DALLAS, April 17 (UPI) -- Texas state lawmakers want an expanded right to carry guns in public places, a right that wouldn't be extended to other citizens.
The measure now pending in the Legislature also invokes the Arizona shooting of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords as a justification.
"Obviously we present a greater target for those people that are emotionally disturbed out there in the public than the average person does," Rep. Tim Kleinschmidt, R-Lexington, told the Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram Saturday.
Kleinschmidt is a sponsor of a bill now in the House.
"With that gold pin on your jacket, when you put that nameplate on and [stand] at the microphone, you make a target," he told the paper.
While critics say the move is a double standard, proponents say it largely comes down to logistics, as statesman travel frequently and are invited to speak in unfamiliar locations, often without security details.