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The original item was published from 12/18/2015 2:42:07 PM to 2/28/2016 12:00:02 AM.

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Posted on: December 18, 2015

[ARCHIVED] Police urge caution with open carry of handguns


December 19, 2015

Open carrying of holstered handguns begins on Jan. 1
Police urge care and caution regarding new law

MURPHY (December 19, 2015) The Jan. 1 change in the law which converts Concealed Handgun License (CHL) to License To Carry (LTC) may cause some initial confusion and alarm, says Murphy Police Chief Arthur “Trey” Cotten.

“On that day, anyone who has completed requirements for a CHL may carry their handgun openly, as long as it’s holstered,” he said. “Holstered handguns will, for the most part, be essentially in the same open carry category as long guns.”

House Bill 910, which takes effect on Jan. 1, authorizes individuals to obtain a license to openly carry a handgun in the same places that allow the licensed carrying of a concealed handgun with some exceptions. Unconcealed handguns, loaded or unloaded, must be carried in a shoulder or belt holster.

“Individuals who hold a valid CHL will automatically be able to openly carry a properly-holstered handgun,” he said. “However, people who were not eligible to obtain a CHL, for any reason, will similarly not be allowed to obtain a LTC. And, there are certain restrictions on an LTC.”

For example, private businesses may elect to prohibit entry to anyone carrying a handgun, whether openly or concealed. Provisions in the law allow for any private business to post a sign at every entry point declaring the prohibition. These prohibition signs are to follow certain guidelines on verbiage, language and size of lettering. The signs must include the exact language from the law in both English and Spanish. The letters must be block letters at least one inch and printed in contrasting colors.

In addition, open carry of a handgun is not permitted in K-12 schools, polling places, courts, and racetracks. A careful reading of the law will provide additional information on restrictions.

“While not everyone may agree with the open carry of a handgun, it will be the law of the land on the first of the year,” said Chief Cotten. “Whether we agree or not, we must all live within those new parameters. Everyone, including those who are openly carrying, must exercise extreme caution in everything they do and say, as well as how they react.”

The Murphy Police Department is committed to maintaining a safe and secure environment, and calls upon its citizens and visitors to demonstrate the appropriate amount of care and caution regarding the open carrying of handguns.

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