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Texas Open Carry law

Discussion in 'Legal' started by ChronoCube, Dec 25, 2008.

  1. ChronoCube

    ChronoCube Well-Known Member

    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.
  2. razorback2003

    razorback2003 Well-Known Member

    Limited Open Carry

    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.
  3. nalioth

    nalioth Well-Known Member

    Call your Texas legislator. This will come up in the next session and your input will be appreciated by your elected representative.
  4. lanternlad1

    lanternlad1 Well-Known Member

    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.
  5. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    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.
  6. DKSuddeth

    DKSuddeth Well-Known Member

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

    waterhouse Well-Known Member

    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?
  8. Prince Yamato

    Prince Yamato Well-Known Member

    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.
  9. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Well-Known Member

    Texas 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.
  10. GEM

    GEM Well-Known Member

    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.
  11. nalioth

    nalioth Well-Known Member

    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!
  12. Hanniballs

    Hanniballs Member

    Actually Bubba shot the juke box, it played a sad song and made him cry.
  13. Frog48

    Frog48 Well-Known Member

    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.
  14. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    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?" :)
  15. C5Cruiser

    C5Cruiser Active Member

    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.
  16. Javelin

    Javelin Well-Known Member

    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.

  17. Cyborg

    Cyborg Well-Known Member

    Can't Reverse What Hasn't Been Passed

    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.

    "Keep your friends close but keep your enemies at greater than 7 yards."
  18. Travis Bickle

    Travis Bickle member

    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.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2008
  19. calaverasslim

    calaverasslim Well-Known Member

    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
  20. rino451

    rino451 Well-Known Member


    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.

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