"Instead of having to deal with rescuing people, or helping people, they’re going to have to deal with these situation of how to confront someone who’s walking around with a gun."

By Ian Horswill

Posted on May 28, 2019

If the gun laws in the United States don’t already make your blood boil, read what’s about to happen in Texas where 3,353 died from a gun in 2016.

When the weather gets dicey, lawmakers think that besides the hurricane survival kit – the torch, essential clothes, food, flashlights and batteries – you should also pack a gun.

Texas has agreed to pass into law the right to openly carry firearms for a full week after a natural disaster.

Lawmakers narrowly passed the controversial bill that would allow licensed gun owners to carry their weapons — open or concealed — for seven days during a state of emergency. The change would even apply to bars and shelters if the operators of those premises choose to authorise the practice.

Opponents say the bill would pose a public safety concern and place an additional burden on first responders during an already stressful time.

“It is not solving a problem. It is creating a problem,” said Texas Senator Joan Huffman, one of the few Republicans who opposed the legislation.

“I think you are creating a situation which will be very difficult for law enforcement because instead of having to deal with rescuing people or helping people, they’re going to have to deal with these situations of how to confront someone who’s walking around with a gun.”

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The National Rifle Association and its state affiliate, the Texas State Rifle Association, have been hard at work preventing any new restrictions on gun ownership, even after two recent high-profile mass shootings. The first was at a church in Sutherland Springs in November 2017 when 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley killed 26 people, including a pregnant woman.

The second was a shooting at Santa Fe High School near Houston, where 17-year-old student Dimitrios Pagourtzis shot dead eight children and two teachers, wounding 13 others in May 2018. He used a short-barrelled 12-gauge Remington Model 870 pump-action shotgun and a Rossi .38-calibre snub-nosed revolver legally owned by his father.

The natural disaster gun law has to be approved by the Texas’ Republican Governor Greg Abbott.