Interesting Provision Of The Texas Open Carry Bill

BY Herschel Smith
2 years ago

The Texas Tribune:

After more than six hours — and a testy debate that escalated dramatically when unusual alliances formed between a few Democrats and a group of Tea Party-backed Republicans — the Texas Senate approved a measure loosening state restrictions on handguns Friday.

The legislation allowing Texans with licenses to carry handguns openly eventually passed on a final 20 to 11 vote.

But before it did, the chamber plunged into rare unscripted territory, as Democrats and Republicans battled members of their own parties over an amendment from state Sen. Don Huffines, R-Dallas, that would prohibit police officers from stopping someone solely because they are visibly carrying a handgun.

The provision, which eventually passed, attracted support from Democrats who said it would help prevent racial profiling and conservatives who said it was necessary to protect the Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure of handgun license holders.

“This should not be complicated; it should not be controversial. This is a bipartisan issue,” Huffines said.

Opponents of the provision called it nothing more than an effort to sneak in a repeal of licensing requirements altogether.

“This is just a back door to constitutional carry because really any person could just carry a gun without a license because they know the police can’t inquire of them if they have a license,” said state Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, who unsuccessfully attempted to heighten penalties for carrying handguns without a license during the debate.

The amendment, approved overwhelmingly when the House passed the open carry bill, was taken out in committee when the legislation reached the Senate.

Recall that I had said before, “licensed open carry in a state with no stop and identify statute for enforcement is a shooting-by-cop waiting to happen.  And I certainly don’t support empowering the police state any more by giving them a stop and identify statute.  That would be making something bad even worse.”

Nefarious things can happen in committee when differences in bills between the House and Senate are ironed out, but this provision appears to be part of both versions of the bill.  It should stay in.  We’ll see if the Governor keeps his word now.  As for the provision that LEOs cannot stop someone because they witness him carrying a gun, this is a very strong statement and I’m impressed that this finally passed the legislative process in Texas (after much pain and gnashing of teeth).

Someone must be reading TCJ.


  1. On May 26, 2015 at 7:45 am, Nosmo King said:

    Which raises a question…Texas will, at some point, almost certainly have Constitutional Carry, as will other states. I haven’t looked at the terms of Constitutional Carry in those states which possess it now, but would true CC, since it is driven by Constitutional authority rather than statutory ones, eliminate the statutory prohibition on possession by felons?

  2. On May 26, 2015 at 1:51 pm, tkdkerry said:

    ““This is just a back door to constitutional carry because really any
    person could just carry a gun without a license because they know the
    police can’t inquire of them if they have a license,” said state Sen.
    Joan Huffman, R-Houston, who unsuccessfully attempted to heighten
    penalties for carrying handguns without a license during the debate.”

    Said, I’m sure, without any sense at all of the irony in her statement.

  3. On May 26, 2015 at 2:23 pm, Archer said:

    And I’m sure every single person in the Texas Legislature drove in to work without being accosted by police doing their due diligence and stopping every driver on the road on the off-chance someone was driving without a license.

    I’ll take “Constitutional Carry” any way I can get it. When this so-called “back door” results in … nothing — just like every other pro-carry provision, ever — we will hear no apologies from those who opposed it, but we will continue to push past them and retake our freedoms.

    (At least, you all will continue to push past them. We in Oregon are being forced to take some decided steps backward on the legislative front.)

  4. On May 26, 2015 at 10:37 pm, Contrarianthefirst said:

    Not for long.

  5. On May 26, 2015 at 2:16 pm, Ned Weatherby said:

    “Someone must be reading TCJ.” Good. Apparently, a few more Texas senators with an “R” for their party should try that. Like state Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, who apparently is fine with “penalties” for the practice of a right.

  6. On May 26, 2015 at 10:39 pm, Contrarianthefirst said:

    Watching very closely.

  7. On May 27, 2015 at 8:32 am, boogyoogyoogy said:

    It’s truly amazing that within the TEXAS LEGISLATURE….. Rino’s exist at all! Much less that they can fight against laws which embrace a constitutional right, and remain in office.

    I guess the communists are alive and well somewhere in Texas, and working overtime.

  8. On May 27, 2015 at 4:18 pm, Ryan O said:

    They hide in the cities. They usually fill the “intellectual” positions like teachers and city administrators. Just look at Austin and parts of Houston.
    Many of them are refugees from Chicongo and Mexifornia but refuse to see the policies they like created the problem they left

  9. On May 27, 2015 at 12:31 pm, Billy Mullins said:

    (speaking as a resident of Texas – specifically that bastion of conservatism, San Antonio – here)
    Herschel, I don’t know if licensed open carry in a state with no stop and identify statute for enforcement is, indeed a “shooting-by-cop waiting to happen” but I damned well know that NOT having a specific prohibition against stopping and demanding to see a licence is an open invitation for cops in cities such as – oh, I don’t know but maybe – Houston, Dallas, Ft. Worth, AUSTIN (AKA Texas own little piece of the left coast), or SAN ANTONIO (You know? The city whose mayor spoke at the DEMOCRAT NATIONAL CONVENTION!) to harass openly carrying citizens! Not that some piddley-assed thing like a STATE STATUTE is going to deter folks who already ignore the fekking Constitution with SCOTUS-sanctioned impunity. But it COULDN’T HURT! Yeah, I’d prefer not to have to jump through hoops to exercise my Creator-given rights but if you’re hungry half a loaf beats the living hell outta a kick in the pants. Since I already have a CHL, I’m happy not to have to be damned careful to pull my shirt tail down when I’m getting out of the car so that my pistol isn’t showing for a moment. Also, I’d like to carry my Uzi Eagle on my hip sometimes instead of my Glock just under my left kidney.

  10. On May 27, 2015 at 4:13 pm, alanstorm said:

    “This is just a back door to constitutional carry…”

    Glad she recognizes that it’s a constitutional issue. Too bad she’s on the wrong side of it.

  11. On May 27, 2015 at 4:24 pm, AgPilot60 said:

    I just got off the phone with my Reps office & open carry has not passed yet. Campus carry passed yesterday, but open carry is in conference working out details.

  12. On May 27, 2015 at 4:41 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    Uh huh. “In conference working out the details.” I suspect nefarious business going on. it always happens that way.

  13. On May 28, 2015 at 10:19 am, Billy Mullins said:


    Herschel, I think the RINOS are trying to kill this while still being able to claim to their constituents that they voted for it. When it was moved in the House to accept the Senate version of the HOUSE’S OWN BILL (the Senate’s bill is quietly dying in committee in the House) back from the Senate with a couple of minor amendments, the motion was defeated 79 to 63. Texas’ legislature is only in session for a couple of months every other year. The current session ends TOMORROW (Friday, 5/29/15) and if Open Carry is not passed by close of business that day then it is pretty much dead until the spring of 17 unless the Gov feels like calling a special session. I’ve been concerned this was going to happen all along. Remember, Pols are masters of saying one thing and doing something completely opposite – all while generating proof that they did what they said.

  14. On May 28, 2015 at 3:42 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    Billy, do all you can to get all of their email addresses, phone numbers, other contact information, Governor’s contact information, contact information for all newspapers, and everything else you can find to help let them all know that we know what they did. We’ll call them out on being the liars they are. They could have made passage of open carry the very first thing on the agenda for this legislative session. Instead, they relegated it to the boiler room and Robert’s Rules of Order. They will have successfully killed the whole thing.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Guns and was published May 25th, 2015 by Herschel Smith.

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