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Abilene group rallies for open carry awareness, gun rights

By Dora Miller, Reporter, dmiller@ktxs.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 02:39:33 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 11 2013 11:47:27 AM CST
ABILENE, Texas -

Gun control is a controversial topic around the nation.

On Saturday, Abilene residents were invited to bring their long guns to an open carry rally to learn more about the role of guns in the Constitution. The event was sponsored by the Key City Patriots, a group who is passionate about informing others about gun rights.

"The second amendment, you know, says we shall not be infringed and you know, people just need to understand that in Texas we take that seriously," said David Collins, Key City Patriots president.

At the corner of South 1st and Mockingbird in Abilene, there was a large display of firearms, but not on shelves, on shoulders.

"We've had a lot of people moving to Texas from other states recently, they don't understand how gun friendly Texas really is or how gun friendly it could be," Collins said.

According to Texas law, there are no restrictions against carrying long guns, such as a rifle, but handguns like pistols and revolvers have a slightly different set of rules.

Handguns must be concealed in a vehicle, although they are allowed to be loaded and within reach. Also, handgun owners are not allowed to have to carry it in public, unless it is concealed and with proper licensing.

Collins said he and his club are trying to change the law so it allows handguns to be carried openly, like long guns.

"The last two years there have been bills brought up against the Texas legislature, uh we're working to get that uh overturned and we're hoping that in the next session we can get it done," Collins said.

Moms like Cat Colson wants women to be able to feel protected themselves no matter where they choose to live.

"I hope more women get involved in handguns, I hope more women get involved in organizations like this. You know as moms, I know a lot of people don't like to say it, but as moms we are more responsible for our families," Colson said.   

But for now, Collins said that people should embrace this new gun culture.

"People will be carrying openly, you know don't be surprised if somebody walks into Wal-Mart or a coffee shop or whatever and they've got a rifle with them," Collins said. "They're just like everybody else."