Sunday, January 05, 2014

TX:Second Amendment Activist Charged with Disorderly Conduct for Open Carry

 The right to bear arms is protected by the Texas constitution, but it was degraded during reconstruction.  After the carpetbag government was kicked out, the reconstruction law forbidding the open carry of pistols and large knives was never reformed.   The law from 1871 on has always allowed open carry of long guns.  Note that the individual was not arrested at the scene.  This reeks of an official desire to "chill" the exercise of the second amendment.

A Beaumont store owner charged with disorderly conduct insists he never broke the law and was just exercising his second amendment rights.

On Dec. 28, Derek Poe stopped by GameStop in Parkdale Mall before going to the store he owns in the mall, Golden Triangle Tactical.   While at GameStop, he was stopped by police officers and the AR-15 that was slung around his back was seized. 

Poe says he was just exercising his right to open carry a long rifle. 

1 comment:

Chris said...

Anybody walking into that mall will see a large sign - the rules of conduct. This list of rules states that no weapons are allowed in the building.

Any CHL holder in Texas should know this warning means legal bupkis for CHL’ers. However, there is no such restriction for long guns per Texas penal code 30.05. The fact that PC 30.05(i) exists implies that the general public can be restricted that way. In other words, any private property owner can legally restrict access by the general public with long guns.

I don't agree that Poe was carrying the AR in a threatening manner either. But the alternative is to be cited per PC 30.05(d)(3) - a Class A misdemeanor. The cops might have done him a slight favor; a disorderly conduct charge is a Class B misdemeanor per PC 42.01(a)(8). Poe might have been very fluent in gun rights laws in Texas, but it seems he didn't look into trespass law.

On the flip side, it could be easier to defend against criminal trespass, e.g. not receiving sufficient notice - the sign might not be at every entrance. In addition, they would have had to find someone in charge of the mall to press charges. So, the cops go for a ‘sure thing’ with disorderly conduct, which they have sole discretion over, as opposed to having to do the ‘extra work’ for criminal trespass. I would have taken my chances with the trespass charge.

A charge of disorderly conduct is relatively uneventful. However, if this were a criminal trespass case Poe could have been a landmark defendant. He could have argued that if he were afforded protection with handguns under CHL law, then he should also be afforded the same right with a long gun unconcealed and, purely dreaming here, win the case. This could create precedent to require postings on private property similar to PC 30.06 for long guns. That, my friend, would be a FANTASTIC win for 2nd amendment rights.

I enjoy reading your past blogs, and thank you for this site.