Texas lawmakers expected to pass open carry bill soon

Openly carrying a gun is seen as a deterrent to crime. Carrying it concealed can give the good guy a tactical advantage: the element of surprise.

With a governor anxious to sign open carry legislation into law, the state will soon learn the preferences of more than 800,000 Concealed Handgun License holders in Texas.

Fox26 asked CHL holders at Top Gun Range in Southwest Houston if they planned to open carry.

"I don't want to be a target," said Clyde Boldosky. "If someone sees I have a weapon, I'd rather them not know."

Tom Dearing says he may choose to carry only occasionally. "Typically, I would not display it."

Still others say open carry in Texas is long overdue. It's already legal in 44 other states.

"I don't want to feel like I have to hide my protection and my gun," said William Ralston who is applying for a CHL. "It lets people know, don't mess with that guy because he has a way to protect himself."

Texas Law Shield is a legal firm that defends CHL holders.

"Just talking to my clients," says attorney Michele Byington, "they are going to remain carrying concealed."

But the change in the law will still benefit concealed carriers.

"They don't have to go out in fear, anymore, of an accidental display," Byington says. Something as innocent as exposing the gun when you're reaching for something at a grocery store is a violation of current law.

The Texas House of Representatives is expected to pass open carry legislation soon, but it's being considered with a host of other gun rights bills.

Governor Greg Abbott has said he's "warming up his signing pen."