry.

“As of the new year there won't be a CHL anymore. You won't have a concealed handgun license.  You will have a license to carry so all the rules that apply for license to carry are going to be the same as CHL,” said Napolitano.

They said those who have CHLs will be grandfathered in. With any change will come a transition period, but this chief said he hopes Q&A sessions will help make it a smooth process.

“We're going to get many more calls for service that we never got before because people are going to have guns in public,” said Napolitano. “And citizens are going to call because they're not going to be used to it yet., so they'll call us, we'll show up, we’ll have a discussion with that citizen who is a licensed carry holder, and they'll just say, ‘Thank you very much. Have a great day.’”

Remember, to open carry, the handgun has to be in a belt or shoulder holster.

If a person is caught open carrying a gun and that person does not have a license to carry, the violation can result in a class A misdemeanor.

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