Open carry is legal in Texas if you have a license to carry.  A new bill would allow all legal gun owners to do it following natural disasters.

HB 1177 passed Sunday night and now moves on to the Governors desk for final passage.  The bill allows Texas residents to carry weapons openly for up to a week after a state or natural disaster declaration. The idea is that, in the midst of an evacuation, people need to be able to take their weapons along but may not be able to do so in a concealed fashion.

Security would certainly be a concern for people facing an evacuation but, theft is another. The looting that often follows these situations could easily lead to people not only losing their valuable weapons but, also to them falling into the hands of criminals. Hence the bill which, basically, allows people to transport their guns as they need to following a disaster declaration without fear of facing charges for openly carrying weapons without a permit.

This only applies to those who can legally own a weapon in the first place and covers them both leaving and returning to the affected area.

More From KLAQ El Paso