Texas Open Carry law


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ChronoCube
December 25, 2008, 05:55 PM
Does anyone know why Texas has Shall-issue for concealed carry, but open carry is illegal? At least that's my understanding of TX law.

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razorback2003
December 25, 2008, 06:45 PM
You can open or concealed carry when taking part in sporting activity, such as hunting, fishing, or shooting, or going to and from those activities without a license. I know it's not the most ideal, but it is better than some states that make you put it in the trunk without a license when going to your hunting or fishing location.

nalioth
December 25, 2008, 07:07 PM
Call your Texas legislator. This will come up in the next session and your input will be appreciated by your elected representative.

lanternlad1
December 26, 2008, 12:51 AM
Texas has had laws against open carry on the books since the 1800's. Its not an anti-gun thing, it's just the way it is. It was originally started to stop cowboys from coming into town, getting drunk, and shooting the place up.

From the State of Texas Constitution circa 1876:

SEC. 23. Every citizen shall have the right to keep and bear arms in the lawful defense of himself or the State; but the Legislature shall have power by law to regulate the wearing of arms with a view to prevent crime.

The legislature can change open carry laws if enough people get behind them and push. I, personally, am against open carry as I deem it to be tactically irresponsible for those masses of us CHL licensees who are not trained to carry in such a manner (ie-weapon retention tactics and the like). I believe the element of surprise is the best means of defense available to those of us who carry but don't have tactical training.

Art Eatman
December 26, 2008, 11:00 AM
From the standpoint of rights and law, I'd like to see open carry legalized.

From the standpoint of behavior in today's society, I think it would be a Bad Thing, just due to idiots acting like idiots. I guess it would be a reprise of why it was outlawed in the 1880s, as lanternlad1 said.

DKSuddeth
December 26, 2008, 11:59 AM
From the standpoint of behavior in today's society, I think it would be a Bad Thing, just due to idiots acting like idiots. I guess it would be a reprise of why it was outlawed in the 1880s, as lanternlad1 said.

and this can be proven by using what other states as examples?

waterhouse
December 26, 2008, 01:11 PM
I, personally, am against open carry as I deem it to be tactically irresponsible for those masses of us CHL licensees who are not trained to carry in such a manner (ie-weapon retention tactics and the like). I believe the element of surprise is the best means of defense available to those of us who carry but don't have tactical training.

When you say you are against it do you mean that you would not open carry if it was a legal option or that you are against it being legal for others to open carry?

Prince Yamato
December 26, 2008, 08:46 PM
These are basically what I call "redneck laws"; same thing as prohibiting bar carry. Back 60 years ago ( or more ) some Bubba got drunk or mad or both, pulled out his colt .45, and shot someone who slandered his 'paw or kinfolk. To "solve" said problem, politicians banned open carry.

I've also heard that it prevented free blacks from carrying weapons to protect themselves after the Civil War.

JohnKSa
December 26, 2008, 08:55 PM
Texas has had laws against open carry on the books since the 1800'sTexas has had laws against handgun carry (concealed AND open) since the late 1800s. It wasn't until the CHL law passed in 1995 that it became possible to carry outside your house except in certain, poorly defined circumstances. It's still impossible to carry a handgun openly in public unless you are involved in a sporting activity in which the handgun is a commonly used weapon. Personally, I wouldn't carry to and from those activities unless I were willing and able to deal with being arrested although it's likely one could get the charges dropped in court.

Some folks may think it's a coincidence, but the earliest references I can find to the initial TX handgun laws date to just after the civil war...

My guess is that the laws were selectively enforced (depending on the race of the 'offender') in the beginning but that became impossible later on.

GEM
December 26, 2008, 10:15 PM
I haven't read the proposed open carry law, so I apologize. Does it mandate that you have a CHL (or whatever it would be called)? Or anyone can - assuming you can legally own a gun?

The crime rate among CHLs is very low - this is part because of the process selecting a very low crime demographic. If we still had the license process for open - we still might see a low crime rate.

However, if we did not have a license requirement - would we not see our sizable gang populations engaging in open carry for purposes of posturing and intimidation?

I thought of this when I recalled the strange San Antonio local ordinance which prohibits loaded long arms - seemingly in conflict with the state constitution. If you call SAPD, they will tell you of the ordinance. I don't think this local one has been challenged or had a test case. Researching it, I was told that it was passed to give the police a policy against local gang members cruising with loaded SKSs that they bought for $80 a piece at the gun shows way back when.

Thus, while contrary to a pure RKBA view - I might argue that open carry include the current licensing scheme. Flame me if you would but it's a thought.

nalioth
December 26, 2008, 10:36 PM
I haven't read the proposed open carry law, so I apologize. Don't apologize, there isn't a proposal yet.

Also, it's not a new law we're trying to get passed, it's the repeal of an old law that is needed.




On another note, after reading a few of these posts lately, it saddens me that so many folks don't have any confidence in their fellow man (but of course, are fully and completely qualified to be responsible, themselves). Personal responsibility seems to go unseen in others, by some.

EEK! All those potentially lethal automobiles out there, think of the potential carnage!

Hanniballs
December 27, 2008, 02:17 AM
These are basically what I call "redneck laws"; same thing as prohibiting bar carry. Back 60 years ago ( or more ) some Bubba got drunk or mad or both, pulled out his colt .45, and shot someone who slandered his 'paw or kinfolk. To "solve" said problem, politicians banned open carry.

I've also heard that it prevented free blacks from carrying weapons to protect themselves after the Civil War.

Actually Bubba shot the juke box, it played a sad song and made him cry.

Frog48
December 27, 2008, 11:42 AM
You can open or concealed carry when taking part in sporting activity, such as hunting, fishing, or shooting, or going to and from those activities without a license.

I'm cross posting from another thread, since I feel its an important clarification...

The Texas Penal code says:

(b) Section 46.02 does not apply to a person who:

(3) is engaging in lawful hunting, fishing, or other sporting activity on the immediate premises where the activity is conducted, or is en route between the premises and the actor's residence or motor vehicle, if the weapon is a type commonly used in the activity;


In short, the Texas Penal code requires that the weapon must be relevant to the type of hunting/fishing you're doing.
You cant be out in the middle of the lake carrying while bass fishing or duck hunting, because a pistol is an illegal method to take game in these situations. However, (for example) you can carry when you're hunting and feel that being attacked by a wounded animal is a legit potential threat, such as a getting gored by a deer.

Obviously, getting a CHL negates the confusion.

Art Eatman
December 27, 2008, 12:15 PM
waterhouse, for me, insofar as ambivalence, I guess it's the gang thing, as mentioned by GEM. I don't worry about "just folks".

DKSuddeth, I don't have to prove anything by whatever example from anywhere. I'm just offering a casual opinion about possible societal problems. I like to at least consider unintended consequences before jumping on anybody's little red bandwagon.

Thinking about it, though, if Sumdood showed up in Terlingua with a hogleg strapped on his hip, he'd ignite many a fit of the giggles. "Hey, cowboy, where's your horse?" :)

C5Cruiser
December 27, 2008, 08:43 PM
My friend is here (in California) visiting from Austin and said that the open carry law in Texas may be reversed and that it is now in legislation to do so.
Does anyone have any more information on that?
I guess I should read the on line version of the Austin Chronicle more often.

Javelin
December 27, 2008, 09:11 PM
How many states have open carry and how many don't? The number will oustound you.

Texas is one of only 5 that still have the no open carry laws (yes I gave it away didn't I......lol).

The point is there is nothing wrong with open carry. For those of you worried about a criminal using it to his/her advantage.... LOL @ that. A criminal will most definitely stick it in his jacket/pants so you cannot see it until they are ready to stick it to you. CHL does not really matter to a criminal who is going to kill people. And the more armed citizens there are to deter or stop this type of crime the better off we all are. Cops have no obligation per SCOTUS to protect the individual. Therefore the people must protect themselves.

Repeal the damn law.

:)

Cyborg
December 28, 2008, 12:54 AM
My friend is here (in California) visiting from Austin and said that the open carry law in Texas may be reversed and that it is now in legislation to do so.
Erm, right now Texas does not HAVE an "open carry" law as such so it could hardly be about to be "reversed" (the term is repealed. perhaps your friend from Silicon Gulch didn't know the difference). Actually, unless things have changed recently, no one has actually SPONSORED a bill to change the laws concerning unlawfully carrying weapons so unless and until some legislator DOES SO, it will not happen until 2011 at the earliest. I, for one, am not holding my breath. I have contacted my legislators and will continue to do so in an attempt to persuade them to sponsor such a bill.

The Texas Penal code - Sec. 46.02. UNLAWFUL CARRYING WEAPONS - describes openly carrying - unless you are a licensed Peace Officer or on-duty Commissioned Security Officer - as a felony. If anyone but a cop - on or off duty - or an on-duty CSO openly carries a handgun in public (firing ranges and your own property don't count) it is a felony. The move right now is to repeal the parts of chapter 46 that include a handgun among the weapons not allowed to be carried in public.

Cyborg
"Keep your friends close but keep your enemies at greater than 7 yards."

Travis Bickle
December 28, 2008, 02:01 AM
Texas has had laws against open carry on the books since the 1800's. Its not an anti-gun thing, it's just the way it is. It was originally started to stop cowboys from coming into town, getting drunk, and shooting the place up.

From the standpoint of behavior in today's society, I think it would be a Bad Thing, just due to idiots acting like idiots. I guess it would be a reprise of why it was outlawed in the 1880s, as lanternlad1 said.

Funny, we have open carry here in Arizona and don't really have much of a problem with drunken cowboys shooting up our towns.

Furthermore, I seriously doubt that that was really the reason that OC of pistols was banned in Texas anyway, since, as I understand it, it's still technically legal in Texas to OC a long gun just about anywhere at any time (although admittedly you would probably be harassed by the police if you tried it on foot in any big city.)

I read somewhere else that the law was originally passed by the Democratic-controlled legislature to disarm Republicans. Of course, the Fourteenth Amendment prohibited a law explicitly disarming Republicans, so they passed a law disarming everyone, and then only enforced it against Republicans. However, as time went by, and Republicans gained more political power in Texas, the law came to be enforced against everyone.

calaverasslim
December 28, 2008, 06:58 AM
Born and raised here in TX and still can't say why the original law. I suspect it may have been a result of the crime problem along the border between the Nueces and Rio Grande rivers. Big hot bed of crime.

I signed the petition and hope they repeal the OC carry law but with restrictions. One of the above opinions stated that idiots witll still be idiots and that sure is true. The majority of us probably wouldn't OC that much, but it sure would be nice not to have to worry about being hassled if we stopped in the store.

Just a thought

rino451
December 28, 2008, 10:54 AM
My guess is that the laws were selectively enforced (depending on the race of the 'offender') in the beginning but that became impossible later on.
Nail...head...win.

It is funny how Texans pride themselves on their gun-loving state (as does the rest of the world - good PR I guess), TX really isn't all that special and actually a little behind when it comes to being firearm friendly.

nalioth
December 28, 2008, 01:07 PM
I signed the petition and hope they repeal the OC carry law but with restrictions. One of the above opinions stated that idiots witll still be idiots and that sure is true. The majority of us probably wouldn't OC that much, but it sure would be nice not to have to worry about being hassled if we stopped in the store. If you honestly believe the "open carry with restrictions" (which isn't really open) is gonna keep OC'rs from 'being hassled", you need to pull your head out of the sand and take a big breath of reality.

Concealed carry in Texas now is "restricted" to folks who can pass a background check, but that doesn't stop Sally Soccermom from hitting high notes when she sees your concealed piece as you bend over to get something off the bottom shelf at the store. "Man with a gun" calls are treated the same whether you have a license or not. There are many posters here who have related their experiences in this.

Wolfebyte
December 28, 2008, 01:35 PM
http://www.opencarry.org/

supposedly they have a legislator that is going to introduce an open carry bill this session. (2009)

But no one is saying who..

Gov.Perry, says that he is interested in this and will give it top priority.

helz_mcfugly
December 28, 2008, 01:38 PM
lol at "Sally Soccermom hitting high notes when she sees your concealed piece" I always get a wink from sally when she sees mine. www.opencarry.org will answer all your questions about this subject

helz_mcfugly
December 28, 2008, 01:39 PM
faster typed then me Wolfbyte

Art Eatman
December 28, 2008, 02:05 PM
Probably the prohibitions against open carry go back to Reconstruction, which would have been Republicans bossing Democrats. Not sure about the timing, though. Lots of laws got passed that weren't really enforced until after 1900, particularly in western Texas. Some areas, still not much enforcement.

Like I said, I'm sorta ambivalent; mildly so. After all, if there indeed were some macho posturing, it could well be a self-healing process with some amount of cleansing of the gene pool. :)

As for comparing with the Arizona experience, it just seems to me that it's one thing to have always had a system, versus some amount of, "Oh, wow!" in a new structure.

Overall, it's better to go with the idea of one's rights, and let the debris--the idiot claque--pile up as it might.

razorback2003
December 29, 2008, 01:06 AM
As far as i know, carrying a weapon in Texas is generally misdemeanor charge, not a felony charge. I believe it is a Class A Misdemeanor. You will not lose your right to own a gun, but you may pay a decent fine and lose your pistol.

JohnKSa
December 30, 2008, 02:16 AM
And your CHL if you have one...

Or your chance to get a CHL for the next 5 years if you don't.

lanternlad1
December 30, 2008, 12:12 PM
"Furthermore, I seriously doubt that that was really the reason that OC of pistols was banned in Texas anyway, since, as I understand it, it's still technically legal in Texas to OC a long gun just about anywhere at any time (although admittedly you would probably be harassed by the police if you tried it on foot in any big city.)"

Umm...no.

Open carry is illegal here. Period. I've lived in one if the largest cities (Houston) for 10 years and police are serious about this. And our police are relatively laid back regarding guns. Don't even think about trying open carry in Austin.

If you CC, even with a license, and your carry piece is seen and reported, you can be arrested and charged. If you carry in your car, with or without a license, the weapon MUST be hidden. TX is very serious about this aspect. I know of a few people who were picked up on violations for just this reason. Some were CHL carriers.

In today's society, the public at large is lead to believe that if you have a gun, you are either a cop or a criminal. If Sally Soccermom sees a gun on your belt, she better see a badge too, or she's turning you in. Its not a question of right or wrong, it just how it is. So play the game accordingly.

If you want to get the laws overturned and allow for open carry, fine. I still won't do it. I don't care what happens in Arizona, or Virginia, or anywhere else. TX is the second-most populous state in the union, which means we have a bigger share of gun ignorami and just plain 'fraidy cats than the rest of you (except the Californians). I want to exercise my rights, and go on with my life without having to proselytize about the right of owning guns wherever I go.

Travis Bickle
December 30, 2008, 12:29 PM
Open carry is illegal here. Period.

No, I don't think so:

http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum51/4271-1.html

Don't even think about trying open carry in Austin.

I wouldn't. I think I made it perfectly clear in my initial post that I thought that trying to carry a long gun on foot in any urban area, while technically legal, would still be extremely ill-advised.

General Geoff
December 30, 2008, 12:30 PM
If Sally Soccermom sees a gun on your belt, she better see a badge too, or she's turning you in. Its not a question of right or wrong, it just how it is.

Until we change "how it is."

lanternlad1
December 30, 2008, 12:43 PM
Travis, what's your point? That we can carry open carry long arms? No one does that. In ten years, I've never seen it done. Open carry is about handguns. Which is illegal here. Period.

46.02. UNLAWFUL CARRYING WEAPONS. (a) A person commits
an offense if he intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on
or about his person a handgun, illegal knife, or club.
(b) Except as provided by Subsection (c), an offense under
this section is a Class A misdemeanor.
(c) An offense under this section is a felony of the third
degree if the offense is committed on any premises licensed or
issued a permit by this state for the sale of alcoholic beverages

We're not talking about long arms, we're talking about handguns.
Re-read it.

richyoung
December 31, 2008, 01:00 PM
Texas has had laws against open carry on the books since the 1800's. Its not an anti-gun thing, it's just the way it is. It was originally started to stop cowboys from coming into town, getting drunk, and shooting the place up.

...actually, it was more to keep freed slaves from shooting up the Klan...

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