Kimber Gun Rights Bulletin: Open Carry at the Grapefest Festival in Texas


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.


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.
Gun Watch


  1. avatar Ivar77 says:

    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.

    1. avatar BDub says:

      Funny, I saw the mustache and thought the same thing.

  2. avatar John Davies says:

    Dean, I think you need to correct the typo in the title… “Gapefest” ?

    1. avatar BDub says:

      Yeah, are we still doing “phrasing”?

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        LOL my first thought as well.

  3. avatar Quasimofo says:

    Prepare for a bunch of disappointed comments based on the title oops…heh

  4. avatar Heywood says:

    Don’t understand the whole “look at me, I’ve got a gun” thing.

    1. avatar strych9 says:

      90% or more of people don’t notice OC.

      1. avatar BDub says:

        Which is why you have to keep bloggin about it and posting selfies of yourself doing it. That way more people notice. 🙂

    2. avatar Alex waits says:

      It’s not like that at all. That’s what the MSM wants you to think.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        The MSM doesn’t want anybody to think.

        1. avatar Swarf says:

          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.

    3. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      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.

    4. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      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.

    5. avatar TX Gun Gal says:

      “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.

    6. avatar Sprocket says:

      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…

    7. avatar SWAMPDADDY says:

      People that rely on logic instead of feelings abhor the whole “you must listen to me express my whine” thing.

  5. avatar strych9 says:

    The first picture and the title of this article combined made me laugh pretty damn hard.

  6. avatar Alex waits says:

    Hehe, gapefest. Classic.

  7. avatar 2004done says:

    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.

    1. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

      Yeah, it’s the same everywhere. NY/CA just do it harder.

  8. avatar jwm says:

    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.

    1. avatar strych9 says:

      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.

  9. avatar Ralph says:

    WTF? Did they cancel the gapefest?

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Yeah. It was a rough crowd. You hadda wear a pistol to be safe there.

  10. avatar Ted Unlis says:

    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 [email protected]$$ wearing a pith helmet wants everyone to notice he’s carrying a pistol”, instead they said to themselves “that [email protected]$$ 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.

    1. avatar Sam Schaeffer says:

      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.

      1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

        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).

        1. avatar JFRAME says:

          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.

    2. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      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.

  11. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    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.)

  12. avatar Button Gwinnett says:

    Dean, the cell phone case is a bit much, don’t you think? Are you TRYING to attract attention?

  13. avatar Crowbar says:

    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.

  14. avatar Warlocc says:

    I’m going to say this as nicely as possible.

    You look silly.

    That said, normalizing open carry is never a bad thing.

  15. avatar Locke_n_Load says:

    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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