“The three men behind an ‘open carry demonstration conducted outside of a San Antonio Starbucks are each facing charges of ‘disorderly conduct’ because some observers reportedly complained about the stunt,” theblaze.com reports, deploying air quotes with sarcastic abandon. I say judge for yourself. Read the statute by clicking here or making the jump. It’s no surprise to learn that The Lone Star State prohibits “recklessly” exposing your anus or genitals in a public place. But what about this: a charge of Disorderly Conduct covers someone who “displays a firearm or other deadly weapon in a public place in a manner calculated to alarm.” This happened not a million miles from the Alamo. Go figure. [h/t Texan]

PENAL CODE

TITLE 9. OFFENSES AGAINST PUBLIC ORDER AND DECENCY

CHAPTER 42. DISORDERLY CONDUCT AND RELATED OFFENSES

Sec. 42.01. DISORDERLY CONDUCT. (a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly:

(1) uses abusive, indecent, profane, or vulgar language in a public place, and the language by its very utterance tends to incite an immediate breach of the peace;

(2) makes an offensive gesture or display in a public place, and the gesture or display tends to incite an immediate breach of the peace;

(3) creates, by chemical means, a noxious and unreasonable odor in a public place;

(4) abuses or threatens a person in a public place in an obviously offensive manner;

(5) makes unreasonable noise in a public place other than a sport shooting range, as defined by Section 250.001, Local Government Code, or in or near a private residence that he has no right to occupy;

(6) fights with another in a public place;

(7) discharges a firearm in a public place other than a public road or a sport shooting range, as defined by Section 250.001, Local Government Code;

(8) displays a firearm or other deadly weapon in a public place in a manner calculated to alarm;

(9) discharges a firearm on or across a public road;

(10) exposes his anus or genitals in a public place and is reckless about whether another may be present who will be offended or alarmed by his act; or

(11) for a lewd or unlawful purpose:

(A) enters on the property of another and looks into a dwelling on the property through any window or other opening in the dwelling;

(B) while on the premises of a hotel or comparable establishment, looks into a guest room not the person’s own through a window or other opening in the room; or

(C) while on the premises of a public place, looks into an area such as a restroom or shower stall or changing or dressing room that is designed to provide privacy to a person using the area.

(b) It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a)(4) that the actor had significant provocation for his abusive or threatening conduct.

(c) For purposes of this section:

(1) an act is deemed to occur in a public place or near a private residence if it produces its offensive or proscribed consequences in the public place or near a private residence; and

(2) a noise is presumed to be unreasonable if the noise exceeds a decibel level of 85 after the person making the noise receives notice from a magistrate or peace officer that the noise is a public nuisance.

(d) An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor unless committed under Subsection (a)(7) or (a)(8), in which event it is a Class B misdemeanor.

(e) It is a defense to prosecution for an offense under Subsection (a)(7) or (9) that the person who discharged the firearm had a reasonable fear of bodily injury to the person or to another by a dangerous wild animal as defined by Section 822.101, Health and Safety Code.

(f) Subsections (a)(1), (2), (3), (5), and (6) do not apply to a person who, at the time the person engaged in conduct prohibited under the applicable subdivision, was a student in the sixth grade or a lower grade level, and the prohibited conduct occurred at a public school campus during regular school hours.

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 181, ch. 89, Sec. 1, 2, eff. Aug. 29, 1977; Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 4641, ch. 800, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1983; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 145, Sec. 2, eff. Aug. 26, 1991; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 318, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 54, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 389, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 691, Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2011.

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113 Responses to TX Open Carry Demonstrators Charged with Disorderly Conduct

    • I’m increasingly tired of the lazy, smug, freeloading-let-others-do-the-heavy-lifting-to-preserve-my-rights crowd. How about that?

      These three young men have done nothing wrong. Yes, I get that some hysterical, hoplophobic alarmist called the cops. Yes, I get that the cops have to respond, because God forbid some psycho spree shooter goes ballistic and the cops’ abysmal response time reveals their impotence. So what? Once on scene, the investigation revealed that these three young men have committed no crime.

      Demanding their firearms’ serial numbers? Under the pretense of ensuring they aren’t stolen? Really? Will they do that will every one of the hundred or so vehicles in the parking lot, too? There’s no probable cause that these firearms are stolen. Then the Sergeant Storm Trooper threatens them for not providing serial numbers? If the cop has probable cause to believe the firearms are stolen, then arrest them for that, seize the items as evidence and read the serial numbers yourself. The only reason these men were ticketed is because they dared not comply with the Sergeant’s demand that they surrender their rights. That’s an abuse of power by an arrogant civil servant who’d rather terrorize innocent civilians than abide by the oath he took.

      This capricious and arbitrary (ab)use of power is precisely why people like these three men stand up for their rights. That D.O. charge will be a bitch to explain for the rest of their lives. Every job app, every 2014 form, and even their current CHL’s will be impacted. Sure, the charge will be dismissed, eventually, after much headache, stress and expense; but the effects of these miserable statist cops’ actions will linger forever.

      Bravo to these young men for standing up for their rights, peacefully and with civility. Piss on those pudgy, piggy, bullies with badges and their milquetoast apologists in the so-called gun owning community.

      • These guys did nothing wrong I agree, but now they have a charge they will have to beat, legal fees to pay, etc. I live in an open carry state but see NO point in open carry, the only time I’d ever support it is if it’s the only legal avenue you have.

        • You live in an open carry state and you see no reason to open carry. Then don’t. You would rather not know if someone was carrying as opposed to knowing. You don’t know what you think. You just open mouth and crap comes out.

        • In Mactown in mid-winter of ’96, we held a “rodeo” to break the monotony. The folks staging this were the fire crew and the venue was the (not overly large) firehouse.

          More than half the population of McMurdo Station was crowded into that firehouse, and I took the once in a lifetime opportunity to yell “MOVIE!”

          Noone really noticed, but I did it.

    • You may want to research collateral estoppel.

      Then you can look and see how many states are bound by it because Their state AG’ s have argued that you CAN walk down the street with your long arm so the RKBA is respected.

      If you became educated on the subject matter, you may grow less tired of them.

  1. Yes they have the right to open carry. However, it looks bad on us all if they are open carrying anything more then a pistol. Stunts like this hurt the cause. Here in Washington state open carry is legal as well, however all I would sit around with is my pistol in plain sight if I wanted to do something like this. Like I said makes us all look bad IMHO.

    • Pistol open carry is illegal in Texas. Its why they are peacefully demonstrating with rifles, its the only legal open carry for them. The goal is to get pistol open carry for CHL holders by spreading awareness of how ridiculous it is to have one without the other.

      • yes and the very best way to quietly and surriptiously lose a right is to not exercise it – to the point that when you do, it causes “surprise” and “alarm”.

        they are carrying as protest because open carry is allowed for long guns but not hand guns. I hope they carry on with that!

        • Rest assured they will, and just as happened in CA, they’ll lose ALL open carry rights. That’s exactly what happened here. First it was loaded open carry that got banned. Then unloaded OC of a handgun, then all forms of OC. A bit at a time, and not one shit was given by the masses, who are too stupid to realize what was happening and continues to happen. The gun folks weren’t much better with the “I hate those OC assholes!” A little solidarity never hurts, especially when we have common enemies.

    • I’m full-on pro-2A, but that gun looked a little scary even to me! According to Rule 1, I’d be concerned that it could tip over and “accidentally discharge” I know intellectually that most guns are drop-safe most of the time, but my gut hasn’t been enlightened yet.

        • The word “but” means “disregard everything I said or wrote before.”

          Which one of these have you heard?

          1. You’re a great guy, but . . .
          2. I love you, but . . .
          3. You’re qualified for the job, but . . .
          4. I’d like to help you move, but . . .

          I could go on, but . . .

        • Not really. It frequently demarcates an exception rather than serving as a complete negation.

          “I can help you move on any day but Wednesday,” for example, or “I home carry, but not during sex or bathing.”

          A satement roughly equivalent to “Open carry demonstrations are fine, but that particular gun bothers me. Didn’t he have a safer-looking one?” passes muster a limited exception.

          I’m siding with RG on this one. Not that I’ve seen the scary gun (the video wouldn’t load) but rather in my linguistic interpretation of what he typed.

          Russ Bixby, Kansas and cunning linguist

      • From watching the video and reading the TX penal code on “Offenses against Public Order and Decency” I believe it is very reasonable to assume that the Police there were not within their right to arrest. Their behavior although clearly vexing to the officer in that they failed to back down and go away, it was equally clear that the the guns were safe, and within the law to carry and that the officer was fishing to find an excuse to take them out of there.

    • Sounds like you’re “alarmed by this stunt” as much as the person that called the cops. Maybe you should explain exactly what “the cause” is.

    • This is a response to Frank Massotti; I OC here in NM despite having shall issue CC because I can OC without a license which makes it a right where as a permit makes it a privilege.

      If the only way to carry a weapon without a permit was with a rifle, that is what I would carry.

      The definition of a free person in all of history has been those that can keep and bear arms without a permit; by that definition only the people in four states in our union are actually completely free.

      I applaud those 3 free men for practicing their rights; all those others that have bowed down and kissed the feet of their masters to get your permit to practice your privileges; you have already declared your place in our republic, as servants to your masters.

      If you did so out of necessity but chafe at you chains; there is still hope for you; but if you are proud of your piece of paper proving your “responsibility” and you dismiss and degrade those that practice their rights as free people; you are lost and are in darkness of slavery and are happy to be so.

      You are the people I am ashamed to call fellow americans.

    • I agree. Its deffinatley time to stop preventable trageties with children. But here is an idea, lets start with parents being PARENTS rather than freinds with their children.

    • I grew up around guns and learned safe handling at an early age (around age 5). I’ve never even come close to a negligent discharge. Maybe instead of sheltering kids, parents should teach their kids about guns.

    • From newborns to 19-year olds. I wonder how many involved newborns and how many involved 15 to 19 year olds. And how many involved those involved in gangs or drugs. Nice, indiscriminate study.

    • It’s interesting…you appear to imply that we could eliminate the 20,000 estimated yearly injuries by being more careful…when the study you cite concludes that over 67% of the injuries were INTENTIONAL…I’m guessing predominantly gang-bangers shooting each other and homeowners shooting intruders…especially since the study considers 19 year olds intruders

    • Your right, It is time to stop these preventable tragedies with better education in the proper handling of fire arms. Just the same as we have swimming classes to stop tragedies in the pool. It’s why responsible parents take time to teach their kids about how to handle life’s many dangers. I could go on but you real didn’t come here hear what people have to say. You just wanted to drop your hot load of troll dung and see what happens. Epic fail.

    • kawador, it’s time to have gun safety classes in public schools. Just as we have safe sex and sex ed programs. Instead of an electronic baby the students can be issued school owned rifles and shotguns after an appropriate hands on safety demonstration.

      The student gets a passing grade if he/she has no ADs. They get an automatic A if they deter a school shooter. And of course, they get a failing grade if they shoot anyone by accident.

      Getting students and staff comfortable with and trained in the safe handling of firearms would be a major plus for our country.

      And thank you for boosting the numbers on a pro gun site. Sites like these help to convince pols that gun owners are a force to be reckoned with. Thank you for your support.

    • Define “kids”. I bet your definition includes “children” who are 17.99 years old and running a brisk business involving lots of zip-loc baggies.

    • I read the story in the link. It is disappointing that much of the data is hidden behind a aggregation of intentional uses such as suicide an homicide and yet the article would equate “intentional” with “suffer injury”. Then claim to be concerned about safety and well being of children. I assert that if there was real concern there would be a real analysis to determine root causes rather than clump together disparate groups of injuries and causes to create a argument to support a prejudged conclusion.

      To top it off the article starts with data that is from “newborns to 19 year olds”, it is a farce to group in 18 and 19 year olds and claim it to be children. Safety of children is a serious issue, get serious about factual data that actually can show real causes and stop with the sensationalizing. It is getting pretty old to have more examples of how to lie with statistics.

    • That’s a great global statistical approach to solving other people’s problems (not yours). My kids are actually my kids – not yours. I’ll teach them whatever I want regardless of your opinion or statistics – that includes firearms and firearm safety.

      The founding fathers made a mistake – there should have been another amendment. “The right to keep and bear children, take them as your sole responsibility, shall not be entitled to the state but rest with the individual parents – and shall not be infringed.” However this was so blatantly obvious to them at that time they likely didn’t think or bother to add it.

      And now… We have socialist, statists like you who actually seek government control in all aspects of your life. What a shame…

  2. >> I’m increasingly getting very tired of the open carry crowd.

    I’m not. I’m increasingly getting tired of my constitutional rights being violated. What you witnessed in this video are citizens being painfully respectful of the police. What you didn’t witness was any type of disorderly conduct. I applaud the men in this video. They are not the problem.

        • Seriously? So, let’s say, I’m in NY and one of their finest decides to stop and frisk me for no reason other than they feel like it. I’d be mouthing off to them by telling them what they’re doing is illegal?

          These guys WERE NOT breaking any law!

        • It must be some characteristic of the People’s Democratic Republic of Taxifornia – the cops can call “attitude” “probable cause.” If they think you’re being a smart-aleck, they might detain you and rough you up just because they can.

        • Pick a side. Who’s at fault? The cop trampling people’s rights, or the citizen mouthing off to the cop trampling his rights? Things aren’t going to change unless people start standing up to pigs like these. I’ve heard tell all cops aren’t like that, and I really hope that’s true.

        • It doesn’t do anybody any good to be rude. I’m always polite and deferential to the cops because it’s in my own personal self-interest. It’s just stupid to pick fights with people who have guns, clubs, tasers, chemical mace, force of numbers, and so on. In the People’s Democratic Republic of Mexifornia, they sometimes consider “giving them attitude” probable cause.

        • True story: I was the third car at a sobriety checkpoint at which they were stopping one in three. While I had a hold full of drunks, I was the delta squared.

          “Have you been drinking?”
          “Only soda, officer.”
          “Please touch your nose” Done.
          “Please walk a line…” Done.
          “Now please recite the alphabed backwards…”

          I did the first two as “requested,” but for the last I sung it, ending with “Now I know my ZYX, next time why don’t we have —”

          She was not amused.

        • Be careful making an offer like that Russ. She might decide to love you a long time. With her night stick.

      • >> I’m increasingly getting very tired of the open carry crowd.

        “I’m not. I’m increasingly getting tired of my constitutional rights being violated”

        Steve so am I, but just don’t think that open carry is the answer, CA would be a good case in point.

    • I agree, up to a point.

      “Incrementalism” is how they are trying to take our rights away – the most rational way to swing the pendulum back is ‘incrementally’ in the other direction.

      Once most folks understand that concealed carry doesn’t lead to Wild West shootouts, then they can get their heads around the open carry thing. Slow and steady wins the race, not providing a rallying point for the other side when they can make an argument that might stick on an emotional basis.

      Right or wrong, this is a popularity contest – try to win it. Dog knows, the other side has a plan, so should we.

        • Which was my point, that I obviously wasn’t clear enough about.

          It took decades to get us away from the place where one of the essential parts of any home tour was showing off the family gun collection, and little Timmy has had a .22 on his wall since his 6th birthday.

          We have to re-normalize firearm ownership. That won’t happen overnight.

  3. If convicted of a misdemeanor under this law, will they loss thier right to own a gun or will that require a felony?

    • It’d take a felony to lose your guns outright (or certain accusations or indictments); but a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge won’t do it.

      HOWEVER, a disorderly conduct conviction will render you ineligible for a concealed handgun license for five years in Texas.

      • In Texas, it looks like a misdemeanor wouldn’t result in a loss of gun possession rights – but only because a misdemeanor in Texas is punishable by no more than 1 year of imprisonment.
        http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/PE/htm/PE.12.htm

        However, in some jurisdictions, some misdemeanors are punishable by more than 1 year of imprisonment. For example, in Colorado, a Class 1 Misdemeanor is punishable by up to 18 months in a county jail. That includes things like “making a false affirmation of one’s voting qualifications” and “cheating at any limited gaming activity”.

  4. Don’t talk to the pigs, it accomplishes nothing. If there is no law requiring you to remove a magazine why remove it? If there is no law requiring the presenting of I’d why ID?

    Those open carriers were not prepared to deal with thuggish cops.

  5. It is totally funny they called the wrong numbers. It just shows that Starbucks is for the money and then get your for disorderly conduct. What are the laws in the Liberal City of Austin that you guys moved to.

  6. I look for this one to be thrown out by the judicial process along the way,if not before it goes to court due to enough gun owners complaining about the abuse of the law,because if the Mayor wants to be reelected he had better rethink this!Be prepared and ready.Keep your powder dry.

  7. I’m tired of open carry people being harassed for no damn good reason by law enforcement. If nothing is happening then leave them alone. Subjective laws also need to go.

    Imagine being in the voting booth and a cop comes and flings the curtain open to see what you are doing and ask for ID and to see if you have a valid serial number on your ballot and it’s not stolen from the little old lady at the precinct table. You might say, “but it’s only voting! People can’t be killed by voting!”. The votes we cast determine the people who represent us who make the decisions to send a very powerful military to other countries and kick their teeth in.

    It is either a right, or it isn’t. If police harass you for open carrying then they are treating it as a privilege and not a right.

    • Apparently our rights are subject to the feelings of the people around us.

      These three men did NOT prevent anyone from going anywhere, doing anything, or possessing any property they wanted. These three men did NOT harass anyone, threaten anyone, assault anyone, injure anyone, kill anyone, or rob anyone. What was their crime?!?!?!?

      This is the problem when we have laws for the sake of control rather than having laws for the sake of justice … and when police officers enforce laws rather than upholding rights and justice.

      • “We had a complaint…”

        You will then receive a lecture on how “you’re making their job hard” by not trying to not offend every pathetic idiot who gets their panties in a wad at the drop of a hat.

        In the not so distant past such calls would have been ignored, or even better, when found to be nonsense the caller would have been visited and informed that they need to ‘mind their own effen business and not waste police time on things that aren’t illegal, regardless of whether you “like” it or not’….

        • I agree. If the local constabulary are oh so short handed such that violent crimes are presently going unresponded-to while they spend half an hour or so jacking around with this non-crime, then that’s more a matter of poor prioritization on the part of the police than it is of distraction of police attention by these law abiding citizens.

          When you factor in further that there were what, two, three, officers standing around at this non-crime scene, plus a Sergeant, then that speaks more to police harassment than even mere incompetence in law enforcement resource allocation.

          Do these guys have a legal defense fund set up yet?

  8. I have to wonder if those three men could claim that they were exercising their First Amendment right to free speech — which the law enforcement officers violated.

    Suppose someone wanted the U.S. to send military personnel to Syria. And to exercise their Free Speech about that topic, they hold up a large photo of dead children in Syria. Do they have to put their sign away and go home if someone finds the sign offensive? Would that person be guilty of “disorderly conduct” for holding up such an “offensive” sign? How is the situation any different for these three men who had firearms that offended someone?

    • Interesting point especially considering how many times the liberals proclaim that protecting outrageous speech is the most important component of the First Amendment.

      • Precisely. Phred Phelps (Kansas’ international point o’ shame) is legal, but carrying a rifle into a latte joint just barely ain’t — at least in practice.

        Sucks, and not in a nice way.

        • EDIT: Phred is legal nationwide,whereas rifles in coffe joints apparently aren’t in Tay-hahss.

          In Kansas — at least in my experience — guns and coffee mix just dandily.

  9. “Texas: Not as free as our PR campaign wants you to believe”. If you like guns, Ohio or Kentucky are much better choices than Texas, despite the popular myths about Texas being so pro-gun.

    • Kansas you get NFA exempt silencers and machine guns as long as they are built completely in the state. Bet land is still cheap too.

      • Indeed, and in most places the cops remember for whom they work.

        I like it here, irrespective of the tor-naders.

        Oh, we’re not perfect but we’re pretty damned good Americans.

      • <skippable anecdote>
        Once, when traveling from sunny Southern Taxifornia to Minnesnowta, I chanced to go through Liberal, KS, home of Dorothy of Wizard of Oz fame. I’ve also been through Winslow, AZ, but that’s a different story, other than that both Liberal and Winslow have billboards and stuff celebrating their fame. Anyhoo, just as I got there, i hit the first real snowstorm of the season. I stopped into the nearest station/convenience store to get a hat and pair of gloves, and quipped to the kounter kiddie, “Gee, Dorothy, I don’t think we’re in San Diego any more.”

        She didn’t get it.
        </skipppable anecdote>

  10. Go fight it in the courts.
    I will give them “Props’ for acting nice, and not being dicks.
    Personally, I don’t “get” open carry. I think it will hurt out rights more than help it. You think the Starbucks is going to let those folks hang out there again after what? 5 cops showed up?

    • Its being fought in the courts. You need a plaintiff to bring a case to trial. Its how they fixed the corrupt police in Connecticut unlawfully arresting permit holders for open carrying when there was no law against it. Rights don’t exist when the police make people afraid to exercise them.

  11. Yay you can open carry and film it!!! like it hasnt already been done before!!! to death in fact. wanna cookie?

    move the hell on already.

  12. @Resident CT

    “I read the story in the link. It is disappointing that much of the data is hidden behind a aggregation”

    Subgroup analysis showed that:

    60% of the ED visits for firearm injuries involved patients older than 11
    90% of the patients were male
    50% of the patients were black
    54% had nonprivate insurance
    92% of the visits occurred in metropolitan areas

    http://www.medpagetoday.com/MeetingCoverage/AAP/29103

    • 60% of the ED visits for firearm injuries involved patients older than 11
      90% of the patients were male
      50% of the patients were black
      54% had nonprivate insurance
      92% of the visits occurred in metropolitan areas

      So, most of them were poor, inner-city black males, 12-19 years old.

      This is my surprised face.

  13. Despite the flame ill get for this, quit frankly I think we should be able to carry a long guns as well. Is there a need? No probably not, but we have the right to bear arms so we should be able to do as such without hindrance.

  14. What the hell was with the cop at 2:30 having to be told how to open the bolt on an AR? In Texas. WTF. How does a cop in Texas at this point in history not know how to open the bolt on an AR?

  15. Normalizing. You don’t “normalize” carrying a gun by carrying a gun to make a statement. You do normalize carrying a gun by carrying a gun like it’s normal.

    Officer Fife: “What are you doing out here with the guns?”

    Citizen Rico: “Getting a cup of coffee, waiting for the range to open.”

    OF: “Why with the guns?”

    CR: “Oh, I never leave anything important in the car when I’m in town – not even my laptop. Stuff gets grabbed out of parking lots all the time.”

    OF: “Well, we’ve had complaints called in.”

    CR: “It’s a shame that someone wasted your time like that. Don’t you hate getting used to harass people someone doesn’t agree with? I’m sorry they did this to you.”

    Officer Fife now has a difficult choice to make.

    BTW…

    OF: “Are you recording us?”

    CR: “Of course. I always record when we’re out with our guns.”

    OF: “Why is that?”

    CR: “Some people do stupid stuff. There’s no telling what some agitator will make up or lie about to stir things up.”

  16. Ahhh…the good ole “Disorderly Conduct” charge, when in doubt, whip it out…what an outrage, what a farce…
    WI got it right the first time when they wrote their CC law…

    “Does the open or concealed carry of a firearm constitute disorderly conduct?

    Generally no. Unless the facts and circumstances indicate a malicious or criminal intent, a person may not be charged with an ordinance or criminal offense of disorderly conduct for going armed with a concealed or openly carried firearm. Wis. Stat. §§ 947.01(2) and.
    66.0409(6).”

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