Saturday, April 09, 2016

TX: Open Carry Exercise in Dallas

Open carry of modern handguns has been legal for most carry permit holders in Texas for a few months now.  I was able to open carry during my visit in January. During cold weather, opportunities were limited.

With a new grandchild to see, I looked forward to Texas exercise without having to conceal my personal defensive firearm.  I open carried from Arizona to Dallas in Texas.  Interactions on the road were minimal.

In Van Horn, Texas, I was able to grab the last motel room in town, just about midnight.  I was carrying in an older, Israeli Fobus holser, cross draw, which has advantages while carrying in a vehicle.  The motel manager/owner and her son did notice, and did pay attention.  I would do the same when a last minute guest stops in at midnight, on a day when the motels are maxed out.

The only verbal response was after I had the key to the room.  It was "Are you a cop?".  "Not any more." I replied.  I mentioned that the new Texas open carry reform made it easy not to worry if I was wearing a jacket.  Or not.

The next interaction was at a gas station off of exit 177 on Interstate 20.  I paid for the gas and was leaving the store when the driver of a white truck, with a city emblem on the door, emphatically asked "Is that a 17 or a 19?"  He was referring to the Glock I was wearing in the cross draw position.  "17", I replied.  "The cross draw works better with seat belts, and keeps the pistol from passengers."  The grinning face in the city truck gave me a thumbs up and we went our separate ways.

I open carried in the Benbrook public library; nobody said a thing.  I opened carried on a three mile exercise run; no comments.

This morning I was in Dallas, visiting my daughter, with her husband, 18 month old son, and the new granddaughter.   Time for another exercise run.

I ran North on Marsh Drive, and turned West on  Rosemeade Parkway.  I was about 15 minutes into the run when I turned around and started back.  About a minute later, a blue and white police SUV drove past.  It was clear that the officer saw me.  The unit immediately started slowing down.  But traffic was heavy, and started backing up behind the police unit.  The officer sped up, then made a right turn down a side street.

I did not vary my pace.  I was wearing the outfit in the picture above, Glock 17 in  a Fobus retention holster on the the strong side; also a IPhone 6+ in a holster, and the Cold Steel XL Voyager in the right front pocket.  I had the Gun Guy red hat on, along with the ESS shooting/sunglasses.  I had ID and the carry permit with me.

As I approached the side street, about 11:39 a.m., the PD unit reappeared and stopped, waiting for traffic, and for me to cross, giving them a good opportunity to look me over and evaluate what they saw.

I did not stop or hesitate. As I drew near the unit, I looked directly at the driver  position and made a brief nod in acknowledgement.

I passed, the unit pulled out into traffic and then passed me for the second time.  Two minutes later, an SUV with "Constable" markings went past.  I do not know if they were curious, or if it was a simple coincidence.

The officer(s) handled this just right.  Open carry of modern handguns is still new to Dallas.  The officer saw something unusual, and checked it out.  That is good police work.  They made their evaluation, saw that there was no probable cause or reasonable suspicion, and went on their way.

The neighborhood is mixed.  As is not uncommon in American cities, you can go from lower priced apartments to upper middle class houses, and in between, in a couple of miles of exercise run.  Last year I found an expended .40 cal on the sidewalk after hearing celebratory gunfire on New Year's Eve.

I appreciate the new open carry law.  Carrying concealed in exercise gear is a significant annoyance.  The new Fobus retention paddle holster has an insert that keeps it from sliding on the belt.  A third, center hook, and beefed up paddle hardware makes it a very robust holster.  Unfortunately, it does not work well in the cross draw position, (hard to reach the release) so the old Fobus will remain my car rig.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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