Texas open carry (courtesy chron.com)

“A Senate committee on Monday approved an open carry bill that had been stripped of a House amendment seeking to ban police stops to check for concealed handgun licenses,” statesman.com reports. “The amendment was added on the House floor last month by Rep. Harold Dutton, D-Houston, who said police have no business stopping citizens engaged in a legal activity. ‘We don’t let the police stop every car just to figure out who does and who doesn’t have a driver’s license,’ Dutton said. ‘I think the same principle applies here.'” Well yes. Yes it does . . .

Although the amendment would have preemptively discouraged statists like Austin PD Chief Art Acevedo from hassling open carriers, a couple of lawsuits will accomplish the same goal, if needs be. Which is a possibility of The Lone Star State passes licensed open carry.

House Bill 910 now heads to the full Senate for consideration. The House must also approve the new/old bill. There’s time before the current legislative session expires, but not a lot. June 1 or it’s done. Watch this space.

113 Responses to TX Senate Strips Stop ‘N Frisk Protection From Open Carry Bill

    • I disagree with the article. I watched the preceedings of the committee on my computer. Senator Estes wanted to remove it in committee but Chairwoman Huffman would not allow it to be taken out. It is going to the Senate floor with all 3 Amendments in it.

      If they don’t amend it on the floor and just pass it as is it goes to the Governor.

      • Other way around. Estes wanted it to go floor with Dutton Amendment in, Huffman wanted the committee substitute. He was hoping there would be enough votes to keep in to vote a clean bill.

        • You are right. I just read the Bill Analysis and this is what it says.

          The committee substitute to H.B. 910 removes language from the House’s engrossed version providing that the police cannot stop someone who is openly carrying and demand to see identification simply because the person is openly carrying. This language was redundant, because basic principles of constitutional law already establish that the fact that a person is engaged in an activity that is only legal with a license is not sufficient cause for the police to stop the person. All police detentions require reasonable suspicion of criminal activity at a minimum, and that will remain the case for people who openly carry in Texas after this bill becomes law.

          I’m sorry I misunderstood. Apoligies to the author of the article. He is correct.

      • She is correct. Dutton is from a primarily black section of Houston. The floor debates for this were post Feguson and just before Baltimore, so he took an opportunity to partner with Republican Rep Rinaldi to add the amendment.

    • It’s Dems who have a hardon for 4A rights, which is what he was addressing, stop and frisk without probable cause. Reps seem to want to sign away 4A just about as bad as Dems want to sign away 2A. And for all I know he only proposed it because he figures it would make the total bill less likely to pass.

  1. I think it’s a mistake to pass the law without the protections from stop and frisk. It encourages police abuse and the cops are well known to push just as far as they can and then even more.
    The cops will be able to harass people lawfully carrying and that is exactly what they will do and nobody should kid themselves that’s not what will happen.

    • Maybe but it’s unnecessary. It’s settled law they can’t stop you MERELY for carrying a firearm where such carry is legal. In fact, this was just reiterated in the opinion out of Toledo, OH.

      • Except, people have already been harrrassed and/or ticketed in Texas for carrying long guns, which is legal, and antique guns, which is also legal.

        Words on paper won’t dissuade abusive, statist cops any more than words on a sign dissuade murderous spree shooters.

        Best you can hope for is a series of cases where harrassed OCers do not get hurt, but do subsequently sue successfully for civil rights violations and official oppression.

        • My buddy and I always carry antiques openly when we hang out. One guy with a CHL (we know he had it because he wouldn’t shut up about it) called the police on us, and then when we weren’t arrested, he threatened to assault both of us IN FRONT OF THE COPS.

        • he threatened to assault both of us IN FRONT OF THE COPS.

          What did the cops say about that?

        • Indeed. Consider Indiana, which overall has excellent firearms-related laws – except for one rather unfortunate quirk. The way the statutes are written, it is unlawful to carry a handgun, and the LTCH (license to carry firearm) is an affirmative defense to committing the crime of carrying a handgun.

          So, in Indiana, it is inherently (and always) illegal to carry a handgun, openly or concealed. That means that police officers are observing a crime when they see someone carrying a handgun. That observation – i.e. the mere carrying of a handgun – gives them statutory authority to detain the otherwise law-abiding person, to determine possession of a valid LTCH.

          (Note: IANAL. This is a layman’s interpretation of the IC.)

          We tried to pass permit-less carry this year, but the RINO House speaker spiked it in committee. At the very least, I would like to see this little quirk addressed. Hopefully though. Rep. Lucas can get more movement on permit-less carry next session.

    • Case law on the matter is already quite clear. All the removal of the provision will do will be to risk Texas taxpayer money in lawsuits from law-abiding people who have their rights infringed when they are lawfully carrying firearms.

      • Yup–some good guy may get a windfall out of it (at taxpayer expense, sadly) at any rate.

      • That case holding isn’t directly applicable in Texas, it is a Federal Appellate opinion from the 6th Circuit. That case also was more extreme than merely stopping and getting id. While the legal principles are similar it isn’t binding. By statute carrying pursuant to a CHL, which is what licensed open carry would be, subjects you to produce id when approached by LEO, and gives them the right to disarm if they believe it is necessary for their, yours, or others safety.

        • By statute carrying pursuant to a CHL, which is what licensed open carry would be, subjects you to produce id when approached by LEO…

          Well, bully for such statute, but it also has to be constitutional. Under the fourth amendment, a police officer would have to have reasonable suspicion that you are not licensed in order to seize your person by detaining you.

          …and gives them the right to disarm if they believe it is necessary for their, yours, or others safety.

          Again under the fourth amendment, that alleged “concern” must be specific, reasonable, and articulable. The police officer would have to have reasonable suspicion that you pose a specific, articulable threat in order to seize your property.

          Under the fourteenth amendment, the police officer bears the burden of demonstrating that you are not the default status, which is a law-abiding person lawfully carrying a firearm during the lawful conduct of one’s affairs.

        • It is a Federal appellate decision interpreting the 4th Amendment, which does in deed apply to Texas, as to all the states.

        • Pretty sure you only have to produce your CHL when you are required to present ID. In Texas you are required to present ID ( usually your drivers license) when getting officially detained (traffic stop is being officially detained) for probable cause. Open carrying alone isn’t probable cause. It’s like a cop pulling you over simply to check if you have a Drivers license. I know that’s the law when carrying concealed. I’m not sure if the open carry bill has a requirement to present your CHL when approached by the cops no matter what. I hope not, as that is a recipe for harassment.

      • Providing that some good guy with a gun is willing to be the test case. What might that experience entail? Well.

        You could very likely have a jackbooted thug, yes, thug, with a badge shove his gun in your face. One false/”furtive” move, and you get ventilated.

        You could be proned out on a public street and arrested, perhaps in front of your family, friends, neighbors. That image is hard to erase from your own mind, let alone your family’s. Might have your car towed. Might miss that important business meeting or vacation.

        You get to spend your own money on bail and a lawyer. You get to lose your license to carry for six months to a year while the criminal case plays out, with no guarantee of winning the charge they trump up as cover for stopping you.

        Then you get to do it all again with the civil suit, which will take longer and cost you more, while it hangs over your head and consumes your thoughts, time and money.

        People do win these things, sometimes, but the payouts I’ve seen run between $15K to $23K. There could be higher awards or settlements out there, but nothing on lottery levels.

        Don’t get me wrong: we’re the good guys, and evil, statist police and politicians are the bad guys. Just understand that it takes a good guy with patience, fortitude, a bankroll, and a lawyer to stop a government with contempt for its citizens.

      • I’m sure Avocedo will provide training for his officers after a couple paydays involving wrongful arrest.

        • Training like, “Make sure you have a fake probable cause excuse at the ready before you start harassing an open carrier.”

    • I’d rather see the Bill pass either way. Once Open Carry is legal for a couple years and they see that it isn’t going to be the OK corral the alarmists are proclaiming, it will be a much easier issue to amend versus trying to get the legislators to nervously swallow it as one “scary” lump.

      Honestly I’ve always been baffled that people are more concerned with OC vs Concealed. Wouldn’t you rather know if someone else is armed?

      I’ll still carry concealed most of the time, but I do like the option, especially in the summer down here deep in the heart o’ Texas.

      • Indeed. No one had expected that amendment in the first place, so there’s no reason to derail the bill over it now.

      • “… and they see that it isn’t going to be the OK corral the alarmists are proclaiming,”

        The statists and hoplophobes will never see that.

        Ever.

        • Agreed. We have twenty years experience in Texas now with CC, with none of the antis’ dire predictions coming true, yet they persist in repeating them.

          Neither have they come true in other states, some of which have even longer experience, such as Florida. What events that do transpire, the antis willfully ignore or distort, depending on how it suits their disarmament agenda. So I wouldn’t expect any sudden enlightenment out of these people.

          Some are too driven to let the truth derail them, while others are too imprisoned to let the truth release them.

  2. Also, I really wasn’t kidding about the rioting thing. I will lose all respect for Texas if I don’t see a couple of buildings on fire in Austin when this doesn’t pass.

    • There will be a special session for one reason or another anyway, but it would be a lot better to get it done now.

      • In order to be brought to floor in special session, it would have to be one of the five emergency items named by the Governor or specifically listed as the reason or one of the reasons the special session was called. It needs to be done in the next two weeks!

    • Texas has nice things that we are proud of. Any wrongs committed against the Texas people by legislators failing to protect their constituent’s rights will be dealt with by focused protests against the offending parties and at the ballot box.

    • Lawsuits won’t do anything. Not against the cops. Texas is a borderline police state when it comes to cops. Cops can do whatever they want, Judges are rubber stamps, DA’s are incompetent overzealous @&&holes who care more about winning than the constitution, and anyone accused is presumed guilty and the burden of proof is put on the accused to prove their innocence.

      You know. How the justice system is NOT supposed to be set up.

      • I haven’t seen much of that, maybe you have. I selected Texas as home in 1977, after I’d been instate for 5 years after leaving VA and experiencing several other states, as the most laid back and friendly state I’d experienced, haven’t seen anything to change my mind.

      • And that compels you to bull$#it us with bogus accusations indicting all Cops, DA’s, and Judges in Texas? What a dumb@$$. Too funny!

      • We haven’t had a “Justice System” in years. We have a “Legal System.” Big difference. It covers the country, not just in Texas. Lawyers and politicians have divorced the word justice completely from the process! Thousands of cases where criminals romp and stomp through a victims life with zero to minimal repercussions. Just read the news over the past few months. All the business owners who were looted and lost their livelihood and yet no convictions and jail time?

  3. They’re just being good little shills for the gestapo… Er… I mean the DPS.

    I’m sick of people cow towing and catering to cops.

    • @ DoomGuy
      I know. Since when did cops get put on such a high pedestal?
      I’m of the opinion that….Ok, you’re a cop…..so what?

      • I know what you mean. What bothers me the most is that when the officer does something wrong, people just gloss over it and circle the wagons. While at the same time accuse and by popular opinion have already convicted the person.

    • Not yet unless it has been in the last few minutes. I’m hoping against hope that it does make it. I still have my solid doubts about it though. The antis have managed to delay it this long. I suspect that there are a few more delaying tactics yet to be deployed. We shall see.

      • It will probably go on calendars this afternoon, and to floor by end of week. They didn’t get the committee substitute report out to the clerk until today. Sen Huffman was being very deliberate about making sure the witness lists were correct to avoid a point of order as was used in the house to delay.

        So here’s the tricky part. Do you double down and attach campus carry as an amendment, because by stripping the stop and frisk, it has to go back to House floor one more time. But if you do, you risk having it challenged as germane to bill in house, and clock will run likely run out. Or do you let it go clean to house for vote and let Rep Fletcher carry SB11 as a standalone? I’d personally go with option 1. But if they take the second option and it gets hung up, Phillips could carry Sen Estes’ SB17 to house floor, but would have to stand firm on no floor amendments, and make sure all t’s crossed and i’s dotted to preempt a POO.

  4. Mark, I think cops got placed on a pedestal when killing a cop (or a judge for that matter) became a Capital Offense. Kill a citizen; that’s just murder. Kill a cop or a judge; that’s Capital Murder! How dare someone kill a cop or a judge! They’re just trying to drive home the “You ain’t S – – t unless you’re a cop or judge” idea. I’ve had a major case of the red – _ _ _ ever since that law came out.

    • Well that’s the system. They are our rulers after all. This is what government is by definition. This “of, for and by the people” is more than just blatant propaganda, it’s patently false.

  5. So much for politicians keeping their oaths to uphold the constitution…

    Those a-holes so don’t give a rat’s ass about anyone’s rights.

  6. As a Floridian, I don’t have a dog in this fight, but my dog has a cousin in Texas. That being said, thinking strategically, I think that permitted open carry will be more beneficial in the long run, as distasteful as that sounds. Texas is going from no open carry statewide to who knows where, depending on what bill(s) get voted on. If a state as big as Texas (population wise) has a successful track record of permitted open carry, it can only bode well for rolling back the restriction down the road, as Kansas did. Hopefully that track record will convince the Florida Legislature to follow suit.

    I had hoped that Fl v Norman would have been decided differently, but that ship has sailed, and now it’s up to the legislature to act.

    In a perfect world I could own and carry whatever I wanted. That same perfect world doesn’t have criminals, crazies, and hoplophobes..

    However it shakes out, I think those inclined to open carry should invest in a body camera.

    • Yeah, J.R. Nobody realizes the hassles one will go through if they ever pull a trigger. It will change their lives. Many after going through it will never touch a gun again, especially if they killed or disabled somebody for life. They will own that person, and all his relatives, forever. It’s not like in the movies.

  7. Bill Alert

    84(R) HB 910
    Relating to the authority of a person who is licensed to carry a handgun to openly carry a holstered handgun; creating a criminal offense; providing penalties; amending provisions subject to a criminal penalty. 5/19/2015 S Reported favorably as substituted
    House version Open Carry

    I’m no legal beagle so someone else is going to have interpret it, but think this is good new/?

      • I should have said that the bill alerts are running behind. The bill was placed on the calendar for tomorrow, before the alert came out that it had been reported favorably. Its the last House Bill under the second readings section.

      • Help me out here– you’re saying House, but the bill is currently in the Senate. It still has to pass a full vote in the Senate before going *back* to the House, through a House Committee, through House Calendars, and then on to a full House Vote. All in a little over a week.

        I still do not see where this bill is on any schedule today. Can you post a link to it?

  8. There’s a difference between “stop and frisk” and “stop and ask for a license.” I’m against both, but there is a difference.

    • But generally speaking, when a cop detains you for whatever reason, he gets to do a weapons frisk, right? Officer safety and all that…

      • Not according to Terry v Ohio. The officer must be able to articulate a specific reasonable suspicion that the detained person is armed and dangerous, in order to search for weapons:


        4. The Fourth Amendment applies to “stop and frisk” procedures such as those followed here. Pp. 16-20.

        (a) Whenever a police officer accosts an individual and restrains his freedom to walk away, he has “seized” that person within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. P. 16.

        (b) A careful exploration of the outer surfaces of a person’s clothing in an attempt to find weapons is a “search” under that Amendment. P. 16.

        5. Where a reasonably prudent officer is warranted in the circumstances of a given case in believing that his safety or that of others is endangered, he may make a reasonable search for weapons of the person believed by him to be armed and dangerous [p3] regardless of whether he has probable cause to arrest that individual for crime or the absolute certainty that the individual is armed. Pp. 20-27.

        (a) Though the police must, whenever practicable, secure a warrant to make a search and seizure, that procedure cannot be followed where swift action based upon on-the-spot observations of the officer on the beat is required. P. 20.

        (b) The reasonableness of any particular search and seizure must be assessed in light of the particular circumstances against the standard of whether a man of reasonable caution is warranted in believing that the action taken was appropriate. Pp. 21-22.

      • @Another Robert, why would a cop do a weapons check on an open carrier? The cop already knows that the person has a gun because the gun is right out there in the open. Which is why the person was stopped in the first place.

        That dog won’t hunt.

        • Aha–you got me there, wasn’t quite thinking straight. I suppose a really , ahhh, cautious cop might frisk for a BUG or an alternate weapon like a knife.

  9. Come on guys! Just pass the stinkin law! (we don’t need no stinkin laws?) If it was a pay raise for yourself you’d pass it faster than I can say taxpayer ripoff!

  10. I just passed my CHL recently but I have a question about when I am open carrying. What if a big (NFL linebacker size) guy walks up close to me and says, “Whaddaya gonna do with that big gun, kid?” Can I shoot him? Can I pull the gun and point it as a warning? Should I run? What would you do. (He’s unarmed except for huge muscles).

  11. I don’t get why people WANT open carry. If you need a license, concealed carry seems like a far better choice. You are not an attention magnet for cops, potential gun snatchers, and intestinally weak people for whom guns are nerve wracking. Really, when I see a non-uniformed person walking around with a gat ostentatiously strapped to his hip, I can imagine little difference from him walking around with his pants unzipped, and his unit hanging out. I mean, if the reason you do it is to make some kind of political statement, that is precisely what you are: a dick.

      • Yes, I do. And I will double down: the Texas Open Carry activists/clowns project exactly the kind of public image that people who care about firearms rights don’t need.

    • So you are all for liberty and freedom as long as it’s the type of liberty and freedom you approve of. America doesn’t need people like you.

      • I didn’t say you shouldn’t have the freedom to do it. But, just like you have the freedom to go around saying that Hitler was a cool guy with a lot of good ideas, using that freedom makes you an impolite moron.

      • Freedom to open carry (except of course in the back yard of those profiting from gun sales, like you can’t carry in the halls of congress, or LOL at an NRA convention.) Hypocrites.

        • You can OC at NRA conventions.

          You can OC in many, maybe even most state legislatures, Fed property? No.

      • Many Americans have many different views and opinions on liberty and freedom. That doesn’t make them un-American.

        • Chip: Surely you are not saying that only your opinion matters?

          Of course not. I’m saying that my opinion regarding freedom and liberty is correct, and the opinion of those others of whom you speak is wrong. They are welcome to their opinion, and their opinion “matters” (whatever that means), but their opinion is wrong, if that opinion is that it is acceptable to infringe upon someone else’s liberty because of impoliteness, hurt feelings, or having their delicate sensibilities aggrieved.

        • Yea we are a Nation of Laws. Unfortunately Law Enforcement today believes that they are above the Law. Politicians no longer keep their oaths of office. Immunity Laws prevail to protect the most corrupt.

      • I don’t know anyone in that particular group, and, like most normal males, I keep my phallus zipped up in my pants, and my gun under my shirt, so I don’t think I am the one with phallic issues.
        Tell me this: If you need a license in either case, what advantage do you see to carrying openly over carrying concealed? No one has been able to give me a coherent answer. If you can clear that low bar, I will reconsider my position.

        • Go ahead and keep telling yourself that, if it helps you sleep better at night, or if it gives you a false moral-superiority warm-fuzzy. But you’re the one conflating a firearm with a penis.

        • So, Chip, no answer. I thought so.

          No answer to what?

          Oh, I see: you edited your comment, to add some question. I’ll go back and find it. But PROTIP: for people who subscribe to comments, your post-published edits do not appear in email notifications, thus, I never would have seen your question. Sorry to disappoint your internet bravado.

          Tell me this: If you need a license in either case, what advantage do you see to carrying openly over carrying concealed? No one has been able to give me a coherent answer. If you can clear that low bar, I will reconsider my position.

          What does a license have to do with the decision to carry openly or concealed? Indiana, like other states, requires a license to carry, and does not specify the means. How is the decision to carry openly or concealed any different here than in a constitutional carry State?

          So, because you include a false premise in your question, it is unanswerable.

          On the other hand, if you want someone to articulate the various advantages of open carry, there are plenty of people here who can do so. Or, alternately, you can explain how a license in any way changes the calculus.

        • The point wasn’t about licenses, or legal vs. Illegal. It was about carrying concealed vs. openly, all other things being equal. No one has been able to articulate a good reason to carry openly, except in very limited and exceptional circumstances. And no, educating people about the second amendment isn’t a good reason. You are more likely to freak out and turn off an un gun schooled fence sitter than to bring her around to our side. So keep it stowed, and make yourself an unthreatening ambassador for firearm owners. Or not, and be an in your face jerk.

        • The point wasn’t about licenses, or legal vs. Illegal. It was about carrying concealed vs. openly, all other things being equal. No one has been able to articulate a good reason to carry openly, except in very limited and exceptional circumstances.

          Our own Dan Griffin articulated the argument very well. I’ll let him take the floor:

          http://dailycaller.com/2015/04/22/the-pro-liberty-choice-dispelling-the-myths-of-open-carry/

          Along with dispelling several myths, he also discusses the reasons for/benefits of carrying openly, including the deterrent value of open carry, ease of carry, ease and safety of use, and the liberty to exercise a natural right in the manner one sees fit. He ends with a discussion of using open carry to normalize the practice, and to desensitize an ignorant public.

        • I read the article, and find the arguments unconvincing. So, go ahead and strap an enormous gat to your hip for all to see, if you want. Maybe you can get a bright neon urban camo Cerakote finish for it to make it more obvious. Me, I’ll keep my pistol under cover, and continue to find open carriers weird and obnoxious.

        • I read the article, and find the arguments unconvincing.

          First you claimed that nobody could articulate arguments in favor of open carry. Then, when presented with articulate arguments, you dismiss them as “unconvincing” – ironically, without articulating any counter-arguments. You’re clearly not interested in adult discussion; or perhaps, given your sophmoric reaction to the mere mention of open carry, you’re simply incapable of such adult discussion.

          Oh, and like a typical anti-open carry bigot, you make the false assumption that I open carry. My EDC is concealed, and always has been. I just stand up for the liberty of others to carry lawfully in the manner they see fit, because I understand that their choices are none of my business.

        • Let’s start with your first assertion. I did not assume you are an open carrier. I said “…if you want…”, and the “you” was a rhetorical substitute for anyone making that decision. I have seen enough footage of the inarticulate numbskulls who make up the open carry movement to hope that you are not among them.
          I start with the knowledge that, for most people, the likelihood that they will need to thwart or deter an attack is extremely remote. Given that, the subset of those instances where the tactical advantage of having the gun exposed is a very small number indeed. And practicing the draw can mitigate the difference.
          Carrying a gun requires situational awareness. Carrying one openly multiplies that necessity. If not, why are the weapons that shoot so many police officers their own? In the cases Griffin cites where someone changes direction because they see a gun on the hip, the result would have been no different had the potential victim “inadvertently” lifted his or her shirt to expose a weapon.
          The argument for open carry that I find especially lame is how it “educates” the public. I am an atheist, I think that religion has bad effects on society, and you shouldn’t believe in any supernatural entities. That being said, I am not going to go around churches wearing a shirt that says “There is no god, and you are stupid.” It would be ineffective, counterproductive, and possibly elicit the same responses that I would give to a Jesus freak who got up in my grill. On the other hand, if the subject of religion arises naturally between me and someone else, we can have a respectful conversation about our views, and gain better understanding, even if neither of us are persuaded. To someone who is squeamish about firearms, but doesn’t quite know why, guys parading around with guns on their hips might as well have shirts on that say “Guns are great, and you are stupid.” They think that they are showing the uninitiated that nothing bad happens when people carry guns, not realizing that they have just caused the bad thing to happen, namely that these people are being confronted, without their consent, with an object that scares them.
          Unless your name and picture are phony, you, like me, are a middle aged white guy, which means that you, statistically, have never been safer from violent attack. Most violence is perpetrated among people who know each other, or among young males in certain blighted urban areas. Lawful carry in public doesn’t address either of these situations. So, for me, the tradeoff between maximum tactical advantage and maximum discretion and tact is an easy one to make. The same should apply to most of the readers of this blog.
          If it is legal where you live, then you have the right to openly carry a gun. But just because you can do a thing, doesn’t mean you should do that thing. So I will continue to be an anti-open carry “bigot”, and consider the practice, for lack of a better word, rude.

        • Let’s start with your first assertion. I did not assume you are an open carrier. I said “…if you want…”, and the “you” was a rhetorical substitute for anyone making that decision. I have seen enough footage of the inarticulate numbskulls who make up the open carry movement to hope that you are not among them.

          The vast majority of the open carriers are not even part of a “movement”, much less, make and post videos of their interactions. That said, my opinion of the latter differs from yours. Just because some people are less articulate regarding the moral and legal standing upon which the exercise their liberty to open carry does not make them “numbskulls”.

          I start with the knowledge that, for most people, the likelihood that they will need to thwart or deter an attack is extremely remote. Given that, the subset of those instances where the tactical advantage of having the gun exposed is a very small number indeed. And practicing the draw can mitigate the difference.

          Where is the statistical evidence of a “tactical advantage” to concealed carry? There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that common criminals avoid open carriers – just as there is empirical evidence that common criminals opt for easy victims and avoid any sort of would-be victim resistance at all. There is further empirical evidence that common criminals fear, above all else, resistance from armed citizens – even more than they fear the police.

          Carrying a gun requires situational awareness. Carrying one openly multiplies that necessity. If not, why are the weapons that shoot so many police officers their own?

          Comparing LEO and non-LEO is an apples-to-oranges comparison. As you said previously: the typical non-LEO has but a remote chance of an encounter with a criminal – yet LEO spend their time, all day, every day, seeking out criminals, and engaging criminals.

          What are the firearm retention statistics for the 750K LEO who open carry daily?

          In the cases Griffin cites where someone changes direction because they see a gun on the hip, the result would have been no different had the potential victim “inadvertently” lifted his or her shirt to expose a weapon.

          So, you would actually suggest/prefer an act of brandishing/threatening/intimidating – which would be unlawful – to lawful open carry?

          The argument for open carry that I find especially lame is how it “educates” the public. …They think that they are showing the uninitiated that nothing bad happens when people carry guns, not realizing that they have just caused the bad thing to happen, namely that these people are being confronted, without their consent, with an object that scares them.

          How is someone “confronted” by a firearm, openly carried in a holster on the hip of someone who is paying no attention whatsoever to that person? Words have meaning. “Irrational fear of an inanimate object” is not a synonym for “confronted.”

          Unless your name and picture are phony, you, like me, are a middle aged white guy…

          Not quite middle aged yet, but close enough.

          …which means that you, statistically, have never been safer from violent attack. Most violence is perpetrated among people who know each other, or among young males in certain blighted urban areas. Lawful carry in public doesn’t address either of these situations.

          That sounds like an argument not to carry at all, openly or concealed.

          So, for me, the tradeoff between maximum tactical advantage and maximum discretion and tact is an easy one to make. The same should apply to most of the readers of this blog.

          The assertion that concealed carry has a “tactical advantage” over concealed carry remains unproven. Likewise, the assertion that open carry is somehow less “tactful” is equally specious. In most cases, concealed carry doesn’t even offer any additional discretion over open carry, because the vast majority of people don’t pay enough attention to others to notice a firearm one way or another.

          If it is legal where you live, then you have the right to openly carry a gun. But just because you can do a thing, doesn’t mean you should do that thing. So I will continue to be an anti-open carry “bigot”, and consider the practice, for lack of a better word, rude.

          So, an openly carried firearm, holstered on someone’s hip, is somehow “rude”? Why is that? Because it scares the sheeple?

          Guess what? My Sikh friend goes about in public wearing a turban. His appearance likewise scares the sheeple, who are too ignorant to know the difference between a Sikh and Muslim headdresses. Is he being rude, as well?

          You know what IS rude? People sticking their noses into other people’s business, and trying to tell them how they should and should not go about their lawful affairs.

        • 1) You misunderstood me. I acknowledge that if you are going to be in a Western movie style gun fight, that there is tactical advantage to having clearer access to the gun. I was pointing out that concealed carriers can reduce this advantage with practice, and that it won’t come into play in most cases, anyway.
          2) On an individual level, there is a lot of sense to not carrying at all, unless you are willing to get in the training and practice necessary to by competent with a firearm. I know this will cause a shitstorm, but I think proof of a minimal level of competence should be a necessary precursor to obtaining a carry permit. Nevertheless, the safety that an armed populace gains is not from a few individuals who are prominently strapped, but from achieving some critical mass within the population that is armed, making any potential miscreants genuinely and realistically fearful that their next victim will be able to respond with force.
          4) There are bigots all over the place, as your Sikh friend is well aware. There is no excuse. But are you aware that one could infer bigotry from you when you seemed to suggest that, while being afraid of a Sikh is wrong, fear of a Muslim is rational?
          5) Yes, deliberately scaring “sheeple” is rude when it is not necessary.
          6) “Sheeple” is a disgusting non-word. You are not smarter or better than people who have different opinions from yours.
          7) People are instructed in etiquette all of the time. Civility is necessary for society to function well, and some people need some instruction in it. If some idiotic redneck was talking about (insert plural offensive racial epithet starting with N here) in front of me, which is legal, I would call him out on it, and I hope you would do the same.
          8) I don’t know about your state, but here in Georgia, the carry permit allows one to carry concealed or openly. It strains credulity to think that someone would get in trouble for merely lifting or brushing aside a garment, allowing a holstered weapon to be visible without actually touching it. Besides, in all of the cases Griffin cited where the visibility of a handgun seemed to deter an attack, the “perps” high tailed it, so the police would never have been aware that an incident happened in the first place, unless the gun carrier reported it.
          9) Fear of firearms is not irrational. They really can maim and kill people. With all of the reports in the news of police gunning down suspects, terrorists shooting at innocents, and with years of the (mostly) Republican party trying to gin up fear in the populace to bolster their electoral prospects, I can’t blame the uninitiated for being afraid when they see a gun. I can only hope that, at some point, some of the people I talk to about the subject will convert their fear into healthy respect.
          10) In one of your replies to me, you called me sophomoric. Saying this to me is legal. It is also rude, and I make no apologies for telling you so.

        • 1. There is no “tactical” advantage to carrying concealed. There is empirical evidence of strategic advantage to carrying openly, given its deterrent value. There is marginal tactical advantage to carrying openly. None of these points really matters, because in a free society, each person should be free to conduct a lawful manner as he sees fit, for his own reasons and purposes.

          2. Exercise of natural rights in a free society does not require demonstration of any level of “competence”, nor does such exercise require state approval through permitting or licensing. The latter renders a right a privilege. How about a literacy test to vote? Perhaps recitation of a creed before practicing religion?

          3. (oops?)

          4. Where did I ever claim that fear of a Muslim is rational?

          5. One who carries a firearm does so for his own purposes. Those purposes do not include “deliberately” scaring anyone. It is not the responsibility of a law-abiding person in a free society to comport his actions so as not to offend the delicate sensibilities of the perpetually aggrieved.

          6. If you don’t like the term “sheeple”, then don’t use it. I use it, because it is an appropriate description for people who choose not to think for themselves. I am under no legal or moral responsibility to change my lawful behavior because of the opinions of people incapable or unwilling of independent thought.

          7. The most civil people in the world are those who carry firearms. There is nothing uncivil about openly carrying a firearm, nor does openly carrying a firearm offend etiquette.

          8. Your original statement implied an intentional “inadvertent” (note the scare quotes?) reveal of the firearm. The context of what you said makes absolutely no sense other than the reveal being (wink, wink) “inadvertent”.

          9. Fear of firearms is irrational. Fullstop. Again, your argument here is nearly indistinguishable from the CSGV crowd.

          10. I didn’t call you sophomoric. I called your reaction to the mere mention of open carry sophomoric – which is an accurate description for conflating the open carry of a firearm with indecent exposure of one’s penis.

    • From a cop:
      “When I was in the academy I remember being taught that keeping the weapon concealed was an officer survival issue. If we happened to be out and about and a bad guy decided to act stupid (criminally and in a life threatening manner) by keeping our weapon concealed we didn’t become his (or her) first target. Further, by keeping our identity as a police officer concealed, we kept ourselves from being a target of those who hate the police in general.”

      • If we happened to be out and about and a bad guy decided to act stupid (criminally and in a life threatening manner) by keeping our weapon concealed we didn’t become his (or her) first target.

        Surely there are some statistics to back up this concern that criminals target people with guns – first, or at all?

    • Vee. Dude, you are comparing legal open carry to illegal indecent exposure, really? You may not care for the concept for whatever reason but to insult folks who may choose to OC once legal, is beyond the pale. The premise that a holstered handgun is as intimidating as a long gun slung over the shoulder is disingenuous. It is common to see an LEO open carrying, seeing a regular person doing the same thing could better educate the public on 2nd. Amendment Rights. Where legal, all 911 operators need to be trained to tell concerned callers that carrying a handgun in a holster is legal and under what circumstances i.e. having a valid CHL. No one is making you OC or Conceal Carry, it’s a personal choice and it’s called freedom. Just don’t be a dick or a douche about it, keep your hands off the weapon unless in imminent danger, whether cc/oc.

  12. Well if there are two things Texas loves it’s the 2nd amendment and the police state – strange combination but it’s better than nothing.

  13. If that 6’5 female Texas Ranger wants to frisk me, so be it, just hope she has the class not to laugh. If you do not like Texas, stay out, If you are in Texas and don’t like it, get out. A simple life, simple choices. I personally will not open carry. Why should I give myself up to be shot first? To be fair, open carry in open country makes more sense, in cities, not so much. People that fear you are dangerous.

    • That seems to be true. In the 50 or so states that have had open carry on their books for decades, nobody carries openly even in rural towns, let alone large cities (that I have ever seen in my travels around the country). I think a young guy carrying openly would stick out like a sore thumb and be snickered at by the ladies.

      • One can see it in AZ occasionally. Perhaps not often enough to be guaranteed to see an open carrier on a two-week visit, but it happens.

        • I’m sure it does especially in rural ranch areas. Probably not so much in cities. I was raised in Ohio and PA and I never saw anyone carrying openly in Cleveland or Pittsburgh. Dallas and Houston might be the first large pop areas to do so.

      • You have to understand open carry is not always a substitute for concealed carry. I’m a business owner. I work Mobil , as in I go to locations other than my shop all day and nigh and sometimes in the worst areas in town. I also carry cash. I will likely open carry while. Working as a deterrent.

    • Tell him you hope you never have to use it but are certainly willing to if defending yourself and walk away. If he attacksmyou and you feel in danger use the weapon.

  14. The Federal 6th Circuit Court of Appeals just addressed this issue. In the ruling, it is a Civil Rights violation to stop any person for legally carrying a weapon. End of debate.

  15. When OC started to become popular in VA about a decade ago, where it has been legal for ages, some cops felt the need to harass legal OCers. Once their employers started handing out ‘hush money’ settlements that averaged $10,000-15,000 a pop, they got the message real quick and things have been right as rain ever since, even though one department had to make more than one payout (to the same person!) to get the point.

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