(courtesy khou.com)

As of January 1, “passengers will be allowed to openly carry holstered guns on METRO buses and light rails if they have a permit,” khou.com reports. “METRO Police Chief Vera Bumpers [sic] says light rail and bus operators are being trained not to ask passengers if they have a permit. If an operator or passenger notices someone acting suspicious, operators will have to call METRO Police.” And then . . .

“They can call and we will come out and the officer will then ask a person if they have a permit to openly carry. We will verify they have a license with their ID,” Bumpers said. According to Texas’ new open carry law, police have the right to ask gun owners to show their permit without probable cause that a crime has been committed. Exactly how police will perform this “stop and frisk ID” is unknown. Good luck with that.

Meanwhile, the assault media mavens at KHOU felt obliged to insert this bit in the text: “Several light rail passengers told KHOU 11 News they are concerned about people openly carrying weapons on public buses and trains.”

Strangely, the video report [click on the link above] starts with the usual “wild, wild west” open carry diss, adds another concerned citizen’s objections and ends with the same worried gentleman who started the piece. And doesn’t include any vox populi from people who will carry on a bus or train, or feel safer with open carriers on public transport. [h/t KL]

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38 Responses to Houston METRO: Passengers May Open Carry on Buses, Trains

  1. Good. May this become a trend on mass public transportation in all major cities.

    Meanwhile, the assault media mavens at KHOU felt obliged to insert this bit in the text: “Several light rail passengers told KHOU 11 News they are concerned about people openly carrying weapons on public buses and trains.”

    Right. And the North Hanley Metro station in St. Louis is dangerous because all the criminals who keep hitting passengers are facilitated by their ability to open carry. Oh, wait…

  2. Well, I have OC’d here in New Mexico mostly around Albuquerque for the last eight years. Everywhere I go, I create mass panic! Everyone runs screaming out of restaurants, burger joints and coffee shops! I have had multiple swat confrontations with the heavily armed (with full auto machine guns) balaclava wearing storm troopers that have shot at me with hails of gun fire before they found out if I was one of the good guys! Mass panic, chaos in the streets with cats and dogs living together with near death experiences for the last eight years by OC’ing!!

    Just kidding.

    Not one bad experience with the general populace or the police. Kind of boring, actually.

    • If you want to challange and argue with law enforcement then go ahead. I wont, the wife wont. We will be glad to smile and hand over all our IDs and then go on our merry way without incedent. After a while with the same officers and same people around recognizing us as the friendly gun toting old farts then normalization begins and questions end.

      Confrontations are never a good way to normalize anything. We got to our first step finally. It will be time to walk peacefully thru the door on the first. Lets make it a good entrance.

      • If a police officer asks me for my identification and carry license, I will simply ask the police officer, “Are you detaining me or am I free to go?”

        If the police officer replies, “I am detaining you. Show me your identification and license.” I would ask the officer, “What are your reasons for detaining me?”

        Assuming the officer says something like, “I see that you are carrying a handgun in your holster and I want to verify that you are not a criminal.”, then I will say, “I do not agree to any detention, searches, or seizures. If you want to reach into my pocket against my will to seize my identification and carry license, I will not resist, however I will press charges for deprivation of rights under color of law.”

        In my hypothetical interaction above, I framed the encounter as an infringement of my rights without exposing myself to any serious claims that I “interfered with official police duties” or some such nonsense. This is necessary to preserve my standing to file a lawsuit. (If I voluntarily hand over my identification and carry license, I cannot claim that the officer violated my rights.)

        Note: my comments above are my game plan. My comments are not legal advice and do not constitute an attorney-client relationship.

        • Here is the thing, I want to beat the anti’s at their own game. They are betting for a confrontational game plan as you just laid out. And there is this misconception that you are being stopped with no crime being commited. It is still a crime in Texas to carry without the LTC (formally CHL) thats required. Seeing someone with a gun is going to be a suspected crime and untill they get tired of all these suspicions, your gonna get checked. I am fully prepared to have peaceful and short encounters for a while. So is the wife. We dont see it as giving up anything, instead we look at as gaining more ground.

        • They might not constitute legal advice, but they sure do constitute common sense. Why would one make trouble for everyone else, even themselves, if it can be avoided instead? I guess, because that one is not aware that there is this alternative.

        • Colt Carry,

          I understand your point and even see some advantage to it.

          Keep in mind that every person behind the wheel of a car could have stolen it and be in possession of stolen property which is a crime in Texas. Nevertheless, the fact that someone could be breaking the law does not satisfy the U.S. Supreme Court “reasonable, articulable suspicion” standard and therefore police cannot pull over every car they see.

          Your situation is no different than people who carry openly in states that do not require any license to carry openly. A person carrying openly in an open-carry state could be a felon (prohibited person) carrying illegally. That is not legal justification to detain someone against their will. The fact that it could be illegal doesn’t matter because it could be legal as well.

          Maybe a two-step approach makes sense? For the first 6 months or so, voluntarily hand over your identification and carry license every time police stop you. After that, express your desire to be left alone every time police stop you and make them violate your rights for purposes of filing a lawsuit.

          Note: winning the lawsuit will be like hitting the lottery. After you win your lawsuit, you can demand tens of thousands of dollars to refrain from suing the police department for damages as well as promising not to prosecute the officer involved for Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law. (18 U.S. Code Section 242 I believe.)

        • It’s true about the stolen car thing. But I have been stopped late at night and checked out just to see if I am the person driving my vehicle. There have apparently been a rash of thefts of my type of vehicle. I IDed and he thanked me and apologized for taking up my time. I told him that he could stop this vehicle as often as he wanted and it wasn’t me or my red head wife driving it then its stolen!

          I have a good respect for officers who truly do a good job of protecting people and property. I don’t care if a little of my time is spent with them. I don’t consider it an infringement of my already infringed rights to be checked out. And a little goodwill will go a long ways nowdays to help further our cause in a passive manner that will soften restrictions on our rights as we go along.

          And you should know that I still see that officer from time to time. We smile and give a little wave as we pass. I have no doubt that he would be willing to help me a little more than a little if I need it. He is certainly sure that I would help him as well. That kind of passing relationship goes way further than a nonsense lawsuit.

          Consider this. Yes you may win a lawsuit in a given scenario. You may lose too, big. I don’t have the financial background to try. But if you do score one win, they will find a way to score ten from you later. To me that right there just isn’t worth trying to push the rights card with them. My family and have discussed this at length. My family and my wife’s family are big LTC holders, more than just a few, and have been for some time. We all have had various encounters and none negative. We have been waiting for day open carry happens. Depending on where we go and what we do will determine open or concealed, either way we won’t make a big deal out of it.

      • Well, I assume that as soon as you hand over your license to the inquiring LEO, then you are in effect detained. You can’t just walk away while armed without your license, can you?

        Here in Georgia, carrying a handgun without a license is an element of the offense, so LEOs were not supposed to detain you just to check for the license (in other words, they were supposed to have reasonable suspicion that you did not have a license before they demanded that you prove that you did). However, some LEOs didn’t understand that, so we had to pass a law that explicitly states “A person carrying a weapon shall not be subject to detention for the sole purpose of investigating whether such person has a weapons carry license.” I have a feeling that will be change in the future laws of Texas after enough people get detained.

    • Since you will be willing to openly carry your firearm where every and anyone can see it, why would you object to openly carrying your (unconstitutional) state permission slip/get out of jail free card?

      I could see a burgeoning market for card holder that have belt clips so that the document the officer requests is in plain view and easily accessible on demand. Such a tactic would go a long way to relieving LEO-“civilian” tensions and as much as it seems unlikely that real criminals and bad guys will be walking the streets with holstered firearms, it is less likely they will be displaying falsified documents at the same time.

      • Well, I assume that as soon as you hand over your license to the inquiring LEO, then you are in effect detained. You can’t just walk away while armed without your license, can you?

        I can see both sides why some feel the need to politely comply with a request and why some feel it is an unreasonable request. It is really no different than detainments at road blocks; the government argues that it is a slight inconvenience for those affected in exchange for making sure there are no bad apples out there. I would lean more toward that LEOs should leave alone an OC who looks otherwise normal, just as they should leave alone motorists who aren’t weaving and speeding.

        Here in Georgia, carrying a handgun without a license is an element of the offense, so LEOs were not supposed to detain you just to check for the license (in other words, they were supposed to have reasonable suspicion that you did not have a license before they demanded that you prove that you did). However, some LEOs didn’t understand that, so we had to pass a law that explicitly states “A person carrying a weapon shall not be subject to detention for the sole purpose of investigating whether such person has a weapons carry license.” I have a feeling that will be change in the future laws of Texas after enough people get detained.

  3. “Several light rail passengers told KHOU 11 News they are concerned about people openly carrying weapons on public buses and trains.” What pussies cats, better the hand gun you see in a holster than the one you don’t see jammed in a waistband covered by a hoody

  4. As a Texan, I’m spending the next two weeks buying all the buckets and mops I can find. I’m going to make a fortune reselling them in January, when people need to clean up all that blood in the streets.

    • You would be better off investing in a bunch of retention holsters and reselling them. But u might have already missed the boat on that investment opportunity

      • Why not both? Sell the holsters to encourage open carry, then sell the cleanup gear when the bloodshed starts. Which it always does, of course. Everywhere there’s open carry is a lawless wasteland of miscreants and villains, shooting anything that moves. But put a piece of cloth over the guns, and everything settles down real nice.

        • That reminds me of the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine –

          Rule # 34 “War is good for business.”

          and

          Rule # 35 “Peace is good for business.”

    • Don’t forget bleach. You need some bleach to clean up the blood. 1:9 ratio of bleach to water is all you need, any stronger and the odor can become offensive.

      Although……. the buckets might actually be handy! You can use them to collect the tears of all the ‘blood in the street’ people when there isn’t any actual blood in the streets after January.

  5. I am anxiously awaiting the lawsuit to strike-down that provision of Texas’ law … that empowers police to detain a person and demand to see their identification and concealed carry license without reasonable, articulable suspicion or probable cause.

    Can we start a betting pool on which month that happens?

    • Beginning of next year, Q1 – I’m betting an Open Carry Texas or Come and Take It member will take the police up on this. I don’t dislike OCT, and the people in the group are great Constitution supporters. It will be one of them and someone who has a prepaid legal service, and I look forward to hearing about the case and potential good outcome for LTC holders in Texas.
      Or we just get some form of Constitutional Carry in Texas in 2017. That would do it too.

      • Unless I misunderstood your meaning by “prepaid legal service” to be something other than Texas Law Shield, Second Call, or others, those services only cover you for the use of your firearm. They don’t cover carry issues in general. Whatever the service, always be sure you fully understand the terms of coverage before relying on the program’s features.

      • For what? Using “Words” to interact with a LEO?

        He stated in his plan that he would not resist in any way. He simply was not giving his consent for search of his person.

        Do you actually accept that notion that you HAVE to consent to anything and everything a representative of The State asks you to do?

    • “Can we start a betting pool on which month that happens?”

      I’m going to go with May for when the lawsuit start’s.

  6. I’m originally from California and moved to Georgia a couple months ago (thank god) and i’m reminded of the time interstate 405 was shut down for maintenance. For those of you who don’t know, interstate 405 is one of the most heavily trafficked interstates in the country, leading directly to Los Angeles and is notorious for hour long, no movement at all traffic jams.

    The media dubbed it “Carmegeddon” and there was non stop coverage leading up to it with speculation that there would be the traffic jam to end all traffic jams.

    On the day of the shut down, news reporters were there reporting on… Literally nothing.

    There was zero traffic because people either stayed home or took different routes. So the news had to report on things like, “how dirty the signs are,” and that “there is literally nothing going on.”

    They had to make shit up and create cause for concern when literally nothing happened. It was pretty funny to see them all look like dumbasses trying to make up stories to push their fear-mongering agendas.

    I’m thinking the same will happen with this.

    • You’re no doubt right. It’ll be just like exactly twenty years prior, January 1st, 1996, when the first licensed concealed carriers hit the streets of Texas…..and the streets stayed dry. The media struggled to fill airtime covering the nonevent.

      • It’s sort of like Anchorman 2 when Ron Burgundy says, “Why do we have to report what the people need to hear. What if we could just report what people WANT to hear?”

        People want to hear that guns are bad so that’s what they listen to and it’s why the news never reports on times a gun saved someone’s life.

        • I don’t think that’s it. People don’t want to hear that guns are bad. Most “journalists” have a very leftward bent and want to tell people that guns are bad. The slant in the media comes from the agenda of those telling the stories, not those listening to them. It’s a supply problem, not a demand one.

  7. Open carry does have a risk of gun grab. With some of the lowlifes that have to take public transportation, I would be concerned to open carry there. Concealed carry is the best option. Otherwise, I would invest in a good retention holster and some training in gun retention.

    • I see your point and I do agree it’s a concern. I just think that concern is countered precisely by the abundance of lowlifes and the need for quicker presentation of the firearm.

      People are standing at these bus & light rail stops, sometimes alone, sometimes later at night, completely vulnerable. Lowlifes walking around have a perfectly legitimate cover for approaching you, too, as they could be coming to catch the bus. Milliseconds count at that point, if the attacker is literally standing beside you, if you’re to draw and defend yourself effectively.

      Open carry has the advantage in that scenario. It would be the carrier’s responsibility to watch their back and employ the proper retention holster, though, to minimize the chance of a gun grab.

    • My greatest concern, and I hope that of most others, in regards to open or concealed carry on public transportation: Rule #4 Be certain of your target and what is beyond it.

      There is a significant possibility of collateral damage in any enclosed and occupied space, not to mention the penetration of the perp or of vehicle walls. The one thing the anti-2A media will love is to report that an open carrier fired in a bus or on a train and innocent bystanders were injured or killed. Don’t be that guy.

  8. It would be nice if the licensing fees in Texas were lower or dropped all together. 140 is pretty steep. I know there is a poor person’s option but you would have to be pretty much under the poverty level line to qualify for that and 70ish would definitely be beyond a poor person’s means.

    • There are a few categories for reduced fees. Senior citizens also get that $70 rate. Active and discharged military pay zero and $25, respectively. Other discounts are for particular jobs, but don’t apply to very many people (judges, prosecutors, for example.)

      One reason for the higher fees generally is that this program is supposed to be self-funding. At least that’s the public reason. It’s probably just that the Democrats want to erect yet another barrier to exercising our rights, especially for minorities.

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