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Michael Keoughan was exercising his right to bear arms in Texas last Wednesday. He’s part of a Texas group of Second Amendment supporters who demonstrate that the RKBA means something. They do that by legally carrying rifles slung across their back. When asked, they happily explain that they’re educating Texans about their rights under the state and federal constitutions . . .

Come and Take It, the Second Amendment group to which Mr. Keoughan belongs, aims to restore the right to openly carry pistols and other weapons to Texans. It has held numerous open carry demonstrations around Texas, and is in the process of planning another for Andrews.

Mr. Keoughan was checking out the route for their upcoming rally when he was arrested for openly carrying his rifle. This is the second time that a Come And Take It member has been arrested in Andrews for open carry. Andrews police chief Bud Jones has been notified that the rally would be taking place and still says that he will support it.

The ruse that the police used to arrest Mr. Keoughan was “disorderly conduct.” There is a provision in Texas law that defines disorderly conduct with a weapon as:

“DISORDERLY CONDUCT. (a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly…(8) displays a firearm or other deadly weapon in a public place in a manner calculated to alarm.”

The problem for the police is that Mr. Keoughan and Come and Take It adamatly state that their actions are not “calculated to alarm” but are meant to educate. It’s difficult to argue their point when the vast majority of people who they meet on the street aren’t alarmed. From

“I had great interactions throughout the entire day until the police showed up,” Keoughan said.

Police Chief Jones disagrees:

“We didn’t know who he was, had no clue but we started getting a mass number of phone calls,” Chief Jones said. “By displaying the weapon, he caused undue alarm.”

Yes, some people were alarmed. We don’t know how many, or how alarmed, because from past experience with these events, the calls are often inquiries asking if open carry is legal, which is exactly the sort of education Come And Take It is attempting to achieve.

The Chief is wrong to presume that causing alarm is the same as “calculated to alarm.” If merely causing alarm as a result of a legal action were sufficient to arrest, then the entire constitutional guarantee of bearing arms in Texas could be voided by anyone claiming that they were upset by seeing someone carrying a gun.

“This is the issue that they don’t want to address that we have to address,” Chief Jones said. “When we get a call about a person with a gun, do we ignore it? Walking down the street? They’re alluding to the fact that we don’t have any right to make contact to them because they’re not doing anything wrong. I beg to differ with them.”

No one is saying that the police can’t drive past someone who a citizen finds suspicious, or stop to talk to them. Police know that criminals almost never openly carry guns, and that those who are working to restore Second Amendment rights often do.

It’s difficult to square Chief Jones’ assurances that he supports the First, Second, Fourth and Fifth Amendments with Mr. Keoughan’s arrest:

 “I can’t emphasize enough that we support their right,” he said.

The police, after determining that Mr. Keoughan was in fact exercising his rights, did not have to arrest him, but they did. The leading candidate for Governor, Greg Abbot, has said that he supports legalizing open carry of handguns in Texas.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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    • Please call the Andrews Texas Police Department
      and politely let them regret ever violating these people’s rights like this.

      Leave a message if you don’t get an employee.

  1. Im not a proponent of open carry for the sake of it.
    But for that are that’s also fine with me.
    Id like to see more open carry of side arms.
    Carrying around a rifle just because you can does nothing for me personally.
    At least here in Florida with no open carry.
    If your side arm shows(accidently) its no longer a punishable offense.

    PS: that sheriff is a jackass.

    • Actually you can open carry in florida as long as you are fishing, hunting, or camping or enroute to or from hunting, fishing, or camping. People are posting numerous youtube videos of walking around on the various piers and campgrounds with a sidearm visible. The police can’t touch them. I’m not saying I support this type of activism but if the Florida police began arresting them I would. Question them? Fine. Arrest them when they aren’t violating the law….um….no!

      • Hunting fishing target shooting pretty much that rule applies almost every where more or less.
        Id like to see open carry here but.
        If it doesn’t happen Im OK with that too.
        To unnecessarily perturb folks isn’t as it in our best interests.

        • A friend who is a retired Sheriff’s deputy told me Florida did have open carry for about “a month” back in the early 1990’s. I asked what happened and according to him there were many, many calls and complaints therefore it was abolished. He’s very pro 2A so I asked him what his opinion was and he said he admitted to being happy it was gone simply because he was getting tired of having to explain to people that the guy at the Baskin-Robbins was allowed to carry a .44 magnum on his hip. His implication was that open carriers ruined it by their behavior. I’m not sure I’d agree with that but I can sympathize with the police as long as they follow the law!! I asked him if he ever questioned the people open carrying and he said, “I don’t think I did because I was too busy explaining to others that it wasn’t a crime.”

        • Florida used to have open carry. It was traded in for “shall issue” 25 years ago. Florida needs to regain legal OC. There are only five remaining states that prohibibit open carry. South Carolina will soon have it, then there will be four. Florida and Texas are two of the four. Pretty crazy when one considers the other two are New York and Illinois!

        • If it doesn’t happen Im OK with that too.

          You do realize that you are not supporting the right to keep and bear arms; no? The statement plainly means that you are okay if the free exercise of a basic right is denied so long as you have the government privilege of licensed carry. There’s something deeply wrong about that thinking if you wish to secure individual Liberty.

          If it requires a license or permit, it is a privilege. Privileges are subject to the whim of government. Rights are unalienable and not subject to the whim of government. Why would someone ever be willing to roll over on everyone’s individual right just to keep a flimsy privilege? That’s myopic and dangerous to freedom.

        • IMO that’s short sighted and self destructive. It would be like not caring if feinsteins media bill passes cause you don’t blog or otherwise express political opinion or share news. Allowing such things to pass is harmful and it is well worth fighting for. I would probably never open carry… Unless it was to protest not being allowed to.

    • Jay, Texans are OCing rifles because that’s the ONLY firearm they can legally open carry. They are lobbying for OC of handguns. This is all part of their legislation strategy. They are not like the California and Oregon youtubers who are recording “gotcha” videos of LEOs.

      • This

        Their point is: You can’t show a pistol on your hip, but it is perfectly legal to stroll around town with a scary black rifle on your shoulder.

      • I completely understand why they are open carrying.
        But again.
        Its the negative attention that gets the press.
        That in itself does more harm as I see then good.
        Most of the Deputy Sheriffs I know and see come into my place of business.
        To a man are all 2A folks.
        They will look the other way if they can.
        If they cant.
        They must play the Captains game and make your life a little more difficult.
        Myself if my handgun shows which it has on many occasions riding my motorcycle as I commute daily by bike or trike.
        Has been 100% ignored as a patrol car passes me on the roads.
        On more then I occasion a cop has made it know its showing,,,,,,,,,,
        Its all in how you go about things.
        Some will produce a general negative amongst the ignorant.
        Those who should know better.
        Leave it be.
        At least here in southern Florida.
        And I know they can see it.

    • I OC’d at the Milwaukee Tea Party ralley on courthouse property which was a bit iffy, the cops that drove by honked horns in support of us though. Hope to see you at the next one, Randy

    • “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed as long as said arm is visable from three sides…” oh wait, it doesn’t really say that does it?

  2. If the NRA doesn’t get involved legally in this there’s something wrong with them. The guy broke no laws! The liberal police chief who is trying to pass himself off as a 2nd Ammendment loving patriot is corrupt. He’s trying to harass until people simply doesn’t open carry rifles because they know they’ll be arrested. He knows it will be tossed out but the process the citizen has to go through is lengthy and burdensome. Every pro-gun legal team should climb up this departments ass.

    • They need to go after the mayor politically. The Chief isn’t elected and doesn’t give a flip, but bring political pressure to bear on the mayor and the mayor will reign the Chief in.

    • The NRA doesn’t give a flying flip except about making money. Review their history. When they retire that geriatric dementia patient, Wayne LaPierre, and start acting like they ACTUALLY give a damn about restoring gun rights, THEN they will be a useful organization.

      On a more related side note: These cops HAVE to know by now that open carry of rifles is legal in Texas. Word HAS to be getting around. That tells me that these cops are just being power trippy jerks.

      • I couldn’t disagree with you more about the NRA and Wayne LaPierre.

        As to the Texas cops who arrested this man they state he was arrested for disorderly conduct. They know it’s legal to open carry a rifle in the Lone Star State…..they just don’t like it and are trying to use a back door method of preventing it. It is corrupt. It is a false arrest. It will be thrown out but causes problems for the accused none-the-less. That’s their strategy.

      • Billy, every LEO in Texas knows it’s legal. Many large departments have had meetings about this exact thing. And not to inform their officers, but to develop strategies to combat the lawful carry of firearms. This has been well documented. I forget, it was either Dallas or Fort Worth where the last big LEO meeting on this that I heard about was.

        In this case, the Chief of Police Bud Jones went on the record saying that arrests would not be made solely as a result of open carry, then went ahead and arrested Michael Keoughan for “disorderly conduct.” It’s all BS and the police know it. Some of these arrests have already gone to trial. No convictions yet.

      • Sooo……what have YOU done lately to expand 2A freedoms? Hmm? That’s what I thought. Get some accomplishments, then you can shoot your mouth off about Lapierre.

        • Jonathon, to be fair, Billy does have a small point. The NRA is leaving a lot of people and organizations out to dry where they could be helping with lawsuits. My group just solely funded a lawsuit that went all the way up to the Supreme Court of Michigan, and we won. The opposition spent (wasted) $125,000 of the taxpayers’ money. We now have case law on our (pro-2A) side. Think the NRA would lift a finger to help us?

        • Danny, the NRA doesn’t make money from legal challenges or legal defense. They make money and exert power through lobbying.

        • Mr. Griffin, please elaborate as to your group. I’m fighting for 2A rights on my college campus, and I’m getting close to the litigation point. I’m looking to SCC and Mountain States Legal Defense Fund. Any input would be appreciated.

  3. Why attract attention to yourself? Use a case which will protect the gun from harm as well as yourself. If you don’t have a case, get one! In the meantime wrap your long gun in a blanket.

    • History has quite clearly borne out to all of us that, if change is to be affected, we absolutely must draw attention to ourselves.

      How else do you think the Civil Rights Act of 1964 could have ever even got off the ground?

      Open carry isn’t even open carry unless the weapon in visible (in accordance with relevant state and local laws)!

      • A crucial difference between the 2nd Amendment and the Civil Rights Movement:the media was on the side of the activists in the 1960s. Every time a racist cop screwed the pooch , the media was on the case like white on rice.

        Today , the media’s watching The Establishments back.

        When your going up against the government AND popular culture, treading carefully is prudent.

        • “If you go to your local bookstore or library you will not find a section devoted to ‘Great Moderates in History’.” – Rush Limbaugh

        • Re writing history. The “media” was certainly not on the side of civil rights and certainly not from the beginning. The fact is negroes being beaten was great tv, the other fact is that through exposure negative or positive the victims were humanized and most people being decent minds were changed.

      • “The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.”
        – Martin Luther King, Jr.

      • Yes I agree, we must draw attention to ourselves, BUT, the attention should be on bad gun registration, un-just laws, such as when a homeowner has a right to defend himself.
        Even though we may have a right to open carry a gun in public, to do so, just to prove a point, brings the gun haters down on us.

        • “Yes I agree, we must draw attention to ourselves, BUT, the attention should be on bad gun registration, un-just laws, such as when a homeowner has a right to defend himself.”

          The attention must be on all the unconstitutional anti-RKBA legislation AND the tyrannical attempts by law enforcement to ignore the pro-RKBA laws in order to enforce their personal philosophy and monopoly on tyrannical control of their bailiwicks. If a person is not violating any law other than some vague “Some people are uncomfortable…” statute, any contact with law enforcement should be brief and cordial.

          “Even though we may have a right to open carry a gun in public, to do so, just to prove a point, brings the gun haters down on us.”

          The gun haters are ALREADY down on us. They have NO legal standing or argument since everything they propose is yet another blatant violation of the Second Amendment. The only thing we could do to change their opinion is to repudiate the Second Amendment, stop all efforts to exercise our natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms, and voluntarily turn in all our weapons and ammunition at government collection stations.

          If you are not up for the struggle, perhaps your are not the “gunr” you claim to be. In any battle some combatants will inevitably fall. Unless you surrender all your rights unconditionally, up front, this is a battle that may be delayed, but cannot ultimately be avoided. I refuse to let you or anyone else surrender my rights on my behalf – I will make that decision for myself when and if the time comes.

          “He who surrenders an essential liberty for temporary safety deserves neither.” – Benjamin Franklin.

    • Gunr, the whole point of the exercise is to draw attention to yourself and by so doing draw attention to the fact that law enforcement is ready to ignore the law and the fact that you are doing nothing illegal and to arrest you as a form of harassment and back-door method of subverting the Second Amendment.

      He was not carrying his rifle for the purpose of transporting it from place to place so putting it in a case or wrapping it in a blanket would not have served his purpose, which was the free and legal exercise of his natural, civil and Constitutional (U.S. and Texas) right to bear arms.

      Personally I would consider someone schlepping a rifle wrapped up in a blanket as calculated to cause alarm, at least it would alarm the hell out of me.

      • If you wrapped you gun in a blanket in a reasonable manner (not shrink wrapped) most folks wouldn’t know what’s in there, and would not be alarmed. Just my opinion.
        I think that if we want to draw attention to ourselves by open carrying a gun, such as an AR type weapon, then we should do so in force! Then the world can see that this is not just one radical individual displaying his thought, but rather a substantial group of citizens defending their right to bear arms. It is easy for gun haters to come down on one poor slob exercising his rights, but quite another thing when faced with many.

        • I can think of a lot of reasons wrapping a long gun in a blanket to carry in public is Bad Idea. That would look a whole lot more suspicious to me than open carrying that same rifle.

        • Gunr, that group DOES open carry long guns in force. Cops are still arresting them. That is NOT stopping them from exercising their rights under Texas law. It is all part of the push to get legislation changed in Texas, not some lone Fruit-Loop. You should read up on what’s going on down there. Law enforcement is stepping way over the bounds.

        • Just this weekend I passed a group of half a dozen guys with slung ARs in downtown Austin. Definitely made my day! I hadn’t known about the organization before that.

        • In places that would be illegal (concieling a rifle) and where are you getting your ideas about antis from? They will hate us less if there are more of us? It was said already but THEY HATE US ANYWAY. They hated my mom for her .38 snub years ago as much as they hate your ebr. They can not be appeased so why try?

    • Hey, you read it jerky. Apparently you don’t agree. Why don’t you enlighten us with your moral and intellectual perspective on this topic. Rather than make whiny comments.

  4. Some cops would have stopped just long enough to check things out and then sent the dude on his way. Not this one. For what other non-crimes can we be arrested? Kind of a scary notion.

  5. I’m not carrying water for the authorities on this one, but I have to wonder how effective open carry is at changing folks’ mind .

    As much as I’d love to live in a responsible, pro gun America where everyone walks about with their choice of weapon, that nation will never exist given modern social norms.There are millions of people who think guns are tools of doom which need to be strictly controlled.And they’re everywhere, even in pro rights states.

    The only advantage we have against the onslaught of bambiist foolishness is discretion.Us gunnies fight and fight for our rights.The typical anti only participates when it’s trendy. Put simply, we cannot afford to give the quiet, quivering masses of American gun haters a reason to rally.

    And these protests are a perfect lightning rod for the opposition.Getting someone to care about disarmament when there’s a shooting two states away is a challenge.It’s a lot easier when there’s a strange guy walking in front of your house with an M1.

    Just my two cents, but lets leave the hardware in the safe and let the Constitution and logic do the talking for us.

    • They’ve done a SMASHING job for us, so far, haven’t they?

      The problem with your logic is: if the Constitution and logic WERE “speaking for us”, then there would be articles like this. Ever.

    • If we agree to leave the hardware in the safe then the anti-2A folks have already won since we have capitulated without a fight. The Second Amendment reads, “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms…”

      It’s pretty hard to actually “bear arms” when they are locked in your safe because you are frightened of illegal harassment on the street by law enforcement officers for exercising your natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.

      I am a proponent of open carry of pistols. I believe this serves the purpose (except in Texas) of exercising our rights without causing undue alarm. I believe that people walking down the streets with scary black rifles, while legal, may be reasonable cause for alarm in our current political and terrorist climate. That said, it is STILL legal and LEOs who respond to these calls should approach it with, how is it termed again – “Innocent until proven guilty” concept of law enforcement, not looking for any possible way of arresting this person.

    • Why should anyone have to leave their Constitutional Rights “in the safe”?

      You didn’t leave your comment “in the safe”, did you?

    • Just like an inter-racial couple or gay couple has every right to hold hands walking down the street, despite the objections of some; the right to freely bear arms openly in public is a right. Those who don`t like it are free to steer clear of those they disagree with, but have no right to disavow them of their right

  6. “DISORDERLY CONDUCT. (a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly…(8) displays a firearm or other deadly weapon in a public place in a manner calculated to alarm.”

    This needs to get changed. The conduct should be defined as someone who is using a weapon to threaten others (ie pointing it at people and waving it around). Carrying is not threatening and if someone becomes “alarmed” so freaking what.

    • Right. How many crimes are defined not in terms of the offenders actions but in a POTENTIAL victim’s emotional response?

      It’s pretty silly.

      And if such a case were to go to jury trial (yes, a defendant in a DC case can request a jury trial), where’s the right to face your accuser? Can the State put a witness on the stand saying they were alarmed? Is it sufficient for the responding officer to say HE was alarmed?

      Crazy weird.

  7. If all it takes is a phone call that someone is alarmed about a person with a weapon, then we should get a group of people to go down there and find cops out on duty and call 911 on them because we are alarmed by their openly carrying guns.

  8. Ah, the Great Republic of Texas, where neither the Second Amendment or the First Amendment mean jack sh1t.

  9. I use to see these open carry folks as activist and my opinion was that it put 2nd Amendment people in a bad light. My feelings have evolved somewhat. About a year ago I was hog hunting in the Seminol Ranch wildlife management area about 20 miles east of Orlando. A section of the Florida Scenic Trail runs through the area. It’s public land and is used by sportsmen, hikers, birder watchers, and campers. I’m walking down the trail with a 30-06 rifle and camo clothing. On my hip a Springfield XD 9mm. I come around a corner and encounter a group of bird watchers from a club in Orlando. I move to the side of the trail so they can pass and pulled down my face mask so I could politely say hello. They passed one by one and I nodded and said “Hello, Hi, how’s it going,” etc. I noticed several staring at the pistol. About 6 hours later I’m at the hunter’s check station to turn in my daily quota permit and the ranger asked, “Did you run across some people bird watching on the south trail this morning?” I said yes and he laughed. He goes on to say they walked all the way up to the station to “report” me carrying a handgun in the open. Apparently the leader told them all that was illegal. No said a peep about the high powered rifle slung across my back but that pistol unnerved them. The ranger actually told me he assured the group I wasn’t breaking the law, (embarrassing the leader), and then told them it was recommended they learn the laws if they were walking around the wilds during hunting season. I laughed too but admit this just didn’t sit right with me. I wasn’t in some mall. There was a scoped rifle across my pack. And it was hunting season. My point is they were just hyper-sensitive city people who walked miles out of their way to try to get me in trouble.

  10. I see a pattern forming:
    1-5 open carriers get harassed and arrested on made up charges.
    25 or more open carriers and the PD stands around the periphery with their hands in their pants.

    I’m starting to believe PD such as this harass to maintain the illusion of control for the benefit of public image. They don’t have control of 50-100 open carriers so they do nothing.

    Probably the best way for 10 or less to open carry is to tactical up, carry AR s and kick in a few doors. That way the public will assume its their PD and all will be fine.

    • Tyrants faced with civil disobedience on a scale they cannot hope to confront directly will target individuals and throw the entire weight of the system, including massive publicity, against them in order to intimidate the larger group to stand down for fear of individually facing the same assault.

      This is a tried and true technique of political control by tyrants. For example; in WW II when faced with massive disruptions by partisan groups the Nazis would capture a suspected resistance fighter and subject them to torture and interrogation, then very public hanging or firing squad. The intent was to convince the greater majority of the population not to give aid to partisans.

      In the Soviet Union dissidents would be rounded up and shipped to Gulags under horrendous conditions, some of whom would be released home again where they could tell their stories to friends and relatives. This worked rather well for almost 8o years.

      Intimidation is often a better form of social control than crack-downs and round-ups, and is cheaper in resources. Which do you think would work better, busting one open-carrier a week on trumped up disturbing the peace charges or showing up at an open carry rally of 100+ people with SWAT, riot gear and all available MRAPs?

      • Exactly Cliff H! My first thoughts upon reading about this arrest several days ago was that about 500 Texans should show up in that hick town and walk every-which-away with rifles across their backs. Sit on every park bench. Mill around every intersection. The corrupt police chief would have a real PR problem trying to explain that. It would show the folks who felt “intimidated” that perhaps they overreacted too. Everyone wears an video device. ‘Tis called push-back!

  11. I think people misunderstand the law. The matter of whether the open carry was “calculated” to cause undue alarm cannot be answered by anyone except a jury. The police were fully within the scope of their duties to make this arrest. That’s not to say they were smart, but if you don’t like guns then it was smart.

    The real problem is not with the cop, though he is an ass. The problem is with the law that is so poorly written as to leave this so poorly defined. There is a very real possibility that, our opinions to the contrary, that this man will be convicted and then lose a lot of rights and freedoms.

    It is a better idea to push to get the law clarified to take this leeway away from the police and away from the juries. Until then, this is behavior that is far too risky for my tastes.

    • But until more cases like this one are presented to the courts, where is the incentive for the legislative system to amend the laws? If the “problem” never arises because no one is willing to go to the streets to test the law then there is no reason whatsoever for law makers to look into changing it since it is very obviously not a problem.

    • Skyler, they ARE pushing to get the laws changed. That’s what all of this is about. Laws don’t get changed without pressure. I’m glad our rights don’t depend on people like you.

      • Danny you have no call to insult me. I’m not living in a dream world. I’m pointing out reality. The law as written allows the police and prosecutors to make this arrest and ask a jury to decide the vicitm’s fate. Jurors are selected by the lawyers and they prefer people who aren’t educated and easily swayed by emotion rather than logic. I would never voluntarily submit my freedom to such people (though it’s better than no jury at all).

        There are plenty of ways to change the law without needlessly risking your future possession if firearms forever.

    • Skylar. The police are not within the scope of their duty to make this arrest because their duty is to arrest people who violate the law. It isn’t against the law in Texas to carry a rifle openly in the manner he carried it. Period. As to your ascertation that the law is not clearly defined, let’s read the BIG law and consider the BIG picture: “A well regulated militia, being nessasary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep AND BEAR arms, shall not be infringed.” Seems clearly defined.

      • You can have your opinion of the law all you want. I’m just reporting what the law says and how a court will approach it. The only way to tell if the law is violated is to put the question to a jury. If you want to say that this is a test case to define the law, then great. Perhaps the cops are behind this as well and are merely trying to better define the law through the courts (but this would be a stretch, of course).

        Personally, challenging the law this way puts too much at risk. There is a risk of permanently losing your right to possess firearms ever again. I would rather challenge the law through someone who is inadvertently pulled into the situation than to risk so much.

        • This question has already been put to a jury. Do you know how many arrests have been made by police all over Texas for this, using this “calculated to cause alarm” nonsense? No convictions yet, but they keep arresting people for it when they know it is a false charge.

          The legislature is even on record stating that’s not what the law means. Lavender has introduced legislation to fix this every session for the last three sessions I think. Little by little it’s gaining more support. Look at the pics I posted below. Pro-2A activists all over Texas are holding OC rallies and OC public walks and OCing solo to put more pressure on to get the laws changed. It is having a positive effect, whether you believe it or not. The police just don’t like it, so they are persecuting people who are NOT breaking the law. I’m not okay with it, and neither should you be.

        • Oh, by the way, there’s already a $25,000 reward out for evidence that leads to a conviction of jury tampering, fraud, and/or conspiracy to conceal evidence by prosecutors, the city of Temple, Temple Police Department, or anyone else that may have been involved in the Grisham trials for this repeated nonsense by the police.

  12. Cops hate getting calls because it means they have to get off their fat asses and actually do some work.

  13. I hope anyone doing this has a lawyer on speed dial, ready to handle the case. And I really hope if it goes to a jury in Texas the jury will sit down and say “not guilty” before anyone else has a chance to say a word.

  14. The only way these this things can even be said to have an educational value is if they cause alarm. Anyone who open carries as a form of protest should be prepared to go to jail for it and they should take it like a man they shouldn’t lie to themselves or us about their intent.

    • Manimal. 50 years ago if a black person sat at the front of a bus and when the police questioned them they said, “I did it to cause angst amongst whites and challenge you to arrest me” then they actually would have violated a statute, disorderly conduct. They instigated a disruption of the peace. But if they said, “I sat here because I have a right to sit anywhere I choose as an American and as a human being”, well, they were still in violation of a statute (because blacks couldn’t sit upfront in a bus by law), but it was done to show the immorality of the current law. That’s how you fight stuff like this. The guy was likely doing both, scouting a course for their march AND testing the police. If he just said he was trying to see if he’d get arrested he would automatically prove disorderly conduct. Then the arrest would be valid. The case will be dismissed. Remember I said it.

      • It’s exactly because of what I know about the sit ins during the civil rights movement that I made my statements.Hundreds and hundreds of blacks went to jail, and were beaten, and every manner of injustice was visited unto them and they welcomed it and expected it. So when I see people whining about “Oh, no, these brave protesters went to jail, how could that happen?” It tells me people are ignorant of the sacrifice required to actually fight for your rights. Basically they want their cake and to eat it to. If you are going to protest open carry, expect to go to jail, by open carrying realize that your intent may be decided by the legal system and there is a good chance you will go to jail.

    • If you read the story you would find that you are wrong. People were learning about legal carry without panicking.

  15. Also, for those that didn’t watch the video, the officer said the “disorderly conduct” was for inciting a public riot! Did anyone see a public riot? Or maybe I just have a hard time understand his accent.

  16. On one hand, I doubt the statute says ‘open carry is permitted IF the citizen has a good reason’, but on the other, I just don’t see what’s so hard for these groups to go in groups with matching ‘Come and Take It’ shirts and inform the police before hand that they’re out there to educate the public. Then the 911 operator could just explain to the people that call in that they know all about it and the people aren’t doing anything illegal.

    • How exactly dose that challenge the law? Nothing you recommend is an improvement in the safety of the participants or likely to garner better results.

      • ‘When asked, they happily explain that they’re educating Texans about their rights under the state and federal constitutions . . .’

        Nothing about challenging any laws here. If you want to challenge a law, go ahead, get yourself arrested, hire a good attorney and challenge away.

  17. Texas police are just making stuff up, now. Now they are stating you can’t wear an empty holster or carry magazines on your belt. There is no law stating this!

    • If there was a gun in the holster, and the holster was visible, then he was most likely violating concealed carry laws. No part of the handgun can be visible or the outline either.

      • > If there was a gun in the holster

        Really? Did you even read what I wrote? [bangs head against wall]

        • The officer didn’t say that. You did. The officer asked if there was a gun in the holster in which case he would be in violation. I’ve carried inside the Capitol legally. The police are pretty good about it.

  18. The cops can easily tell people that it is legal for a person to carry like that (to educate), thanks for the call, and we will check it out. Again, this is f’n TX…WTF?

  19. And for you people who say these open carry walks with rifles are doing more harm than good, watch this. (You might want to skip to 2:09 though).

    • Grumpy, I tend to agree with that description, but I see the OC side also. It’s just unfortunate that the attention ratio seems to be more negative than positive. Kind of a double edged sword.

      To the OCers: I get it, I’ve done it, I understand your feelings and needs, but in my world I like to catch more flies with honey. Keep the 2A alive whatever way you feel is best. I’m in the fight for CCW and so called “gun free zones”, AKA disarmed citizen targets of opportunity.

      • You are in the fight for a privilege, others are in the fight for a right. I suppose your idea of fighting for the 1st is to only ever say nice things about the people who want to take it away.

  20. Exercising your rights under the law is apparently disorderly conduct in Texas.

    If they want to ban open carry they should have the balls to float the idea to the legislators. As it is, they are cowardly thugs in uniform. This de facto ban and harassment of citizens is tyrannical.

    I wouldn’t open carry a rifle like that and I think people doing it in malls or restaurants sometimes harm our cause, but these Texas cops need to respect the rights of the people.

  21. We had the West Allis Wi gestapo arrest a gentleman peacefully OC’ing in his yard rakeing leaves years ago. The opinon of the AG was that WI had OC at that time. He was arrested for disorderly conduct with a weapon, a felony. He prevailed & that was the last time we heard their “I did it my way” tune. Hopefully the same happens here, Randy

  22. Someone tell me why the cop demanded a driver’s license? It sure didn’t appear that person of interest was operating a motor vehicle in which required the possession of a operating permit.

  23. I thought that Texas was the place to be if you are a gun owner. How could this happen? /sarc

    Even in the land of Governor Terry McAuliffe I have way more gun rights in Virginia than any Texan does.

  24. I wonder if the media would be more sympathetic to our plight regarding the issue of “the right to bear arms” if they, themselves were required to have a permit to participate, and specific rules regulating where they can exercise their right to “freedom of press”. I am not suggesting that this should happen!!!!!!

    • Yes. Anyone claiming the title of “journalist” should be held to a much higher, stricter standard than a plain citizen exercising their Constitutionally protected right to Free Speech. A “journalist” wields a great deal more power to disseminate false information to the detriment of the local community and the nation at large and should therefore be held accountable for their words/actions.

  25. I’m not a big fan of open carry, at least not in a city. In a rural area it can make a lot of sense, but not in a city.

    I thought people pretty much outgrew it in the pioneering days when towns got big enough to start to have a bit of law and a school.

    This right falls into the category of just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

    • Yes! You are absolutely right!!! We should all live on our knees, begging “gooberment” to please let us have the rights IT decides to grant us. Just because the theater you are in is on fire does not give you the authority to tell people it is on fire. Yea, just stay on your knees, the “authorities” give you permission to die from your own stupidity.

  26. Chief Jones, the law says “calculated to cause alarm”. There was nothing in his manner that demonstrated such intent, therefore his arrest was bogus. That people were in fact alarmed isn’t the measure, but the INTENT to cause alarm is.

    What was he doing when the police showed up? Anything menacing?

    What did the witnesses who complained say he was doing when they were interviewed? Anything menacing?

    The mere presence of a firearm isn’t menacing under the law. Only the behavior of the person bearing that firearm is indicative of menacing, or not.

    • I’m still waiting for any of these “police” depts to release all these panic filled 911 calls, and the names of all the people filing these false police reports. Wonder why they refuse to prove their claims of massive numbers of “panic” calls?

  27. Does that mean if someone calls about someone “carrying a bag large enough to hold a bomb” that some woman will be arrested for having a purse ?

    If I lived down there I’d want to find out, a bunch of times…

  28. Standing on your rights is fine, but you may have to take the flak for it. Remember the Black Panthers in Oakland, Ca? Back in the late 60s and early 70s, they used to stand guard with rifles and shotguns. It scared white America, but it taught many black men responsability and some discipline.
    While I abhor racial hatred, I understand thier reasons. I agree that we shood be able to carry a rifle around, but I would have it in a case. If I need protection, it would be a concealed carry handgun on my person, even if I were carrying a rifle.
    How would you feel that by wasting the officers’ time, someone nearby did an unthinkable crime? Would you feel even partially at fault?
    Here in Ca, people took a look at the few irresponsable people going shooting and making explosions, firing full auto, pulling old cars and appliances out on public lands and leaving them there and not even watching where they were firing. This turned me off to “army type rifles” for years. I have zero respect for people that misuse dangerous tools(putting other people in danger). While the few rifle ranges that are left stress safety, it wasn’t like that 25 years ago in public shooting areas in SoCal.
    Carrying a gun like you are ready to use it at any second vs carrying it with a sling on your back is much different. Sadly, showing guns in a good light on tv or movies does not sell, so the sheeple think the worst.

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