Texas is days away from legalized open carry (for CHL holders). In the run-up to that blessed event, the Houston Police have published an OC Q&A on the houstontx.gov website. The first question asserts the cops’ “right” to stop an otherwise law-abiding open carrier to ask for identification – which is clearly unconstitutional – because “constitutional carry did not pass.” The rest of the post is fascinating. Especially the cops’ advice to people who see someone open carrying and get an attack of the gun control vapors. Like this . . .
Question: If I see a person open carrying a handgun, should I call the police?
Answer: Yes you can call the police, but before you call, observe how the person is acting. If they are acting suspicious, or enter a building such as a school, then please give us a call. But, if they are simply at a gas station filling up their car, then they are probably a law abiding citizen who is legally open carrying.
So the Houston police advise the general public to use common sense when deciding whether or not an open carrier is a law-abiding citizen, but they reserve the “right” to interrogate armed citizens regardless. Just because they can. Nice. And what’s a building “such as a school,” exactly? Did you know TX OC’ers can carry into a police station? Good luck with that.
Interesting that the Houston po-po use an OC putting a tiger in his tank as an example of a time to “stand down.” I guess bad guys don’t have cars, or don’t buy gas if they do. (Straw gas purchasers?) A better example: when OC’ers are walking down the street. At night.
On the positive side . . .
Question: What advice would you give to someone who is feeling anxious or intimidated in an open carry environment?
Answer: Open carry is going to be something that everyone will have to get used to. Initially it will be weird to see someone carrying a handgun in the grocery store, but it is important to know that the people who are open carrying a gun are law abiding citizens and are not there to intimidate or hurt you.
And here’s the best bit . . .
Question: Some organizations that are in opposition to open carry, have said that if they see someone openly carrying a handgun, they will call 911 and say that person is being aggressive and threatening people with the weapon. How will the police handle situations like this.
Answer: The police will act with caution when approaching the person, they will collect the facts, and when it is found that this person was doing nothing wrong, the investigation will be turned towards the person who made the false 911 call.
Take that CSGV – the gun control group calling for members to SWAT open carriers. And God bless Texas for heading in the right direction on open carry. [h/t PS]