Is Texas Creating “Stealth” Constitutional Carry?

Level-2-retention-holster-with-GLOCK-19-courtesy-The-Truth-About-Guns

“The specter of ‘constitutional carry’ continues to hang over the Legislature’s effort to allow the licensed open carry of handguns,” dallasnews.com pronounces. Interesting use of the word “specter.” But more than that, what? The Chipotle Ninja problem effectively scuppered Constitutional carry in the Lone Star State even before the legislative session started. In fact, it was touch-and-go on licensed open carry at the start. But now licensed open carry is a virtual done deal – with an amendment prohibiting Texas law enforcement (specifically the Austin PD) from considering open carry probable cause to Terry stop citizens. The anti-gun press reckons the amendment constitutes Constitutional carry. Check it . . .

Some have suggested that the amendment could, in effect, allow for the unlicensed open carrying of handguns: Someone openly carrying without a license — illegally — wouldn’t need to fear police questioning if they were otherwise doing no wrong.

Some? Does the Dallas paper provide one, single, solitary example of someone who holds that opinion? It does not. Although there are other news orgs promoting this perspective, this article leads me to believe that “some” people on the Dallas News’ editorial staff have an anti-firearms freedom bias.

There’s an enormous, easy-to-see difference between Constitutional Carry and licensed open carry. One requires state permission (the dictionary definition of a “privilege”) and one does not (the de facto definition of a recognized “right”). By adding this amendment, the Texas legislature is protecting a privilege.

On the positive side, licensed open carry with legal protection against police harassment’s better than no open carry, and it’s a bridge to Constitutional carry. There’s this, too . . .

State Rep. Harold Dutton, D-Houston, who offered the amendment, said Tuesday that his intent had nothing to do with unlicensed open carry. He sought to safeguard against racial profiling.

“If you see black guys with open carry, I didn’t want them stopped because they happened to be black guys exercising their right to open carry,” said Dutton, who voted against the overall open carry bill.

Good point.

comments

  1. avatar Russ Bixby says:

    I doubt it.

    For all the big talk, Texas is fairly backward when it comes to firearms.

    Guardyloo!

    P.S. Methinks ye meant ter say “scuttled;” arrggghhhh!!!!!

    1. avatar Skyler says:

      We are still recovering from a century of democratic party dominance.

    2. avatar Ray Ficara says:

      Scuppers were the openings along the beam of sailing ships where the “waste” buckets were emptied and allowed water to flow off the deck. No, I did not served on an 18th Century sloop ‘o war either.

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        It was a warning to those on the street below when the chamberpot-pisspot was dumped out the window.

        “garde à l’eau!”

        Literal translation ‘watch out for the water’, common known translation ‘look out below!’

        Also suspected root of ‘going to the loo’…

    3. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      Ahhh…. the “Countermyth”, always an Internet favorite. A countermyth when there’s some widely held myth out there that some people start to realize is exactly that: a myth. Excited to dispel it, however, they get caught up in Michael Caine “Not a lot of people know that” mode, and end up generating/propagating an opposing myth.

      For example, most of the “big talk” about Texas firearms freedom is from outsiders who think of Texas in terms of old western movies and television shows. Texans themselves are just living their lives. Texans generally don’t go around touting themselves as best in the nation on firearms. In fact, we’ve very publicly pushed our elected leaders to improve our lot, shaming them with comparisons to other states.

      Hell, I’ve done so myself, including in here, decrying the fact that I may legally OC in OK on my Texas license, but may not OC in Texas at all. It’s wrong that I have more freedom in another state, as a visitor, than I do in my own state as a resident. So it’s a myth that Texas is a firearms freedom utopia. Agreed. In addressing that, though, people get overzealous and overcritical. Hence the countermyth that Texas is “backward” on firearms freedom. Among U.S. states, Texas ranks in the top quarter or so in firearms freedoms. That’s hardly “backward.”

      Moreover, some of the supposed advantages some other states have aren’t all that important anyway. More and better reciprocity agreements? Meh. Every contiguous state, i.e., places I would drive to, recognizes my CHL. Further than that and I’m flying and leaving my gun behind, anyway. Don’t want to deal with any other state’s hassles or the feds or the airlines themselves. As for Texas recognizing others’ permits? What do I care? I’m already here.

      Mandatory public sales of seized firearms, instead of being destroyed? Meh. Nice to have, I guess, but I’m not hanging around police auctions. So what practical impact does this have on me? Unmeasurable.

      Lower license fees? That’s something, sort of, because a right shouldn’t come with a price tag, but it’s not really changing anything. Home and car carry are free in Texas, and anyone dissuaded by the CHL fees probably wouldn’t have carried anyway. iPhones and Amazon get their disposable income. If carrying were a priority, they’d find a way to pay.

      CLEOS required to sign off on NFA applications? Yeah, that’s all that keeps everyone from dropping $20 grand on a machine gun….

      Then there are states with “advantages” that are themselves myths. “Gunshine State” Florida? Please, with narrow, inconsequential exception, they don’t even have open carry. We’re about to have it in five minutes. “Guns Everywhere” Georgia? They only got church carry last year. We’ve had it for a decade. Licensed Texans can carry in restaurants that have a liquor license. #1 Arizona residents can’t even do that. Let’s come back to the vaunted open carry! Many states supposedly have it, but watch yourself get hassled, ticketed, ventilated, and/or arrested if you actually do it.

      I get it. It’s fun to play Mr. Counterintuitive and post cute little gems that others never thought of. I do it all the time. Still, let’s dispense with the tired, old “Texas being a firearms freedom paragon is a myth” countermyth, shall we? It’s getting too common and it’s not even true.

      1. avatar JJVP says:

        “Licensed Texans can carry in restaurants that have a liquor license. #1 Arizona residents can’t even do that.”

        Not quite right.

        From Handgunlaw : Arizona Carry in Restaurants that Serve Alcohol YES 4-244 (You must have a Permit/License to carry from AZ or any other state to carry into an establishment that serves alcohol. If carrying in AZ under Permitless Carry any establishment that serves alcohol is off limits to you.)

        1. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

          So we’re agreed: Arizona residents, as such, may not carry in liqour-serving restaurants.

          It’s only with a permit that they may. That goes against Arizona’s oft exalted reputation in here of being superior in firearms on the basis of so-called constitutional carry. That’s what I meant by “#1 Arizona.” The fact is, that Arizona residents may not, as such, carry in such places. They need a license, which reinforces my point that other states have their own little mythology built up.

          But hey, since you enjoy putting too fine a point on things, let me also mention that even licensed Arizona carriers may not actually drink while carrying in those liquor-serving restaurants. Arizona Statutes § 4-244(31).

          In Texas? Yes! Texas law holds that you may not carry while intoxicated, just as you may not operate drive while intoxicated, but it doesn’t outright forbid you from drinking while carrying. “Intoxicated” is legally defined and it does not consist of merely imbibing a drink. You’re perfectly free to have a drink or two, or however many you want, while lawfully concealed carrying, so long as you are not intoxicated. Now, I don’t recommend it, but it’s technically legal.

      2. avatar juliesa says:

        Exactly. Texans aren’t the ones going around bragging about our gun laws. We’re the ones bitching about them to our political class and fighting for more freedom for the 27 million Americans who live in Texas.

      3. avatar Irish1776 says:

        So basically you only care about how the laws apply to you, not the fact that we are fighting to regain ground being lost to the globalist agenda. Me me me me me. Got it.

        1. avatar MarkPA says:

          I agree that this attitude – ‘I got what I need; let others save themselves’ – is a huge vulnerability for the 2A. Sort of like Northern sentiments before the Civil War. ‘We’ve eliminated slavery in our State; let the Negros in the slave States fend for themselves.’

          We must recognize that the PotG trapped behind enemy lines in the remaining 10 Won’t-Issue States are not politically powerful enough to overcome the hoplophobic overwhelming majority. Either they will be freed by application of the 2A via the 14A via McDonald; or, they will remain enslaved in perpetuity. But the problem is not convinced to these slave States.

          Bear clearly in mind that most of these slave-States are at once: populous; and, failing. The individuals emigrating from these States and into Purple or Red States will overcome the small/modest majorities of PotG in the free States. Even if the hoplophpbes remain in Blue States, they will reproduce and increase their representation in the House of Representatives and the Electoral College.

          At a minimum, PotG in all States must strive to inoculate the – as yet – uncommitted and gun-control-sympathetic voters in slave States. Failing to do so, the contagion will spread.

  2. avatar RenegadeDave says:

    I’m just amazed that some people leave the house with an over belt and a DOH.

      1. avatar Matt in Tx says:

        Now those are purty race guns.

    1. avatar CarlosT says:

      Department of Health?

  3. avatar Ing says:

    But…but… Someone openly carrying without a license — illegally — wouldn’t need to fear police questioning if they were otherwise doing no wrong. How will we ensure order if we don’t instill fear?

    Dallasnews.com must be Governor Tarkin’s newspaper. Fear will keep the local systems in line…fear of this battle station.

    1. avatar Russ Bixby says:

      Argh! Recognised “is foul stench the moment I borded, I did.

      Look alive an’ drop yer weapons, ye scabrous dogs, else ye’ll be kissin’ the keel!

      1. avatar Timmy! says:

        Hey Russ man, this is like, y’know, Earth Day, man. We’re supposed, y’know, to be talkin’ like, hippies today. “Talk Like a Pirate Day” isn’t until, like, September, man. Chill, dude. You’re, like, harshing our Earth Day mellow, man.

        1. avatar Braenen says:

          Talk like a pirate day is an idea of The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster:

          http://www.venganza.org/

          http://www.venganza.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/painting1.jpg

        2. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

          Oh crap, I thought it was “Dress Like a President Day.” Martin van Buren! This beard’s giving me a rash somethin’ fierce.

        3. avatar AMOK! says:

          WOR(L)D

        4. avatar Silentbrick says:

          It’s earth day. Whee. Course, my favorite way to spend earth day is drilling for oil, but sadly right now the rig I’m on is plugging up an old well no longer producing. Maybe next year we’ll be actively drilling for oil on earth day.

          Funny story, I used to work for Halliburton and would give tally books and pens with our name on them to rig hands as goodwill gifts. Their favorite thing though was our safety glasses with dark lenses and the Halliburton name. The reason? They liked to irritate hippies in Denver on their days off. Most hippies in the rockies are aware that picking fights with rigs hands is a good way to lose teeth.

        5. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

          @Silent. P&A work isn’t too bad, all things considered. At least it does keep the crews working and maintains that skill set on the payroll. You’re in O&G, so you know the ruthlessness with which the layoffs come during the downturns. It’s a pain training a whole new crop when the upturn comes.

    2. avatar Matthew Healy says:

      Funniest thing I’ve read all day.

    3. avatar Anon in CT says:

      So, the cops should be able to stop any random driver who has broken no law or rule, just to make sure he or she is in fact a licensed driver? The same logic applies.

      1. avatar B says:

        Anybody can carry a concealed handgun seeing as they are concealed. They might not have a license. They might also not be law abiding, and might be going to rob a bank. I really think these guys need to read up on the definition of “allow”.

      2. avatar Joe says:

        No, but it’s trivial for them to manufacture a reason to stop anyone just to check their license and it’s not unheard-of. I’m sure that in less gun-friendly places (say, Austin) they’ll find reasons to stop open carriers and check their permit.

        1. avatar BlueBronco says:

          Perhaps Austin cops should be required to have a license to go to a donate shop and a permit for each purchase they make.

        2. avatar MarkPA says:

          No doubt there will be Terry-stops as a pretext to check for CWPs after OC is adopted (by law or in practice). I don’t think it will last long. Cops will tire of stopping people only to discover that they almost always have the proper credential.
          Under Constitutional Carry, the Terry-stop won’t go away. It will just take a few more minutes for the cop to call in the ID of the stopped person to see if he is a prohibited person.
          Political pressure will mount pretty quickly in some jurisdictions just as it developed in NYC. The minority communities will insist on paperwork with race/ethnicity boxes to check. The paperwork will be tabulated and eventually there will be a lawsuit on racial discrimination grounds. The paperwork will mount to more intense levels whereupon the chief is going to get the political message.
          All this will happen faster with a black-letter law stating that openly carrying a gun is not a valid pretext for a Terry-stop.

  4. avatar Gman says:

    Norfolk Virginia had the habit of stopping open carriers until they got sued enough times to put out a policy memo. I hate to see our money wasted that way, but sometimes you just need to Gibbs ’em a few times before they finger it out.

  5. avatar Dave357 says:

    “The Chipotle Ninja problem effectively scuppered Constitutional carry in the Lone Star State even before the legislative session started.”

    Is that a fact? The polls seem to suggest – admittedly as reported by the anti-gun media, but still – that the support for constitutional carry is pretty low; even among the Republicans the support seems tepid. Would the politicos really have gone there even without the Chipotle Ninjas?

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Gotta say, I have some seriously gun friends who do not support Constitutional carry, having bought into the “they need training first” BS. The biggest problem I have with that attitude is that it completely sinks the value of our best argument, which is always 2A. Anything other than Constitutional carry is clearly infringement, there can be no questions. If we support this infringement, why not skip the middle steps and simply outlaw all firearms?

      1. avatar ThomasR says:

        I think it is psychologically tied to the phenomenon of the Stockholm Syndrome.

        So just as hostages come to identify with those terrorists threatening to kill them; many people feel it safer to feel frightened of a lone citizen carrying a gun than to face the truth that it is their own government that has the power, the law to cover for them, and the proven willingness to use lethal and overwhelming force against those citizens/subjects that don’t pay obeisance to The Powers That Be.

        1. avatar John in Ohio says:

          +1

          Or, it could just be sheer stupidity of the masses.

      2. avatar dwb says:

        Could they possibly shoot worse than the NYPD, with or without training? 30% of shots on a b-27 at 3 yards, go! Now with your eyes open!

      3. avatar John in Ohio says:

        Spot on, LarryinTX.

      4. avatar Matt in Tx says:

        Well said Sir. +1

      5. avatar Thomas says:

        There’s no such thing as an absolute right. Been that way since before the Constitution was written.

        1. avatar BlueBronco says:

          The “shall not be infringed” part and “abridging freedom of speech” sounds like Madison et al. disagrees with you.

        2. avatar MarkPA says:

          Let’s imagine that you and the other “Absolutists” are absolutely correct. Moreover, let’s pretend that we could resurrect Madison, the Representatives and Senators and the legislators who ratified the Bill of Rights and have them sign an affidavit to the effect that “shall not be infringed” was an absolute prohibition.
          Now, affidavit in hand, let’s pick some law against which we apply an absolutist interpretation. Arbitrarily, let’s consider the excise tax on guns and ammunition. Is it – in principle – an “infringement”? Is it, as a practical matter at about 11% – a substantial “infringement”? For the sake of this discussion, let’s assume that it is. Now, where shall we argue our absolutist case?
          Before a Federal District judge? A Circuit court? SCOTUS? Congress? The court of public opinion? A District judge doesn’t lead to a dispositive acceptance of our argument; not even a Circuit court gets us where we want to be. SCOTUS could decide to agree with us; but, what are the odds of that happening? Congress could rescind the law. The voters could replace enough Congressmen to compel a redress of our grievance. None of these things is going to happen.
          We will get satisfaction in any of these forums when we achieve a majority vote that agrees with our argument and evidence. It would very much help if we had our pretended affidavit; but, it’s the vote that would count, not the voters’ reading of our pretended affidavit.
          The crude facts of life are that a “right” whether “absolute” or subject to “reasonable restrictions” is worth no more than the parchment it’s written on, absent – at a minimum – a majority of voters willing to stand-up for that right. Lynching didn’t stop in America until a majority of voters and their representatives concluded that lynching must stop; then, and only then, did it stop.
          We PotG can always resort to force-of-arms to quash the infringement of the absolute right to buy arms and ammunition free of excise taxes. Can the absolutists field a militia willing to place their lives and sacred honor in jeopardy to rescind the tax on arms and ammo? So far, we haven’t managed to muster enough political pressure to compel Congress to pass National Reciprocity.
          No doubt, there is a red line somewhere; but, the forces of Anti-Constitutional-ism have yet to cross it. They will inch toward that line. They will hope to cross it and prevail. What we do to stop them remains to be seen.
          So far, the fight is in the debate hall rather than the battlefield. Let’s all prey that it’s resolved by debate.
          In the interim, how does it profit our side to insist on an absolutist argument if that argument falls on deaf ears? If we can’t get a majority of SCOTUS nor a majority of Congress nor a majority of voters to buy into an absolutist interpretation, we are wasting ammunition firing into the air.
          I argue that we can make a far more persuasive case by approaching “shall not be infringed” from the outer-bounds.
          It is easy to make the case that universal registration defeats the purpose of “security of a free state”. It’s easy to make the case that Won’t-Issue far exceeds the bounds of an infringement on the right to bear arms. We can expect a respectful audience in the court of public opinion (and therefore, Congress and ultimately SCOTUS) if we work-back the infringements from the most egregious to the next-most-egregious.
          Most of our work needs to be made in State legislatures; and, there, progress has been made during the past 25 years and the pace is accelerating. Some of our work – e.g., National Reciprocity – must be made in Washington. Where the People go, the hearts and minds of elected officials and appointed judges will follow. Shall we proceed on a course that is strategically viable? Or, stand on a principle that is politically a non-starter?

        3. avatar BlueBronco says:

          You missed the point completely on inalienable rights. They don’t come from the government and that is the point. IF men can give you a right including right to life, he can take it. Go ask Fidel Castro and since you are into resurrection, resurrect Che and ask him as well. Just because there are examples of infringement on the 2A or abridgements to various parts of the 1A doesn’t make it right. Patrick Henry’s response on this would be interesting.

        4. avatar MarkPA says:

          Nope; that point wasn’t articulated. And, in any case, I didn’t miss it. I’m fully well aware of it. There are multiple spheres of law in play here. In particular: natural law; and, Constitutional law. They don’t necessarily coincide. To give an example on point, the RKBA in the 2A runs to “the People”. The Federal government is bound to secure that RKBA to “the People”; if you are outside that scope then you are the Federal government’s lawful prey.

          It is indisputable that if you are an alien and not a lawful resident then you can’t possibly be a member of the class contemplated by “the People”. E.g., if Fidel Castro gets a visa to enter the US to make a speech at the UN he will be obliged to do so unarmed. You will find no constitutional lawyer standing up to defend his 2A RKBA on a contingency basis.

          Does Fidel Castro have a natural right to KBA? Reluctantly, we may agree; as does Her Britannic Majesty Elisabeth II. She too may be disarmed at JFK and be obliged to console herself with Secret Service protection. The unwashed masses in coach will have the NYPD.

          Got the distinction?

          Now, how about lawful resident aliens? Unlawfully resident aliens who have firmly and deeply established themselves in the community? The SAF has won a couple of cases in the South West where a State refused to issue a CWP to green-card holders. There is case-law that an alien with established ties to the community is entitled to treatment as a member of “the People”. Conversely, there is a Circuit decision from a North Western State where an alien brought illegally to the US as a very young child was refused the right to buy a gun on account of his illegal alien status. I think that case was wrongly decided.

          We have tens of thousands of illegal aliens who have resided in the US for over a decade. They have become parents of American-born children. They have families to protect. Are they members of the class “the People”? How many of us PotG are prepared to stand-up for their Constitutional right to KBA? If we dismiss their Constitutional right, will we at least demand that Congress enable them in light of their natural right to KBA?

          No? Well, then, I suppose that an absolutist view of the Constitutional right in 2A and the natural right it seeks to guarantee is not entirely effective.

          As I’ve argued earlier, a Constitutional right isn’t worth the parchment its written on if at least a majority of citizens, their legislators and the judges appointed under our laws refrain from enforcing it.

          I can make the same argument for American citizens who renounce their citizenship. In fact, its even more absurd than the non-immigrant or illegal alien case.

          Suppose I renounce my American citizenship. (No wish to do so, but there are legitimate reasons why Americans renounce their US citizenship.) I can obtain a tourist visa from the US consulate and visit the US freely. I am, however, a prohibited person. I can’t touch a gun. Suppose my brother-in-law – a non-resident alien on the same tourist type visa as I – accompanies me on a hunting trip. He is free to bring his guns to the US. We may go to the range to shoot targets or to the fields to hunt. He can possess the gun and shoot; I can’t.

          I’m waiting for the PotG to arise in arms and demand natural – if not Constitutional – RKBA for former Americans who have renounced their citizenship.

          Do you understand the point about a distinction between natural and Constitutional rights?

        5. avatar BlueBronco says:

          The Bill of Rights re-affirms existing rights, it doesn’t delineate all rights, but because they aren’t there doesn’t mean they don’t exist as per the 9th Amendment. You have danced all the way around my points and have justified government infringement and abridgment. This was recognized by the individual colonies and eventually states whose documents reflected this before The Constitution was drafted and ratified. Also the point about Castro and Che is that they are men and they violated natural rights. That my friend is the ultimate reason for the 2A. It is that simple in principle.

          The British Monarchs were tyrants like old Fidel. It got them the taste of American steel and powder on 2 occasions so it doesn’t bother me one bit that she gets disarmed at JFK on entry.

        6. avatar MarkPA says:

          “The Bill of Rights re-affirms existing rights, it doesn’t delineate all rights, . . . ” Is this a surprise to anyone?
          “. . . but because they aren’t there doesn’t mean they don’t exist as per the 9th Amendment.” The Federal government has nothing but contempt for the concept of natural rights. It does not recognize even the concept of unenumerated rights under 9A. Alas, the Anti-Federalists were correct; without a Bill of Rights all rights – even those upon which a consensus existed – would be in jeopardy.

          In any case, the text of the 2A is as strong as we might have wished for. If we fail to secure the RKBA under this enumerated right then we will surely fail if we should have to fall-back upon the 9A. Our problem is a head-on collision between the text and contemporary meaning of the 2A and the anti-constituteionalist’s commitment to legislate and enforce their will in contradiction of that parchment protection. Should we fail on the text of the 2A then the next line of defense is clearly “. . . the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government . . .” Let us all pray that we succeed in the debate hall.

          “You have danced all the way around my points . . . ” What, pray tell, did I dance around?
          “. . . and have justified government infringement and abridgment.” No justification exists for the egregious acts of government; I certainly don’t claim any justification exists. I simply point out that government does what it wishes, to the extent – and beyond – that the People, their legislators and judges are willing to tolerate. This is a practical reality that we must recognize, and deal with, if we are to prevail.
          “This was recognized by the individual colonies and eventually states whose documents reflected this before The Constitution was drafted and ratified.” Is this a surprise to anyone?
          “Also the point about Castro and Che is that they are men and they violated natural rights.” As do all men in power. Is this a surprise to anyone?
          “That my friend is the ultimate reason for the 2A. It is that simple in principle.” Is this a surprise to anyone?

          I take it that you have been unable to derive any new insight from what I have written; for this I humbly apologize. My only redemption might be that some other reader might have learned something. I leave you to recite your mantra: “. . . absolutely shall not be infringed”; I’m sure it will be very comforting to you. I don’t expect it to improve the fate of the 2A

        7. avatar John in Ohio says:

          In the interim, how does it profit our side to insist on an absolutist argument if that argument falls on deaf ears?

          It is a consistent statement from those who are being true to their beliefs. Sure, people who will politically work from the outer bounds inward are a necessity. However, if we don’t have the driving force, the shall not be infringed crowd (of which I am one), then the end result will be a diluted version of the protection on our right. Instead of dissuading the absolutists, use that insistence upon shall not be infringed as a bargaining leverage in political negotiations. If we set the bar low, the results will be even lower. Also, and I think of lessor importance, is that generations to come will look at writings and debates of today to bolster or dismantle arguments in favor of the individual right to keep and bear arms. If we give them weak statements in support of a watered down right, then they will likely achieve extremely diluted results. We were afforded very strong statements from our forefathers. Where would we be today if their statements were consistently weak on the RKBA? Let’s give the future the proper ammunition… “Shall not be infringed means what it says; absolutely. What we are accepting now is the best that we could get out of the process. Future generations, if it is within your power, accept nothing less than shall not be infringed.”

          At least, that’s one man’s opinion.

        8. avatar MarkPA says:

          I agree with your reasoning entirely. Moreover, I think we should use the diverse language found in the various protections of rights (mostly the Bill of Rights, but elsewhere as well) to paint a spectrum of strictness in scrutiny.

          When the founders wrote “unreasonable” search and seizure did they mean to prohibit ‘absolutely’ all searches and seizures? Or, did they mean to prohibit such searches and seizures that would be unreasonable from the viewpoint of a reasonable and disinterested man? E.g., can the police enter a home without a warrant when in “hot pursuit”? Search for weapons without a warrant when arresting a suspect? Break into a home when there is a report of a hostage situation? When the founding fathers intended to allow some room for judgement or latitude they used language that contemplated what would be deemed inside/outside those bounds through judicial decisions.

          Conversely, when the founders wrote “make no law” or “shall not be infringed” or “shall not be compelled to testify” did they expect legislatures to dilute these protections until they were a thin cruel broth?

          My point is to argue a simple “absolutist” formula is counterproductive in that we will be summarily dismissed; especially in those forums (SCOTUS and Congress and legislatures) where our arguments need to pass the scrutiny of listeners educated (well or badly) in the law by progressive professors.

          Instead, it serves our purposes to say that “shall not be infringed” are words – just like “make no low” – setting the highest level of scrutiny. The intention of such language was obviously to set the boundaries of liberty as widely as possible. To narrow those boundaries requires an overwhelmingly compelling argument. Such a burden can’t be met with respect to this first, and second and . . . case where the Antis have infringed.

          It is unnecessary for us to articulate a goal of ZERO infringements whatsoever. E.g., why announce that we would like mass murderers to have their 2A rights restored automatically if-and-when they are released? We might just as well argue that prisoners’ “rights” to be armed in prison against assault by other prisoners be respected! We can just as well argue that funding ought to be restores to the DoJ authority to restore 2A rights; without conceding that that is the limit of convicts’ entitlement to 2A protection. Eventually, we might argue that non-violent offenders have their rights restored automatically. Eventually, we ought to argue for due-process for DV misdemeanors; and so forth.

          Yes, we must set our aspirations high and maintain them in our arguments. We need not, however, articulate an explicit goal that allows our efforts to be easily dismissed summarily as lacking in a solid foundation in Constitutional law.

        9. avatar John in Ohio says:

          @MarkPA: I agree with alot of what you’ve written in the latest comment; snippets of which are enclosed herein.

          Let us all pray that we succeed in the debate hall.

          Meh. My health is failing and once I pass from this rock, I will have been denied my Liberty forever. Many like minded friends have gone on before me. Surely, I would rather a peaceful solution be found but I wouldn’t loose any sleep if the People left the debate hall to abolish that which is corrupt and begin anew. For well over a quarter of a century, I’ve spoken to patriots coast to coast and more than a few of the older ones have expressed similar sentiment. Given the loss of Liberty, especially since 9/11, methinks the rot in our system is far greater than you might perceive or even want to accept. Or, maybe you do realize it, as evidenced in your posts.

          I leave you to recite your mantra: “. . . absolutely shall not be infringed”; I’m sure it will be very comforting to you. I don’t expect it to improve the fate of the 2A

          I don’t think that’s really a fair statement to make. Many of us are out there at protests, contacting politicians, working with local and state public officials to correct errors in implementation of current state law, educating the young as to Liberty, helping shape legislation, in direct confrontations with law enforcement, filing lawsuits, etc. For some of us, shall not be infringed is what drives us. You talk of that “mantra” not improving the fate of the 2A but do you really think that alienating those working diligently, driven by that very notion, is wiser?

        10. avatar MarkPA says:

          Thank you for you kind – albeit qualified – support of some of my comments.

          “Given the loss of Liberty, especially since 9/11, methinks the rot in our system is far greater than you might perceive or even want to accept. Or, maybe you do realize it, as evidenced in your posts.”

          Oh, I perceive it clearly enough. I could probably perceive the evidence of rot from the 1960s. I also see the growth in the numbers of individuals who recognize that rot.

          I understand the estimates from the Revolutionary era were: 1/3 for independence; 1/3 for loyalty to the crown; and 1/3 who didn’t care either way. We might guesstimate that critical mass is when the fraction for – shall we say reformation – exceeds the fraction that advocates the continuation of rot. It doesn’t matter precisely whether that’s 34% vs. 33% or 26% vs 25%; the point is, one side must be numerous enough and determined enough to prevail over the other side.

          Our republican form of government is strikingly different from the monarchy/parliamentary system faced by the Founders. We ought to be able to prevail in the chambers of Congress by prevailing on election day. Only IF-and-WHEN we are so numerous and so determined will we prevail without bloodshed. I’m simply praying that we are not reduced to 3% vs. 33%. I’m old enough to go if that time comes.

          “I leave you to recite your mantra: “. . . absolutely shall not be infringed”; I’m sure it will be very comforting to you. I don’t expect it to improve the fate of the 2A”

          “I don’t think that’s really a fair statement to make.” The key word there is ‘ABSOLUTELY’. I do NOT disparage the mantra of “. . . shall not be infringed.” Indeed, I will chant THESE words as loudly as I can with as much enthusiasm as any of you.

          It suffices for our purposes to assert vehemently that “shall not be infringed” cries out unequivocally for “strict scrutiny”. No law that fails strict scrutiny can survive Constitutionality under “shall not be infringed”.

          What remains between “strict scrutiny” and “absolute” need not be debated at this time. To use the word “absolute” in a discussion of Constitutional Rights invites ALL lawyers to summarily dismiss anything else we might say. That is foolish strategy.

          “You talk of that “mantra” not improving the fate of the 2A but do you really think that alienating those working diligently, driven by that very notion, is wiser?”

          Those working diligently need a working understanding of Constitutional law and politics. Indulging a naive notion of “absolutely” does them no service. Knowing better and allowing them to unconsciously undermine the cause does the 2A no service. A mantra of “shall not be infringed” serves the purpose and is textually precise. It fits with the current doctrine of “strict scrutiny” and THAT is where we need to drive home.

          I presume that we are all grownups on this blog. Far harsher words have been written by others; in particular, the Absolutists. We are supposed to be here to frankly exchange conflicting ideas. I have yet to see any Absolutist articulate a rational justification for defying centuries of accumulated president on the notion that even enumerated rights are NOT absolute. I have yet to see any Absolutist articulate a worthwhile justification for the modest space that separates strict scrutiny from an absolute interpretation of the 2A. When I see any rational argument on these points I will begin to worry about alienating the tender feelings of the Absolutists. Until then, I content myself with the confidence that I agree with them on about 90% of the agenda for the immediate future.

        11. avatar John in Ohio says:

          @MarkPA: I am unashamedly a 2A absolutist. “Strict scrutiny”? Hell, I don’t even embrace the power of Judicial Review usurped by the Supreme Court in Marbury v. Madison. http://constitutionality.us/SupremeCourt.html. The link is even part of my username/profile here.

          It doesn’t require harsh words to alienate a subset of a group. I recognize the need and support the sort of efforts that you are proposing. At the same time, I hold to my absolutist stance. The two positions are not contradictory and do not have to be counter productive in coexistence. It is my assertion that they can be complimentary if utilized wisely.

        12. avatar MarkPA says:

          Thank you John.
          Now, please articulate the case that a Constitutional right can be construed to be “absolute”. Kindly cite the authorities that a lawyer would have to use to support his argument to that effect before SCOTUS. I’m eager to see such an argument.

        13. avatar John in Ohio says:

          @MarkPA: Not your personal army.

          Sometimes I am up for articulating such an argument and sometimes I’m not. I am neither the person to do so right now and this is not the space for such a debate, IMHO. Besides, I’m not trying to convince you. My purpose was to suggest that absolutists can act as a driving force for the restoration of rights. I read what you have stated in comments and I agree with most of it. You have already formed a strong opinion and if you haven’t then there is plenty out there to read. Also, if you read my last comment, I don’t particularly support the notion of Judicial Review. So, why would I take my time to make an argument for use in such a venue?

        14. avatar MarkPA says:

          “Besides, I’m not trying to convince you.” I INVITE you (or anyone else) to convince me. (Unlike my wife) I don’t presume that I know everything. I regularly find reading TTAG that my opinion is tempered or altered somewhat – occasionally quite a bit. Sometimes I misunderstand at first or second reading; by persevering I sometimes get a clearer picture of someone else’s argument and find myself in greater agreement then at first I perceived.

          “My purpose was to suggest that absolutists can act as a driving force for the restoration of rights.” It’s true that anyone with religious-like fever can act as a driving force. Yet, that fact does not justify charging off in a not-well-founded argument nor in a counter-productive argument. If – as I’ve argued – the notion that all/any Constitutional right is (or could be) an “absolute right” is not well founded then “extremism in pursuit of liberty [could, in fact, operate as a] vice”. (Goldwater lost, in part because of that remark.) Alternatively, suppose (for a moment) that it is absolutely true that the 2A IS an absolute right; however, no one in the forum where we need to argue is willing to entertain such an idea. Under such a supposition, to assert that which (we suppose for the moment) to be true is not a constructive strategy.

          “Sometimes I am up for articulating such an argument and sometimes I’m not. I am neither the person to do so right now and this is not the space for such a debate, IMHO.” I respect the fact that I have no warrant to call upon you to expend any effort. You have been generous enough with your time to engage in the conversation to this point. I disagree that TTAG is “not the space for such a debate”; I think it’s the perfect space. It is here where we have a great opportunity to “get our story straight” before we debate the Antis in the court of public opinion.

          In any case, anyone (myself included) should take pause when we find that we are having difficulty articulating an argument to support a strongly-held sentiment. Perhaps – in such a case – the strongly-sentiment is not well founded in fact; alternatively, it is founded in some fact that is essentially a religious belief. E.g., Protestants and Roman Catholics agree on the “facts” of the same bible; but nevertheless fervently disagree about the interpretation of that bible.

          I neglected to comment on your earlier remark: “The two positions are not contradictory and do not have to be counter productive in coexistence. It is my assertion that they can be complimentary if utilized wisely.” I agree whole-heartedly that the two positions [absolute-ism and strict-scrutiny-ism] are NOT contradictory; they are points along a spectrum. By analogy, absolute-ism corresponds to the physical notion of absolute-zero temperature; while strict-scrutiny might correspond to some value such as 123 Absolute (which is an extremely cold temperature). No disagreement here. I don’t immediately see how they are “complementary” – nor how they could be “utilized wisely”. I do see that they could be used in coexistence. E.g., you might argue that there is a legitimate notion of absolute Constitutional rights while also arguing that (my) vague notion of “strict scrutiny” and so we may productively argue for gun rights as allies. Where I differ with you is that I don’t see – in our audience – a ready willingness to entertain any argument for an absolute Constitutional right. Even if we PotG were convinced that the argument for an absolute Constitutional right were well founded and well articulated, we would still be facing an audience that will dismiss us summarily by articulating such an argument. If we are so dismissed then it is counterproductive to articulate the argument that is summarily dismissed. Our audience readily accepts the concept of strict scrutiny (which I concede is really fuzzy and not nearly as appealing to us as “absolute”). Strict scrutiny gets us where we need to go for the next 20 – 50 years. Therefore, in advancing our cause, absolute-ism and strict-scrutiny are counterproductive in coexistence.

        15. avatar John in Ohio says:

          I have read about half of your comment because I only have a small window to read TTAG today (will read it in entirety later). And this will probably be my last comment in this stream. Please, feel free to make the last comment in this exchange and I will read it.

          First, my oft inability to articulate these days stems primarily from TBI and some associated health issue. That’s why I no longer work in the field of medicine. I no longer have the reliable ability to do so. Second, I appreciate the time and effort you have expended in this exchange and hope that some can gain from our exchange. Lastly, I will part with this assertion, without the right to bear arms absolutists, we shall be left with nothing but privilege in the end and that privilege will be swept away over time by government encroachment and social engineering.

          Carry on. 🙂

          ETA: By not the venue, I meant in the third or fourth level of the comments. This is like small news column reading on my small screen. Something like this needs to be an article and comment discussion. If someone wants to make a good case for the absolutist viewpoint as an article, that would be awesome.

    2. avatar John in Ohio says:

      Yep. “The Chipotle Ninja problem effectively scuppered Constitutional carry in the Lone Star State even before the legislative session started.” That’s horseshit. Government looking to infringe will find excuses. Besides, the exercise of any right that requires people to beg their betters is the exercise of no right at all.

      Once Texans reestablish constitutional open carry, through legislation or civil disobedience, then they ought to never let it lapse. Hopefully, enough warning will be written today as to remind those of tomorrow not to ever give in again on this issue, for ANY excuse.

  6. avatar LarryinTX says:

    They are right, though! This WILL allow unlicensed, illegal open carry in precisely the same way that the whole world allows unlicensed, illegal concealed carry, and always has!

    Have all these good hearted liberals given their brains away? It does not seem possible that a person could be that stupid and still manage to feed himself.

    1. avatar dwb says:

      Or in the same way the state now allows unlicensed driving. About 1 in 7 drivers (ish) on the road have no insurance, no license. The state cannot stop you to check if you are sober and have a valid license unless they have an articulate suspicion.

      Thanks for the laugh, by the way. “Liberals feeding themselves.” I should live so long. I have a lot of liberal friends who love meat, so long as I shoot it or they buy it. I don’t think they realize meat comes on legs, not in little foam packages.

    2. avatar Mark N. says:

      The difference of course is that if you are an unlicensed open carrier, you are committing an illegal act–and if you get detained for something else, you will have some ‘splainin’ to do that the licensed carrier will not.

  7. avatar TX Gungal says:

    I see licensed open carry just a stepping stone to Constitutional Carry

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      We can sure hope!

    2. avatar dh34 says:

      @txgungal

      Did you see response to your retention training question? I contacted Rep Phillips’ office and they said there is no intent to impact current CHL holders.

    3. avatar MarkPA says:

      Absolutely! I think the strident PotG who insist on Constitutional-Carry-or NOTHING are making a huge political mistake. We need to remember that we are fighting a political battle here; and we need to keep it political if-at-all-possible. A Constitutional right isn’t worth the parchment its written on if a majority of the voters won’t stand behind it.
      Shall-Issue is substantially Constitutional-Carry except for:
      – a fee (small or large)
      – a training/test requirement (simple or challenging)
      – background-check against objective criteria (whether we like the criteria or not)

      Suppose the fee were $1; would that constitute an “infringement” that we would want to take to the barricades? I’d grant that if it were $1,000 it would be onerous; but, we don’t have fees this high. The amount of the fee is something we can manage politically. If we hammer away at the legislature that the fee should be waived for poor people eventually they will cave-in. Either they will lower the fees to $10 or $20 or they will waive fees for the needy. Comparing my state’s fee with other states’ fees will keep the pressure on. Politicians won’t want to stand up against a “No guns for Negros!” argument for the modest amount of revenue involved.

      Training is not a bad thing. This is something that can be negotiated from 24 to 16 to 8 hours; then, it can be negotiated away for a written test that anyone could pass after studying a book. Again, argue the cost of a training course is another “No guns for Negros!” limitation. The politicians won’t like this either.

      The background check actually works in our favor politically. The public wants to know that the people carrying legally have clean backgrounds. Shall-Issue means we clear their backgrounds before they start carrying. This pre-condition (vs. a post detainment check) also serves to clear-up the identity problems that are inevitable with individuals with common names. It also clears-up misunderstandings such as an old misdemeanor arrest. Those individuals who intend to carry are better off having these issues cleared before they are detained and arrested for carrying as a prohibited person.

      Our main objective at this juncture of the fight for the 2A ought to be breaking down the prohibitions of the remaining 10 Won’t-Issue jurisdictions. Congress would probably have an easier time passing National Reciprocity if every State had Shall-Issue. As things stand now, Congress will have to admit that 10% of the States’ citizens will be able to carry in DC, NYC, NY, NJ, CA, MD, etc. without either a BC or a mandatory training requirement.

      I hope National Reciprocity goes through in this Congressional session. If it does then the 10 Won’t-Issue jurisdictions will be forced to adopt some Right-to-Carry law within a few years. Thereafter, Constitutional Carry will be able to march-on across the States as swiftly/slowly as it may.

      1. avatar Cicero Smith says:

        As a student stuck in NYC for the time being, I sure hope that national reciprocity passes this congressional session too. If it doesn’t, then as soon as I can, it’s off to Philly for good, Toto!

      2. avatar John in Ohio says:

        If more people would take to the barricades over even a $1 infringement, this fight would be over in a heartbeat and none of this nonsense would be necessary. I’m glad that the founders of this nation weren’t so timid.

        Mark my words, if the restoration of the exercise of all of our rights does not happen before this current generation passes away, more will be lost. Government can be nearly immortal relative to the individual. The nature of any government is to gain power. While power of the People can be usurped incrementally, it cannot be restored to the People in the same manner. You can burn down the cabin to ashes but you can’t burn the ashes back into a cabin. These are one way reactions because the entropy and activation energy to reverse them are impossibly high. If Liberty were to be gained incrementally, why did we have an American Revolution and why did Thomas Jefferson postulate that we ought to have at least one in every generation? You can’t baby step your way back to full Liberty. It doesn’t work. You start out with a whole pie and it keeps getting fractionated. Each time, you end up with a smaller part of the whole. Restoration will plateau and people will get content.

        1. avatar MarkPA says:

          “. . . if the restoration of the exercise of all of our rights does not happen before this current generation passes away, more will be lost. . . . While power of the People can be usurped incrementally, it cannot be restored to the People in the same manner. . . . If Liberty were to be gained incrementally, why did we have an American Revolution . . . ”
          Alas, I find myself in accord with much of what you have written. Very depressing. However, you seem to ignore the success of the Right-to-Carry movement over the past 25 years or so. That did not happen? Or, was it the exception that proved the rule?
          Bear in mind that the negotiation period leading up to April 1775 and July 1776 was quite protracted. The political situation (monarchy and Parliament vs. a president and a Congress) were quite different from what we have today. This negotiation process broke down, the British confiscated munitions and triggered the revolution.
          It occurs to me that it may have taken this long negotiation period to steel the will of 1/3 of the American people to take to the barricades. Have American people today reached this same resolve? I don’t sense that such is the case. Will the American population EVER reach the resolve to assert their liberties?
          What shall we do while we wait for Americans to decide whether they prefer liberty to the promised safety-net? Shall we sit back and wait? Or, work the political process to the extent we can? It seems to me that political process serves to reveal where we have strength and where we are weak.

        2. avatar John in Ohio says:

          @MarkPA: I’m not referring to just gun rights. I am of the firm belief that we are even less free, overall, than we were just twenty years ago. While I believe that the uninfringed individual right to keep and bear arms is crucial to remaining a free people, it is useless if the People lack the fortitude to ever use them for their proper role in keeping tyranny at bay. Still, I cannot look at the RKBA in a vacuum. If we retain the free exercise of only that right then the hope of restoring individual Liberty is slim.

          My approach includes activism and promoting good legislation, all the while reminding each other to not accept “baby steps” or “eating elephants”. Using those terms, IMHO, fosters complacency. I say, keep swinging at the chains and don’t stop until they are broken into unusable scrap. We need to step up the pace on all fronts for Liberty and not just on the RKBA. (However, that is the most important, IMHO, and should be the one with the strongest push behind it.)

          Lastly, I don’t really believe that those who had the fire of Liberty burning in their hearts and minds had any intention of remaining subjects of the Crown. I look at things like the patriot propaganda of the day and their actions at the Boston Massacre. None of it convinces me that they would ever peacefully submit to the King. They were fomenting a rebellion and they wouldn’t stop until the revolution was finished, one way or the other. We have something like that happening in our country again today. Government will either be restored to its limited constitutional powers, the nation will be damned to tyranny, or there will be a violent push for a free nation again. I prefer the first but would understand the third, if the People so chose. As for the second outcome, it’s unconscionable to me; give me liberty or give me death.

          (Edited to add: I believe that we need those so inclined to continue the political process. I also believe that we need those who are outspoken and not inclined to political processes to continue to cry out loudly.)

        3. avatar MarkPA says:

          I find myself in line with just about all of your sentiments; with one exception: “I don’t really believe that those who had the fire of Liberty burning in their hearts and minds had any intention of remaining subjects of the Crown. I look at things like the patriot propaganda of the day and their actions at the Boston Massacre.”
          By July, 1776, that was probably true with respect to the delegates who contemplated the Declaration of Independence. By the time the Declaration reached the Colonial legislatures for ratification, it was probably true of those legislators who – in fact – ratified the Declaration in the name of their respective colonies/states. But to focus on the last semester of 1776 is to ignore the history leading up to that moment. If so, then a misreading of history does the student no good service.
          There was a long slow build-up to 1776. Colonial legislative bodies and the Continental Congress petitioned the Crown and Parliament to respect their constitutional rights according to the colonial view of those rights. There was a gradual growth of sentiment toward independence punctuated by a series of incidents. Some time between April 1775 ad July 1776 that growth surpassed critical-mass which was still not more than 1/3 of the population. A good exemplar for study is Benjamin Franklin who began as a Royalist and eventually turned to becoming a Revolutionary.
          The early firebrands, e.g., Samuel Adams and Thomas Paine, were the kooks and crazies of their era at the beginning. They achieved respectability when they were joined by more and more men who were closer to the mainstream. When highly respected individuals – Franklin, Hancock, John Adams, Washington et. al – embraced a restoration of their traditional constitutional rights then we can say that critical mass had formed. This was a political process taking place within and among committees of correspondence, taverns, and the Continental Congress. I think that it is an error to believe that critical mass built in momentary incidents on the Boston commons or the bridge at Lexington. Such incidents were catalysts that affected men’s sentiments as they grew over time.
          We observe analogous incidents today. Indeed, over the past several years they seem to occur with such velocity that we hardly have time to digest the last few revelations before our attention is drawn to yet another. Our biennial elections manifest some growth in consciousness among the electorate; but, far less than what would seem to be critical mass. As you have argued, we need to carry on the debate ever more vigorously across the spectrum of issues and observe our success at the polls. Unlike the colonial era, our republican form of government gives us a barometer of local and national sentiment that is unmistakable.
          (That barometer is, admittedly, corrupted by illegal voting. Even so, the extent of corruption is entirely in the hands of the States. If-and-when 38 States’ legislatures decide to exercise their Constitutional prerogative of setting the qualification of voters they could, via Article V, over-rule SCOTUS on voter-registration documentation.)

        4. avatar Irish1776 says:

          Keep dreaming. We are facing a future where the projected majority demographics will be illegal immigrants and teaming hordes of third world-ers whose American dream is being on the social assistance rolls. It will NOT be a future generation of Americans that rights this ship.

  8. avatar dwb says:

    This is already the law in states where open carry is legal. Being a prohibited person is not the default status, so merely having a gun does not constitute reason for suspicion.

    Still, the way it works is that you only have rights if you also have enough money to defend those rights. A public defender is not going to waste time litigating an unconstitutional stop, and you may be forced to take a plea.

    So while this may be redundant, this amendment certainly saves the little guy a lot of $$ and time.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Most times, any plea will relieve you of any firearms concerns in the future, you will be a prohibited person. Demand a jury trial. Right NOW. You are entitled to a SPEEDY trial, not one 20 years from now, or after evidence has been manufactured against you.

  9. avatar JFrame says:

    At least I ordered my leather before the rush here in Texas. Good luck finding a OWB holster in local stores when Abbott signs on the dotted line.

  10. avatar Franko says:

    I was a subscriber to the Dallas News for many years. Last year, I finally cancelled my subscription permanently.
    They seem to think that they need to be a beacon of liberalism. in an area that is dominated by conservatives.
    They are about 1/2 step better than MSNBC when it comes to their clearly liberal bias.
    I simply couldn’t take it anymore. Do they have an anti-gun bias? Most hard core liberals do, don’t they?

    1. avatar Braenen says:

      Many but not all. I am a liberal. I am also a hard core 2A defender and an NRA Certified Instructor.

      Remember, the media is painting with the broad brush. We do not all conform to their template.

      1. avatar Matt in Tx says:

        It is my assertion that you are not a liberal. I would make the assumption that you are either an old school Democrat or soft Libertarian. Modern interpretation is that “liberal” means socialist. I have friends who claim to be Dems that are not socialists, they are not worried about my guns. They are not intimidated by the fact that I have guns. I say you are more liberal on some fronts but, not a socialist (liberal).

  11. avatar Ralph says:

    If it wasn’t for the much-reviled “Chipotle Ninjas,” open carry would never have been an agenda item. They didn’t sink OC — they made it inevitable. They deserve thanks, not scorn.

    1. avatar Skyler says:

      +1

      Next, repeal of the GCA and NFA.

    2. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      +100. Right on.

    3. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      I would not paint everyone who participated in a public demonstration with the same, broad brush, nor would I label them all “chipotle ninjas.”

      That title is reserved for those who chose to use certain restaurants as the venue for their public demonstrations.

      It has been rightfully pointed out that other states have attained legalized open carry despite the fact that no one sat down to eat a burrito in a public restaurant with an AR-15 strapped to his back. It would also be accurate to point out that peaceful demonstrations have brought attention to the issue and helped to catalyze the legislative process.

      1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

        “That title is reserved for those who chose to use certain restaurants as the venue for their public demonstrations.”

        You mean the restaurants where they specifically had the manager’s approval to be there, and the other customers were supportive (or at least non-interested) in what they were doing, and the cops that were present likewise had no issue with their public demonstration?

        Cuz that’s the REAL story behind the Chipotle Open Carry ‘event’ that was misreported and has now had false memes created about it.

        Remember: the other side never lets the truth get in the way of a good bit of propaganda.

        1. avatar Matt in Tx says:

          Go JR! Hit em with the truth stick again!

    4. avatar John in Ohio says:

      Aye! Right on, Ralph.

    5. avatar Matt in Tx says:

      Ralph got it right! Where is the “like” button!

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        Please, for the love of all that’s good and decent, no stupid ‘like’ button on TTAG.

        It will result in idiots posting for the vote, not the content of the post…

  12. avatar Skyler says:

    The police chief in Austin has made it very clear that he hates this law and I have no doubt that anyone open carrying in Austin is going to get some unwanted attention from his officers. They will find or manufacture or lie about having a reason to terry stop anyone with a firearm. Count on it.

  13. avatar BDub says:

    “Someone openly carrying without a license — illegally — wouldn’t need to fear police questioning if they were otherwise doing no wrong.”

    Someone CONCEALED CARRYING without a license — illegally — wouldn’t need to fear police questioning if they were otherwise doing no wrong, EITHER!!! WTF is up with these people logic-centers?

    1. avatar Jim R says:

      Someone carrying concealed doesn’t have to worry because the gun is CONCEALED. Meaning can’t be seen.
      Carrying openly without a license is a much different affair.

  14. avatar Warren says:

    You keep saying “done deal,” literally in every article you write or edit, relating to Texas open carry. It is FAR from a done deal. The House has not assigned the Senate bill to committee, the Senate has not even begun to address the House bill. Until either Patrick or Straus suck it up and put their respective bill on a committee calendar, the passage of open carry law could very well die, regardless of political support.

      1. avatar Warren says:

        In order to become law in Texas, a bill must get through BOTH chambers, with any changes by one chamber kicking it back to the other for their approval as well. Not, “two identical bills must pass each chamber, and the two chambers work out the differences in language” That’s a significant difference. If Straus does not assign SB17 to a committee, and/or Lt Gov Patrick doesn’t assign HB910 to a committee, open carry in Texas is essentially dead and these endless discussions in the comment thread are completely moot.

  15. avatar Ted Unlis says:

    Don’t get too excited Robert, gun control zealots like Austin Chief of Police Arturo Acevedo will create whatever ruse is necessary to target open carriers, but the amendment certainly throws a wrench in Acevedo’s plan to make life as difficult as possible for CHL holders who dare to open carry in Austin.

    There are many ways to identify a person to determine if they are licensed to carry a handgun, open carry without a license will catch up with those attempting it sooner or later and doing so only gives the anti-gun lobby exactly what they want, problems to exploit, twist, and spin in their gun control narrative.

    If you’re a licensed CHL holder and opt to open carry, there’s nothing the rare liberal anti-gun Chief of Police like Acevedo can do about it, but if you’re not, it would be wise to keep some funds in reserve for bail money and attorney fees.

    For those of us who actually carry a firearm for defensive purposes, little will change in Texas, just as in Oklahoma, most of the time common sense will prevail and few will opt to draw attention to themselves by openly displaying a firearm. The biggest plus I see with the new Texas open carry law is that armed dumb@$$es will now be easy to spot.

    Even though I remain convinced that in most circumstances only dumb@$$es with some weird desire to be the center of attention will opt for open carry, I’m glad to know the Texas Legislature adopted an amendment that will make it more difficult for Chief Acevedo and Austin PD to hassle law abiding citizens.

    1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      “Even though I remain convinced that in most circumstances only dumb@$$es with some weird desire to be the center of attention will opt for open carry, “

      You being convinced of something completely wrong does not make it true. There are people that are convinced the earth is flat. You very seriously sound just like them.

      Truth is, you have no idea why any particular person would choose OC. Or is that you, Kreskin?

      Why don’t you take your CLEARLY Statist “I should have a voice in how other people behave” trolling that you post in every OC related article for a trip to the library and read up on “personal liberty.”

      1. avatar Ted Unlis says:

        Most folks who carry concealed for defensive purposes believe open carry is foolish, that’s why in States like Oklahoma where open carry is lawful, it is a rare occurrence to actually see someone openly carrying an handgun.

        When open carry becomes law in Texas, I will defend any law abiding person who opts to open carry and believe they should be able to do so free of fear and intimidation from an anti-gun liberal like Austin PD Chief Arturo Acevedo, but I still believe that in most circumstances only a dumb@$$ with some weird desire to be the center of attention chooses to openly display the handgun they’re carrying.

        1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          Or, some people carry openly because:
          (1) it can be way more comfortable,
          (2) it could prevent attacks altogether (deterrence), or
          (3) they are trying to normalize firearms to the masses.

          In my world none of those reasons suggest such a person is a dumb@$$.

        2. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

          I get all the tactical pros and cons regarding OC. For me, it’s not about open carrying police officer style, with a big, prominent handgun on the belt. It’s more just about the comfort of an OWB holster, still mostly covered by a t-shirt or jacket, but without breaking the law should the muzzle peek out.

        3. avatar John in Ohio says:

          Most folks who carry concealed for defensive purposes believe open carry is foolish,

          Proof, please. And, it really doesn’t matter if most actually did believe that.

          When open carry becomes law in Texas, I will defend any law abiding person who opts to open carry and believe they should be able to do so free of fear and intimidation

          A sincere thank you for that statement.

        4. avatar Ted Unlis says:

          John, I’m well aware of your tendency to acknowledge only that which exists in your alternate reality, but I can’t let the lame deletion editing of my opinion to fit your alternate reality pass.

          “Most folks who carry concealed for defensive purposes believe open carry is foolish, that’s why in States like Oklahoma where open carry is lawful, it is a rare occurrence to actually see someone openly carrying an handgun.”

          “When open carry becomes law in Texas, I will defend any law abiding person who opts to open carry and believe they should be able to do so free of fear and intimidation from an anti-gun liberal like Austin PD Chief Arturo Acevedo, but I still believe that in most circumstances only a dumb@$$ with some weird desire to be the center of attention chooses to openly display the handgun they’re carrying.”

        5. avatar John in Ohio says:

          First, I don’t intentionally edit to distort context. If you ever think that I did, please politely show me where you believe that I did so and I will apologize. Second, I don’t see where the quote changes the POLITE request for proof of the assertion. Lastly, apparently you didn’t believe that this was changing the content when you answered another commenter, http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2015/04/robert-farago/is-texas-creating-stealth-constitutional-carry/#comment-2125630. So… yeah.

          And, my gratitude for your other statement was genuine. 🙂

        6. avatar Ted Unlis says:

          Jonathan, are you really from Houston? Do you actually have a Texas CHL? Everything you for some reason believe to be deprived of is perfectly legal under current Texas concealed carry law. If the handgun is concealed by clothing it is not against the law “should the muzzle peek out”.

          Section 46.035, (1) (a) A license holder commits an offense if the license holder carries a handgun on or about the license holder’s person under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, and intentionally displays the handgun in plain view of another person in a public place.

          Sounds like you’ve been relying on bull$#it you’ve read in this forum from folks like the Nutty Buckeye who don’t have a clue about Texas law and that a muzzle peeking out in no way can be construed to be “intentionally displays the handgun in plain view of another person in a public place”.

        7. avatar MarkPA says:

          “. . . a muzzle peeking out in no way can be construed to be “intentionally displays the handgun in plain view of another person in a public place”.”
          One important reason to advocate for OC is to remove the fuzzy line created by statutes that require a “reasonable” interpretation of the carrier’s “intention”.

          Fuzzy lines can’t always be avoided. For example, supposing we agree that “brandishing” is a legitimate offense. The line between brandishing vs. not-brandishing is inherently fuzzy. Cops are going to have to use some judgement and juries will have to call the shot based on testimony. We have to accept fuzziness here; or, in the alternative, legalize assault with a deadly weapon; prohibiting only when a shot-is-fired/blow-is-struck.

          The fuzzy line between CC vs OC CAN be avoided. As a society we can decide whether to pass a law against OC; or not. (I prescind from discussing whether a law against OC is Constitutional.) What is the inherent harm in OC? If that harm is negligible, or too small to justify its regulation, then we need not suffer a fuzzy line.

          A fuzzy line between “intentionally” exposing a handgun is dangerous because it invites cops in hostile jurisdictions to charge CC’ers for reaching up to the top-shelf of a store to retrieve an item of merchandise. He intentionally reached for that top-shelf item. He knew he would expose the tip of his holster. Obviously, his intention was to intimidate the Moms shopping in that Kroger store. Tell it to the jury.

          IF we could trust our States’ and municipal police departments to use good judgement then we could have as much regulation as society might desire with modest risk of tyranny. The difficulty is, obviously, that we can NOT trust our political leaders to instruct their police to use good judgement. Our entire history of experience and Constitutional guidance (including the Federalist Papers and Anti-Federalist papers) is such that we must guard against all such tyranny; including petty tyranny.

          If there were NO OTHER reason to support OC laws, this one alone would be sufficient.

        8. avatar John in Ohio says:

          Sounds like you’ve been relying on bull$#it you’ve read in this forum from folks like the Nutty Buckeye

          Why do you always have to act like a jackass on these pages? There have been a few comments made by you that I wanted to give you some kudos on but I figured it would only be a matter of time before you resorted to this stuff again. Indeed, I’ve been polite in my replies to you but there you go again. You rarely, if you ever have, proved your false assertions about what I’ve posted. It really, really takes away from any point you’re making. If your purpose is to make a point then you’re shooting yourself in the foot, my friend.

          *sigh*

          Anyway… I’ll let you troll away and won’t feed you much for a while.

          Bless your little anti-liberty heart, Officer Teddy. 😉

        9. avatar Danny Griffin says:

          John, one day Ted will go away, like Paul McCain.

        10. avatar Ted Unlis says:

          Okay John. Maybe I missed it, but have you decided whether to kick off that armed insurrection and revolution you’re always threatening with a last great act of defiance there in Ohio, or are you going to make a road trip to launch your attack? Just curious. Good night.

        11. avatar John in Ohio says:

          Goodnight, Ted. Sleep well.

        12. avatar int19h says:

          IMO, the only reason why open carry is “foolish” is precisely because it’s not common. If it were – and if at least, say, 20% of the people around were carrying that way – it would actually send a rather powerful overall message.

        13. avatar MarkPA says:

          “. . . if at least, say, 20% of the people [OCed]. . . ”

          In support of your argument, a couple of thoughts occur to me.

          First, it wouldn’t take 20%. If you see the “tip of an iceberg” do you have the imagination to realize that there is a lot more iceberg below the waterline? If you see 1% or 2% of the people in a precinct OCing do you have the imagination to extrapolate to 20% CCing in that precinct? If one is a criminal I’d expect him to be able to make this extrapolation.

          All the criticisms of OC neglect to apply their arguments to uniformed police. Why is this? I presume it’s because the critics acknowledge the tactical advantage of being able to draw swiftly from an OWB holster and have a modicum of confidence that a police officer is trained and practiced in weapon retention. Very well, then, suppose off-duty police in civvies made a practice of OC. These could contribute to achieving a 1 – 2% “penetration” of the “market” in OC. Suppose police spouses are CCing; the cops could train and practice weapon retention with their spouses and increase the penetration quite a bit. Some of us other non-cops are competent enough in weapon retention (I don’t count myself among them). We could very well achieve – over time a 1 – 2% level of OC by competent people dressed in civvies. Thereupon, we would achieve the tip-of-the-iceberg effect sending the powerful overall message to which you refer.

          Second, let’s think of the ladies among the PotG. They have a tougher time managing CC due to body shape and the wide variety of clothing they ware. Accordingly, they have to adapt their diverse EDC guns and holsters to the particular clothing they will ware on each day. We expect them to maintain skills at drawing from whichever holster/clothing they happen to be waring on the day an incident arises. Some women resort to off-body-carry with its attendant risks. This is nuts!
          We ought to advocate that women OC and maintain a single skill of drawing from an OWB holster. (I acknowledge that I’m speaking of a social revolution on the scale of advocating that women vote or speak publicly on controversial issues. I am not intimidated.) It’s going to take a long time for women to adopt OC as a PC fashion accessory; but, stranger things have happened.
          Moreover, a side-effect of women OCing is to socialize (i.e., normalize; make PC) the practice of carrying guns in society. It’s much harder to characterize a mother OCing with a baby in arm and a toddler in tow as compared to any male OCing.

        14. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

          Ted? Yes, I’m from Houston, I do hold a CHL, and I’m also a CHL Instructor.

          “Muzzle peek out” is just a term of art. Yes, I’m aware that the law reads as you cited. I’m also aware that it just changed last term from “fail to conceal”, which is an important improvement in the law. Nevertheless, I’m also aware that there’s a difference between paper law, even black letter law, and what a cop on the street construes. Are you? Or do you just buy into the nuttiness you see on television?

          Just because the law is on your side, it doesn’t mean you can’t still be hassled by an ignorant or malicious cop who either doesn’t know or doesn’t care what the law is. Who’s to say the peeking wasn’t intentionally? Me? I would say that, wouldn’t I? What might your hypothetical philosopher cop say? I’d rather not find out.

          Moving the standard from “fail to conceal” to “intentionally displays” is great, but it’d be even better were there even more legal heft, like licensed open carry, to back me up when that muzzle peeks out and a cop pokes his nose in.

          And John’s right, you are a jackass.

    2. avatar MarkPA says:

      On the contrary, I think that legalizing OC is important for two reasons.

      First, it spares the individual intent on CC from being charged with OC when his “butt” is sticking out. Suppose 100% of carriers do CC; but, 1% of them occasionally expose a bit of holster or butt. The cops who oppose carrying will arrest them. In fact, if they see a carrier printing they may accuse him of exposing a bit of but and arrest on that pretext. The OC ban is just another way for the Antis to harass PotG;

      Second, the more I think about it the more convinced I am that CC won’t succeed in inoculating the hoplophobes. Heretofore I had imagined that as the number of people with CWPs increased to 10% – 20% – 30% just about everyone would have a few acquaintances they knew CC’ed. I think I was naive. The hoplophobes mostly hang around with other hoplophobes. The few gun owners they know are probably discrete enough to keep quiet about their gun ownership and especially their carry practices. Unless civilian carry is somehow “in-your-face” the hoplophobes will never acknowledge that they have lost the fight to crush gun rights.

      I am NOT, here, calling for a wholesale adoption of OCing all the time everywhere we go. That sort of practice introduced suddenly will probably be overwhelming and prove to be counter-productive. What I think we need to do is find ways to come out-of-the-closet. E.g., adopt occasional but regular practices of OC’ing. E.g., “OC Fridays”; or, the gun club meets at Chipotles on the third Thursday and OCs at meetings. OC on the 4th of July parades or Memorial Day.
      Once the general public in a municipality gets used to “demonstration” OCing, then a few of us PotG who are a little more outgoing carrying regularly will be tolerated; and, eventually, accepted. People will get used to the experience of seeing one or two OCers on most outings to the mall or running errands. Once that becomes the norm, that’s all it will take. Seeing a person carrying a gun openly will be as normal as seeing someone wearing a beret; not commonplace but hardly remarkable.
      These few OCers will remind the public that there are a lot more people around them who are CCing; but, they don’t notice.

      1. avatar Ted Unlis says:

        Mark, I understand completely how it would be easy for someone from Pennsylvania to assume that since police culture in the Northeastern United States is for the most part anti-gun and pro gun control, all police are that way. That’s certainly not the case in Texas, Austin is the only large city in Texas where the progressive liberal culture and political climate thrives.

        Most police officers in Texas are pro-gun and encourage if not insist that their wives, kids, and other family members should carry firearms, my wife and 4 of 5 grown children all carry concealed firearms, the 5th is a police officer.

        I don’t know of a single instance in Texas where a CHL holder was arrested and charged for a incidental and unintentional display of a handgun and I assure you that any officer making such a chicken$#it arrest would catch hell from his peers, supervisors, and most County or District Attorneys would reject such a case for prosecution. But just in case that sort of bull$#it enforcement ever became a problem, I accept your reason as a second positive reason for open carry in Texas once it becomes law, but the primary reason I see open carry as a positive remains that it makes it easy for the rest of us to spot armed dumb@$$es.

        1. avatar Braenen says:

          This kind of harassment has happened several times in Florida. It is not unreasonable to think it could happen in Texas. I would strongly suspect that it has.

        2. avatar Matt in Tx says:

          Ted is a troll, anyone starting an argument by calling names is a troll. Please don’t feed the trolls.

      2. avatar Danny Griffin says:

        The law in Texas says that you have to “intentionally” show your gun. Accidental exposure is not against the law. You’re not saying police would falsely arrest someone on trumped up charges, are you? 😀

        Texas
        Section 46.035, (1) (a) A license holder commits an offense if the license holder carries a handgun on or about the license holder’s person under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, and intentionally displays the handgun in plain view of another person in a public place.

      3. avatar John in Ohio says:

        Second, the more I think about it the more convinced I am that CC won’t succeed in inoculating the hoplophobes.

        You’re coming around. Glad to see it. In Ohio, some of us saw this happen. Before 2005, although concealed carry was against the law, there was a “prudent man” affirmative defense and generations carried concealed. We never seemed to get into problems where CC would be a primary charge. (Of course, knowing what I do now, we were taking a big risk with a zealous prosecutor.) There was little reason to open carry because we carried concealed. It seemed like the people of Ohio, by and large, forgot that so many carried freely and we ended up with concealed carry licensing in 2005. Some of us won’t make the mistake of always concealing our firearms again. The sheep lose insight into how many people are armed everyday when they don’t see it. It makes sense to us now but it didn’t to some of us back then. Out of sight, out of mind.

    3. avatar John in Ohio says:

      For those of us who actually carry a firearm for defensive purposes, little will change in Texas, just as in Oklahoma,

      But, you’re a cop.

      1. avatar Ted Unlis says:

        But my wife and 4 of my 5 adult children aren’t and thankfully all of them have enough common sense that they will continue to keep their handgun concealed even after open carry in Texas becomes law. Even though I can legally open carry as a police officer, I’m proud to say that I’ve never been tempted to turn dumb@$$ by openly displaying my handgun while off duty at the grocery store, and if were to run into a fellow off duty officer open carrying at Kroger my greeting will probably be something along the lines of “hey dumb@$$, what’s up with the open carry, what the hell’s the matter with you, are you stupid?”

        1. avatar MarkPA says:

          Officer, have you considered the possibility that there might be a side-effect to your practice of never OCing while out-of-uniform?
          Our practice of ONLY uniformed cops (and National Guardsmen in uniform) continuously reinforces the impression that it is the uniform that identifies people as “good guys”; sort of the “white hat”. So, now, the public and cops are habituated to assume that if the guy with the gun isn’t in uniform he must be the “bad guy”.

          I can see a couple of downsides to this habituation.

          For one, we all turn our instincts off when we see a guy in uniform with a gun. Perfect circumstances for a bad-guy to access his target with confidence by dressing in a counterfeit uniform. Under the normal circumstances we are familiar with, not a big risk. However, what about the consequence of multiple jihadis entering a large venue (mall, sports stadium) waring counterfeit uniforms? Uniform = OK; instincts off. Unlikely that an attentive civilian would call 911 to inquire after his suspicions.

          For another, a CWP holder or off-duty cop is apt to be encountered by a uniformed police officer standing over a perp with a “smoking gun”. If the uniformed officer is habituated to think: “No uniform – got to be the bad-guy” somebody is going to get shot.

          I don’t have a “dumb-ass” reaction when – on rare occasion – I see someone out-of-uniform OCing. I’m not convinced the general public has such a reaction. I formerly lived in NJ where carrying a gun (other than by a uniformed officer) is absolutely unheard of. In 23 years of living in NJ I saw 2 people OCing out-of-uniform.

          One was a middle-aged woman in line, with me and other customers, in the Dunkin Doughnuts. After seeing her a few days I asked her if she was a cop. She said yes. I observed “You are not wearing a uniform”. She responded that she was a detective. No one – other than I – paid any attention to her. There would be a dozen Catholic school girls milling about laughing, giggling and talking. None thought the woman with the six-shooter was the least bit interesting.

          The other was a young woman in a court house. A few other people around. She conducted her business at the office where traffic fines were collected and left. No one paid any attention to her. I asked the lady at the counter if the woman in front of me were an armed currier; I was told that that was the case.

          If no one pays attention to an OCier waring civilian cloths in NJ I have to question the claims that normal people would be Shocked! SHOCKED!! to observe OC in America! (to say nothing of Rick’s Cafe). Maybe the people who are so shocked are really Moms who Demand Action! and people with an “Only-Ones” complex.

        2. avatar Matt in Tx says:

          Ted is a troll. Do not feed the troll.

        3. avatar Ted Unlis says:

          Mark, I never said I would only open carry when on duty in uniform I said would never open carry while off duty at the grocery store. As a Detective, I’ve routinely openly carried in plain clothes with a badge displayed on the belt next to the gun and my Department required professional attire as in collared shirt, usually with a tie, and slacks along with professional quality gun leather; there were also many occasions while on duty when the plain clothes worn needed to be much more casual such as blue jeans and a comfortable shirt and on those occasions I always kept my pistol concealed because there is nothing more unprofessional and $#itty looking than a cop wearing a t-shirt, jeans, and tennis shoes while displaying a firearm, which is exactly why most professional Departments prohibit it. Even if wearing professional attire, I never have and never would openly carry a handgun in a heavily populated or high crime area except in circumstances like fugitive arrests and search warrants at which time I would be wearing a vest or jacket with POLICE in large letters across the front and back. I honestly don’t know a single officer who would want to draw attention to themselves by openly carrying a handgun while off duty, an occasional rookie with no common sense might, but not for long.

        4. avatar MarkPA says:

          Thank you for responding.
          I see a small distinction between OC’ing while in full-dress uniform vs. business-attire (or however it might be better characterized) with a badge. But, it’s only a small distinction.
          To the extent that LEOs OC while waring business-attire they tend toward normalizing citizen carry. The observer gets used to the idea that someone in street-cloths is carrying a gun; that’s normal. Once the badge is noticed, the effect is diluted.
          The badge is vulnerable to the “counterfeit” problem I wrote of. Imagine a criminal or gang of jihadis waring counterfeit badges to gain access to a target area without raising an alarm.

          Whatever the “uniform” might be, dress-blues, SWAT-Black or a simple badge, it tends to reinforce an “Only-Ones” mentality in the observant public or the cop under stress. He’s OK; he’s a cop. She’s a suspect; she’s got a gun with no insignia. In either case, there is a risk of a false-positive identification.

          Today, we might be inclined to discount the possibility of a gang of jihadis (or bank robbers, etc.) using counterfeit uniforms/vests/badges to suppress an alarm instinct. And yet, it’s not far fetched that such a trick might be pulled in the not too distant future. It’s going to be hard to break decades of habituation to suppress suspicion whenever we see a uniform/vest/badge.

          More immediately, we have an increasingly armed civilian population; a population intent upon drawing their guns on the rare occasion of extreme need. There is an immediate and compelling need for LEOs to turn-off their habituation to deem anyone out-of-uniform holding a gun to be summarily identified as a perpetrator.

          You point out that as an active-duty LEO you sometimes carry concealed when you are in street-cloths less than business-attire. So too do retired LEOs or LEOs who are active duty but outside their jurisdiction and on personal activities. Under any such circumstance, such LEOs (much more than civilians) are apt to intervene in a crime in progress. Such LEOs are apt to be mis-identified as perpetrators if they have drawn guns in street-cloths when uniformed offers arrive.

          I think this “us-vs.-them” “Only-Ones” vs. “citizens” distinction is – on balance – doing LEOs and society some level of under-appreciated disservice. When added to the importance of rehabilitating the appreciation of the armed citizen in civilized society, I think we ought to be promoting some level of OC by non-uniformed individuals.

  16. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    “Someone openly carrying without a license — illegally — wouldn’t need to fear police questioning if they were otherwise doing no wrong.”

    Rightttttttt … because police never fabricate find some reason for reasonable articulable suspicion.

    /end_sarcasm

  17. avatar Ken says:

    Open carry in Virginia has always been legal (we never passed a law against it) and I’m not aware that it has ever been a problem. It’s hard to understand why it was ever outlawed in Texas. I thought they were more independent than the NE liberals.

    1. avatar David says:

      Same thing in Indiana. My “license to carry handgun” allows CC and OC.

    2. avatar Another Robert says:

      I may be wrong, but my understanding is that “open carry” in Texas was outlawed during Reconstruction, when the Northeastern liberals in control of the state government wanted to discourage unreconstructed whites from parading around with guns on election days to intimidate newly-enfranchised blacks. (The usual explanation, that it was banned by the post-Reconstruction gov’t to disarm blacks, is not correct–altho that is apparently the reason it was kept on the books) :
      http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/texas/article/First-to-ban-open-carry-Texas-could-be-one-of-5974401.php

      1. avatar Ted Unlis says:

        The authority of Texas Legislature to regulate the “wearing of arms” comes from Section 23 of the Bill of Rights in the Texas Constitution that took effect on February 15, 1876.

        Sec. 23. RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS. Every citizen shall have the right to keep and bear arms in the lawful defense of himself or the State; but the Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms, with a view to prevent crime.

        One reason that constitutional carry is unlikely to ever become law in Texas is because it would require an amendment to the Texas Constitution to take away the authority of the Legislative branch of Texas Government to regulate the “wearing of firearms”.

        1. avatar Another Robert says:

          Seems to me the Texas Constitution is amended all the time. Some amendment or another periodically comes up in elections, doesn’t seem to be a big deal. Again, I could be wrong.

        2. avatar JJVP says:

          A bill proposing a constitutional amendment has already been filed. Don’t know how far it will go, but is in the works.

          http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=84R&Bill=HJR56

        3. avatar Ted Unlis says:

          Any Amendment to the Texas Constitution must be approved by a majority of voters in a referendum.

      2. avatar Ted Unlis says:

        All the constitutional carry bills never made it out of committee which means they’re dead as in aint gonna happen.

        1. avatar dh34 says:

          Constitutional Carry is dead this session. But it has as much if not more to do with who authored the bills as it does with the content. There is a battle of wills being fought out in both houses, but primarily the House between right and far right, and for those that don’t believe that the attempt to unseat the Speaker plays into this…just take a look at committee assignments and bill history.

          Licensed OC was recognized by supporters as the easiest path this session for several reasons – First, it was easiest to sell since it was based on CHL program, with a twenty year proven track record. Second, going into session it was already pretty much agreed upon that the diversion from the highway fund to fund DPS was going to end, and the CHL program is a revenue generator for DPS…not tons, but revenue is revenue when you have also promised to beef up border security. And lastly, whether it provided a convenient excuse or not, the fallout from the OCTC vs. Nevarez tiff pretty much shut the door on it this time around. Right or wrong, it was bad timing.

          Barring some miracle, Constitutional Carry is dead this session, and with 40 days to sine die, Campus Carry may not survive either. They’ve still got some healthly floor debates coming on the budget, border, education and transportation. If called in to special session, they can only address the issues which caused the governor to call the session. I’d be very surprised a gun bill that didn’t pass the regular session would be included in a special…but I could be wrong.

  18. avatar Jim R says:

    I don’t think you’re going to see a lot of Texans OCing without a license. Why? Even though cops aren’t technically allowed to stop you just to say “Papers, please”, do you really think they’re going to let a silly thing like the law get in their way? OCers are going to get harassed by the cops, especially in major metros like Austin, Houston and the DFW area. OC without a license and you’re rolling the dice that you won’t be the one stopped. Will someone from TX enlighten me to the penalty for carrying a pistol without a license? I’m willing to bet it’s a felony.

    1. avatar Another Robert says:

      It’s a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a fine up to $2000 and/or up to a year in county jail.

  19. avatar Ima Yeti says:

    Just have a big dog with you. Gives the cops something to shoot, then they settle right down.

    1. avatar dh34 says:

      I don’t know, in Austin is very progressive…The police don’t discriminate. They shoot medium and little dogs too…without bias towards color, breed, gender, etc.,,,

      1. avatar BlueBronco says:

        Woof!

  20. avatar JR_in_NC says:

    Ted Unlis Wrote: “Most folks who carry concealed for defensive purposes believe open carry is foolish”

    I call bullshit.

    Prove it. Show some data that supports that statement.

    YOU think that is true. You having an OPINION does not make your OPINION a fact.

    1. avatar Ted Unlis says:

      You’re right JR, it’s my opinion, since I made no assertion of fact, it sounds like you might have a bit of a Freudian slip issue with my beliefs that subconsciously confront you as fact.

      1. avatar Retired Para says:

        Actually you did infer an assumption of fact when you stated “most folks…..” Now if you’re speaking only for yourself then you should have began your statement with “I believe…….”

        Words matter, and how you use them matter. Personally I could care less what you think of those who OC. With that said, you have made it a point to write in a passive-aggressive manner towards certain fellow 2A supporters because they exercise their right to “bear arms” differently than you.

        Reminds me of the saying, “With friends like these………” I’m sure you can figure out the rest, especially since you have already divined that, “…. in most circumstances only a dumb@$$ with some weird desire to be the center of attention chooses to openly display the handgun they’re carrying.”

        And here I thought when I was OCing on my rural property in the middle of summer because it was easier and more comfortable when working I was in reality just another “dumb@$$” wanting to “be the center of attention.”

        When painting ignorantly with a broad brush, do not be surprised when the brush is used against you. Good day.

        1. avatar Ted Unlis says:

          Either you don’t live here in Texas or just don’t know what the hell you’re talking about because it’s completely legal today to open carry in Texas on private property you own or with consent of the owner, the pending legislation here in Texas will make it legal for open carry of handguns in public places such as Chipolte’s, Walmart, or Kroger as long as the private property owner hasn’t posted a sign prohibiting firearms on their private property. Just so you know, I don’t believe your preference for open carry on rural property is what makes you a dumb@$$.

  21. avatar Garrison Hall says:

    Two things stand out about this.

    First, specifically prohibiting the police from interpreting open carry as enough probable cause for a Terry stop, as others have noted, places open carry in the exact same status as car driving. This adds an important new dynamic to the impending open-carry legislation because it defines open carry in Texas as a normal, routine, everyday kind of activity.

    Second. If Rep. Dutton wasn’t a liberal Democrat, I’d be more inclined to up and say he was a rather sagacious politician for adroitly providing the exact kind of protection that black Texans will absolutely need if they are to exercise their right to open carry. It’s interesting to note that, while he voted against open-carry— no doubt keeping his liberal street-cred all the while realizing that open-carry was going to become law—he then provided an amendment that will go a long way toward helping open-carry to immediately become settled law.

    Good on ‘ya, Harold! Ya’ll done real good!

    1. avatar Braenen says:

      I believe it was an attempt to insert a poison pill. I believe it was a gross miscalculation.

      1. avatar Ted Unlis says:

        You’re exactly right, Rep Dutton vehemently opposed open carry and incorrectly assumed that the Republican controlled Texas Legislature would surely oppose such an amendment from a liberal Democrat. If the amendment had been rejected it would have provided an opportunity for Democrats to pivot and manufacture a racial discrimination issue. Republican leaders recognized that the amendment was exactly what was needed to counter plans Austin Chief of Police Acevedo to target and hassle anyone who dared to open carry in his city. Leaders in the Legislature jumped at the chance and passed it before Dutton had time to realize what he’d done and withdraw the amendment.

  22. avatar Raul Ybarra says:

    A war is won with many small victories.

    Now we need to get something like this in Illinois.

    1. avatar 357M28 says:

      +1 Permit-less or FOID OC would be nice.

  23. avatar Bob Glat says:

    I’m sick and tired of so-called journalists using “some say” to interject opinions into news. Cite the source, this isn’t some classified military plan they’re used to leaking.

  24. avatar BlueBronco says:

    I really don’t like Austin’s Chief of Gestapo. What a punk.

  25. avatar dh34 says:

    The unfortunate reality is that whether or not this amendment stays in the final version of the bill…we’re going to be positive and presume the House and Senate manage to either pass one or the other’s bill or hash out the very few differences in committee before sine die in 40 days…is that the PD in Austin, as well as Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and parts of Tarrant County are going to find a way to stop, detain and check licenses until enough lawsuits/complaints are filed or it gets boring.

    Most likely it will be based on a “report”, actual or existing only in the mind of the officers at the scene of someone brandishing or making threatening gestures/overtures. Cry Havoc and let slip the Open Records Requests! And don’t forget to include copies of 911 tapes, dash and body cam if used…

    1. avatar John in Ohio says:

      Good post and I think it’s an accurate prediction of the near future. I would add, wear body cameras of your own if you can. Some of us do in Ohio. Good luck and carry on, Texans!

  26. avatar Kommon Cents says:

    And what part of allowing open carry without incident, is supposed to be a bad thing, again?

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