(CNN)The Texas Senate on Monday moved the State one step closer to allowing gun owners to openly carry handguns.
Texas Senate approves open carry of handguns
Gun owners in Texas can already openly carry rifles like the AR-15 in public and can obtain a license to carry a concealed handgun. But on Monday the state Senate approved a bill to allow gun owners to carry handguns openly with a license.
The bill, which passed the Senate on a party line vote, will become law once it clears the state's GOP-led House and gets a signature from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican.
Abbott has said he plans to sign the legislation once it reaches his desk.
Texas would join the 44 states that allow the open carry of handguns -- only 14 of which require a permit -- on Jan. 1, 2016.
One of the amendments tacked onto the bill would bar open carry on college campuses.