Chipotle opn carry demonstration (courtesy washingtonpost.com)
The Chipotle open carry demonstration in Dallas, Texas was a public relations disaster for the Open Carry movement. Almost as soon as it finished, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America demanded that Chipotle ban guns from their restaurants. The anti-gun press had a field day. Chipotle issued a statement asking customers to leave their firearms at home – including licensed concealed carriers. Pro-gunners – even those in favor of open carry – declared an own goal. Come & Take It Texas, Texas Carry, Gun Rights Across America & Open Carry Texas have now asked members (and others) to cease taking long guns into corporate businesses unless invited. [Full text via ammoland.com after the jump.] Right answer.

Come & Take It Texas, Texas Carry, Gun Rights Across America & Open Carry Texas Joint Statement on Open Carry of Long Arms

Over the past year, our members have done what no other organization has been able to do – put open carry at the forefront of the fight to restore gun rights for all Texans.

As we have grown, we have had to adjust our efforts based on lessons learned through hundreds of open carry events, big and small.

Looking back, it has become clear that there is one area in which we have gotten the most resistance and suffered the largest setbacks: open carry of long arms into private businesses. This is not a new phenomenon. Early on, because of our efforts, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) sent a message to all TABC licensees warning them about allowing our members to open carry into their businesses. This resulted in places like Smashburger asking us to leave our guns at home. Since then, Starbucks, Wendy’s, Jack In The Box, Applebees and most recently, Chipotle have come out asking we not carry our firearms into their establishments.

Whereas, our mission is to get open carry of handguns passed in Texas, we must once again adjust in a way that shines a positive light on our efforts, our members, and our respective organizations. We have decided the prudent path, to further our goals, is to immediately cease taking long guns into corporate businesses unless invited. Black Powder revolvers have proven to be very effective and align with our legalizing open carry with a handgun. We do understand that not everyone will be able to afford one, but if you can, we are requesting you do so. Almost every leader has gone to Black powder for a reason. It works.

For all further open carry walks with long guns, we are adopting the following unified protocol and general policy to best ensure meeting our respective legislative mission to legalize open carry:

  • 1) Always notify local law enforcement prior to the walk, especially the day of.
  • 2) Carry Flags and signs during your walk to increase awareness.
  • 3) Carry the long gun on a sling, not held.
  • 4) Do not go into corporate businesses without prior permission, preferably not at all.
  • 5) If asked to leave, do so quietly and do not make it a problem.
  • 6) Do not post pics publicly if you do get permission and are able to OC in a cooperate business.
  • 7) Do not go into businesses with TABC signs posted with a long gun (Ever).
  • 8) If at all possible, keep to local small businesses that are 2A friendly.

We ask that members take a step back and make an objective assessment of what we are trying to accomplish and help us to get open carry passed for everyone. We must be willing and able to recognize what works and what doesn’t, but we need your help to make these efforts a success.

It will be very difficult to spin holstered, black powder revolvers into a negative story. This is the goal we are currently striving for, open carry of handguns. We know everyone is working hard for this cause. It is simply time to focus on what has been proven to work. The conversation has shifted from open carry of handguns to rifles in businesses, negating our efforts and distracting us from our mission.

We are winning. Because we are winning, we have come under increased scrutiny by media and politicians. Let’s use that spotlight and make the most positive impact we can! Carry on!

57 Responses to Open Carry Texas Open to Open Carriers: Stay Outside

  1. I’ll say it again…

    Unless, and until, “the people of the gun” stand up and speak against the behavior of “Chipotle Ninjas” we will continue to have nobody to blame but ourselves when all gun owners and anyone advocating open carrying is easily described as an irresponsible nut job by the “anti” crowd.

    These two clowns and anyone who supports what they did are simply and absolutely fools of the highest order.

    Irreparable harm is done to our defense of, and support for, the Second Amendment when idiots like these two are cheered on and hailed as some sort of heroes or nothing more than “law abiding citizens, doing nothing illegal.”

    This point is lost on the same kind of mind that thinks we should support anyone who runs into a crowded movie theater and yells fire.

    • I agree with Paul. Anyone walking with a longarm into a private business where I am(especially a restaurant), will make me instantly jump from Condition Yellow to Orange-at-the border-of-Red. I would immediately start trying to evacuate my family (having already done so in my pants), while scrutinizing the longarm toter’s slightest gesture or word with the conviction that I’m going to get him before he get’s me or mine. There’s too much history in this scenario to assume that this idiot is just a good guy who found the stupidest possible way to make a political statement.

    • Absolutely. These clown commandos are not the friend of the RKBA and CCW movement. In fact, they harm us greatly and are too stupid to know it. We are in a battle for hearts and minds, and they are aiding the other side.

    • Walking down the street is one thing, its seriously not cool to put private businesses that might support us in the metaphorical crossfire of money bag groups like MDA.

    • Amen!

      These clowns aren’t “educating” anyone. They’re scaring people just because they can. Maybe they’re doing it in the theoretical hope that maybe if enough of them do it people will get desensitized. If so, it’s a damned stupid way of getting people used to guns.

      And I have to say I would NOT react well if a couple yahoos walked into a coffee shop or restaurant with rifles, especially since Twit #1 is carrying it in Low Ready. There’s a very good chance any citizen with a CCW would draw right away. And he would walk because this is Portland. All he’d have to say to the officers on arrived would be “Clackamas Town Center Mall”.

      • I just moved to Arizona from Oregon this year after 48 years. Night and day. In Arizona, I see open carry all the time, and nobody cares. In Portland Oregon, the standing order to the Portland Police Department by the DA is to arrest open carriers onsite for disturbing the peace. why disturbing the peace, because it is illegal to usurp state gun laws and the 2nd amendment, so they have a “workaround”. Heck, In Portland, merely talking about a trip to the range can get you fired from work, demoted, or assaulted by crunchies. In Arizona, I have a level of freedom I have never experienced. So, from a past Oregonian to a current Oregonian, let me say that there is plenty of room for you here in free america.

        • Actually, a disturbing the peace citation is exactly the right response for what these people are doing. They are intending to disturb the peace and make a statement, so let them put their money – literally – where their mouth is for their “statement.”

          Open carry is a good thing, but not when the motive is to intimidate. When that happens, you no better than the anti’s.

          By the way… where I work? My computer wallpaper is my son shooting at our range. I’ve got a target with one of our products – well shot up, I may add – hanging at my door wondering if this is covered under warranty. Oh, and a cavalry straight saber propped against my fridge (it’s sort of a trademark of mine).

  2. translation: stop being dumbasses. open carry of a handgun is not as alarming as open carry of a long rifle. time people. time. eventually, it will be a non issue. but not today.

    • And if you’d been following anything on this site for….oh, at least a year, you’d know that open carry of handguns is illegal in Texas. Hence the rifles.

      • gee – I didn’t know. or not. (sarcasm off). I have been here for awhile. . . . and yes, well aware open carry is illegal in TX, which at least is consistent, b/c in Missouri, it depends on the city . . .

        with that said, however, as I pointed out, open carried pistols are less offensive. Until the new governor signs it into law (hoping Abortion Barbie does not get elected b/c she lies about her position on the issue), then people need to not be confrontational about open carry of rifles. Same thing happened with the Black Panthers in California, and we all know what Reagan did after that . . . . .

      • And if the ninjas don’t stop it won’t be too long before a “ban open carry of rifles” law comes out.

  3. I believe that the open carry movement has NOT achieved the hoped for objective. I strongly believe that we have destroyed any chance we had, which wasn’t much to begin with, of getting the next leg to pass open or constitutional carry. It was a stupid idea to begin with and naturally, being Texans, we went way overboard. Thanks.

    • The open carry movement is fine. It’s tough in TX because you can’t open carry handguns. That being said, they should stick to long arm carry in public places, not private commercial establishments where they may not want the unwanted attention.

    • Mike? Take a deep breath and calm down. The fact is, both candidates for Texas Governor have come out in favor of open carry. The Dem is lying, of course, but she isn’t going to win, anyway. It does show how solid the support for open carry is, though, in Texas, that she needs to profess feign support.

      That said, there is a risk of overplaying our hand. We’ll never get anywhere sitting by quietly and waiting for our rights to be served to us on a silver platter. Every advance will come as a consequence of some kind of unsettling activity. The key is to protest enough to make progress, but not in a way that effects a backlash.

      I believe open carry demonstrations, in the abstract, do have value and can move the chains. However, it depends upon how it’s done. One, two or several guys walking into Chipotle with rifles, unannounced, is apt to frighten people. It would alarm me, too, as I live in city where bands of armed men strike at crowded restaurants and stores on a near weekly basis, sometimes several in immediate succession.

      Two or three guys quietly sitting outside of Starbucks, having notified management and the police in advance, is better, but still not ideal. The best demonstrations are organized marches with numerous casually strolling, non-threatening looking open carriers, preferably with their children. The antis will freak (the children!!!), but nothing bad will happen, nobody will go to jail, and onlookers will start to accept open carry as something to consider.

      Each march needs appropriate signage and a single well-spoken participant to answer media questions and anyone else’s. For the media, he or she needs a 5-10 second statement explaining who they are, what they’re doing, why, and what they want to achieve. Try not to come across as a rowdy mob of angry white guys. Think “Firearms protect my family”, not “Come and take them!”

      Done in in a manner of measured agitation, we can make solid and sustainable gains, without risking countermovements that cost us more freedom.

  4. The problem with the pro gun movement is that for every person that truly wants to further the cause, there is at least one more who is just along for the ride cause ‘gun r cool!’ and have no concept of how they are supposed to act or how deadly important their behavior is.

    • And then come along the types who are, to be charitable about it, so besotted, that they go into full keyboard commando mode, and cheer the stupid behaviors on, always hiding behind a fake name, puffing up their feathers, pretending they are making any kind of a difference.

        • I know…I was adding to his remark, agreeing with it, pointing out the further problem that we see on full display on various gun forums and blogs.

        • Fair enough.

          Just like with bad apples in the LEO community imo, when people are actually held accountable by their peers and know that they will be shamed, internal or external, they begin to think their decisions through more thoroughly.

    • True, but then again, for every person who believed Obama offered a fresh, bold alternative to prior U.S. leadership, there were others who simply thought it would be cool, hip, or enlightened to have a black president, for its own sake. Their racist votes counter just as much as anyone else’s.

      Let’s not get too caught up in divining the chastity people’s motivations for being part of the movement. After all, it’s video games and action movies that introduce more young people to firearms today than do hunting or politics. Rather, let’s focus on how we can channel everyone’s efforts toward greater firearms freedom, and leave the holier-than-thou debates for another time. (Pssst….don’t tell Paul, but I’m looking at him.)

  5. I don’t think OC of handguns is dead in TX, but it will be if not played smartly. Abbott will sign it, it just has to get there. If they keep putting those that don’t want to be in the middle, in the middle, it won’t get there.

    • Absolutely right. Open carry wins if it is perceived of as a reasonable thing that “normal” people want to do. These Chipotle antics are not the acts of, or popular with, “normal” people. You can shout “shall not be infringed” as loud as you want, but realistically this is a fight that is won or lost on public opinion.

    • Correct. So far OC selfishness/thoughtlessness has dragged two unwilling national chains into a situation they REALLY preferred not to be a part of, to our detriment. I’m really forced to again wonder if these tools are being seduced into action by Bloomberg Anti-Constitution Enterprises Inc. agents. Or they actually that short-sighted?

  6. Open carry of long rifles is just low hanging fruit for Watts and her ilk, and it distracts from their many own goals

    • Right. I think a fair question to ask is “how likely is it you would open carry a long rifle into town if carrying a hand gun was legal?” The answer for most people is “I wouldn’t because for the type of circumstances I might face a handgun is superior” it probably isn’t a good idea to make you protest revolve around open carry of a long gun. This isn’t to say you don’t have a right to do so etc. etc., just that it is politically and strategically unwise because the general public doesn’t look at it and say “Oh, that makes sense” or “I can see why someone might do that”, instead they say “Christ, what an as*hole.”

  7. A long gun in a sling isnt good enough, these god damn mall ninjas wearing single point patrol slings to be cool is RIDICULOUS!!!!

    Tell your members to quit being super cool DUMBASSES and carrying around their long guns slung like they are planning on needing to use them.

    Is there really a difference between a rifle slung in a single point sling on your front with both your hands on it and you just carrying the rifle?

    I dont think so, I put a sling on my long guns so that I can sling them and NOT just carry them herrp a derrrrrp 😡

    EDIT: 3) Carry the long gun on a sling, not held.
    Teaching your members how to follow the rules is important.

    • Heres one for your list
      9) Do not post stupid things on twitter when you represent all gun owners everywhere. Even if youre too much of a dumbass to realize that you do by going out and OCing.

    • I don’t know…it’s a pretty impressive display of strength to carry around an SKS that weighs a metric crap-ton. I don’t know if I’d be strong enough for that. 😉

  8. Your winning sure looks like failing.

    Watts and Bloomberg couldn’t buy better publicity for $50M than you give them for free.

    • Yeah I don’t know who those guys are but I’m pretty sure everyone in their gun organizations does now…

  9. 9. Dress as you would on a job. Don’t reinforce the ant’s stereotype
    10. Carry the long gun in a case. You can’t carry a rifle into a range without it being cased, so that is normalization. You are still demonstrating your right to defense without displaying aggression.
    11. Don’t stand at a low ready. Be prepared for me to view you as a threat if you are displaying an aggressive stance. You’re fighting for the right to defend yourself against aggression, yet you are standing in a way that anyone would interpret as aggressive
    12. Appoint a safety officer. Make instant corrections to safety violations (fingers on trigger, muzzle discipline)

    • Why do you need #12 if you are doing #10.

      And here’s the best pointer of all….

      STOP CARRYING RIFLES OPENLY INTO PRIVATE BUSINESSES AND STANDING THERE POSING WHILE HOLDING SAID FIREARMS IN LOW READY PROCLAIMING TO THE WHOLE WORLD:

      “THIS IS MY RIFLE. THERE ARE MANY LIKE IT, BUT THIS ONE IS MINE BECAUSE I’M AN IDIOT CARRYING IT INTO A PRIVATE BUSINESS DOING MY BEST TACTICAL NINJA IMPRESSION.”

      • True about not needing #12 if you follow #10, but I figure the chances of these clowns listening to a single one of these rules is slim to none.

        My best advice to these guys: No one is fooled into thinking you’re a highly skilled and trained operator (which is the most overused word of the last 5 years). It’s obvious you want attention and think people are impressed. Real military personnel only wear their camo and boots off duty for yard work.

  10. Not only have the long gun activists garnered negative publicity they have actually made places like Chipoltle less safe. Since everyone, including criminals, falsely believes that there will be no lawfully armed citizen present these restaurant will get targeted. Look was has happened at JITB over the past few weeks.

    Last night I exchanged E-mails with Chipoltles over their recent statements. I told them I am not boycotting their restaurants over their non-position. I am staying away because I don’t relish being the good guy with a gun.

  11. This tactic, even with the modifications, will fail because while the activists have some limited power to control public perception and their message locally, they have no power to do so nationally, and the cost of making each good impression locally is thousands of bad impressions nationally.

    I think this is what the OC activists fail to realize/understand. The only practical way their tactic could make positive progress is if they could work quietly enough that they don’t get national attention UNTIL they’ve already won locally in most places. “Get national attention”, is NOT a hard and fast rule of thumb of successful activism. These people are poor activists.

  12. Open carry of long guns is a fine tactic if used judiciously. Well-ordered groups, on the street, after due notification to cops (not that the po-po would ever be trigger happy) with signage explaining the purpose. Such a march would be an exercise of First Amendment rights as well as Second Amendment rights.

    Everybody demonstrates — unions, pro- and anti-abortion groups, civil rights orgs, everybody. It’s a fundamental American right. People are used to peaceful demonstrations and will accept them.

    But Dirk is right — OCing holstered handguns may arouse less dumb fear than OCing rifles. Too bad that handgun OC is illegal in TX, but I expect that won’t be the case for much longer.

    • Mmmm, let’s suppose people do this “judiciously” or in “organized groups” as someone else suggested upthread. Let’s suppose they’re not Upstanding White Christian Patriots. Let’s just suppose, to pick a not-at-all random example that they’re Black Civil Rights activists. Then you get Ronald Reagan signing the NRA-written Mulford Act into law which got rid of open carry in California.

      Or let’s suppose they’re Upstanding White Muslim Patriots. They dress in their various traditional ethnic clothing and have a peaceful patriotic march with legally carried rifles just because they want to “educate people” or “exercise their Constitutional Rights.” Most of the good folk here would have fecal hemorrhages. The police would hose down the area with so much lead that you’d have to do a second autopsy just to figure out exactly what got killed.

      And if members of either group went all “militia” and pointed a rifle at law enforcement like the Bundy Bunch? There would be nationwide motherloving POGROMS against whatever ethnic or religious group the demonstrators came from.

  13. I fear this too little too late for PR.
    Granted I haven’t seen or heard anything about this on my local news stations. (I could be wrong. I can’t tune to all 4 at once)

    Maybe this one got tucked under the rug in texas. But let’s not be dumb enough to try that again.

    Btw, where are the vast numbers of OC supporters on here?

  14. I agree – the open carry of rifles into private businesses without authorization is ridiculous. This photo looks ridiculous. The antis will surely use it to push for more control.

  15. Yeah… as I have said before, Laurel and Hardy did absolutely nothing to help with the 2A Movement.

  16. Open carry is cool, I have only open carried twice and it was a holstered Springfield XDm. Now long guns are a different story. Like the article says, it is hurting the open carry movement. How are you to engage in a productive conversation with someone who knows nothing about firearms when you look like a soon to be active shooter? I have talked to people who have approached me when I did carry and I think because the intimidation factor for a holstered handgun is WAY less than looking like retard rambo.

  17. I read most of the articles-and most of the comments on the articles-on TTAG, though I rarely comment. From what I’ve seen here-on past articles about this subject, not this one-it appears to me that many people who advocate open carry of long guns into businesses as a form of political protest in today’s political climate have a poor understanding of basic psychology.

    They will say that by carrying an AR-15 into Burger King, they’re trying to “normalize” the sight of people carrying guns in public. For the most part, I buy that. I think that the vast majority of these people legitimately mean well. Furthermore, I agree with them; In a perfect world, someone could stop into a McDonald’s with a rifle over their shoulder without being confronted by the local SWAT team because some busy idiot saw them and panicked.

    This is not a perfect world though, and American culture-particularly in more urban areas-no longer considers that type of behavior to be “normal” or “socially acceptable.”

    Strapping an AK-47 to your back and going to Target is not the way to fix this. Let me repeat that: You do not normalize open carry in a society that has become tremendously hoplophobic by open carrying rifles into businesses.

    Let’s be honest, here: “normalize” is more-or-less a polite way of saying “train”. The most appropriate clinical analogy would probably be exposure therapy. At the most basic level, the process of “normalizing” something-be it guns, sauerkraut or walking around with a traffic cone on your head-is roughly one of Pavlovian conditioning.

    The idea is to expose someone to firearms in a way that is non-threatening to them, then reward them for it. Think of it as teaching your dog to sit. Your dog’s reward is its favorite treat; the person’s reward is a positive interaction with another person.

    Conceptually, that’s what people who throw their M1A over their shoulder and drop by an IHOP are doing. The concept is perfect. The execution is FUBARed.

    The people that you’re trying to reach when you OC as a political statement are those whose opinion of guns is neutral to moderately negative and who have little to no direct experience with them. Almost universally, this group of people can be expected to have some degree of fear response to firearms-and understandably so. To them, a gun is a potentially lethal object which they know absolutely nothing about.

    The strength of that fear response depends on a whole host of variables; the four that I see that the OC advocate can control are his or her appearance, demeanor, the venue for the protest and their weapon of choice. To that end, they call them “Scary Black Rifles” for a reason. If you don’t know any better, the bigger the gun is, and the more “tacticool” it is, the more intimidating it is likely to be, and the stronger the fear response it will trigger.

    This is a critical point, and it is where I see the wheels come off the “Rifle OC” movement. You do not treat an anxiety disorder by inducing extreme levels of anxiety. In most cases, an arachnophobe doesn’t start therapy by holding a tarantula. Someone who is afraid of heights doesn’t typically start off with BASE jumping off of a skyscraper. An agoraphobe wouldn’t usually pick Times Square on New Year’s Eve as the venue to start their recovery. But that’s exactly what you’re doing to an awful lot of people when you walk into a venue where people don’t expect to see firearms with a big, “scary looking” rifle with “frickin’ laser beams” and a “shoulder thing that goes up”. Not only is it largely ineffective in affecting positive change, it’s damn near a textbook example of how to inflict emotional trauma on someone.

    Need proof? Look at what OC as a political statement managed to do in California. Think it can’t happen in your state, because your state isn’t a granola-eating, tofu-munching, tree-hugging pinko commie sh**hol-er, utopia? I disagree. People are fundamentally the same everywhere, and the pool of goodwill toward gun owners in even the most firearm-friendly of states is not inexhaustible. A lack of discretion in our actions will exhaust it more quickly than some people here seem to believe.

    Incrementalism is the best strategy; it’s what the progressives have used for years and it’s been relatively successful for them. While your eventual goal may be to be able to set a Barrett 82A1 on the bench next to you at Denny’s, that’s probably not a good place to start when we can’t even reliably OC a 1911 without creating a meaningful amount of hysteria in the general public in some places.

    Specific solutions are a little more challenging; what you can and can’t do and what’s appropriate is largely dictated by the laws, culture and political climate of the protest location. My gut feeling is that whoever came up with the bullet points in the original post is on the right track.

    Organized public demonstrations without a lot of shouting and posturing, made by calm people, who make an effort to be approachable and wear clean clothes that fit properly is probably the way to go. Leave the camo, ammo belts, flashlights, 100rd magazines, lasers, enormous scopes and the rest of the accessories that the ignorant masses will-rightly or wrongly-be threatened by at home. Where there’s a legal way to carry a pistol instead of a rifle, that may be a better option for the time being.

    This cluster didn’t happen overnight, and it’s not going to be fixed overnight, but by being less aggressive-without being less assertive-I think it can still be fixed.

  18. Siorus, I encourage you to submit this comment to Dan Zimmerman or Robert F as an article for TTAG. It is an excellent comment.

    And you are spot on correct:

    “many people who advocate open carry of long guns into businesses as a form of political protest in today’s political climate have a poor understanding of basic psychology.”

    Amen to that.

  19. “Public relation disaster”. According to Robert Farago, self-identified “multiracial” scribe.

    I liked you better as an editor. I’ve made my own mind up about open carry, thank you. Just because you say it doesn’t mean it’s so.

    The Constitution is all the authority I need.

  20. *cringe
    Someone tell that skinny f**k in the affliction shirt to get his grubby c0ck strokers off the damn weapon and while we’re at it tell both those C.O.D. wannabes to pull the mag out of the rifles and clear them!! Jesus tap dancing Christ even in Baghdad we never carried our rifles indoors on post with a mag in. One more thing for that list… sling the damn thing on your back & stick with bolt actions, shotguns, lever actions, or muzzle loaders those are far less traumatizing to the uninitiated than a gear queered out semi auto.

  21. Of the 2 idiots the one on the right was more of an idiot since he has no reason to be in the low ready position and was risking getting shot by a concealed carrier that felt threatened. These 2 idiots should have carried black powder revolvers instead since only modern handguns are illegal to open carry but black powder handguns are legal to open carry. Had they carried a black powder revolver this situation would have been averted.

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