Businesses along the Drag prepare for Open Carry

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Businesses across the Drag must comply with open carry gun laws, which will allow concealed carry license holders to openly carry a handgun as soon as January. 

Photo Credit: Jesús Nazario | Daily Texan Staff

As open carry will be implemented in January, businesses near campus are still figuring out the impact it could have.

House Bill 910, also known as open carry, will allow those with concealed carry licenses to openly carry a handgun in a shoulder or hip holster beginning in the new year.

Amanda Wood, realtor at West Campus Living, said she would not have a problem with a client being an open carry owner, but seeing an open carry holder will be a shock factor for many people. Despite adjusting to this, Wood said these license owners are doing it for the right reasons.

“Some people are just ignorant to guns,” Wood said. “They know the rules, and they are doing it for self-defense. People who take time out for training are doing it for the right reason.”

Nick Habel, a shift manager at Teji’s Indian Restaurant, said while the restaurant hasn’t addressed specifics of this law yet, it will impact businesses across the board.

“[Open carry] will add to a climate of fear people have because they will be hesitant to go out in public,” Habel said. “It is going to impact all businesses because people aren’t going out.”

Sociology senior Libby Hollan said she is concerned about open carry because it could be misused in public.

“If the person participating in open carry does not actively use their weapon, it is an intimidating display,” Hollan said. “It would make me very wary about doing anything that could make that person upset. I feel like open carry people are using their gun to demand respect from people, which is not the purpose of a weapon.”

Muhammad Imran, president of Sam Computers on Guadalupe Street, said he would not allow guns in the store for the safety of customers and workers. Imran also said it is unreasonable having guns on campus.

“People are coming here to learn,” Imran said. “It is absurd to think people will have guns on them.”

C.J. Grisham, president of Open Carry Texas, said because students cannot have an open carry license on campus, he does not think many businesses will be affected.

“If anything, it will be people that are already open carry that maybe go to those businesses around the college or meeting a student or faculty,” Grisham said. “I think actually businesses that are around colleges will probably be less impacted by open carry.”