Voters urged to leave guns at home

Voters urged to leave guns at home
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Next week's election is the first major election since open carry began in Texas.

Amarillo's election officials and law enforcement want to remind voters that open carry laws do not override the laws set up at polling stations.

Concealed carry and open carry laws have no precedent when it comes to voting.

While you can carry a gun freely with the correct permits in Amarillo, that right stops within 100 feet of any polling location.

This is the rule for any weapon or firearm.

But officials don't see this being an issue.

"Honestly I've not seen any open carry, period," said Brian Thomas, Potter County Sheriff. "Since the law has allowed you to open carry I've only seen one."

"We are not really expecting it to be a really big deal," said Melynn Huntley, Potter County Elections Administrator. "We've had this law in effect and done several elections and it really was never a problem."

That doesn't mean they're not prepared.

All poll workers have been briefed on how to deal with a voter who may come in with a weapon.

If you show up to a polling station with a gun, the election judge and administrators will ask you to go back and leave it in your car.

"We work really hard to make sure there's nothing that happens in a polling site that's unsafe or intimidating to any voter."

That's because a polling location can be a tense place for some people.

"There can be arguments," said Thomas. "We sit in there and the next thing you know we're arguing over who to vote for and a lot of things. You just don't want to put something in somebody's possession to escalate those arguments."

Early voting lasts through Friday at 7 p.m.

Polls will be open on Election Day, Nov. 8, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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