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Back in April, 2013, C.J. Grisham was set upon by a Temple police officer in rural Bell County for open carrying a rifle. Grisham was convicted of “interfering with police duties” after a second jury trial. He paid a $2,000 fine. Many who have watched the video of the event think the police officer is the one who should have been reprimanded. In any event, the video went viral. Grisham’s zeal for open carry was born, blossoming into thousands of armed Texans marching to demand their second amendment rights . . .

Texas is one of only six states that ban the open carry of modern handguns. The law is a relic from the occupation of Texas by the racist reconstruction government. As Governor elect, Greg Abbott, the Lt. Governor, and much of the legislature are in favor of restoring Texas open carry in some form, it seems likely that a bill will be signed into law in 2015.

It’s not clear what impact Grisham’s troops have had on that effort. No question: C.J.’s raised the visibility of the open carry movement both within the Lone Star State and around the country. Not necessarily in a good way; Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and their ilk have exploited pictures of the “Chipotle Ninjas” for their crusade for civilian disarmament.

Maybe that’s why the Dallas Morning News shortlisted Grisham for their “Texan of the Year” award. While they are openly hostile to C.J. Grisham’s activities, there’s a certain distinction in being a Texan that non-Texans love to hate. From

This newspaper sides with critics who think the publicity stunts are overly provocative, especially in an urban setting.

Whether or not Grisham helped or hurt the cause of open carry, he raised its public profile. For that we think he deserves the recognition.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Gun Watch

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  1. I’m inclined to think that CJ did way more good than harm to 2A. Moms Begging for Action will always find something gun-related that will get their granny-panties in a bunch, and if they can’t find something they’ll make it up. But Grisham gave a lot of impetus to the OC movement in Texas, to the extent that even Abortion Barbie said she favored legal open carry (even if she didn’t mean it).

    BTW, “The Illegal Immigrant” won this award in 2007.

    • +1
      Open carry helps “normalize” guns and if it means another front the anti’s have to combat, I’m all for it.

    • Abortion Barbie? Really. You’re kind of a dickhead you know that? Attack her on issues, not on gender and not on some stupid nickname that a two year old could top.

  2. If not for Grisham, it’s possible that there’d be an attack on concealed carry right now instead of open carry.

    • I am not a huge fan of open carry. I have always thought it does more harm than good and I wouldn’t open carry just because I don’t want to expose my “ace in the hole”. But I must say that i have never thought of open carry in the way you talk of. Very interesting.

      • In Ohio we used to carry our handguns concealed and unless one was committing a crime, we really didn’t have too many problems. At least, that was my experience and that of family and friends. We had concealed handgun licensing law in 2005 and many of us began exercising our right to openly carry handguns instead of just exercising a government privilege of concealing those handguns. Some complained about open carry. We began openly bearing our rifles in public. Some then began complaining about the open carry of rifles. The open carry of handguns practically fell off of the radar for the complainers. I guess if we started carrying RPGs then the complainers would be happy if we were only carrying rifles again. The antis have forgotten all about attacking concealed and open carry of handguns because they are fixated on attacking the open carry of long guns. 😉

  3. The comments under the article were interesting. Some anti-gun folks decided to refer to an incident where an OC proponent was arrested for shooting her husband and step daughter. Not one post linked to one of the many stories where a mother attempted to kill or actually killed their children. If one of these mothers does not reflect on all mothers, which they would not, then how does one gun owner accused of a crime reflect on all gun owners.

    • It’s pretty easy to search out and extrapolate whatever it is you wish to demonize.

      She was a Ford owner too, damn crazied Ford owners.

  4. Always record the cops. Always.

    If there was no recording… there would have never been any media coverage and the PD would have never been pressured to release the dashcam and it wouldn’t have been released. The event would have just been another of many rights violations to sink into oblivion, and no one knowing that it ever happened.

  5. Why is the chart above yellow for “no permit required”, green for “permit required”, and red for “not allowed”? That doesn’t make sense.

    • Carlos,

      I agree if stop lights mean green for go, yellow for caution and red for stop, why would no permit be the color of caution or yielding.

  6. i keep seeing this map that shows Arkansas as an open carry state. That is in dispute. I would not recommend you attempting to open carry in Arkansas especially
    In the larger cities.

    • When I lived in Oregon last year, it was illegal in the city of Beaverton to OC. Portland often charges OC’ers with disturbing the peace. I have heard that Multnomah County has recently created ordinances that are so restrictive that security guards can no longer OC in the county. So, even if a state government allows open carry, it is not always true throughout the state.

      • Oregon is an open carry state and has good pre emption at the state level, but does allow municipalities to regulate open carry of loaded firearms. Oregon City and Tualatin are two others i can think of off the top of my head. These regulations do not apply to chl holders, but i havent wanted to bother with being hassled so i only conceal carry for now (i live in one of the regulated towns), one day i may oc, but only after some practice interacting with the fuzz and after procuring a badgeholder and lanyard for my chl.

  7. Jerry, I keep wondering the same thing. Arkansas isn’t an open carry state. (according to the AG last year after the journey laws were rewritten)

    • The AG was highly partisan in his ruling. People have been openly carrying all over the state, in demonstration marches, and no one has been arrested. Most prosecutors say that the new law makes it impossible to prosecute a person for openly carrying.

  8. The link provided does not provide support for the contention that the reconstruction government of Texas was ‘racist’ (nor does the cited law review article cited therein by Stephen Halbrook). Can you provide a good source for this assertion?


  9. the quote:

    “especially in an urban setting.”

    is cut short to conceal their true intent. An honest version would read:

    “especially in an urban setting where the Second Amendment is not needed.”

  10. Someone seriously needs to update that graphic. As has been pointed out before, it’s got some defficiencies. Mass for one is most definitely NOT an open carry state, permit or not.

  11. I dunno about that “racist” Reconstruction government, either. My impression has been that the actual Reconstruction gov’t was most interested in suppressing “unreconstructed” whites, especially from such things as openly carrying guns on election days to intimidate newly-enfranchised blacks. The reborn Democrat gov’ts of the post-Reconstruction era might well have maintained an interest in the no-carry laws with an eye toward keeping blacks disarmed, however. Like I say, just my understanding of the situation.

  12. MA is legally an open carry state by the letter of the law. That does not stop a prosecutor or the AG herself from making sure that anyone which does so is charged with “brandishing” a weapon (the gymnastics of calling a legally owned and holstered firearm such is ridiculous but has been done before by our bonkers state judiciary) which is considered “assault with a deadly weapon” (because the law views the showing of a weapon, even holstered, as a deadly threat) under state law. The MA supreme court PROUDLY refuses to acknowledge the US constitution applies to them in addition to any USSC ruling which runs counter to their opinion. The MA supreme court also has no problem declaring parts of the state constitution dead letter.

  13. OK, Rant mode is on.

    I’ve lived in Texas my whole life, am a die hard 2nd Amendment guy, long item NRA member and 20+ year LEO and firearms instructor. No troll or plant, just a big time gun guy with a very different opinion. And that opinion is that Open Carry is galactically stupid, reckless, immature, selfish and idiotic. There is not one damn good reason that can be given why open carrying in an urban area is even remotely located within 10,000 light years of common sense. If you think you need a gun for self protection, if your situation or environment dictates you should carry for self defense, then why in Hell would you throw away every tactical advantage possible by telegraphing that you’re wearing a gun??!! There are massive, massive holes in the inane Open Carry Argument:

    1. “A bad guy will see my gun and know to leave me alone.” – Wrong, wrong, wrong. You’ve been watching too many Chuck Norris films or reading way too many Guns & Ammo rags. Today’s gang bangers and crooks LOOK for guns to steal, they are bold and have little fear. Heck, they bust open the trunks of marked black and whites in broad day light to get guns, they attack uniformed cops all the time that are carrying guns. You think that you, with little or no training in situational awareness or close combat weapon retention, are going to scare them off? You are the walking “Free Gun” store. MS13, Barrio Aztecas, Mexican Mafia, West Texas Tango Blast, Crips, Bloods, Aryan Brotherhood, Aryan Circle, these are you’re enemies…they are carnivores looking for an easy score, and there you are walking through Wal-Mart, sitting in a café, strolling through the mall, whatever, and all you are is a bright neon target begging for one or two thugs to distract and disarm you. CHL makes you blend in, Open Carry screams “LOOK AT ME!” and it does it to the wrongest of people.

    2. “The 2nd Amendment is my permit! It’s my right!” – Uh, no. Every right has a logical, natural limit. The 1st Amendment doesn’t allow you to walk into a church on Sunday and scream “F**K God! F**K JESUS!” for an hour and a half. You do that and you’ll be arrested for disorderly conduct, and rightfully so. Religious freedom doesn’t allow you to kill and eat dogs and cats or throw babies into volcanoes. Property rights don’t allow you to burn a pile of old tires in your backyard in a city neighborhood. There are always limits because human nature without boundaries will always gallop to the extreme and that is never good. I know gunshow ninjas really, really hate the weaselly bedwetting liberals at Starbucks and Chipotle’s, but intentionally walking in Open Carry just to make the Volvo drivers crap their birkenstocks is a pathetic, cowardly, gutless, brainless petty thing to do, it’s what a school yard bully does and it is the EXACT same tactic that Code Pink, PETA and angry glitter bombing gays use. How can you curse the behavior of those you hate but then use the same bull crap tactics?

    3. “It precipitates gun awareness” – Yeah, in the exact wrong manner. At least roughly half of America is undecided on gun ownership at large. Yes, a new poll shows a majority support it, but it’s still about 55-45. So the great undecided masses will now see Open Carry knuckle draggers walking in and sitting down in the Olive Garden next to them, along side their kids, grandparents, etc. You think you did anything that convinces them guns are better? You just made their dinner outing all about you, most likely made them very anxious and depending on your demeanor, just turned another family against guns. You see, if you want to crow about people respecting your ‘rights’ vis a vis guns, then you have to respect their rights to not WANT to have guns around them while they’re shopping, eating or watching movies. I know this is a shocker, but it’s not all about you. You actually are an Ambassador of Gun Rights, and if your attitude to undecided folks is “SCREW OFF! IT’S MY RIGHT” then you’ve become the best argument against guns.

    4. “It makes the community safer” – No. Section 30.06 of the Texas Penal Code states that any store can post a sign forbidding CHL’s from coming in. Most don’t because they’re fairly gun friendly and no one can see them. The Texas legislature, which convenes in a week or two, will start debating Open Carry and I promise you that if it passes, OC will be bound by the same 30.06 rule. That mean since your hogleg is now visible, all those commie loving liberal stores you want to scare will most likely take preventive action and post a 30.06 sign prohibiting Open Carry, as will many more. A hidden gun is no issue, no one know’ it’s there. An idiotic Glock with extended mag in a hip holster? Non gun folks or neutral gun folks will see that and say NO NO NO NO, not in my store. So the upshot is, OC will actually make carrying a weapon harder in the long run, especially once the first shooting happens in a store, OC style. No business wants that civil liability and 30.06 signs will pop up like bindweed. Also, those crooks I mentioned earlier will immediately know which stores post those signs and will sit and watch. When you walk up, read the 30.06 sign, turn around, go back to the car, put your gun in your car and leave to go back in, well BOOM there’s a free easy score from a vehicle smash and grab.

    5. “It makes me safer” – A truly pathetic argument. Safer? How does stumbling into a gas station or convenience store robbery with your wife or kids and you wearing a gun openly make you safer? How does telegraphing, “HEY I’M THE GUY WITH A GUN” in a dangerous situation make you safer? How does sitting in a restaurant with your family where you can’t watch everybody at once and your attention is on eating and conversation make you safer? Sitting in a dark theater with a gun openly is safer? Wearing OC with your family or loved ones beside you is stunningly stupid and selfish, because now you’ve put them downrange in a firefight if one happens. You ain’t a cop. but to the goon robbing, mugging or stealing, you are a person with a gun and that makes you a cop. Nice scenario, a bad guy with a gun trying to avoid capture sees you and thinks you’re the police, there to arrest him, take away his freedom and send him to prison. Do you really want to be in that situation? Do you really want to drag your family into a gunfight because you just HAD to show off your Zombie Squad high cap polymer pistol? Again, why surrender the sacred tactical advantages of surprise and anonymity by wearing concealed when your family or innocent people might be targeted inadvertently by wearing openly?

    6. “It’s quicker than CHL” – Crapola in the extreme. With any practice, CHL is just as fast as OC, it’s just a matter of muscle memory and learned skill. Police officers have to use complicated retention holsters that are NOT initially fast on the draw, but they learn to make them fast by practice. If a cop can make a Level III Retention holster quick, then you can make CHL quick by simply lifting a shirt or jacket. That simple over-shirt, heavy t-shirt or light jacket covers a ton of issues and makes you near invisible when the bad guy is in ‘fight or flight’ mode and scanning for threats so he can get away. Don’t be the person his scanner stops and focuses on. Here’s a quick scenario that illustrates that: You start walking up to a 7-11 beside another civilian, one of you is CHL and the other is OC. About 10 feet from the door, a robber with a gun pops out the front door. He’s already got his gun in hand at the ready when he sees you and the other guy. Who do you want to be, CHL or OC? Who do you think he’ll see and lock onto first? Correct. The dude who gave up his tactical advantage of surprise so everyone could see his Kimber Raptor 1911 is the guy that gets the scumbag’s attention. A really poor reason to go to one’s funeral is because one wanted to show off a gun.

    7. “Farmers and Ranchers go from their property to the store” – The best and only reason for OC. I agree. Which is why the OC law should be a rural law. Let the folks in the counties do it, that’s a fair compromise. But for any town or metroplex with a population over 10K, no way. Going from herding cattle or repairing a fence to the hardware or feedstore wearing a .44 Special is not that big of a deal in small towns. Walking down main street Houston, through the Galleria in Dallas, on the Riverwalk in San Antonio, by Billy Bobs in Fort Worth or along Congress Ave in Austin packing a handgun in the open is stupid beyond belief. Like it or not, we are a community of differing opinions and many folks who support gun ownership just don’t want us carrying openly by their wives and kids in a crowded city. They worry about their safety. And OC folks are NOT their police force. Being considerate of other opinions cuts both ways – they have to respect that we can own and carry guns (and very freely in Texas) but why scare or offend them when there is no need to? Let’s win them over, not shock their conscience.

    There is not one truly factual, common sense, real world advantage to OC that CHL can’t do and do better. The only real reason to carry open carry in a crowded urban setting is so one can be SEEN open carrying. It’s an ego trip, it’s selfish and it’s narcissist. Open Carry is fools gold for self-defense, it screams in the face of common sense and every tactical lesson the years have taught us and we accept. It accomplishes nothing except creates division, misunderstanding, less cooperation with those who are neutral or only slightly disagree with 2nd Amendment arguments and puts those Open Carrying and those around them at risk. It offers nothing and can take everything in return.

    And I haven’t even covered the civil liability issues, which are enormous. You walk into a store or fast food outlet the ‘wanna-be gangsta’ is robbing, and the mere sight of your open gun causes him to start shooting. Innocent people are shot. Maybe die. Sure, a Texas court will likely vindicate you in the end. But how much money, time, sleepless nights and physical stress will it cost to get there? Will an over zealous DA (*cough cough Travis County cough cough*) crucify you criminally just to make a point? Might that lead to an indictment? Sure it’s nonsense on paper, but how many folks have had their lives ruined by political nonsense? You wanna be the guinea pig? You wanna be the next George Zimmerman or Darren Wilson? When a simple shirt, jacket or some layer of fabric might have prevented it all?

    I’ll wrap up my rant with this. Just because a thing is legal doesn’t mean it’s wise. You can stand in a crowded elevator and rip off a Cat 5 fart from your favorite Tex-Mex café’s Combo #5. That is legal. But you’re an arrogant, offensive ass for doing it, you’ll make no friends, you’ll look like a 7th grade brat, folks will remember you for being a jerk and assaulting their senses, and if you actually think it was funny, then you really are the Ass of the Universe. Well, Open Carry is the firearms equal of farting in the elevator. And as a community, all of us firearms enthusiasts and 2nd Amendment advocates will reap the same rewards as that moron in the elevator.

    • You call people stupid, arrogant, and narcissistic yet you wrote that bovine excrement, officer?!? My sides! Much of what you raised has already been shown to be bunkum. If you bother to actually do any research, you will know that. Did you open carry when in uniform? Do other officers open carry while in uniform? Why if there is no good reason to do so? You have a statist and incorrect view of individual rights. Some of the things that you refer to as rights in your ramblings aren’t actually rights.

      I suspect that people openly exercising their individual right to bear arms is a personal affront to your ego as an agent of government. Boo-hoo. 😛

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