Open carry has been legal for Texas carry permit holders for a few months. During my last visit to the Lone Star State in January, cold weather limited my OC opportunities. After becoming a proud grandfather (again), I loaded up the car, left Arizona and headed to Texas for another go. In Van Horn, Texas, I had my first encounter . . .
I grabbed the last motel room in town around midnight. I was carrying in an older, Israeli Fobus holser, cross draw (ideal for carrying in a vehicle). The motel manager/owner and her son did notice, and paid attention. I would do the same when a last minute guest stops in at midnight, on a day when the motels are maxed out.
“Are you a cop?” the owner asked, handing me the key. “Not any more.” I replied. I mentioned that Texas’ new open carry law made it easy not to worry if I was wearing a jacket. The owner nodded without further comment.
The next day I’d just paid for fuel at a gas station off of exit 177 on Interstate 20. As I was leaving the store the driver of a white truck with a city emblem on the door leaned out the window. “Is that a 17 or a 19?” he asked, referring to the GLOCK I was wearing in the cross draw position. “Seventeen,” I replied. “The cross draw works better with seat belts, and keeps the pistol from passengers.” The city truck gave me a wide grin and a thumbs up as we went our separate ways.
I open carried in the Benbrook public library; nobody said a thing. I opened carried on a three-mile exercise run; no comments. Visiting my daughter, her husband, their 18-month-old son and my new granddaughter was a delight. The day before I left, I went for another run. And that’s when it happened. Or more precisely, didn’t . . .
I ran North on Marsh Drive, and turned West on Rosemeade Parkway. About 15 minutes into the run I turned around and started back. About a minute later, a blue and white police SUV drove past. It was clear the officer saw me. The unit immediately started slowing down. But traffic was heavy, and started backing up behind the police unit. The officer sped up, then made a right turn down a side street.
I did not vary my pace. I was wearing the outfit in the picture above: Glock 17 in a Fobus retention holster on the the strong side; also a IPhone 6+ in a holster, and the Cold Steel XL Voyager in the right front pocket. I had the Dan Baum Gun Guy red hat on, along with ESS shooting/sunglasses. I had my ID and carry permit with me.
As I approached the side street, about 11:39 a.m., the PD unit reappeared and stopped, waiting for traffic, and for me to cross, giving them a good opportunity to look me over and evaluate what they saw.
I didn’t stop or hesitate. As I drew near the unit, I looked directly at the driver’s position and made a brief nod in acknowledgement.
I passed, the unit pulled out into traffic and then passed me for the second time. Two minutes later, an SUV with “Constable” markings went past. I don’t know if they were curious, or if it was a simple coincidence.
The officer(s) handled this just right. Open carry of modern handguns is still new to Dallas. The officer saw something unusual, and checked it out. That’s good police work. They made their evaluation, saw that there was no probable cause or reasonable suspicion, and went on their way.
No news is good news, but it’s not often news. In state after state, disarmists claim that restoration of gun rights — whether that’s open carry or campus carry or the removal of barriers to concealed carry — leads to blood in the streets. When it doesn’t, they ignore the truth, and continue to use the exact same argument for gun control.
In the case of Texas’ permitted open carry law, as in so many others, the antis’ fear-mongering has been — and continues to be — quietly proven false. Paving the way for the next step in Texas’ evolution: Constitutional carry. And further reforms further afield.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.