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My daughter, son-in-law, and two grandchildren were going to the Grapefest in Grapevine, Texas, between Dallas and Fort Worth and graciously invited me to tag along. Sunday afternoon was the time that fit with schedules and the kids naps. The temperature was 97 in Big D, and I could feel the humidity.

kimber_blk_logo_smallI missed my sun helmet. I’m heat acclimated, but the kids aren’t. We had to walk a couple of blocks to the festival, and the family stopped in some shade to consider their options.

I notice some signage that looked as if it might contain a 30.06 or a 30.07 sign so I went to investigate. It contained neither, but did stipulate that no weapons were allowed, except legally permitted firearms, which mine is.

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I went to the ticket counter. There was one for media, so I went there. After I handed them a Gun Watch card, they handed me a media pass for free.

I casually strolled through the gate, pass in hand. I was openly carrying my old GLOCK in a Fobus retention holster. No one seemed to mind or pay attention. I handed my pass to the proper person, and found a couple who were willing to take my picture. I asked them to be sure to get the pistol in the frame. They were very friendly and helpful.

As I wandered out, the people at the entry were searching backpacks, strollers, and purses.

I told the lady doing the searches that I was writing a story, then asked what they were looking for. An efficient and alert looking officer with a pistol in a higher level retention rig was sitting next to her. She told me they were looking for “big knives, mostly” and that when they found one, they checked for a permit. She said people with firearms permits could bring guns in. She told me permits were checked out by the officer.

Last session, Texas came very close to removing the silly limitations on knives in the Lone Star State. Only the unethical maneuvers of a Democrat committee member kept the reform from becoming law.

Everyone at the festival was very pleasant. and a good time was had by all. My daughter and her husband had made a wise decision not to keep the children out in the extreme heat and humidity, but I was glad we came.  The good news: open carry is becoming accepted in Texas.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
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38 Responses to Kimber Gun Rights Bulletin: Open Carry at the Grapefest Festival in Texas

  1. When i saw gape fest in the title i thought-of some sort of totally different alternative lifestyle type event like the Folsom Street fair.

        • Fox is the most popular and monied network on cable and regular broadcast television and has been for years. Is that who you are referring to when you say Mainstream Media, Ralph?

          Because Fox And Friends IS the mainstream f’ing media. Sad to say.

    • You’re confused by it, because it isn’t actually happening. You just have an anti-OC prejudice that doesn’t match reality. It’d be like saying you don’t understand the “hey look at me, I have a first aid kit”, either. They’re just tools in case of emergency.

      It’s not about the carrier, himself. It’s about his safety and comfort, as some consider OC a tactical advantage and convenient carry mode.

      Some open carry not because they’re trying to help normalize open carry per se, but to help normalize responsible firearms ownership and carry in general. The goal is for these things to become non-events and attract no attention, which is the exact opposite of your “hey look at me” misunderstanding.

    • I wish I could OC in Illinois. Fact is, IWB holsters are a pain in the arse and untucked shirts just look sloppy. I did OC in Missouri when I visited relatives there. Quicker and easier to strap on, and more comfortable.

      To each his own. The value of Dean’s articles is to ensure would-be OCers that it’s a viable option and won’t cause problems.

    • “Don’t understand the whole “look at me, I’ve got a gun” thing.”
      As opposed to let me hide my handgun so anyone with ill intent can assume I am unarmed and would be a good victim? You may be a big bad Dude, no one would think about accosting you, but I’m a 65 yr. woman 5’6″ 115lbs. no one is going to think I’m a big bad dudette.

    • You’ve got it all wrong. Its all about “Hey look, free gun in my non-retention holster!” But of course all these guys/gals up to speed on their weapon retention training…

  2. Hard to imagine OC anymore [NY, upstate, NOT the metro, but we (38%) have to follow their !#$%^&* rules enacted by the 62% in city, I imagine it is similar outside other big cities.

  3. I’m somewhat surprised when I think about how liberal(no pun intended) CA knife laws are. Wear a fixed blade in the open on your belt and nobody even notices.

    • That’s wierd. Here in Colorado you can OC a fixed knife of any size but can’t conceal anything with a blade longer than 3.5″.

      No one enforces the 3.5″ law but cops in the cities will harass you about OCing a larger fixed blade.

      I expected Cali would have rediculous knife laws like NYC.

  4. Dean there’s a reason folks wear straw hats in the summer here in the Lone Star State. Even if you’re not into straw cowboy hats, there are fedora’s and other styles of straw or similar appropriate summer headgear available at the many western wear stores throughout Texas, or even at Academy, Gander Mountain, BPS, or Cabelas. But then again, nothing draws attention to someone openly carrying a handgun than a pith helmet unless of course it’s a pith helmet with a big “Look at me I’m carrying a gun” sign mounted on top.

    If you had been wearing the pith helmet during your visit to Grapevine most Texans who actually acknowledged your presence would have said to themselves “that dumb@$$ wearing a pith helmet wants everyone to notice he’s carrying a pistol”, instead they said to themselves “that dumb@$$ wearing the a felt hat in sweltering summer heat wants everyone to notice he’s carrying a pistol”.

    Hate to break the news to you Dean, but like our neighbors in the Sooner State, the percentage of Texans licensed to carry opting for open carry is next to nothing. Nearly nine months in since OC became Texas law and still, I’ve yet to see anyone openly toting in multiple trips to the DFW metroplex, Houston, and Corpus Christi, nor anyone here in East Texas. Good to know that the staggering majority of Texans who are licensed to carry continue to do so concealed and have to good sense to know that just because OC is legal doesn’t mean it’s smart.

    Glad to see you’re at least attempting to be a little smarter and safety conscious by upgrading from a plain old Fobus to a “retention” Fobus, you should know however that unless they’ve changed their polymer compound and construction method, Fobus is notorious for break away failure when their holsters are subjected to the snatch and grab testing. Good luck in your ongoing quest to be the center of attention.

    • Well, Ted, I’m one Texan who is glad that Dean Weingarten is fighting the good fight for our rights, regardless of his choice of hats. And I am more than comfortable deciding for myself when it’s smart or not to OC my firearms. I trust you to do the same.

      • Nah, Ted is one of our resident “I should tell everyone how to carry” folks. He’s right; everyone else is stupid. His word choice, not mine (and some days he takes it farther).

        • That’s most of the problem, If people would mind their own business things would be better. OC or CC make no difference to me. I drove around “Grape Fest” this weekend to avoid the crowd. I did hit Grapevine lake Saturday and Sunday and I had my E-gat Desantis w/LC9s on my belt on and off the boat. No skiers or jet ski’s were harmed in the process.

          Too Hot for CC this past weekend! I still have only seen a couple OCers in the wild, but like I said to each his own.

    • I’ve seen youtube videos of people walking up behind someone with a fobus holster, grabbing the gun and snapping it clean off the belt.

      Are they really that bad? I don’t know. TTAG needs to do some testing and report.

  5. How many dead?

    You know, because only crazy people carry guns, the guns leap out of their holsters and kill people all by themselves, and nobody carrying can resist escalating the slightest affront into a firefight.

    And civilian-carried guns are automatically reverse pioneer-woman’s rifles(*), so anybody trying to stop the carnage would only add to it.

    Didn’t happen? That’s un-possible.

    (*) Pioneer-woman’s rifle: when pointed anywhere away from good guys, takes out 1-5 bad guys, at any distance, still or in motion. Self-aiming: does not require the shooter to sight.

    See, any number of cheese-balls westerns from back in the day. (Yes, you can look this up on TV Tropes. No don’t go there. They’ll find your mummified body still clutching your mouse, with eleventy-billion tabs open, as you try to browse through. You have been warned.)

  6. I live in SW PA about an hour east of Pittsburgh. Relatively small town. I usually see 3-4 open carriers everyday. No one one makes a big deal about it except for the occasional startled special snowflake import college student. And by the way, Ted Unlis? Really? You sad little trolls in mommies basement need try a little harder than an anagram of unlisted.

  7. Waiting to see what happens at the Texas State Fair for OC. They have stated that they will not be allowing OC at the Fair, (Concealed only), but since it is held on public property, they cannot legally do so.

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