State troopers are outside packed rooms at the Texas Capitol where lawmakers are discussing whether to legalize concealed handguns on college campuses and open carry everywhere else.
Republicans on Thursday symbolically made the proposals among the first bills up for consideration under new Gov. Greg Abbott. Many conservatives and even some Democrats have predicted the proposals will finally pass after sputtering out in previous years.
More than 50 gun rights supporters and opponents had registered to testify at a Senate hearing before the doors even opened.
One gun control group, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, said its members brought unarmed security to the Capitol in the wake of early tension over the proposals.
Texas is only one of six states that does not allow open carry.