Derek Poe in the mall (courtesy burntoragnge.com)

Texas is gun friendly. But it’s not gun rights friendly. The Lone Star State’s plenty damn restrictive. You can’t carry in hospitals (if posted), schools or racetracks. Texas cops can arrest a citizen with a concealed handgun license (CHL) for any amount of alcohol in their system (if considered impaired). That said, the laws are better than they were, and they’re getting better all the time. As always, open carry is the ultimate litmus test for gun rights. Texas ain’t got it (for handguns). Fortunately, there’s plenty of political momentum in the Lone Star State to get it done. Texas Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbot is fer it. Fer now. ‘Cause open carry could become a cause célèbre amongst his opponents. Over at burntorange.com, “Joe the Pleb” fires a warning shot . . .

A gun store owner in Beaumont faces up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine if convicted of disorderly conduct after he walked through Parkdale Mall on December 28th with an AR-15 strapped to his back. The man turned himself in after a warrant was issued for his arrest but he maintains that he did nothing “illegal.”

The man named Derek Poe was charged with Disorderly Conduct because police said he carried his weapon, “In a manner calculated to alarm.” Poe disagreed and said that he was just exercising his 2nd Amendment right. He told KBMT “It was clearly obvious I didn’t have criminal intent. I had a drink in one hand and a bag in the other. I didn’t commit a crime. I legally carried a long arm in Texas.”

Such displays of irresponsible gun ownership are likely to draw (no pun intended) push back against “open carry” legislation being pushed by the likes of Greg Abbott.

Or not. Some of that depends how the gun rights community feels about open carry. The signs are . . . mixed.

Charles Cotton, president of the Texas Firearms Coalition and board member of the National Rifle Association, told the Texas Tribune, “If a criminal walks into a location and openly sees a bunch of people carrying a firearm, they are much less likely to commit that crime.” But once multiple non-uniformed individuals draw their weapons how are first responders or even other “responsible gun owners” supposed to know who the original offender is. Also would it make a difference to the injured if the bullet came from a vigilante or a perp, not likely.

Cotton also said he takes issue with open carry groups who use confrontational tactics adding, “I don’t think you win anyone to your side of the issue if they’re afraid of you.” I must agree because I don’t think Poe earned any supporters or customers that day in Parkdale Mall. So if as Abbott contends that, “Anyone wishing to use a firearm as a deterrent and, in the last resort, for self-defense, would prefer to openly display the weapon,” then it begs the question who was Poe deterring while walking through the mall? My best guess would be other shoppers from spending their money and feeling safe.

Should open carry advocates not open carry to advance open carry? Such is gun politics in Texas these days. Watch this space.

162 Responses to Open Carry Arrest Could Hurt Gregg Abbots’ Run for TX Governor. Or Not

    • Here in NC we have legal Open Carry. We also have a “Going Armed to the Terror of the Public” statue. So we can open carry but if we survive a police encounter we may see the inside of the hoosegow.
      “Sure, you can open carry. But don’t you dare open carry…”

  1. Texas gun culture is an urban myth. Texas is in the middle of the pack when it comes to gun rights. Open carry is not a protected right and can be subject ot the whim of the local authorities. Let’s stop worshiping Texas as the end all and be all of gun rights.

    Anybody who is thinking about coming to a gun friendly state please come to Virginia so we can keep the state free.

    • This X1,000

      The Texas myth is one of the biggest rumors out there. They are fairly restrictive and have a middle of the road tax burden as well. That being said a good 40%+ of their population is liberal…add some illegal voting into the stew and you’ve got the next swing/blue state.

      • Taxfoundation.org consistently ranks Texas in the mid 40’s for state and local tax burden (#1 is worst). So that’s more like Texas being in the top 10% of least burdensome taxation, not middle of the road. Beyond that, regulations are light.

        For instance, there’s no state general business license required. $10 DBA and you’re in business. Specific industries require professional licenses (law, medicine, plumbing, electrical, etc), but that’s everywhere, too. But a general business permit/license? No such thing. No business income tax for small (sub $1 mil) businesses, either.

        Hell, Houston is the largest city in the nation without zoning! You can put up your furniture store/gun range/sandwich shoppe/used car lot right next door to my daycare/office building/dry cleaner/petting zoo, if you want. Do that in D.C.! They’d march you back to the zoo and feed you to the yak.

      • Austin has a lot of liberals, other parts of TX not so much. But on the subject here, you have to consider that TX has no laws whatsoever concerning carry of long guns. Like, NONE! This was a massive overreach for some reason. And if slung behind your back is somehow “threatening” to someone, we’ll have to see what a jury of my peers says if that was me.

    • Agreed. NC is also very good these days (open carry, restaurant carry, shall issue).

      Unfortunately gunbuster signs here have force of law, and we have an archaic pistol purchase permit system for handgun purchases for non CHP holders.

      AZ, as a constitutional carry state, is probably best in the union.

      • “AZ, as a constitutional carry state, is probably best in the union.”

        Yes we are, although we do need to get rid of McCain. When is he up for re-election?

      • AZ has a few drawbacks. The biggest (IMHO) is that “no gun” signs carry the weight of law. But coming here from most states is a step in the freedom direction on gun rights.

      • A friend of mine (very pro gun) just left NY for AZ. Main reason he fled was because of gun laws.

        +1 for Arizona gun rights at the voting booth.

      • If Gov. Brewer hadn’t vetoed the campus carry bill, one would truly be able to consider AZ the best. Otherwise, there are a few things that are better elsewhere. Still, there’s constitutional carry, open carry does happen, and the State pre-emption is very strong, which make it quite decent overall.

        • I was teaching college at the time that bill was making it’s way through the legal hurtles. The ridiculous crap I heard from my fellow “educators” was similar to “There’s an inch of top soil left! Wake up people! Chaos and bedlam will rule the day. Anarchy will reign!”

    • An urban myth? odd that quite a few of the TTAG frequenters and even the writers live in TX. If you have a beef with the state, thats your own thing. They were very clear about “But it’s not gun rights friendly. The Lone Star State’s plenty damn restrictive.” in the article.

      No one is also pretending that Austin isnt filled with koolaid drinkers, luckily its not entirely so.

      If RF still moved in to another state and began writing articles about the pros and cons of gun rights there, is that worshiping also?

    • What myth? That Texas is “pretty good” in regards to gun rights? That much is true beyond any debate.
      The thought that Contemporary Texas is some sort of ultimate haven for the People of the Gun would be incorrect and is only referenced by people like you – apparently trying to debunk a notion that doesn’t exist.
      The fact is, Texas is in danger of ‘going blue’ what with the liberals in Austin, Dallas and Houston increasing their influence.

      • What do you mean “what myth”? You, yourself, just stated the myth! Many of us are apparently under the same delusion.

        My sister (who lives in Dallas) has expressed surprise when she sees photos of me open carrying in Washington. At a minimum, cops in Tacoma and the Yakima area (Toppenish, specifically) are cool with open carry (based on my own experience) and it’s legal state wide. Odd that I can carry open in Washington—a solidly blue state—when those in Texas can’t.

        Oh, wait. I guess it’s not odd.

      • Hey, you can argue forever, but there are lots of different definitions of “gun rights friendly”. For those who don’t know, a change last Oct. cut the length and cost of a CHL in TX by about 70%, and eliminated all retraining requirements forever. Meanwhile, look up The Silencer Shop and note the address. They are currently holding my SBR (9″ bbl AR-15 in .300 blackout) and the silencer for it until the paperwork comes back, they are so busy it looks like they must have a side business printing money, although pretty new they are already expanding the shop and storage (gotta have storage, generally after selling gun and silencer, they have to store it for several months until the paperwork comes back.) I have personally seen the hassle they get from cops, who are in there all the time… oops, never mind, they’re placing orders! Several operations are running for shooting feral hogs from helicopters over multithousand acre ranches, bring your own gun, I think the state deserves a nod as reasonably “gun rights friendly”.

    • True, NH and UT are light years ahead of TX on guns and knives for that matter.

      Not to mention TX has a police state mentality in that police can arrest you for almost anything.

      Even Wisconsin is better than TX on guns.

      • Knives? Whatever do you mean? In TX, you can carry a pocketknife with a 5 1/2 inch blade. What is easier than that?

        I grew up in VA and left as fast as I could, when I found TX I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. That was 40+ years ago, maybe things have changed.

    • Florida is good, looking to get better. Shall issue CCL, no waiting period on long guns (none on handguns with CCL), “no guns” signs hold no weight of law, concealed carry legal in restaurants, there’s momentum on a bill this year that will make threat of force in self defense more clearly legal (the way the law is currently, force actual is covered, but force threatened is not) and Florida Carry has a case before Florida supremes to recognize open carry as constitutional.

  2. ‘But once multiple non-uniformed individuals draw their weapons how are first responders or even other “responsible gun owners” supposed to know who the original offender is.’

    That’s easy, the “responsible gun owners” will be the ones who lay down their weapons when the uniformed police show up and the original offender will be the one shooting at them.

    And yes, people should practice open carry, but I don’t think they should do it on their own. They should go out in groups wearing matching t-shirts that say something like “Texas Open Carry” or something so that everyone can plainly see who they are and know what they’re up to.

    • You said “people should practice open carry, but I don’t think they should do it on their own.”

      Why not?

      I open carry, and the vast majority of the time I open carry alone. I’m getting vegetables at the grocery store. I’m buying shoes or clothes. I’m having coffee and/or lunch. I don’t need a group of other folks with guns to open carry – no one does.

      I’m not making a political statement by open carrying. I’m just doing normal stuff, and carrying a gun while doing it.

      Do I sometimes hang out with other open carriers? Sure. But most of the time, I don’t. I just do the normal activities of life. While armed.

      • Depends on your choice of weapon and the locale in which you live. I was specifically meaning the people carrying ARs as a political statement where they know they could be arrested or harassed by the local PD.

        • If someone is carrying specifically as a political statement, then yeah, carrying in a group makes more sense. My point was just that ordinary open carry is not a political statement any more than concealed carry is a political statement. It’s just carrying a firearm.

          My hope is that one of these days, Texas comes to its senses and removes the prohibition on open carrying a handgun. I’m sure some would still OC long guns, but I would not be surprised if a large number would switch to open carrying handguns.

        • And who is to decide what is a “political statement”? I’m happy with my handguns in most circumstances, but I can foresee circumstances where I would not be. Try this; “Headline: 40 people killed in Taliban attack in downtown Austin, TX”. After that, I’ll be carrying my AR, thank you very much. I can think of a dozen other reasons for doing so, and there is no law against open carry of long guns in TX. Decades ago, every pickup truck had loaded rifles in a gun rack in the rear window. What stopped that was not a law, it was theft.

          When Chas Whitman started shooting people from the U.T. Tower back in the ’60s, pickup trucks were parked all over the area while the good ol’ boys were out shooting up at him. None was charged with anything, the police appreciated the backup.

    • Even easier ways to find the criminal in an armed crowd of shoppers:

      – The one with their hands up
      – The one that’s running away as fast as they can, crying for their momma

  3. I am firmly middle of the road when it comes to open carry. On one hand I firmly believe that it is a right, and very nearly a requirement, that every citizen in this country carry a firearm and carry it openly. On the other hand I am not ignorant of the fact that decades of demonizing firearms have shoved this belief farther and farther to the “extremist” label.

    The intertubez are full of open carry advocates who almost certainly open carrying for no other reason than their 15 minutes of YouTube fame. Then there are other advocates who are far less vocal and would rather, ahem, advocate than antagonize.

    We need more of the latter. We need more people to open carry, I’ve started to open carry occasionally myself. But we need more people to open carry who are aware of the stigma associated with the practice and are more of the passive resistance mindset than the “AM I BEING DETAINED?!?!?” mindset.

    You can accomplish your goals more efficiently by being courteous and polite (but not a pushover) than you can by being a d*ckweed.

    • Agreed!

      It is perception over substance, which is what you have to do when you have no substance as is the case with the grabbers. The antis efforts over time to demonize guns and lawful firearm owners as “evil” and “gun nuts” has conditioned the great unwashed to panic at the sight of a person in possession of a firearm anywhere in a general public non-gun friendly venue.

      Until this perception changes, which it only will with more common open carry NON-events, will the deconditioning of people’s trepidation at the sight of an open carry gun worn by a non-threatening lawful gun owner be overcome. In other words, open carry where one can, legally, without doing it in an imposing way so as to attract unnecessary confrontation.

      One may still run the risk of moving some hoplophobe or other security conscious individual to call in the law, but if you are being reasonable, and are legal, you should be good to go.

    • If you open carry a longarm, especially a scary black rifle, in places where it is not considered “illegal” to do so, that is your right and privilege. And it is a crying shame that I have to put “illegal” in quotes.

      But if you open carry that longarm at a time or in a place where there is no reasonable cause to choose to have that particular tool at hand, then you must be ready to be confronted by law enforcement, and accept whatever consequences ensue, up to and including getting shot dead. And since we all know that, and some choose to do it anyway, stop whining when you get exactly the results you were on the street looking for, which is a confrontation.

      Meantime, more power to ya. The right to open carry by law-abiding citizens will never be recovered if none of us is willing to shove the official hypocrisy in their face from time to time. But how about some baby-steps? Can we get them used to the idea of good guys with open carry pistols first? Once they are not automatically afraid of any and all guns we can perhaps move on to long guns.

      • But how about some baby-steps?

        Not unless someone can make it so that I live more than my own lifespan. I am alive now and I posses unalienable rights now, in my own lifetime. They won’t do me much good after I’m gone so I’ll exercise them while I’m still among the living. 😉

      • Cliff, in Texas, open carry of a handgun is prohibited, while open carry of a long gun is not. If they want to legally open carry there, they have no choice other than to open carry a long gun.

        The law is stupid, but that’s what it is.

        • I don’t think that is entirely correct. You’re talking of TX CHL law, but before that was passed (1994?) there was significant carry both concealed and open under the TX Constitution, which has not been subsequently change insofar as I know. I am not a liar, oops, I mean lawyer of course, and don’t claim to really be an expert, but I was around, and carrying (mostly concealed) for 20-30 years before TX passed CHL, so I knew what to claim if caught, or if I had to use my firearm.

          You can carry, according to the TX Constitution, if xxx. There are a list of things after that, the easiest of which is one word; “traveling”. No kidding, look it up. There are also allowances for going to the range to shoot, going to the shop to have the arm serviced, etc., etc., none of which specify loaded or unloaded, open or concealed, or anything else. If I had to use my gun, I could be headed to the store to buy ammo (another one) without any prior notice, that’s what you tell the nice officer. And if the nice officer is a nice officer, and you have taken care of legitimate business, he may tell YOU where you were going, to make sure you don’t say something wrong.

  4. Open carry is here to stay, and people and cops better learn to deal with it. There will always be in-your-face OCers who “don’t do it right.,” but that’s no reason to ban it. We don’t repeal the First Amendment when people say or print asshole things.

    I’d like to know how many open carriers have committed crimes while open carrying. A mass murderer would open fire as soon as he entered in the mall, not saunter around with an Orange Julius waiting for more victims.

    • If you open carry into a mall like that jackass you are asking to get dropped by whoever is concealed carrying. If I was with my kids and the dude in the picture above showed up I am drawing on him and if he chooses to peaceably disarm himself great, otherwise he’s gone. Are you out in the woods or your back lot? Open carry all you want. In town? You’re a threat and will be treated as such.

      • You would draw on him because his gun is visible? Because it’s bigger? Blacker? I suppose as soon as you draw your weapon, he would have an even better reason to demand that you peaceably disarm.

        • Because he looks like a crazy person about to start a spree shooting, period. It’s 2013, in the United States of America, planet Earth. Whatever fantasy land you live in that thinks it’s sensible to roll to the mall with an AR isn’t the one the rest of the country lives in.

      • Verbal, I strongly recommend you get a grip. Drawing your weapon in public just because you observe someone who frightens you is exactly the response of hoplophobes who call the police on these guys. They see the weapon, they freak out, they over-react.

        If I were to see a person on the street calmly going about their business with a slung AR or AK I would shift to condition Yellow and perhaps observe their actions until I was satisfied that they were not a threat. If they were at a mall or other crowded venue I would undoubtedly go to condition Orange and pay close attention until I was absolutely certain they had no ill intent. But confront them with a drawn weapon? That’s a really good way to get a whole lot of people shot where no crime is being committed.

        Also, keep in mind that pistol rounds, whatever Hollywood portrays, do not constitute dependable “first round stops.” If your first shot does not kill or disable him he may be able to get that MSR into action and his rounds will most likely kill YOU and his shoot will be well justified.

        • Sorry, I meant I would call 911 about the crazy guy with a gun first and then follow him until the cops show up to deal with it. Even if a CC decided to produce his weapon because the guy starting playing with his gun and acting like a threat, it would be from behind him and behind cover. The open carrier has no idea who is behind him with a concealed weapon, and is the one who is vulnerable. Remember every spree shooter was an open carrier right before they opened fire. If someone decided to deal with John Holmes when he was open carrying in the parking lot a bunch of people would be alive today, and we’d have a DGU story. All you are doing is scaring women and children shopping at a mall, and doing nothing to help the 2A. I open carry long guns, but it’s waaaaay the out in the woods where there aren’t any little kids to scare thinking they are in danger.

          It’s funny, I have never seen an open carry video where the open carry folks were in any kind of real danger. Go stroll through the ghetto or try that at a courthouse if you believe in your right to be a jackass so much. Nope, it’s always in a very white and very safe suburb where they are at absolutely no risk and just want to freak people out.

        • Nope, it’s always in a very white and very safe suburb where they are at absolutely no risk and just want to freak people out.

          That is not true. Along with unstable and ignorant, you appear to be a liar as well.

        • If you open carry long guns in populated areas you are wearing a giant “I could be a spree shooter” sign. Be prepared to deal with the potentially lethal consequences from law enforcement or private citizens. If getting shot by the SWAT team was worth the jollies you felt from scaring some old lady then I guess huzzah to you.

      • If you acted out in real life anything near what your internet bravado indicates then you would likely find yourself in prison, hospital, or morgue. You come across as an unstable individual.

      • Verbal, that is exactly the mindset of the gungrabbers — assume everyone with a gun is a criminal. Nein nein nein! Sure, Holmes, Lanza, etc, “open carried” from their cars to their targets, but that is far from the same. Do not equate a person carrying a rifle with a spree shooter. You may as well draw on a man with a box cutter. Those cats kill far more people.

        I’m with you all that OCing a rifle in a mall is dumb, but so is putting a cross in urine or making a Michael Bay film. If they outlawed stupid, we’d all be in prison. Open carry is the most basic, immediate way to exercise the RKBA, so it needs to stay.

      • You better get a life, dude. You are talking about committing armed assault against a person doing nothing wrong. And if a gunfight ensues and you survive, YOU are guilty of (attempted) murder. Because you didn’t like the way he carried HIS gun, without even asking whether he approved of how you were carrying yours. If both are legal, where you live, this post says you should consider surrendering your CCL, you are not equipped to handle yourself.

  5. Mr. Cotton is well known for his opposition to open carry. The mere mention of it on his CHL orientated forum has been known to draw banishment.

  6. I am a firm believer in open carry rights, but it does beg the question if in your face tactics help the cause with those that are not firmly in one camp or the other. I still believe Starbucks adoption of their ‘unwelcome’ policy had nothing to do with pressure from MDA and everything to do with those that decided to open carry AR’s outside one of their restaurants. Sometimes, we may be our own worst enemy especially when conduct is judged from the eye of the beholder.

    • And I can’t honestly say that if I my business were unwillingly thrown into the middle of a debate like Starbucks I wouldn’t react the same way….

      • As a business owner, I might be inclined to go the opposite. Explicitly invite OC-ers to come hang out at my location(s) where legal to do so.

        Slogan: “If you are not Open Carrying, we’ll just assume you carry concealed!”

        Were I running a retail establishment Starbucks, I might further try something like:

        And, as a promotional turn, how about “Caliber of the Week”? 1/2 off for everyone that comes in with the caliber of the week” firearm.

        Be an interesting experiment…see how long I stay in business that way. (Wouldn’t work for me…my business is run out of the home and service oriented).

        What is gained by caving to the social pressure on any issue, including OC?

      • It must be understood that Starbuck’s corporate philosophy and a significant percentage of their customers, is NOT pro-gun, and definitely not pro Open Carry. They are decidedly left-leaning socially. The move they took was to protect their bottom line, while attempting to keep both camps happy and buying coffee. It is at its core no different than G&A booting Metcalf because their customers were pissed.

    • The “squishy middle” is an unreliable ally. OC makes them uncomfortable? So would concealed carry if they saw a glimpse of someone’s sidearm. So would the NRA sticker on your car. I understand your question of tactics, but if we appeal to the middle, we lose sight of what we stand for. Instead, how about this: A neighbor of mine was jogging in the park and got followed home by a creepy man in a car. She’s on foot and he’s in a car and now he knows where she lives. The next day she goes out and buys a gun. After taking the class and filling out the application, it takes up to 45 days to get her Virginia concealed carry permit. What does she do during that time? She goes jogging in the park with a gun on her hip for everyone to see — because it’s the only legal option for her. She’s not out to prove a point. She just refuses to hide in her house for a month.

      • That’s just the sort of witty repartee that keeps me coming back here every day. Good show, old chap! Your debating skills are above reproach!

      • The comparison doesn’t make sense.

        1. The guy carrying the AR-15 in the picture on this post was probably not breaking the law.

        2. Gun ownership is an inalienable right, as is free speech. But I don’t yell and curse in front of a kindergarten playground just to exercise my right to free speech.

        3. It’s a matter of taste and perception. I think it’s tacky and harmful to casually be carrying around an AR-15 in the mall because it makes you look like a paranoid prepper weirdo and reinforces stereotypes.

        A handgun, on the other hand, makes infinitely more sense to carry openly in the city. If it’s illegal to openly carry a handgun where you live, an empty holster protest is a doable thing.

        Just because you have the right to do something doesn’t mean you should. Big fat women have a right to wear yoga pants in public but I hope they exercise some discretion and don’t do it.

        • It’s not about rights, it’s what’s normal in society and what’s considered dangerously abnormal. Everyone knows it’s abnormal to walk around in a mall with a long gun, no argument. I suppose if they guy was wearing a clown suit and carrying a AKM he would still be exercising his rights and no one should be concerned? Frankly, fuck that. If you represent yourself as a threat expect to be treated like one.

        • So let’s recap: Even though there are places where it is “legal” (there’s those damn quote marks again) to carry a long gun it may not be reasonable to do so.

          Here’s my problem with doing this in crowded venues – if you succeed in making the sight of such a weapon acceptable in these places what you have accomplished is making it very easy for the next psycho to walk in unmolested and do his dirty work. There are most assuredly places where the open carry of a long gun is entirely inappropriate. Crowded public venues come immediately to mind. Do us all a favor and cut that shit out, okay?

          Carry on the street, in the park, at work. Carry everywhere there are not large groups of people, especially women and children, congregating in congested areas with limited egress points. Otherwise, please carry a pistol and make the point without making a scene.

          It occurs to me that by attracting police attention in public whatever support you may receive from YouTubers is vastly outweighed by the number of people nearby who see you confronted by police and automatically assume that what you are doing is illegal, stupid and dangerous, and tell all their friends about it.

    • Try this, then; You’re an imbecile, and/or a coward. If an action is legal, that means it is legal. When idiots such as yourself succumb to/initiate verbal abuse or denigration of perfectly legal actions, one must assume that you have an agenda of making those actions illegal. Is that better for you? Or would you like some more, dipshit?

  7. I have no desire to open carry. That said I’ve always wondered if we would have been better served if open carry acceptance had spread through the nation ahead of concealed carry. Much harder to convince a populace that gun owners are fringe nut jobs when people can see first hand that that’s just not true.

    • That and the substantial fact that carrying on a license or permit is the exercise of a mere privilege and NOT the exercise of a right. A privilege spread across the country, industry cropped up around it, and politicians made popularity points. Not only does the right to keep and bear arms have to overcome the antis and the brainwashed masses; it must overcome the delusional fools who incorrectly believe that carrying a sidearm as a licensed government privilege is somehow exercising their unalienable right to carry, overcome those who don’t want to stop making money on licensed privilege, and those politicians that want to keep voters. If the gun owning community would, as a group, understand that taking a license or permit reduces the exercise of a right to the exercise of a government privilege, we could restore the day to day real right to bear arms within an incredibly short amount of time.

      It’s good that people can carry concealed, even if that means they can only do so under a license or permit for now. They need to be able to protect themselves. However, our right to bear arms is dying when people cannot freely exercise it WITHOUT government permit or license. In many places, that requires regular open carry. Those who quietly carry concealed under license or permit are not doing all that they might think that they are FOR the right to keep and bear arms.

      • I prefer to think of it as a “Get out of jail free” card. It is not a permit to Carry a Concealed Pistol (CPL Washington State lingo), it is a permit not to go to jail if a cop or anyone else realizes that I am carrying my pistol.

        Since the RKBA is a natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right everyone can exercise that right anytime they so choose. I have done so on many unauthorized occasions. The card just gives me the freedom not to worry about it so much.

        • I can appreciate that it’s the way you see it but the law views it differently. If you are in a state that requires a license or permit to carry concealed you have the choice to either accept a government privilege or to be a criminal under the law. We didn’t have concealed carry licensing laws in Ohio until the past decade. Many Ohioans carried concealed just fine before licensing laws. Indeed, licensing laws were unnecessary for Ohio but we are stuck with it for now…

          (BTW: I’m not criticizing or judging you for carrying ‘unauthorized’… I tip my hat to you for so doing.)

    • The 2nd says you can carry open or concealed in every state. Pushing every limit is sensible, in the attempt to regain the right to keep and bear arms. PARTICULARLY pushing those limits which make your protest visible. Remember, please, that in at least one state, TX, open carry of handguns is illegal in most cases, open carry of long guns is not. Therefore, telling people to advocate open carry by open carry of handguns is just dead wrong! You have to deal with the laws in YOUR state, please do not pretend to have the answers for other states.

      • “please do not pretend to have the answers for other states.”

        That’s standard dysfunctional operating procedure. They know what everybody should do but themselves. In psychobabble, they suffer from boundary issues. They can’t grasp the concept of not going into stupid places where stupid people are doing stupid things – they want to go anywhere they want and be as annoying and obnoxious of a pain in the ass as they want, but have Uncle Sugardaddy protect them from the consequences of their own stupidity. They don’t like an armed society being a polite society, because then they’d have to act like grownups.
        </rant>

  8. “The Lone Star State’s plenty damn restrictive. You can’t carry in hospitals, schools or racetracks.”

    Wrong. As of 2007, you CAN carry into any hospital, church, or bank that does not have the 30.06 sign posted properly.
    Racetracks where money is handled are restricted, and schools are restricted.

    • In Texas schools you can carry, as long as you don’t leave your car with it. So for picking up kids. Only place that was a no-go for that was the post office for some reason, though I think the postmaster general’s rule on that got thrown out by a court. Probably for being stupid.

      • The Post Office is federal government property and is a whole different can of worms. The court case is out of Colorado.

      • I am not a lawyer and I have not read the actual ruling, but I believe what was determined was that it is unreasonable to restrict concealed carry on the entire property and the restriction is now limited to the physical facility (buildings) and any fenced/enclosed work and parking areas. Now you can actually drive up to the post office drop box, roll down the window, and drop in a letter without violating a federal gun law.

  9. The statutory ban on concealed carry in hospitals was repealed years ago. Hospitals individually, as private businesses, may ban firearms, but they must post a state-approved standard notice sign. That’s their individual decision and not a state requirement, though. Exception would be if the hospital were part of a university, but that would be because it’s a school, not because it’s a hospital, per se.

    Bans on carrying in schools is just about universal nationwide, with only a couple of exception states for universities. So it’s not fair to slam Texas for what almost nobody else has, either. It isn’t thst Texas being gun friendly is a myth. It’s more that gun owners and anti’s alike have bought into a Hollywood version of Texas. That’s on you, not Texas.

    The alcohol standard is that you may not be “intoxicated” while carrying. Intoxication is defined in terms of impairment. Intoxication is presumed at .08, but again, goes by impairment. It’s not “any” alcohol whatsoever, it’s impairment. That’s the same standard for driving or just being in public while intoxicated. Same as everywhere else and not at all peculiar to Texas or concealed carrying.

    When you look at actual rankings of states, where methodologies are provided, Texas usually ranks in the third or quarter. Every ranking I’ve seen is skewed, however, because they always weight open carry so heavily. It’s the big Holy Grail, yet as we read in here so often, few oeople would actual do it if it were an option. I get the theoretical, philosophical sense of OC being the bellwether, but since it’s impractical, it seems a rather poor hallmark of firearms freedom.

    • several states allow k-12 carry. And with Texas it’s not so much open Carry, it is that there is no unlicensed carry of a modern handgun in public except at the range and hunting and private property…which that alone automatically puts them in the worst half of the line up for carry rights. If your looking at open carry specifically then Texas is on the same level as California, Illinois and new York.

      The open carry ban in Texas was a racist attempt shortly after reconstruction to attempt to bar freed slaves from bearing arms, it is the same story for Oklahoma(repealed 2011) Arkansas(repealed 2013) south Carolina and Florida. Most of the rest of the south is licensed carry only because of this as well. Gun control historically has been a racist thing….handgun purchase permits in Michigan and north Carolina and even the ban
      On open carry of loaded handguns in california during the 1960s, Chicago and dc bans on handguns.

      It’s historically all been about racism

      • Thank you, Freakshow, I rarely have the stones to get into the racist background of “gun control”, I guess I have been beat down and called a liar too often. The entire concept of “gun control” appeared after the Civil War (as you said, reconstruction), and of course applied to all races. Except it was only enforced against blacks. Being an old fart, I recall reading an article in the local rag here in Austin around 30-40 years ago describing a reporter’s interaction with Texas legislators in the Capitol building wherein for some reason the assembled group got into the “I’ll show you mine if you’ll show me yours!” mode, and all pulled out their concealed handguns to compare notes. Concealed carry was COMPLETELY illegal, no exceptions, yet our legislators had no qualms displaying their pet firearms, because none of them was black. Of course.

        Those days of rampant racism are behind us now (in case you’re wondering, I am white) so the law now applies to freaking EVERYONE, instead of the obvious choice, which would be no one. For some reason, blacks seem to overwhelmingly support the racist gun control laws, probably due to the bill of goods they have been sold in general.

  10. Stuck in the middle of the road with this as well, how do you make something commonplace without people seeing it?

    Kind of the Catch 22 of Gun Control : “Should open carry advocates not open carry to advance open carry?”

    Edit: However, AZ has the right idea, constitutional carry. I think thats probably the best and most secure way to bring firearms back to the norm somewhat.

  11. Having the right to do something does not mean that exercising that right is morally justified or in good taste. Further, we can denounce the exercise of that right without being against the right itself. For example, just because you have the right to say anything you want doesn’t mean that you should stand in the public square spouting off racists or other hateful comments. If someone criticizes such a person for being an a-hole, that doesn’t mean that they are anti-1st Amendment.

    Open carrying an AR-15 just because you can will not help us in the battle over public opinion. Instead, you will cause alarm, regardless of whether such alarm is rational. So, while I think we have the right to open carry an AR-15, I don’t think we should (absent some particular security need), unless it is part of a large, well-published, open-carry rally where the public will not be surprised to see your scary black rifle. Otherwise, stick to open carrying a handgun if you want to desensitize people to firearms.

    • See, that’s the specific problem we have in Texas – open carrying of a handgun in Texas isn’t an option, so you either open carry a rifle, or nothing. I agree that carrying a handgun while going about your daily business would be a better tactic to normalize open carry, but we don’t have that choice. Kind of sad, really.

      • I think this (handgun OC prohibited in Texas, long gun OC legal in Texas) is something a lot of folks may not be aware of.

        I am very curious as to what percentage of folks who open carry long guns in Texas would switch to open carrying handguns if the prohibition on handgun open carry was removed.

        • Few people OC long guns, much as I hate to go there it’s a stunt. The OC of handguns is tricky but I have done it. Those with unlimited funds realize they can carry wherever and take it to the SC, ending the problem, but no one has.

  12. Aside from the ‘open carrying to normalize guns’ issue, this and other lawsuits seem like an open and shut case. If he’s being charged with displaying a weapon “in a manner calculated to alarm”, it means that he would have had to planned to carry his weapon in such a way that he personally believed that most reasonable persons would be no only intimidated, but alarmed. So they’d have to prove that by slinging an AR over his back and going shopping, he had the deliberate forethought to scare everyone who saw him so bad that they feared for their life and the lives of others. This is obviously not the case.

    And if you’re an open carry advocate, and don’t want to get hit with a charge like that, I would suggest you drop the magazine and carry it in a pouch/pocket. You’re still pretty prepared, you’re definitely getting your open-carry point across, and you can show that you’re not there to cause trouble because the gun’s not loaded.

    • So, you advocate taking an action which absolutely NO gun grabbers will understand, essentially surrendering your RIGHTS without decreasing your abuse, pray tell, why carry the gun in the first place? If I have a CCL, CPL, CHL, whatever, or OC, should I carry my ammo in my pocket or leave it in my car? Reread what you say and try to get a grip! If you OC a gun of any description (let’s remember why you would do that) you will be the first target of a shooter. DUH! You should be prepared for that, and fielding an unloaded gun is not the way. Political crap is all fun, but recall the goal is defending yourself, which does not mean pulling the trigger to hear “click”.

  13. Listen. Right or wrong, stupid or smart, he was trying to advance the cause of liberty in his home State. I am certain that if he had the right to OC a pistol he would have preferred to do that, and cause less alarm. But he cant OC a pistol in his home State – which brings us right back to the entire point.

    You can’t get the wheels rolling without pushing the damn cart.

  14. “But once multiple non-uniformed individuals draw their weapons how are first responders or even other “responsible gun owners” supposed to know who the original offender is. Also would it make a difference to the injured if the bullet came from a vigilante or a perp, not likely.”

    Maybe it’s me but couldn’t the EXACT same argument be used against concealed carry? Or for that matter against plain clothes police officers? I think this ultimately comes down to law-enforcement training. LE officers have to understand how to assess the situation so they could take appropriate action and not just shoot first/arrest later.

    • The word vigilanti is obviously chosen for effect over grammatical correctness. A vigilanti is something entirely different than a civilian responding to an un forseen act.

  15. A part of me thinks you’d be better of open carrying a bright orange/blue inert training gun, if you are trying to promote open carry. You’d get less negative news coverage and people might be more inclined to talk to you about what you got going on, vs thinking you might be a nut.

    Imagine the difference in the story if the guy in the mall was carrying a bright blue AR15 training gun on his shoulder?

    I think the sheep need to be more slowly indoctrinated. I am aware of the inherent dichotomy of carrying an inert gun to promote open carry of a real gun. To take it to absurdity, if you were trying to promote acceptance of male homosexuality would you get a group of dudes together to make out in the mall, in front of everyone? Do you really think that will get you what you’re after? Extremism will certainly win you some converts, but maybe not as many and maybe not the ones you want.

    • Theoretically a good idea, Bob. However, we live in a world where people call out the SWAT team because some guy was seen carrying an umbrella. Do you think that kind of moron knows what color a gun is supposed to be?

  16. “But once multiple non-uniformed individuals draw their weapons how are first responders or even other “responsible gun owners” supposed to know who the original offender is. ”

    Hold up just a second. In the hypothetical situation presented these “non-uniformed individuals” ARE the first responders. There’s a presumption here that nothing good could have happened before the cops arrive and that the cops will arrive guns-a-blazing. If the implication is that open carry would challenge these dangerous assumptions then that’s impetus enough for me.

    Law enforcement might even need to get new training on how to size up a situation and interact with the public minus the “I’M IN CHARGE HERE” mode. That’s not a bad thing either.

    • That’s really it. LEO don’t want any competition, they want to be the only ones with the power. It makes for a more controllable society overall.

  17. I think open carry is stupid…

    However, I also think it’s a 2nd Amendment right and void of my personal feelings towards it.

    I would like to see thing change for the better here in Texas on carrying, so people that wish to OC can do so unmolested by the law.

    The wheels of gov’t move slow here though, sometimes that’s good thing, and sometimes that’s a bad thing.

  18. “But once multiple non-uniformed individuals draw their weapons how are first responders or even other “responsible gun owners” supposed to know who the original offender is.”

    First of all, those armed non-uniformed individuals are the real first responders. And they would take care of business before police arrive on scene.

    Once the police arrive, they can determine the original offender the old fashioned way: interview witnesses and review any surveillance footage.

    I have yet to find the statement in our United States Constitution that says government can infringe on any right they desire to make their jobs easier.

  19. Open carrying a rifle in a mall has no other purpose than to attract attention — “hey lookit me!” Why, it’s almost as self serving as a black woman sitting in the front of a segregated bus.

    A pro-2A protest that doesn’t attract attention is a massive fail.

  20. I think that if we continue to push in court and elections we will some day have constitutional carry. Look how much better it is since the 68 gca days.

    Personally, even though it may be legal, slinging an AR or any other long gun on your back and strolling thru a suburban mall is just helping the other side to delay the day when we’ll have constitutional carry. IMHO.

  21. A few thoughts on a complicated issue …

    I wholeheartedly support open carry (and do it myself). I think open carrying a handgun is generally better than open carrying a long gun in most cases (although I support the right of folks to do either or both). In Texas, since they’ve banned OC of handguns, I absolutely support open carrying a long gun there.

    In general, if OC of a handgun is not prohibited, I don’t think OC of a long gun is necessarily the best way to OC unless you are in an area that is known to have dangerous wild animals, in which case it makes perfect sense.

    However …

    When I open carry, my weapon is always holstered. I don’t draw it unless I absolutely have to. My personal opinion is that it would be better for the OC movement if those who OC’d long guns in public places had them “holstered” in a scabbard with the stock visible, e.g. in one of these, or one of these.

    While it’s technically not “necessary,” I think it is a wise PR move for the OC movement. I think that people who are on the fence are more likely to open up to OC if they see that the gun is in a case, and not simply slung around one’s back.

    While I know there are people who will freak out anyway (e.g. the person who called the police for an umbrella), I think the presence of the scabbard makes “long gun OC” more equivalent to “handgun OC.” When I carry a handgun, it’s not slung over my back or simply sitting in my pocket. It’s secured by a holster. Perhaps we should do the same thing for OCing a long gun in public.

    As Roscoe mentioned above — “perception over substance” is sometimes what needs to be done.

    I also think that open carriers should always be polite to those who encounter, even bad cops. It does the OCer and the gun rights movement no good whatsoever when one simply appears to the bystander to be an arrogant prick. (It’s good advice to be polite as a general rule anyway, whether one is carrying a weapon or not. But I think it is more important for those who are armed when out in public.)

    As Rokurtoa mentioned above, there will always be in-your-face OCers. But I think that is a minority. I think that when possible, we should encourage those folks to “be nice” during their encounters with the public, and also their encounters with law enforcement.

    IMO, the key to the open carry movement is to make everyone realize that open carriers are just like everyone else. We are simply carrying a weapon for self-defense while doing our normal, everyday things. Political demonstrations may or may not help with that. But if we open carry while going about our normal business, we help show the world that we’re just normal folks.

    • If they are not carrying it with a round in the chamber, rifle on safe, then they are just doing it for show. I have a hunch the greater majority of the mall ninas could not bring their rifles into action quickly enough to save their lives or the lives of others if somebody started shooting at them.

      • I’m not going to make any assumptions on what they do, since I’ve never been to Texas and haven’t asked any of them. But I’ll agree, if they’re not carrying it ready for use if needed, then it’s arguably more of a political demonstration than what I’d consider “real” open carry, which I’d say is “doing normal stuff while openly armed.” If you’re carrying the weapon but it’s not easily ready for use (and/or you’re unable to draw it quickly), you’re not really armed.

        Only thing I know about that is what I personally do … which is open carry my Glock with a round in the chamber.

        • The best way to carry an AR around if you are actually doing so for self-defense, is to use a two point sling and get it snugged up, in the front of your body, so you can very quickly shoulder it, get it on target, and start shooting.

          Carrying it slung across your back like the guy in photo is what you would want to do if you are taking it on a stroll across a field of daisies with a fairy princess to meet a unicorn to take a ride together.

          I’d like to see the OC people actually carry the weapon as if they intend to use it if they have to. But they never do, now do they?

        • I’d like to see the OC people actually carry the weapon as if they intend to use it if they have to. But they never do, now do they?

          That’s a blanket statement and it’s false. When we have carried as you suggest, we got verbally blasted just as badly.

        • “Carrying it slung across your back like the guy in photo is what you would want to do if you are taking it on a stroll across a field of daisies with a fairy princess to meet a unicorn to take a ride together.”

          It takes maybe an additional second or two to bring around a back-slung rifle and have it shouldered.

        • Paul, the “best way” is not necessarily the only way.

          Check out this video. It shows a decent, affordable scabbard for an AR-15. If you jump to 4:38 in the video (here), you’ll see that if the wearer pulls the scabbard off and/or brings it to their front, it’s rather easy to retrieve the rifle. With practice (as everyone should do), I’m sure that people would be able to deploy it very quickly for defensive purposes.

          Is it as fast as having the rifle hanging on a two point sling on one’s front? No. But is it still a valid way to carry it for self-defense? Absolutely, yes.

          As for your blanket statement about OC’ers (which, as John pointed out, is flat-out wrong), I don’t know if you’re talking about those who OC long guns or those who OC handguns. But it doesn’t matter. There are multiple ways to carry a firearm. All of them can be valid. People have different preferences as to how they’d like to carry, and also have differing laws regarding what is or is not prohibited when carrying a firearm … so they carry in different ways. That’s fine.

          I live in a state where there is no prohibition of (or permit/license requirement for) open carrying a handgun. I carry my Glock 23 openly in a Blackhawk SERPA holster. That’s what works for me. Perhaps I could have a faster draw if I carried it in a holster with less retention, or not use a holster at all. I could also make it a more lengthy draw, but perhaps more secure and/or less visible, by having additional retention and/or by concealing it (if I obtained a legal permission slip to do so). If I concealed it, it could be inside the waistband, or under the armpit, or attached to the ankle, or whatever. ANY one of these ways (other than perhaps unholstered) could still be a sensible and effective way to carry for self defense.

          Whether one open carries a rifle on their front (as you apparently suggest is best), or slung around their back, or in a scabbard, they can ALL be carrying it for self-defense. Does carrying it on one’s front provide quicker access? Sure. So what? As Jeff mentioned, it doesn’t take long to bring it from one’s back to be ready for use.

          And as John also mentioned, open carriers have received verbal abuse by OCing a rifle on their front. Given that cultural climate, that may not be the best way to open carry a long gun because of those cultural concerns. My thought was that since most open carriers who carry handguns do so in a holster, open carriers who carry long guns could effectively do the same thing with a scabbard. That would make OC of a long gun more similar to OC of a handgun.

          I don’t know why you have such a bias against open carry, but I do not think it is warranted or appropriate. If it’s not your thing, that’s fine. But I think bashing the idea of open carry or concealed carry is as ludicrous as bashing the idea of carrying a firearm at all.

    • “My personal opinion is that it would be better for the OC movement if those who OC’d long guns in public places had them ‘holstered’ in a scabbard with the stock visible …”

      Ooh. I really like that idea. I just might be purchasing one of those for that very reason.

  22. Perhaps a step in the right direction, rather than going for Constitutional Carry outright, would be to do what Oklahoma did last year: allow those with a concealed carry license to carry either concealed or open. That moves the flag toward greater freedom and acceptance of firearms. Meanwhile, it allays fencesitters’ concerns by ensuring the OC population will at most be a subset of existing, proven-responsible concealed carriers.

    While you think about that, think about this: laws in OK can have an impact on attitudes and laws in Texas. Aftef all, OK is just across the Red River, an hour or so north of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. There are a lot of licenced people there and a lot of them cross the river for the casinos on the other side. Some work in OK, some Oklahomans work in DFW. Lots of Texans have lots of exposure to Oklahoma and Oklahomans.

    Here’s the thing: Oklahoma extends this open/concealed choice to anyone with a license. Since OK has universal, unilateral reciprocity, that means everyone. A CHL-holding Texan, therefore, may legally carry in Oklahoma, but not in his own state! How long before we demand to be treated in TX at least as well as we are in OK?

    • Ohio’s concealed carry law doesn’t specify that the handgun must be actually concealed. However, it does specify that one must obey all orders of law enforcement. So, what happens is that the cop tells you to cover. When we open carry, we can just tell them to go pound sand. On the other hand, I often encourage those with a license to leave their sidearms exposed when they are out in public. Many previously ‘CHL only’ types seem more comfortable doing it that way. IMHO, every little bit helps.

      • That’s one of the things I like about TTAG, is the interaction with people with other experiences, especially in other states. That’s surprising that it doesn’t specify concealed. Given that, in Texas, you’re only obligated to follow an officer’s lawful orders. If that’s the same in Ohio, then his order to cover up does sound like null.

        • Nothing requires a concealed handgun licensee to carry concealed because then the State would be infringing upon the Constitution of the State of Ohio. And you are correct, it’s lawful order and it does specify concealed licensee (No person who has been issued a concealed handgun license shall do any of the following:) under the Ohio Revised code. However, the point was that some officers seem to believe that if they gave it then it is automatically a lawful order. Since it is expressly written in law, they are more inclined to jump right to a charge to drag your behind in on. However, OC is the absence of prohibition under Ohio law so they have to be creative with a charge. It’s less likely, IMHO, for you to get charged for not complying with an unlawful order while OCing than while carrying under a license here. I speculate that the rank and file Ohio officer looking for a reason to charge you recognizes, deep down at a gut level, that licensed concealed carry is only a privilege whereas they hesitate to mess with the actual right of open carry without a clear plan to get away with it.

          Ohio Revised Code 2923.12(B)(4) http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2923.12

          Naturally, Ohio Revised Code goes on to exempt officers and state employees in section (C); in general and paraphrased, of course. 🙁

  23. Let’s see how many errors I can correct in 30 seconds. Go.

    You can carry in a hospital.

    Texas has had open carry for everything except handguns forever.

    You can have alcohol in your system and there is no offense.

    Can cops who do not know these things still arrest you? Sure, just like any other state.

  24. I believe in the Bill of Rights freedom to bear arms. Nothing thrre defines OC or CC but plenty of local and state laws are being tested in the courts and working towards the Supremes for resolution.

    As a PR tactic, the lone carrier in the mall does more harm than good. A better approach is as part of a well organized group set up in advance so the cops don’t have to resort to worst case response based on the understandable fears of some of the less well informed citizenry – like the protest at the Alamo that TTAG covered.

    • Because nothing is more effective in persuading those who are able to be persuaded that the Second Amendment is a good thing than large groups of people roaming around a mall with AR15s slung across their backs.

      Right…..

      • I don’t know, those gay pride parades over the years sure did convince a lot of people that they can’t catch gay. So supposedly there’s less to fear from gays out of the closet. That change in perception has helped that group’s movement. Maybe some 2A parades are in order?

  25. This is rather shallow of me, but as a default whenever one doesn’t know the English language, as the author of the linked article clearly does not, but attempts to write in it, I dismiss them out of hand.

    He doesn’t know what begging a question is. One begs a question, when one assumes what he is trying to prove. Joe the Pleb, for example, begged the question. He simply assumes what he wants to show in the case of how other people view an open carrier.

    I think what Joe the Pleb meant with his last paragraph is “it raises the question.”

    Pedantic of me? Yes. But it is more than being a grammar Nazi. This is the very meaning of words.

    • Begging the question does mean raising the question, as in the discussion up to that point inexorably leads up to the asking of that question, tantalizingly close to that question, without asking it just yet or covering that eagerly awaited point. It’s as though the discussion would prompt a roomful of listeners to ask that question next, because it’s so obviously on everyone’s mind, given the discussion so far, but yet hasn’t actually been asked or covered yet. It’s as though the presenter is figuratively begging people to ask it. It doesn’t have anything to do with assuming anything, other than the obviousness of that anticipated question to be answered next.

    • Approximately 100% of people who use the expression “That begs the question…” use it incorrectly. Also, the average American has horrible English. You can’t lose too much sleep over it, or it’s all you’d think about.

      • True. As someone whose college required a year of logic for every student, I can be quite pedantic about fallacies though! And many of my college friends use it correctly to meaning assuming what you are trying to show.

        Pet peeve and anal retentive, I know.

        I would assume, of course, if the police were not immediately dispatched, then there is evidence contrary to his begging of the question. Namely, no one at the time must have been all that alarmed.

  26. Paul, based on the indent I’ m assuming you are responding to my post. I did not posit “Large groups roaming the mall”…thats your strawman…

    Every situation is different so you need to take the setting and audience into account. The bottomline is a well planned event with LEO coordination and PR is what works vs something more likely to alarm than inform.

    • “a well organized group set up in advance so the cops don’t have to resort to worst case response ”

      Sounds to me like you are advocating for a sizable group to me….

  27. “But once multiple non-uniformed individuals draw their weapons how are first responders or even other “responsible gun owners” supposed to know who the original offender is.”

    Easy… look for the guy laying on the ground not holding his blood.

  28. Open Carry and the sight of firearms in general will NEVER be normalized if no one bothers to do it. A right not exercised is a right lost.

  29. Open carrying an AR-15 just because you can will not help us in the battle over public opinion. Instead, you will cause alarm, regardless of whether such alarm is rational.

    I didn’t see in the links or the comments *why* this guy was carrying this particular time. If he’s just schlepping his rifle from his car to his shop, that’s gonna happen in a world where guns exist.

    There’s two problems here:

    1 – People who find something legal and harmless to be frightening need to address their problem by changing the law. What they have been unable to do through the law they are trying to do through harassment.

    I think the solution is to frankly call them out on it. Again, where’s the PR campaign, with the sound bites, the key points, and thought out responses, about rule of law.

    “I think it’s a shame. I think it’s a shame that people at the mall, and the police know so little about guns that they think one slung on someone’s back is ‘brandishing.'”

    “I think it’s a shame that they think so poorly of their neighbor that he must be about to run amok if he simply has a gun. That’s not very nice, and BTW over 300,000,000 guns in the US don’t harm everyone every day. Also every year.”

    “And really, if they know better but decided to do this anyway, that’s just dirty pool. It’s a shame they have to use this kind of harassment tactic to try to do what they couldn’t via the law. I can’t decide whether this shows more contempt for their neighbors, or for the law.”

    2 – This summary punishment nonsense is a problem. First, freak out for no reason. Then, the cops declare a problem because *somebody else* freaked out. Then, charges filed because Something Must Be Done (because somebody freaked out for no reason.) Then, they take his gun as “evidence.”

    The remedy here is to provide consequences for their lack of judgment and discretion – counter-sue, vote them out, make an issue of the unnecessary costs every time.

  30. “Calculated to cause alarm”
    ^ In my opinion this is one of those things where only one persons knows that. The police want him to admit he intended to cause alarm. There are 1000s of laws on the books which are only prosecutable with an admission of guilt (by the weakest link in your party). Conspiracy, straw purchases, public nudity in your window, smuggling (in rare circumstances), ***Intent*** To Cause Bodily Harm; You get the picture. This is why you don’t talk to the police.

    I had a border patrol agent ask me: “where is the weed bro, I see those rolling papers, its cool, little personal no problem” Does he think I am retarded? Admitting to using those paper for marijuana would be akin to paraphernalia… It was for cigarettes, I didn’t cross with tobacco because I didn’t want to pay the taxes on it.

    Kind of long winded, but you guys get the point

  31. Protesting for more gun rights by having an AR-15 slung over your back is just terrorizing the general public in a mall with “menacing” looking guns. It’s just hard to disagree with this radical tactic without looking anti gun rights/second amendment

    • While I agree it isn’t a really good plan, I do have to point out that, eventually, the proverbial “general public” (bullshit, we’re kowtowing to extremists!) needs to understand that they really are threatened, if the unarmed continue to harass, persecute, and outlaw the armed. Like, duh! If you start the war, you will not be able to escape it.

  32. As a CHL / CCW instructor for over 20 years, I am 100% in favor of open carry. Our education system and media have been brainwashing the population that guns are inherently bad. They promote that just the sight of them is supposed to make one feel ill. B### S###. It’s high time we take that ground back. It should be as normal as pie to view a man / woman in public with a firearm attached to their body.
    Also, using the term “vigilante” to refer to a citizen who defends themselves with a firearm does not engender warm fuzzy feelings from those of us who carry a gun.

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