One officer called the shootout between motorcycle gang members the worse crime scene he had seen in his career. However, the violent incident that led to nine people being killed hasn't stopped the Texas legislature from passing a bill that would make it legal to openly carry firearms.
“All of us were horrified at what happened in Waco,” Estes said. “I truly do not think that this bill we are working on today, whether it’s as it is now or in law at the time, would have made any difference with that lawless bunch of people.”
HB910 is now on its way to Texas Governor Greg Abbott after being passed by a state committee a day after the Waco shootings. Abbott has expressed that he will sign the bill.
If it goes into law, licensed handgun owners will still have to follow existing concealed-carry provisions.
Estes believes that few people involved in the Waco violence were licensed to carry firearms in Texas.
“These are lawless people, and the people we’re trying to help are law-abiding citizens and gun owners,” said Estes.
So, far 8 amendments to the open-carry bill have been dismissed including a background check requirement, and a provision to force handgun owners to display licenses on their gun holsters.
The bill was passed as a separate bill that would allow for the carrying of firearms at college and university campuses makes final legislative rounds.
Speaking about legislative priorities, Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick expressed admiration toward the House and Senate for the recent agreement.
“Lastly, the issue of open carry will finally be passed and Texas will join the large majority of states who allow open carry,” said Patrick. “I am proud of the fact the legislature is making history while defending life, liberty and our second amendment right.”