Friday, February 07, 2014

Open Carry is Coming to Texas

For those who do not pay close attention to insider politics in Texas, both parties' likely candidates for governor have now endorsed the policy of restoring the legal open carry of sidearms to Texans.  The open carry of sidearms was banned by the  reconstruction government after the civil war (war between the states), when the reconstruction government effectively neutered the state constitutional guarantee of the right to keep and bear arms by writing a new constitution.

After the reconstruction governor was forced to flee the governors mansion (he lost the election, refused to concede, and an impromptu Texas militia was advancing on the mansion), the Texans rewrote the constitution again, but left in a clause that allowed the legislature to regulate the wearing of arms.  The legislature never repealed the reconstruction ban on wearing arms.  This left Texans with the right to openly carry long arms, but not sidearms.

Texans have been exercising that right as a means of pushing for restoring the open carry of sidearms in the state.

Greg Abbot will almost certainly be the Republican candidate for governor of Texas this year.   He came out in favor of open carry over a year ago, and his support of open carry draws the most applause at campaign stops.  It is not clear exactly what open carry policy Attorney General Abbot would support as Governor.   It could be anything from the most common policy in the rest of the country, unrestricted open carry, to the less common but more restrictive policy of licensed open carry.  Texas is currently one of five or six states, depending on how you define it, that explicitly bans the open carry of sidearms.  Most people, given Texas' reputation as "gun friendly", find this surprising and inexplicable.

The Democrat Party's nearly certain candidate for governor, Wendy Davis, has been struggling lately with revelations that she has not been candid about her history.  Her campaign has made some poor choices lately.  While Davis has been doing well at raising money from the left, she faces an uphill battle in slightly right of center Texas.   Davis, who has an F rating from the NRA, is attempting to build some belated bridges to Texas gun owners.   Apparently in anticipation of a run for the governors mansion, Davis made some mildly "pro-gun" votes where it made no difference last year.    In January of this year, she promised to expand where concealed carry permit holders may carry handguns.  At the time, Bryan Preston of the PJTatler suggested that if she really wanted to distract voters from the contradictions in her origins story, she should come out in favor of open carry of handguns.

It appears that she has taken Mr. Preston's advice to heart.  From the AP article in
Rising Democratic star and gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis has joined her top Republican rival in supporting a proposed "open carry" law. It would allow people with concealed handgun licenses to wear a pistol on their hip, in full view, while in public.
While AP says the two candidates for governor support the same policies, that is not immediately clear.    In my Internet researches, I have only found that Greg Abbot says that he supports the restoration of open carry of handguns.   Wendy Davis says that she supports the open carry of handguns by people with concealed handgun licenses.    Perhaps Ms. Davis conversion to second amendment proponent will prompt Mr. Abbot to clarify his position.

In any case, with both governor candidates openly proclaiming that the time for Texans to reclaim their open carry rights has come, it seems likely that open carry of sidearms will pass the Texas legislature next session.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch


Wireless.Phil said...

Funny at how fast they all run like hell.

The second on this is from Elyria, about 6 miles south of me.

PROOF that guns saves lives

Published on Feb 4, 2013

Share this video with people who want to know why we want guns for safety. Bad guys fears when we are armed.

CJ Grisham said...

Greg Abbott does NOT support open carry. He SAYS he does and even has a nifty looking campaign sticker showing the Gadsden flag, but it's all image.

I am the President of Open Carry Texas and we have had nearly two dozen Texans arrested for the lawful open carry of rifles (which is legal in Texas) and black powder revolvers (not considered firearms). We have had three separate government entities (committee chairs, department heads, etc) request an AG opinion on the Disorderly Conduct and Criminal Trespass statutes that cops keep using to prevent us from exercising our rights.

The ONLY person that can issue that opinion is Greg Abbott and he has refused THREE TIMES! Meanwhile, Texans are being arrested by bully cops, thrown in jail, forced to post bail, and enduring the degredation of having to call in to their master bail bondsman each week while awaiting trial for a bogus charge.

Greg Abbott is a politician and a liar.

marine64 said...

Open Carry should be allowed only if a Person Has a Current CHL and has Passed a Background Check, Just allowing anyone to carry a pistol is stupid , who knos ? they could be the the ENEMY !!!

marine64 said...

Don't allow everyone to carry , only those that have a current CHL and have passed a Background Check !

Anonymous said...

Here in Wyoming, we have as far as I know, unrestricted open carry of any kind of firearm, and for the last two or three years concealed carry with no license, and surprise surprise surprise! no mass murders, no blood in the streets and no wild west shootouts. Imagine that!

Anonymous said...

Innocent till proven guilty. Our society needs to give the benefit of the doubt that WE are mostly law abiding citizens ready to confront tyranny and criminals. In a public place, ask yourself, if all these people would be carrying a handgun on their hip, would I feel less safe or more. OK there is one really insane individual in the mix. I mean totally coo-coo. He would have to be because he knows everyone is peacefully armed. How can we really trust anyone. That 10 year police veteran officer who just divorced his wife and is in a financial bind, who may just melt down at any moment? We are all human no matter what test has been conducted, background check or training. We are all homosapiens, whom will continue to kill other human beings. It is in our nature, and self defense is as natural as it can be.

Anonymous said...

As a native Texan and law abiding citizen, I believe that the concept of open carry, self defense, and the protection of life and property, is the right and duty of the People. We can never let elected officials put their aspirations above our rights.
M. Sanford

Richard said...

Greg Abbott has a checkered history in regards to gun rights. I heard his speech to the TSRA annual meeting in 2013 and have found his record not to be consistent with his speech. When he does actually commit to open carry, it is highly restrictive with qualifications that are unworthy of anyone who professes to support the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Article 1, Section 23 of the Texas Constitution.

As the chief law enforcement officer of the state he has been notably absent from many issues where a clear statement from his office would have made a difference.

Greg Abbott and most of the rest of the politicians continues to ignore the racist origins of gun control in Texas and perpetuates them by both action and inaction.

Article 1, Section 23, Texas Constitution (Bill of Rights):
RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS. Every citizen shall have the right to keep and bear arms in the lawful defense of himself or the State; but the Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms, with a view to prevent crime.

History has shown that the prohibitions against the carry of arms, not just firearms, has noting to do with the prevention of crime. Indeed, it simply provides a ready supply of defenseless victims for criminals to prey upon.

As a constitutionally protected right, the right to keep and bear arms should be protected from government intrusion by the closest of scrutiny in judicial review. The courts, as yet, have yet to undertake this responsibility.

Greg Abbott, if elected Governor, seems likely to be another Rick Perry, not an enemy of the right to keep and bear arms, but someone who can not be relied upon as a friend and supporter.

Anonymous said...

I lived in Kentucky, which was an open carry state and I believe in it, the police don't harass you and it deters crime. Texas is a believed to be Pro guns but they don't allow open carry; that's wrong. everyone has that right not just license CHL people. they need the amend the state constitution. they left that clause they because it was a defeated state and the union wanted control.

Mike clark said...

AZ has had open carry for a few years now without major problems and crime went down, Texas needs to catch up

Anonymous said...

It is truly a National embarrassment that Texas does not yet allow for the open carrying (OC) of sidearms by its otherwise law-abiding citizens, while 43(!) or more U.S. states do. And, yes, the list of the other states that also consider its citizens to be too stupid, too untrustworthy, too ignorant, too incompetent, too fearful, or any combination thereof, to exercise their Second Amendment (2A) rights as intended by authors of the Bill of Rights includes the usual suspects---go ahead, look it up. Texas is most definitely not in good company.

Unfortunately, given the current tenor between the truly pro-2A/OC groups and the truly anti-2A/OC groups, the title of the original post may be somewhat, if not significantly, overly optimistic, at least during the upcoming 2015 Texas Legislative session.

On the honestly pro side, who are vastly outnumbered and outfunded, we have those like C.J. Grisham (a true Texas 2A/OC hero), a small (and shrinking) handful of State legislators, and a smattering of state and local law enforcement officials.

On the other hand, with regard to open carry, the openly anti-OC groups include the NRA, the TRSA (specifically Charles Cotton, who, not surprisingly, also happens to be an NRA board member), the RINO Speaker of the Texas House, Joe Straus, and what appears now to be majority of the Texas Legislature, who will cowardly, albeit gladly, hide behind Straus' skirt for fear of losing some of their pet committee assignments.

Among the excuses you will hear from the Antis (of course, all-the-while masquerading as Pros) is:

1. "Shucks, those darn 'whacko' Pro-2A/OC groups ruined it for us all by entirely legally carrying those scary-looking long guns and frightening all the soccer moms (AKA the ultra-anti-2A 'Moms Demand Action')." Right, a tiny handful of Constitution-loving, pro-2A/OC supporters have completely derailed what was your otherwise well-laid-out perfect plan for the passage of OC in Texas. Oh, please.

2. "We have limited 'political capital' to use each legislative session and we don't want to waste any on unpassable legislation, so we need to focus on 2A issues that actually have a chance at passing." First of all, "limited political capital" is nothing more than lobbyist insider-speak for "It's too hard," or "We don't care what your priorities are, we're working on our own." Any lobbyist who utters such nonsense should be defunded, booted from any board memberships, and be exposed for what they are, pretenders and self-important, self-aggrandizing narcissists (Newsflash: Concealed Carry in Texas would eventually have passed with or without you, and without you, we may have already had Open Carry).

3. "Oh, heavens, if we pass OC, those 30.06 signs may go up everywhere I like/prefer/love/can't-stand-not to shop/eat/frequent/buy-drugs/socialize." To this I can only say, why is it you would patronize any establishment that is openly and admittedly anti-2A in the first place? Oh, that's right, there are lots of things more important than passing OC legislation in Texas, shopping being at the top of the list. At least we now know where your true priorities lay (where's that 'roll-eyes' emoticon when I need it).

What really chaps my hide in all of this is that at least the overtly anti-2A/OC groups like Bloomberg, the Brady Bunch, Moms Against Everything, the Hag Pelosi, and others are who they are, without pretending to be otherwise and with them the enemy is easily identifiable, but with the covert anti-2A/OC groups, such as the aforementioned NRA, TRSA, Straus, etc., their anti-2A/OC efforts are far more insidious and nefarious, telling us that they are working for us, while actually working against us, and, as a result, are vastly more difficult to combat, if not also more dangerous---literally and figuratively.

Anonymous said...

What's the point of only letting CHL holders wear their guns in the open? If what you care about is protection, then you have that protection if it's concealed, and you're not as likely to have some nutjob sneak up behind you at a lunch counter and grab it. It also wouldn't avoid the CHL class fees, fingerprint fees, exorbitant application fees to get licensed. I thought the whole idea was that anyone, perhaps short of a convicted felon, can just buy a gun and start wearing it in the open. And if such a law were passed, it makes since that they should be able to wear it concealed as well. I don't see what's being accomplished here. Explain please.

Unknown said...

Gregg Abbott has said he will sign an Open Carry bill, just like Rick Perry.
The issue now is to get a bill to the Governor.
Only Ann Richards refused any gun bill.
The problem is the people who are pro Cannabis are anti-gun.
This time around, Texas is not getting legal pot but legal Open Carry, not that it matters to me as I do not drink or smoke.
I do, however, now avoid the police.
My goal is to "See no evil, hear no evil, know no evil".

Anonymous said...

I have a CHL and have had it since they were issued. I don't want the "Bad Guys" 'Open Carrying". I want EVERYONE that carries a pistol to have a Background check and not to be a criminal, PERIOD. If you allow unrestricted "Open Carry" the odds will be in the "Bad Guys" favor to carry, for not getting caught. No unrestricted "Open Carry".

Anonymous said...

No unrestricted "Open Carry".
Don't you think that our bad guys would have a field day. You wouldn't know that they're criminals until they use their gun and get arrested. NO THANK YOU....I want to know that that person I see "carrying has been checked out and they are LEGALLY able to possess a firearm, FIRST.

B Doss said...

"When guns are outlawed, then only the outlaws will have guns"

Criminals are not going to open carry in today;s culture/environment - it will inevitably draw eyes to them, something they do not desire. Criminals must remain anonymous in crowds for their own protection.

Don't forget, CHL holders are not the only sane people. No one in my family possesses a CHL; yet, we are all sane. Take me, I do not possess a CHL. I am a pre-med student at Texas A&M University with a GPA of 3.91, IQ of 148. No one calls me crazy (except maybe my brother...). I am mature enough to know and treat a gun as a tool - not as a toy, or symbol of pride.

I would love to open carry, for my safety and the safety of my mother. I took her once to a local mall and the police had an armed individual surrounded and were trying to prevent an exchange of shots in the parking lot. It would be comforting to have a method of protecting myself during the time in which that person was not pinned-down by the police.

Unknown said...

There's zero reason that lawful citizens shouldn't be able to carry. I prefer the licensed option similar to CHL, and if it becomes a visual short-hand to me that I'm looking at someone who has been vetted and is a walking signpost against active shooters and violent criminals then I will be perfectly happy with that.