Texas Permitted Open Carry Moves Closer to Law

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“HB910 (Licensed Open Carry ) just passed in the House,” Texas Gun Rights’ Facebook page reports. “An amendment was adopted from Rep. Dutton which keeps law enforcement from detaining you just because they see a holstered weapon. Now either the Senate bill needs to pass in the House or the House bill needs to pass in the Senate and from there it goes to Governor Abbott’s desk.” When Texas passes permitted open carry, it will be the most populous state in these here United States to “allow” open carry. The vote came after the House rejected some seventeen amendments (e.g., letting cities with more than 750k residents opt out).

comments

  1. avatar John Franco says:

    Awesome, let`s do it!! The other states that have been pushing this legislation through their state assemblies need to follow the example of Texas as well as the states that already have this law on the books and get it done.Respect the 2nd, respect the Constitution!

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      1. avatar Guy Montag says:

        Mods. Mods pls.

  2. avatar pwrserge says:

    I’m not sure that the detention amendment is necessary. The issue has already been well covered in SCotUS precedent. I like to think myself a legal scholar, but not a lawyer. Somebody with an actual degree can chime in here.

    My understanding is that open cary, where legal, is not probable cause in and of itself.

    1. avatar Dave357 says:

      Experience shows that cities often seek loopholes in existing laws, so it is best to have the strongest law possible.

    2. avatar Mark N. says:

      Probable cause is not needed for a detention, only for an arrest. Reasonable suspicion suffices. And as you probably know, he police consider anyone openly carrying a gun to be “suspicious” and needing to be questioned.

      1. avatar pwrserge says:

        I was under the impression that the ruling on “stop and frisk” raised the bar on suspicion quite a bit.

      2. avatar dh34 says:

        Rep Dutton’s amendment had nothing to do with any support of OC or 2A rights whatsoever…he’s an opportunist who, unlike most of his Dem peers who fought and fought, saw an opportunity and siezed upon it. As an urban Dem from a largely black district, he offered his amendment to prevent a detention under the guise of checking for a license becoming the new stop and frisk. So while it certainly serves ths OC cause, I don’t expect to see the good Rep packing..openly.

      3. avatar Chip Bennett says:

        See US v Black. A firearm carried openly in a jurisdiction where it is lawful to do so does not constitute reasonable suspicion of unlawful activity. Per Terry v Ohio, suspicion must be both specific to the petson being detained, and articulable.

        That said, as a certain self-proclaimed Texas LEO demonstrated in a previous related post, some people need to be smacked with an explicit statutory limitation. The amendment, sadly, is necessary.

        1. avatar pwrserge says:

          If they are going to ignore US v Black, why would they not ignore statutory limitations?

        2. avatar John in Ohio says:

          @pwrserge: Perhaps because the law will be newer, short, and to the point? It becomes undeniable to the officer on the scene when a short piece of well written law is repeated to them, especially newer law that they might have been recently briefed on. However, if time passes and the law isn’t brought up much, officers are likely to forget or think that they can ignore it. Then, the whole re-education of departments merry-go-round starts up for activists.

    3. avatar Another Robert says:

      Well, it is settled law in Louisiana that an openly-carried firearm is in iself not a basis for a detention. but that doesn’t keep some Louisiana cops from stopping open-carriers and asking for ID and such. Best if it’s set out in the statute.

    4. avatar Scrubula says:

      Are cops scholars of supreme court precedent?
      The amendment makes it loud and clear that open carry is not a criminal or suspicious activity. I’m all for that even if it repeats what has already been determined.

    5. avatar Paul says:

      You need that in the law, otherwise you will be hassled to death (maybe literally), just ask CJ Grisham.

    6. avatar John in Ohio says:

      IMHO, it unfortunately is necessary. The alternative is for individuals to have run-ins with each local department and do that tedious dance leading to court. It’s dangerous, frustrating, and can be costly. Often times, the victim settles on the condition that the department trains their officers. We’ve seen it take more than one incident per department to get it through their heads. Ohio’s latest proposed constitutional carry bill has such a provision. Logic tells us that it shouldn’t be necessary but in practice, it is.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        ^ This.

        It typically takes multiple lawsuits in a state before all the police departments finally figure it out. On the downside, it is dangerous and a hassle as John in Ohio mentioned. On the plus side many of those people have won a decent cash award for their troubles.

  3. avatar Vhyrus says:

    I am not popping the cork till 1) it is signed and in the books 2) it passes with no home rule, opt out, or other malarkey and 3) people actually carry without the cops tackling them every 30 feet.

  4. avatar JohnO says:

    It is BS that we will will still need to get a license to OC.

    1. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      It is, it is, but we’re moving the chains.

  5. avatar Mark N. says:

    Hmm–edit function appears to have disappeared, assuming that an appearing disappearing is not a paradox.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      A few months back, the TTAG website made a change in their software.

      Ever since, it’s hit-or-miss on whether or not the edit dialog pops up under new comments.

      I thought they were aware of this issue…

      1. avatar Model 31 says:

        For me, a f5 page refresh will bring the edit option back if it doesn’t show up after I post a comment…within the 5 min window of course. Whether the edit option/countdown clock shows or not, the clock is still running.

        1. avatar John in Ohio says:

          ^^^ This

          It happens quite often to me.

  6. avatar craig k says:

    I still bristle at having to ask permission and pay a “poll tax” to exercise a right. However, it is a step in the right direction. I wonder how asking for money/license by the state would hold up at the supreme level. I might have to test that myself come the day. I fear my CITYGOV in Houston and it’s PD enforcer’s in this matter…

  7. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    Right on! I’m down for some OC freedom in Tejas, it’s not the best, but it’s better than it is currently.

  8. avatar Ahil925 says:

    Of all the expansions to 2A in Texas this was the one I was least excited about. Good for CHL holders that they get some more wiggle room but it leaves me underwhelmed. True or not regarding OCT scaring Texas legislators and burning support for the other bills, it leaves me with the feeling that OCT pooped in the pool so that they could play in the shallow end.

    1. avatar stateisevil says:

      What a mistaken comment.

      1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

        Indeed.

        I wondered how far down I’d have to scroll to find some anti-OCT screed. It did not take long.

        While this may not be “ideal,” we are in a ‘win where we can, how we can” mode. Every step in the right direction is, uh, a step in the right direction.

        Congrats on the momentum in TX and here’s to hoping it (or something better) passes and the momentum continues.

  9. avatar TX Gungal says:

    Anyone know if provision for additional of class for existing CHL for weapon retention training survived? And subsequent provision for an effective date of law going into effect not until 01-2016?

    Have not watched live feed of debates in the House or Senate since March, 2015
    Just too painful to listen to Liberasl keep offering up ridiculous amendments to gut the legislation.

    1. avatar dh34 says:

      The retention training issue really wasn’t thought through too much. It was added as a compromise in the Senate, because…well so it wasn’t a complete amendment shutout.

      I suspect what will happen is that the retention training, which is really vague, will likely just be a lecture added to the classroom portion. My guess is that they will incorporate it into the initial CHL/OC course starting 1 Jan 16, and then in the renewal classes. I think they are going to find it too difficult to get all current CHL holders to a hour at best training, even an online module would be difficult without reissuing all the licenses. DPS doesn’t have the capacity to do that and no money is going support to the OC program.

      1. avatar TX Gungal says:

        ” It was added as a compromise in the Senate, because…well so it wasn’t a complete amendment shutout” Thank you answering my question! It is beyond sensible to throw a bone to your opponent on legislation that effects almost 900,000 current CHL holders. Let’s think about this for a moment. If this amendment stands then in effect current CHL holders are screwed until renewal comes up.

        What candy ass representative did not think to suggest grand fathering all current holders up to the date law become effective. Really need Senate to amend this amendment before it hits the Governor’s desk. Any suggestion on how to get this fixed before it gets signed off on and becomes law?

        1. avatar dh34 says:

          I would suggest emailing your Rep or Senator, or even Rep Phillips directly.

          It’s pretty clear the legislative intent throughout this has not been to go through all of this and then trip up all of the current CHL holders on a technicality. I’m pretty sure it will just be a requirement from January on for intial training and renewals.

        2. avatar dh34 says:

          And actually, that amendment was done during the floor debate in the Senate on SB17. Rep. Phillips used the amendments from the Senate version in the committee substitute for the original HB910.

        3. avatar dh34 says:

          @Txgungal

          I contacted Rep Phillips’ office and the intent is not to nullify or burden current CHL holders with the retention training requirement. If it remains in the bill, the intent is to include it in training from Jan 16 forward.

  10. avatar Another Robert says:

    Interesting–if the cops can’t stop you just because they see a handgun on you, they won’t know whether you have a permit or not–and essentially, they have to assume that you do. I wonder if they will start coming up with other reasons to stop folks they see open-carrying?

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “Interesting–if the cops can’t stop you just because they see a handgun on you, they won’t know whether you have a permit or not–and essentially, they have to assume that you do.”

      I kinda like the concept of being presumed innocent until guilty…

      “I wonder if they will start coming up with other reasons to stop folks they see open-carrying?”

      “Son, it looked like you were weaving some while you were walking. Have you had anything to drink, sir?”

      Translation: What do you think?

      1. avatar Another Robert says:

        yeah, I like being presumed innocent too–but in some cases the cops don’t seem to want to play along always. As for the remark about weaving while walking–dunno whether it was sarcasm or not, honestly. but I will say that the cops hereabouts stopped a guy for walking on the wrong side of the street–literally. On a residential street. He was a well-known punk and they wanted to check him out, and sure enough, they found some contraband on him.

        1. avatar Geoff PR says:

          “As for the remark about weaving while walking–dunno whether it was sarcasm or not, honestly. but I will say that the cops hereabouts stopped a guy for walking on the wrong side of the street–literally”

          Nope, not sarcasm.

          Last I heard, public intoxication is still a crime in some areas.

          LE has been known to fabricate cause, that’s why I added the “What do you think?”.

    2. avatar Not Jimbo says:

      And how does this affect the requirement to disclose? (if you get stopped for speeding, you hand them your CHL along with the DL)

      1. avatar Another Robert says:

        Cars are a whole different proposition. You can “carry” concealed in your car without a permit in Texas.

        1. avatar barnbwt says:

          …in fact, you have to!

  11. avatar Ford Prefect says:

    In those immortal words of Radar O’Reilly; “Wait for it……….Wait for it.”

  12. avatar Excedrine says:

    Baby steps. Even Texas takes them.

  13. avatar Jeff Lynch says:

    The language in HB 910 (as engrossed) states “CERTAIN INVESTIGATORY STOPS AND INQUIRIES PROHIBITED. A peace officer may not make an investigatory stop or other temporary detention to inquire as to whether a person possesses a hand gun license solely because the person is carrying a partially or wholly visible handgun carried in a shoulder or belt holster.”

    Other than that, HB 910 simply takes the current CHL laws and crosses out the word “concealed”. There is also a section adding the training requirement for “retention” as shown below.

    SECTION 22. Sections 411.188(b) and (g), Government Code, are amended to read as follows:
    (b)Only qualified handgun instructors may administer the classroom instruction part or the range instruction part of the handgun proficiency course. The classroom instruction part of the course must include not less than four hours and not more than six hours of instruction on:
    (1) the laws that relate to weapons and to the use of deadlyforce;
    (2) handgun use and safety, including use of restraint holsters and methods to ensure the secure carrying of openly carried handguns;
    (3) nonviolent dispute resolution; and
    (4) proper storage practices for handguns with an emphasis on storage practices that eliminate the possibility of accidental injury to a child.

    The new House and Senate Bills simply change the existing Texas CHL statutes from “concealed handgun” to “handgun”. For most of us CHL holders, the changes mean we can carry concealed, partially concealed or openly. Nothing else really changes. The old “printing” statutes were deleted during the last legislative session and with the new changes, it doesn’t matter whether your firearm is visible or not. The best part for many of us is that we can stop taking off our firearm to pump gas or run into the grocery store on a hot summer day when our tee shirt is too short to conceal our firearm. I still plan to carry concealed most of the time but it will be nice to go hiking in Texas without adding an extra layer of clothing to hide my firearm just like I do in New Mexico and Arizona.

    By the way, I’ve never been given a second look by anyone (LEO’s included) in AZ or NM when carrying openly. I doubt it will be any different here in Texas next January. Folks will get used to seeing other folks with handguns just like they do with rifles.

    One final note: all existing CHL holders are automatically grandfathered until their next renewal. That’s been in the statutes for many years and the new bills do not change it. My CHL is good even if the training requirements change since the time it was issued. In fact, there have been many changes in the past fifteen years making the renewal process faster and cheaper.

    Jeff Lynch
    Engineer, Photographer, Shooter.

    1. avatar Cockatoo says:

      If HB910 takes the “concealed” part out of concealed carry, and they’re including specific training requirements like retention, conflict deesclalation and so forth… and the instructors have to be state-qualified…
      How is this going to affect reciprocity agreements with other states? Would I be able to OC in Texas with my Florida (resident) CWL? Does either bill say anything about that?

    2. avatar TX Gungal says:

      UPDATE: emailed CJ Grisham at Open Carry Texas on the issue of CHL holders retention training required as condition of open carry.. Grisham emailed back, same day, that CHL holders will be grandfathered in and retention training covered at time of renewal of license.

      If you have a CHL prior to effective date open carry becomes law January 2016 your good to go. If you have not gotten CHL yet, would not procrastinate.

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