AUSTIN - State Sen. Craig Estes filed a bill on Friday that would authorize open carry of modern handguns in Texas by anyone with a license, so long as the handguns are carried in shoulder or belt holsters.

Texas is currently one of the few states that does not permit citizens to openly carry modern handguns under any circumstances. The other states that deny their citizens the right to carry handguns openly are: California, Florida, Illinois, New York, and South Carolina.

"Texas is one of only six states, including California, New York, and Illinois, that still completely ban open carry," said Estes, R-Wichita Falls, who represents Palo Pinto County. “As Governor Abbott recently said, 'If open carry is good enough for Massachusetts, it's good enough for the state of Texas.’”

Thirty states allow open carry without any type of license, and the remaining 14 allow open carry by people who have satisfied a licensing requirement.

"I look forward to updating our antiquated carry laws to bring Texas into conformity with the rest of the country. California, New York and Illinois are poor company to be keeping when it comes to gun laws and protecting Second Amendment rights," Estes said.

If passed, the new license to carry created by this bill would replace the existing concealed handgun license. Applicants would have to meet the same requirements that they currently do to get a concealed handgun license. Those who already have concealed handgun licenses would not have to re-apply; their licenses would automatically allow open carry after the effective date of the bill.