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Courtesy Dean Weingarten

After years of work, political activism, protests and educational open carry marches, Texas now has licensed open carry. If you have a carry license, you can carry your holstered pistol in most public spaces in Texas. On the first day of licensed open carry, I celebrated by doing a little open carry. I started with the library in Benbrook, because I have been spending some time working there. They have very good Internet connectivity and the place that I’m staying does not. They weren’t open on the first, a holiday, so I contented myself with carrying outside . . .

Courtesy Dean Weingarten

Across the street was the police station. The top picture shows me openly carrying there. They had recently put up fresh 30.06 and 30.07 no concealed or open carry signs, so I didn’t go in. It’s a controlled entry, so they legitimately could have signs. Unfortunately, whoever made the signs made them a little too small, so they aren’t quite legal.

Then I went to Walmart and strolled through the isles. No one seemed to bat an eye. I was told that the greeter had asked where I was from, and seemed to be satisfied with the proffered “Arizona.” I don’t have a problem with Arizona having a better reputation for being more Second Amendment friendly than Texas. I went through the grocery section, picked up a few items, and went to check on the ammunition display. As usual for the last three years, no .22 was available.

Courtesy Dean Weingarten

Then I headed to Cracker Barrel for a family celebratory dinner. No one commented on the open carry. As I have predicted, and has been the case with open carry in the 44 other states that have it, most people didn’t even notice that I was carrying a pistol. With the large cell phones that are commonly carried and most people’s preoccupation with their daily lives, few pay attention to what’s riding on another person’s belt.

Courtesy Dean Weingarten

In Arizona, we’ve always had open carry, as most states have. I’m used to it there, and missed it a great deal in Texas, where I often visit. Having to grab a jacket just to go out to the truck to retrieve a tool, or to step next door to talk to a neighbor was irritating and irrational. I detested the necessity of concealing my carry handgun while exercising. Concealed carry while running in hot weather is a pain.

To put it plainly, open carry in Texas was a profoundly liberating experience. Texas has taken a big step toward restoring the Second Amendment in the state. Now they can move forward toward eliminating the silly restrictions that still exist.

In the rest of the nation, there are only five states that ban the open carry of handguns in most public spaces. They are California, Illinois, New York, Florida, and South Carolina. Florida and South Carolina are in a race to see which will restore open carry rights first. Florida had open carry until 1987, when future US Attorney General Janet Reno lobbied for an open carry ban in a special legislative session after the Florida shall issue concealed carry law passed. Florida now has an open carry bill active in their legislature.

I look forward to seeing open carry rights restored over the entire nation in the years to come. The gun grabbing community hates open carry because it’s a combined exercise of both First and Second Amendment rights. It’s strong, symbolic, political speech that declares that the power of the government is limited, the Constitution means something, and that rights must be respected as one of bases of the rule of law.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
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  1. Wait… What?
    Dean, did you have to wear muck boots or hip waders from all the “blood in the streets?

    Sarc off now. Well done Texas.

    • You mean the Mommies and the media lied about what would happen when licensed open carry was allowed? Why would these mommies lie to the public like that? It is almost the mommies were pursuing a separate agenda other than public safety.

      Ok my sarcasm off now too

    • There wasn’t just blood in the street we were issued a flood warning for the quickly rising blood level. Now we have to deal with both rain and blood in the streets causing flooding here? Man that sucks and my feelings are hurt. I am pretty sure I saw some tidal waves of blood a few streets over. I had to keep down from all of the duels and errant shots. There was also a lot of confusion over which carrier was attempting to kill multiple people.

      Then I woke up and realized none of it happened.

  2. hey, dean.

    almost in my neighborhood. hope you enjoyed your time around here.

    glad texas changed the law, but concealed is still more attractive. surprise, and all that. besides, my street (as far as you can see either direction, is populated by californicators and new york jerks. to likely i would end up swatted for open carry.

    • I’m generally not a fan of using guns as political props, but I’m thinking it’s time to remind those carpetbaggers where they are.

    • Way to appease them and be considerate of their feelings. It’s worked SO well, recently. We should’ve been more appeasing sooner. /sarcasm


      • never considerate of their feelings. sensitive to the possibility i could face a home invasion by the special forces, delta, elite commando SWAT team.

    • If you’re going about your daily life as a law abiding, standup guy, then it stands to reason that any scenario requiring you to threaten or use deadly force would have been thrust upon you by someone else and would come as a surprise to you.

      That is, if someone’s robbing you at gunpoint or is already targeting you in a spree shooting, then you’re already at the disadvantage due to their having surprised you. If you think you’re going to outdraw an already drawn opponent’s weapon, then you’re likely in for your second surprise of the day….

      Now, if you’re somewhat removed from the imminent action, like around the corner, down another aisle, or somehow behind the attacker or at least out of his/her field of view, then you aren’t in his/her immediate attack zone, anyway. So you can surprise him/her regardless whether you’re presenting from concealment or openness.

      • i’m thinking “shop owner being held up reaches in cash drawer for money and comes up firing his gun” kinda surprise. or “guy approaching in a dark parking lot with a tire iron, threatening me with robbery and/or harm doesn’t know i am armed until he discovers he is unable to mover any more” kinda surprise.

        you make good points.

  3. I had to click through to the article, because from the small thumbnail, I was certain someone was relieving himself on the wall of the popo hut.


    I’m glad Texans took one more step toward freedom. I’m afraid in 20 years, demographics will send them right back, and then some. Hope not.

    • I agree the influx of progressives and other possible parties negative to the 2A is disconcerting. While anecdotal the people I know in the real estate business tell me they sell houses overwhelmingly to people from California. This is even including people already in Texas buying houses. How many of these Californians want more freedom and how many want to turn Texas into California? It would be good info to have and I fear I already know the answer.

      At the very least we pretty clearly have an even more pro-gun Governor now. I have little doubt he will sign Constitutional carry if it makes it to him next year as our legislature is pushing for it. I used to be a 2A absolutist but there have been some cases I did not see it as productive. Giving the anti gunners a taste of their own death by a thousand cuts/incrementalism may end up being quite productive and in many circumstances like this one I support it.

      As others have pointed out we have had to overcome 2A infringements that many other states have not for a variety of reasons. I think Texas is headed in the right direction (finally) and things are far from lost in 20 years.

      • This is a Texas Legislature election year. Make it known to all of both the House and Senate candidates in your district that constitutional carry is important to you.

        I use the term “litmus test issue” when I contact candidates and officeholders, because firearms freedom is a proxy for someone’s stand on just about everything else. Get firearms wrong, and I can’t support you at all. Get firearms right, and we’re probably not so far apart on other issues that we can’t still come to some kind of agreement.

        If you don’t know who’s running for what in your exact location (in Texas or anywhere in the U.S.), has a zipcode+four tool that will help you.

        • I could not agree more and really appreciate you putting out information to help people figure out who to write and talk to. I was born and raised in Texas. Traveled the world and when I got back contacting Texas politicians became a 2nd job.

          As to what LS/HD stated, things are only much better now and would have to get much worse (and not just in Texas) than before which is why I fully reject the idea that Texas will be lost in 20 years. We have had these demographic issues for a long time now, They are not on the decline and things are getting better, not worse. If I am wrong it certainly will be far from limited to Texas being lost. As in the whole country.

  4. You can oc in Florida as long as you participating or are on the way to or from fishing, hunting or hiking. So carry a fishing pole with you everywhere and your good to go.

    • Well there is a two pronged attack to restore, some if not all, floridian’s 2nd Amendment rights. We dhould all know by spring if those rights have been restored (even if partially)

  5. Clearly, you are a openly armed mad man and must be stopped.

    Cracker Barrel and the library, oh, the humanity!

    • I’m surprised I haven’t heard reports of ERs being flooded with broken bones as a result of slipping and falling in the rivers of blood flowing in the streets…

      • I don’t know about that. If you’re standing directly behind him it’s pretty obvious he’s carrying.

      • It’s also a piss poor manner to carry if you’re even the least bit conscious of sound weapon retention habits or have had even minimal weapon retention training, even more so when you’re carrying your pistol in a cheap level 1 holster that doesn’t fit the firearm. Who knows, maybe the Glock is actually a decoy Dean is carrying that way on purpose so the gun everyone can see is really empty while the loaded one is cleverly concealed but readily accessible for combat should anyone be tempted to make the seemingly easy gun grab on an old man from behind.

  6. Wait…How do I know if Dean is a good guy or a bad guy? Is that a suicide vest? I’m calling 911 right now. For the children.

  7. I will usually conceal carry, but on the 1st I open carried the new Sig Sauer Legion 229, and in west Austin none the less.
    No one cared. At all. Not surprised.

  8. It’s kinda sad that patently hysterical people like the faux “moms” carry so much weight in the media–glad there was no concomitant hysteria among the normal folks in Benbrook.

  9. You can open carry in Walmart no problem, but taking photos inside the store well get you banned in a heart beat!

    • I have noticed that cameras tend to create a much more nuclear reaction than openly carried firearms. Must be because a camera is pointing at someone while a gun in a holster is not.

  10. I disagree with you that “no one noticed”. They noticed. And they didn’t care. Normal people don’t fall in to vapors when seeing a holstered gun. They have enough common sense to take in to account how the person is acting.

  11. January came and I open carried my G19, two mags, and a German Shepard. No comments on the gun, but plenty of complements on the dog.

  12. Don’t know if I will open carry, but certainly don’t object. I have noticed 30.07 signs at several of the restaurants I’ve gone too. It would be an interesting exercise to go back and read all the editorials from the newspapers predicting “blood in the streets” when Texas concealed carry law went into effect. They probably went back and replaced conceal with open then printed again. Anyone remember Y2K? Yawn. Ya know, I could always take my Colt Python out for a stroll in a shoulder holster…too gaudy?

    • For the Open Carry Obsessed gaudy is good since the more attention attracted the better, hell put a pair of pearl grips on that Python THEN wear it in a shoulder rig, that would surely make the handgun hard not to notice!

    • Technically, yes. If you have a license to carry, you can carry concealed or open. But nobody gets a license to carry in NJ, so it’s all rather academic.

      The “45 states allow open carry” is kind of misleading, because in several of those states, it might technically be legal, but from a practical standpoint, it’s not realistically going to happen.

      • NJ carry laws only apply to cops, judges, politicians and their buddies. Their ‘unicorn’ permit is good for both open and concealed carry.

        I once saw a plain clothes cop open carry at a local NJ Starbucks. Just a polo shirt, khaki pants and a pistol in an OWB holster, clearly visible. What I actually did not notice was a badge. But guess what? Nobody cared. Nobody freaked out. I’m really tired of the crap the antis push about how everybody will be scared for their lives if they see somebody with a holstered gun, which is one stupid reason why they’re against issuing permits.

        • I saw something similar in a food store, except it looked more like his shirt had ridden up because he completely half-assed the ‘conceal’ thing. But nobody blinked but me. Then again, it’s Jersey… people don’t see what they’re not looking for.

  13. Couple of questions –

    1) I thought that government facilities could not ban carry. Isn’t that the whole point behind the Houstom Zoo kerfuffle?

    2) Did the police have the new 30.06 language posted?

  14. As someone from South Carolina, it is shameful that SC has anything in common with California, Illinois, NY, or DC.

  15. So Dean made a trip to Texas just to strut around and attract attention while in his mind making a statement with an exposed Glock in a misfitted cheap level 1 holster positioned poorly on the belt to make weapon retention difficult at best AND even though he is actually wearing a vest to keep warm made damn sure the pistol was not concealed under the winter garment. One can only imagine the thrill he must have felt.

    Hate to break the news to you Dean, but our new OC law here in Texas pretty much guarantees the Legislature will have no incentive to push through an amendment to the Texas constitution in future sessions which is what it would take for your dream of constitutional carry to become a reality in the Lone Star State.

    Dean you represent everything and all that the Open Carry Obsessed hold dear. If you’re looking to test the waters a bit more, instead of Benbrook give Austin, South Dallas, and 5th Ward in Houston a try then report back to us! Too funny!

    • You’ve made your anti-gun hysteria abundantly clear, but, what’s your point? You’re in the 1 percentile here and across the state – do you really think your juvenile attempts to ridicule people who respect the 2nd amendment are going anywhere? Give it a rest, and snuggle up under your blanket of false security with the rest of the anti-gun zealots.

      • So anyone who refuses to pretend it’s tactically sound and wise to obsess over openly carrying a handgun is “anti-gun”?

        Thanks Nonna for providing a glimpse of the irrational idiocy that drives the Open Carry Obsessed.

    • Your assertion that the new OC law gives the legislature no incentive to pass Constitutional carry is simply not true. I understand the reasoning from one train of thought but it does not eliminate significant incentive.

      Many of us have not been shy that we settled for licence OC as a first step and want Constitutional carry next. It has been made known that votes for politicians can and will depend on it. Not only that we politicians that were are already pushing for it and also had to settle. They have personally replied to me that they are not done and that OC with no license is their goal.

      I am not saying there is a guarantee it will ever happen but the idea that it never will is also not a guarantee. Our Legislature has passed many things that they supposedly had no incentive to pursue.

      • You’re delusional Gus if you believe the Texas Legislature is going to repeal or change Section 23 of the Texas Constitution to abolish the specific authority they hold to “regulate the wearing of arms”, an authority granted to them in 1876 when the Texas Constitution was drafted. Ain’t happening.

    • Austin? South Dallas? Fifth Ward?
      One is a pretentious metro wannabe, two are run down, majority minority neighborhoods. In all three cases, an old white guy carrying a firearm either concealed or in the open is safer than one who is disarmed and counting on the police department for rescue.
      What was your point?

      • In Austin an old white guy openly carrying might be an inviting target for creative policing by Chief Art Acevedo’s liberal anti gun agenda.

        In S Dallas or 5th Ward, an old white guy oblivious to weapon retention realities will be a tempting target for predator thugs that won’t hesitate to take his gun if given half a chance.

  16. Alabama is an open carry state BUT you can’t open carry in a vehicle unless you have a concealed carry permit. I have no idea why. When the wife and I go Jeepin (doors off) _0|||||||0_ I wear mine in a hip holster on my left hip showing… may or may not be legal. I do have a CCP so I’m guessing I’m legal. If I’m out of bed I’m armed.

    • The “no open carry in the car” rule, without a CCP, is so they can prosecute drive by shootings more efficiently. People doing drive by’s rarely ever have CCP’s. I don’t know if it’s effective, but that’s the logic behind it.

  17. You can draw so much faster from open carry compared to concealed carry. There’s going to be a hail of bullets from the milk to the checkout. Then there’s going to be car to car shooting all the way home. You won’t be able to get that milk home without putting a vest on it.

      • I encourage the carrying of firearms, but in my opinion open carry is just plain old dumb in most settings and circumstances.

  18. as an italian who used to be in love with the us ( a looooong time ago ) I find it funny to see grown people acting like children playing the old wild west ………
    I’m glad that we in Europe have arrived in the 21 century, the us seems to have remained in the 1800…
    hidy hoo!

    • Damn, so if push for Italian gun laws I can have the blessing of a snooty Italian and he might love the US again? Let me think about that. Nope, no thanks.

      Especially one that equates a responsible adult carrying a firearm as a child and trots out the Wild West when the popular concept of that term is nothing short of a lie. I don’t expect you to understand our history but you apparently don’t even understand your own. Enjoy your continued bliss.

      And the 21st century includes terrorist slaughter of innocents, even in your precious Europe. There are countries in Europe selling firearms at all time high rates and having trouble keeping them in stock. I guess they are all children as well and part of your Europe is also stuck in the 1800s?

      • Gotta’ love the “often wrong, but never in doubt” liberals, wherever they are in the world, who think that the way to safety and security is to disarm law-abiding citizens, right? It’s truly amazing how these smug, self-righteous people conveniently forget history, and all the tyrants through time who engaged in disarming citizens prior to taking control over their lives.

        • The ones that don’t study their own as well as world history (or are just flat out Statists) are both alarming and comical at the same time.

          I just particularly liked the part where he once loved the US a long time ago yet he asserts that the US has remained in the 1800s. Didn’t leave the 1800s and then go back, it remained. So it appears through miraculous longevity at some time when he was alive prior to 1800 he loved the US.

          To be fair maybe he is of a believable age and certain aspects of the US that no longer exist made up for our remaining stuck in the the 1800s with regards to firearms and other rights/freedoms.. With those previously Italian approved aspects no longer in existence there is nothing to compensate for our 2A and the love has been lost. An interesting story indeed. 😉

    • @luigi rainer

      I detect too many Spaghetti Westerns in your past and not enough “Godfather”.

  19. Why go to the police station? Do you normally go and take photos in front of police station signs or something?

    • Not normally. As stated in the article (you DID read it, right?), it was just for effect on the 1st day of Texas OC. There’s a problem? What, exactly? Or are you just trolling to stir the pot? Lame.

  20. Once again, if you’re not completely obsessed with open carry then somehow you’re anti 2nd Amendment. I don’t give a rat’s butt if you carry it in your mouth, but open carry is tactically unsound. It’s kinda like sitting at the poker table and telling everyone you have aces in the hole.

    • It’s more like telling everyone about always having aces in the hole while trying to avoid a poker game.

  21. †††
    Jesus said to buy a SWORD
    and YES, that was a PHYSICAL sword.
    Luke 11.21 When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace:

  22. >Having to grab a jacket just to go out to the truck to retrieve a tool, or to step next door to talk to a neighbor was irritating and irrational.

    Or you know, needing to carry a gun to do that is irrational

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