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Gun rights group spreads opinion on state open-carry regulations

By: Stacey Welsh
EL PASO, Texas -- A group of gun rights advocates rallied in the Cincinnati Street entertainment district Saturday, to raise awareness of why they say Texans should have the right to carry pistols.

Michael Keoughin is one of the leaders of the Midland-Odessa chapter of "Come and Take it Texas." It is an open-carry rights organization, and he said a chapter is starting in El Paso.

The group said members do not carry loaded rifles for rallies.

"Texas is surrounded by states that have the ability to carry their modern-day firearm, their pistols, and Texas does not," Keoughin said.

While the group carried shotguns, Keoughin said members are pushing for legislation that would allow Texans to carry handguns.

"Texas state penal code states that you could carry a long gun, a shot gun, but not a modern handgun," Keoughin

Some people in the area said they don't agree with the rally.

"Take it to the shooting range, take it to the desert. You shouldn't be in heavily populated areas because, even though that's their right, you've got to respect the right of others as well," central El Paso resident Ryan said. He did not want to give his last name.

"Come and Take it Texas" also said it gave police a heads up members would be carrying rifles.

"We notified them that today was gonna be happening and they were great. They came out here and had a few cruisers come by and make sure that everything was going well," Keoughin said.

Some support the group's message, as long as people use guns responsibly.

"A person who has a gun should know how to use a gun very carefully and know when to use a gun," Ryan said.