From Whence Cometh My Liberty?

Herschel Smith · 01 May 2016 · 0 Comments

At WRSA there is an interesting discussion on the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights.  Here is a snippet. I recognized that, despite the cries of today’s Constitutionalists about the Divine inspiration of the US Constitution and the accompanying Bill of Rights (USC/BoR), both of the foundational documents of American governance were drafted by mere humans based on the political accommodations necessary at the time (e.g., chattel slavery) and had no effective…… [read more]

Gun Permitting As A Revenue Stream And State Jobs Program

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

News From Oklahoma:

The Oklahoma House Thursday overwhelmingly adopted legislation that would permit gun owners to carry their weapons openly without a state-issued license.

House members voted 73-15 for House Bill 3098, the so-called “constitutional open carry” measure, and sent it to the state Senate for debate and a vote.

The measure’s author, Republican Rep. Jeff Coody of Grandfield, said it is similar to open carry laws in more than 30 other states and would allow gun owners to exercise their Second Amendment right to carry firearms openly, such is in a holster, without having to comply with existing state government licensing requirements.

Coody said persons who want to carry a concealed weapon would still be required to obtain a state permit.

“It’s the ultimate freedom bill regarding open carry,” Coody said. Coody and other supporters said citizens who are qualified to own a handgun should not be required to ask the government for permission and pay a fee to openly carry it.

“It’s our God-given right to defend our self,” said Rep. John Bennett, R-Sallisaw.

But opponents said it would have serious financial consequences for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, which administers firearms licenses issued under the Oklahoma Self Defense Act.

A fiscal analysis performed for the House indicates the measure would reduce OSBI’s revenue by at least $6 million and would lead to the loss of jobs and reduced operating expenses at the agency.

The reduction in revenue would be because firearms owners would no longer seek concealed carry licenses – which cost $100 for initial 5-year license and $200 for 10 years – if they could carry a gun openly without a license. There are now more than 238,300 Oklahomans with active licenses to carry handguns, according to state figures.

Seldom do you see it in such stark words.  Recognizing God-given rights will lead to the rejection of state-granted rights, thus leading to less power by the state, and fewer jobs at the feeding trough of public wealth.  Therefore, the statists are against recognizing God-given rights.

So there you have it.  I believe some of these grievances are similar to those that were enumerated by the colonists against King George.  Yes, now that I think about it, I’m sure of it.  “He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.”

For The Peace, Good And Dignity Of The Country And The Welfare Of Its People

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

Jeremy Bryant makes a 420 mile trip through Oregon to his grandfather’s funeral open carrying a .357 Magnum, hitchhiking all the way.  This is well worth watching in its entirety.  And Jeremy has given me a brand new expression which I will shamelessly parrot until I no longer have breath.  “For the peace, good and dignity of the country and the welfare of its people.”

Open Carry Bill Is Officially Dead In Florida

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

News from the misplaced Northern state:

Usually when the NRA and other gun groups say jump, the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature says, “How high and how many guns should we carry when we do it?” But a few gun fantasies are just a bridge too far for even some Floridians.

Yesterday, Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, a Miami Republican and Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, announced that bills to allow “open carry” and another that would allow guns in Florida airports are dead.

As chair, Diaz de la Portilla basically has the power to kill any bill that comes through the committee by refusing to bring it up for a hearing. Bills in the Florida Legislature must pass three committees before making their way to a vote before the full House and Senate. The open-carry bill had already passed in the full House earlier this month.

Open-carry laws allow gun owners to basically walk around with guns on themselves and totally visible to the public. In some states, that right has led to bizarre sights, such as people toting around large, high-powered machine guns inside Target and Starbucks locations.

Florida’s proposed law would have allowed those who already have a concealed-carry license to openly carry their guns. Since Florida’s concealed-carry license laws apply to only handguns, open carry would still not have applied to larger guns.

“Open carry is not going to happen; it’s done,” Diaz de la Portilla told reporters yesterday, according to the Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau.

Diaz de la Portilla also killed a bill that would have allowed guns in airport terminals. Earlier this session, he dealt the same fate to a bill that would have allowed people to take their concealed weapons onto college campuses.

Gun-rights Republicans have tried several times in previous sessions to pass similar bills, but the efforts have almost always been killed in the Senate by more moderate Republicans.

This is the same thing that happened in South Carolina.  State Senator Larry Martin is head of the judiciary committee and single handedly killed open carry in S.C.

As for those moderate republicans, you mean communists, don’t you?  And as for the man who did this, Diaz de la Portilla, he seems rather proud of himself, doesn’t he?  Hey, that name … that sounds Hispanic.  I thought all of those Hispanics were going to be conservative rather than anti-gun?  That’s what they told us, anyway.

So what are you Floridians going to do about Diaz de la Portilla?

Sheriff Says Texas Open Carry Is Not A Problem

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 2 weeks ago

News From Texas:

Some predicted that the law would lead to a surge of 911 calls, but according to Cpl. Tracey Knight, spokeswoman for the Fort Worth Police Department, not much has occurred:

“We do not have anything interesting to report. Two calls so far, no issues. We have no concerns and we have had no problems.”

Sheriff Dee Anderson adds:

“I said before this became law that I thought it was going to be much ado about nothing, but I didn’t know it was going to be this much nothing.”

Carolyn Daniel, a volunteer with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, argues it’s “too soon to tell” what effect this law will have:

“Changes in legislation can take years to determine an impact.”

Fox News reports that a number of local businesses are now banning firearms on their premises, “as well as national chains, including Starbucks [and] Jack in The Box.” But other businesses, like Home Depot and Bass Pro Shops, have embraced open carry.

But if we look to another state in which open carry was signed into law, the evidence suggests the new Texas legislation will not be an issue.

Mississippi began allowing open carry on July 1, 2013. Fourteen months later, virtually no issues had arisen.

WAPT reported in September 2014:

“The Mississippi Highway Patrol and the Jackson and Byram police departments said there have been little or no incidents reported. Utica police had one incident, where a man forgot he had his weapon on, but he put it back in his truck, authorities said.”

WAPT also quoted Vicksburg Police Chief Walter Armstrong:

“We have seen several [people utilizing the open-carry law] over the last year. I would imagine somewhere between 10 and 12…

I have to admit, initially I was a bit nervous about the debate of the law and the passing of the law. But to my surprise, we have not had one single incident as it relates to open-carry.”

Some Mississippians had similar fears regarding open carry, specifically relating to open carry at bars or pubs.

Prior to the Mississippi law going into effect, Hinds County Constable Jerry Moore argued it would be “total chaos” if the law were to be implemented:

“You get enough fights at the clubs and things that we have to respond to now. Can you imagine running up into a club of 50 to 100 people and trying to get order?”

Law enforcement also has mixed feelings about the Texas law. A survey conducted by the Texas Police Chiefs Association yielded some interesting results.

I told you so.  I said this.

Oooo … boogey man gonna getcha!  Hold me Uncle Bob!  I askeerd!  “Walking disaster.”  “Trouble.”  “Volatile and deadly situations.” Oooo …

Again, as a citizen of a traditional open carry state, I’m going to tell you what’s going to happen here.  Nothing.  That’s right, nothing.  Life will continue in the lone star state unabated, and the doomsday predictions of law enforcement and the progressives will go down as a monument to their hatred of the common man.

And this.

Really, folks, this has become a silly, exaggerated, inflated, dramatic, overly-complicated, hysterical fit.  I can say that because my home state is a traditional open carry state, and I have open carried, and seen others doing the same.  It’s just not the problem you are making it out to be.  When it’s time for open carry to be legal, some men will decide to open carry, and life will go on.  Business will occur, and the only crimes that may spiral out of control would be SWAT call-outs from politically motivated callers who use the cops to drive their points.

Here’s a note to Texas police departments.  If you don’t want to be used, don’t oblige.  Don’t do it.  Just say no.  Stand up for yourself.  Be men.

Blood won’t run in the streets, I have said.  The sky won’t fall, chicken little can go back to sleep, and the world can know that open carry isn’t the problem the “Moms demand [fill in the blank]” and LEOs say it is.

Florida is next.  And then comes South Carolina, if communist State Senator Larry Martin gets out of the way.

Guns Tags:

Dear Sheriff Jim Arnott, I’m Not Sure I Believe You’re Being Honest With Us

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 2 weeks ago

Springfield News-Leader:

Answer Man! I was sitting in Mr. Smith’s Fast Lube on Sunshine Street, waiting while I was getting my oil changed. A man entered with a holstered handgun on his hip. He was getting his oil changed, too, and sat next to me. He seemed nervous and I was concerned about the gun. Is this legal in Springfield? — Joey Pulleyking, of Springfield

The short answer, Joey, is that in Missouri the man had the legal right to openly carry a firearm into the business.

The answer is nuanced. Since there’s such great interest in guns in the Ozarks, I’m going to explore your question further, Joey. For example, I interviewed two Springfield men who openly carry. I’ll get to them later.

Over at Mr. Smith’s, I learned the owner is not a Mr. Smith. The owner goes by the name of Earl, although he is not an Earl, either.

His name is Scott Mather. When I walk into his business, he recognizes me: “Hey, Answer Man, need an oil change? Mr. Smith’s Fast Lube loves your car as much as you do.”

I tell him my car appreciates the love, but no thanks on the oil change.

Instead, I ask how he feels about customers bringing firearms into his business. In Missouri, you don’t need a permit or firearms training to openly carry (but you do if you conceal the weapon).

First, he says, rarely does he see anyone openly carry in one of his shops.

“If people want to do that, they can do that,” he says.

That’s why he does not post a “No Guns” or “No Firearms” sign at his businesses.

According to state law, business owners who don’t want guns on their property must post a sign at least 11 inches by 14 inches in a conspicuous place. The letters on the sign must be at least one inch in height. (Business owners cannot prohibit people from leaving their guns in their car in the parking lot.)

A business owner who prohibits firearms — and then spots a customer with one — must then ask the person to leave and return without the weapon. If the person refuses to exit, the owner can call police, and the person with the gun can be charged with trespassing, a misdemeanor.

[ … ]

Jim Arnott, Greene County sheriff, first wants to make something clear.

“I don’t want it to come out that I am against open carry,” he says.

He’s not. But … “I am a big advocate of concealed carry.

“If they open carry to defend themselves or to intervene in a situation — the first person that the bad guy is going to take care of is the guy with his gun on his hip.”

Arnott says most people he knows conceal carry to maintain the element of surprise.

“The coach of a football team is not going to give up his plays to the other team,” he says.

If you open carry, Arnott says, there’s also a chance people will see your firearm and quickly call police.

So with this in mind, I have a number of things puzzling me.  Let me get right to it.

First, I hear that all the time, i.e., this meme that the first person an active shooter will seek out is the person who is open carrying.  I monitor news reports all the time, as you can imagine of a gun blogger.  I have never seen a news report of an active shooter, robber, criminal, or other ne’er-do-well entering a building and seeking out people with open carry weapons.  You spoke with such authority on the matter, I assume you have some evidence of your claim.  Can you share that evidence with us?

Second, if you believe that, I assume that you have a department policy that your officers conceal carry and wear plains clothes, except for the badge on their belts so people can identify them?  I mean, so active shooters won’t seek them out and so they can hide their game plays?

Third, you say you aren’t against open carry, but in fact you seemed to spend a good deal of effort to dissuade folks in your area from openly carrying.  Why did you do that if you’re not opposed to open carry?

Fourth, is it a good thing if I ensure that I’m the last person an active shooter seeks out?  I have given it some thought in the light of John 15:13, and I have concluded that it would be fairly unseemly, cowardly and dishonorable of me to sit back and say, “Crap, I hope he takes out that woman or kid over there instead of me!  I wanted to watch that show on TV tonight!”  I’m not sure I could live with myself if I decided to slink away and retreat in the face of danger to women and children around me.  In fact, I’m not sure I mind the fact that I’m the first one he confronts, since I’m likely the only one in the vicinity who has planned for this and thought about it a great deal.  I try to keep my head on a swivel, as I’ve discussed many times before.

Do you agree, or would you advocate being the last one to die?

Florida Sheriffs Fight Back Against Open Carry

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 1 week ago

Tampa Bay Times:

Hoping to override legislation that would relax existing state law by allowing concealed-weapons permit holders to visibly carry their weapons in public, the Florida Sheriffs Association announced its own measure Wednesday.

The proposal would protect concealed-carry permit holders from arrest if they accidentally display a firearm in public.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri — the FSA’s legislative chairman — says the measure clarifies Florida laws and diminishes the call to legalize open carry.

“The way we crafted this proposal is airtight and provides a fix,” Gualtieri said. “It states that no law-abiding, concealed-carry holder will ever face any sanctions for inadvertently exposing their gun.”

Gualtieri said the proposal is presented as an alternative to open-carry legislation bills and would help solve the “gotcha law” problem if someone’s gun was accidentally visible.

The proposal would require a person to intentionally and deliberately — “in a clear and obvious manner,” Gualtieri said — violate concealed-carry laws before they can be arrested.

The proposal also enforces a requirement that lets people explain circumstances surrounding their guns being accidentally exposed. If for some reason a concealed-carry holder is arrested, and it’s later proved their gun was exposed accidentally, the proposal calls for immediate expunction of the incident from their record.

“We don’t think it’s necessary to go from where we are today to full open carry,” Gualtieri said.

“The purpose of this is to solidly protect concealed-carry holders — I fully support everyone’s right to (lawfully) concealed carry. … We’re offering a solution so that people with concealed-carry permits aren’t going to get in trouble for something they shouldn’t get in trouble for.”

First, law enforcement has absolutely no business advocating one law or criticizing another.  It isn’t any of their business, any more than it’s the business of, say, the local utility to weigh in on whether something like open carry should be legal.

Second, accidental exposure of a weapon isn’t the only problem associated with open carry.  In a hot state like Florida, there are other reasons for open carry, like sweating your weapon when you are carrying IWB, rubbing your flesh raw when walking with IWB carry, etc.

Third, as we’ve discussed many times before, as a [sometimes] open carrier who lives in a traditional open carry state, the problems law enforcement allege to exist with open carry simply do not obtain.  They’re misleading you.  It isn’t the big deal they say it is, and blood doesn’t run in the streets.

Fourth (and this is perhaps the saddest thing we learn from the report), accidental exposure of a weapon is indeed an issue, and the Florida Sheriff’s association knows it to be so.  That’s the only reason they have proposed this as substitute legislation.  They want to placate weapons carriers, and they know that wasting court time for a shirt lifting in the wind is silly.  Thus, they’ve been down this road before.  They know all about arresting people for silly accidents that have no affect on anyone.

And they waited this long to do anything about it, and only proposed this law in an attempt to deflate open carry rights.  How disgraceful.  How absolutely contemptible.

So Let’s Just Blame It All On The Open Carry Advocates

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 2 weeks ago

BoingBoing:

sam

Appears the new open carry laws in Texas, which have expressly allowed guns onto College campuses and into psychiatric hospitals, are back firing against open and concealed carry enthusiasts. Private business and property owners can ban firearms from their property by either posting signs, or verbally informing armed people they are not welcome to carry their weapons. Firearms enthusiasts are finding a lot of new signs around Texas.

Ooo …, “backfiring.”  Sounds serious, yes?  Their source is The Trace.

“Got an email from work telling us that not only are 30.07 signs going up over the weekend on our office building but 30.06 as well. What makes this even more frustrating is I have yet to see a single open carry,” wrote a user with the handle LTUME1978, before predicting in a subsequent comment that, at least in Houston, “Once the signs are up, they are not ever going to come down.”

That original post generated more than 100 replies, and numerous theories. Some Texas CHL users speculated that the increase in notices barring concealed weapons may be due to a revision to the existing 30.06 sign that was ushered in by the new open carry legislation. Older 30.06 signage was rendered obsolete by the change — and signage is something that Texas gun rights advocates actively police.

“Just as easy to have both 30.06 and 30.07 signs made at the same time,” a user named Distinguished Rick replied. “We have lost more than we gained,” he added. “I have had my CHL 20 years this year and I hardly ran into any legal signs back then. This has woken up the anti-crowd in a big way. So now the genie is out of the bottle and I don’t see a way to put it back.”

A user with the handle bmwrdr echoed his concerns: “Before the OC [open carry] movement started everything went smooth, now we see more and more 30.06 signs erected.”

Another user, posting as flowrie, theorized that the backlash generated by the open carry movement, which was itself driven by the gun rights group Open Carry Texas (OCT), was so spectacular that it may as well have been an opposition plot. “OCT has hurt much more than helped. I insist on carrying when taking my young son and wife to the movies, but that is now becoming more difficult. I do not really oppose OC, but the way they went about it was unwise and just down right ignorant. I too wonder if some of them are anti-2A [Second Amendment]. If I were anti-2A, that’s how I would do it.”

“We were free to carry concealed at far more places before than now. You have the exact same ability to be safe carrying concealed as openly. Except that now you can’t do either in many places. So you’re not safer at all. Open carry is not a right. It’s a dress code and comfort issue. You were already freely bearing arms before 1 Jan. You’ve given up safety for comfort and lost and freedom [sic] for all of us.”

“The immature, selfish actions and the loud, belligerent mouths of a few have hurt many,” Oldgringo concluded. “It’s true, all that glitters is not gold.”

What a bunch of whiny little bitches.  If it takes some time to work through the details of this, then so be it.  If you have to continue to work through concealed and open carry rights issues, then so be it.  If you have to petition businesses or otherwise withhold your patronage in order to persuade businesses to honor your rights, then so be it.  A business who indiscriminately posts signs prohibiting both open and concealed carry isn’t worth my patronage anyway.

Shouting down the advocates of open carry is turning your criticism on the wrong people when you’ve got culpable establishments to target.  Open carry advocates didn’t force businesses to put up signs prohibiting concealed carry.  Other states have learned to deal with this, and Texas will too.  Settle down.  Mind your manners, grow up and stop being little girls over this.

“Unusually Zealous” Open Carry

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 3 weeks ago

Fusion.net:

Texas is starting off the new year with a bang: A statewide gun law that doesn’t make much sense.

“Unfortunately, this law was not written very well. It’s not very clear…I can read it one way, I can read it another way,” said Donna Edmundson, the city attorney for Houston, at a town hall meeting two months ago. The law—which will make Texas the 45th and largest state to allow citizens with permits to openly carry handguns—goes into effect on January 1.

But by the end of that hour-and-a-half session, which was also attended by the police chief and district attorney, very little had been resolved.

Now, as they anticipate anticipate an uptick in 911 calls reporting people walking the streets with guns, police departments across the state are still trying to figure out how—and if—they can enforce the law, which legal experts say is marked with gaping loopholes and ambiguities.

For one thing, legal experts say, it’s not clear if the law allows police to detain someone who they suspect is open carrying without a license. Some districts are training police to ask to see a license only if an individual is engaging in otherwise suspicious activity. Others say they are free to ask because there is reasonable suspicion that the person may be committing a crime—unlawfully carrying a gun without a license.

Even trickier for police officers is what happens when a citizen is asked and refuses to show proof of an open-carry license. According to the Dallas Morning News, there is no penalty in the law for license holders who refuse to do so:

[C]ase law in Texas could prohibit police from arresting that person, since the action has no penalty.

But if the person isn’t a license holder, the officer can arrest him for unlawfully carrying a gun. So at what point does an officer know enough — like the person’s identity and whether he’s a license holder — to determine whether to make an arrest?

In other words, as it is written, the new open carry law is nearly impossible to enforce, said Geoffrey Corn, a professor of law at the South Texas College of Law in Houston. “It’s kind of like a Catch-22,” he told Fusion. Carrying without a license is illegal, but there’s no clear way for police to investigate if the person does indeed have a license to open carry or not.

“The way it’s gonna end up is that police are gonna have encounters with people who are open carrying that are going to escalate, and that are going to lead to an arrest,” Corn said. “And then that’s going to lead to defense attorneys saying the whole thing was tainted, and that the seizure was illegal because he had right to carry.”

Originally, the bill had a “no stop” provision, which barred police from asking anyone for their open carry license. Law enforcement groups fought it, saying it would prevent police from doing their jobs, while endangering the public. In response to that pressure, the bill was rewritten in its current form.

“Traditionally, the way legislatures tackle hard problems is to leave it to the courts,” George Dix, a professor of law at the University of Texas School of Law, told Fusion. “In this case, I suspect there was no politically acceptable language they could agree on, so they left it up to others to decide.”

The officials who pushed the bill through saw it as mostly a symbolic measure, he speculated. They weren’t necessarily concerned with how it would be enforced.

For all its problems, there is one thing abundantly clear with the new law: seeing someone on the street with a gun is not enough of a reason to detain them and ask for their license. Seeing someone with a firearm no longer makes them suspicious in the eyes of the law, even as regular citizens might be alarmed at the sight.

What a lot of police are worried about is not that there’s gonna be open carry, but that there’s going to be a deliberate effort to exercise that right in what I might characterize as an ‘unusually zealous’ way,” said Corn. “And there can be a lot of chaos in those circumstances.”

Deliberate, mind you.  Not accidental, but someone exercising a right deliberately.  Deliberately!  And not only that, but in an “unusually zealous” way!

So tell us Mr. Corn.  What does it mean to deliberately exercise a right in an “unusually zealous” way?  Be precise, please.  Legally precise.  And explain how that can be chaotic.

Or perhaps this is just some bullshit term made up for some bullshit article over something that won’t end up mattering a hill of beans to most people?  Which is it, Mr. Corn?

Texas Gun Law: Is The State A Model For Modern Open Carry?

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 4 weeks ago

CSM:

At least in popular culture, Texas has always been synonymous with gun-totin’ cowboys, but until midnight on New Year’s Eve, the reality has been far different. Texas, in fact, has been one of the most restrictive gun-rights states in America.

Thanks to a new law, however, the state will be one of the most relaxed.

How relaxed? Police are discouraged from even asking about someone’s holstered gun. And if they do, they may not have much power to do anything if the person refuses to show a license.

The upshot is that the sight of civilians carrying visible weapons is about to become commonplace in the Lone Star State.

The lawmakers who crafted the legislation passed it in part as a symbolic measure at an unusual time in the United States. Even as gun control groups link America’s obsession with firearms to a slight rise in the number of mass shootings, the US public seems more enamored than ever with weaponry and the power it conveys. Black Friday this year saw the biggest gun cache ever purchased in one day – enough to arm a new military the size of the Marine Corps, as Bob Owens points out on the “Bearing Arms” blog.

Indeed, with notable exceptions in New York, Connecticut, and Colorado, the bulk of states have steadily expanded gun rights since the sunsetting of a 10-year assault weapons ban in 2004. But the new Texas law is Texas-size, given that more than 800,000 Texans are already licensed to carry concealed weapons. Their rights now extend to carrying openly in the halls of the state Capitol.

Given those trends, there’s a fervent debate about whether the new Texas law is a model piece of legislation for a changing America – or a walking disaster just begging for trouble.

To be sure, the law is strict in its own way, offering a model for regulation. Under the law, open-carry folks have to be licensed, a process that includes safety and shooting tests. They also have to show no prior psychological problems, and they have to be at least 21 years old.

But a major sticking point is how the law will affect policing in one of the nation’s most populous expanses. The fact that the law doesn’t provide any sanctions against those who refuse to show a license to a police officer has critics fearing that officers may be handcuffed in their ability to respond to volatile and potentially deadly situations.

Oooo … boogey man gonna getcha!  Hold me Uncle Bob!  I askeerd!  “Walking disaster.”  “Trouble.”  “Volatile and deadly situations.” Oooo …

Again, as a citizen of a traditional open carry state, I’m going to tell you what’s going to happen here.  Nothing.  That’s right, nothing.  Life will continue in the lone star state unabated, and the doomsday predictions of law enforcement and the progressives will go down as a monument to their hatred of the common man.

And no, it’s not a model for open carry law.  It’s a half way measure that still recognizes the state’s right to permit the carry of weapons, an illegitimate and bastard right that has no place in a free society.

Preparations For Texas Open Carry

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 1 week ago

David Codrea:

Internet trolls have learned to exploit our over-militarized police. It’s a crime that’s hard to stop — and hard to prosecute

Read the rest of it for context and the Dallas PD’s response.

Texas Monthly also has a long article dedicated to preparations for open carry.

Texas law enforcement has also been pretty vocal about their concerns with open carry. They are, after all, the group who’ll have to deal with most of the potential fallout of the new law in the upcoming months. While a majority of police chiefs have expressed a general opposition to the law (75 percent, according to a survey in February) , they were most vocal in May when a provision was added that would prevent police officers from stopping people solely because they were openly carrying a gun. By then, the passing of open carry seemed inevitable, so even Democrats who were originally opposed to the law supported the provision in hopes that it would help prevent the targeting of color openly carrying handguns.

“What’s going to happen is more interaction between police and black and brown and poor people because of lawful activity,” Rep. Harold Dutton told KXAN.

The provision made some sense, especially considering issues of racial profiling among Texas state troopers, but it was flawed. In May, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said at a news conference that the provision would “handcuff” police officers and prevent them from doing their jobs. He was accompanied by members of the Texas Police Chiefs Association, the Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas, the Sheriff’s Association of Texas, and police unions from Houston and Dallas.

The law passed without the provision as it should have.

But one of the biggest concerns of law enforcement is establishing the fine line between respecting the rights of someone legally carrying a handgun and protecting the general public. “What happens when an officer sees someone openly carrying a handgun in a holster, in accordance with the law, what can an officer legally do?” Shannon Edmonds, director of governmental relations for the Texas District and County Attorneys Association, told the Houston Chronicle. “We keep getting more questions than answers.”

The fear is that open carry will make it harder for police officers to tell the difference between a law-abiding citizen legally carrying a gun and someone with criminal intentions carrying a gun. In the Houston Chronicle, comments like these from Ray Hunt, president of the Houston Police Officers Union, don’t really help to clarify things.

Houston police, he said, will not “be doing random stops of people simply to see if they have a CHL,” but they also will not “sit back for 30 minutes” if they have a reasonable suspicion to stop someone.

Well, Ms. Edmonds, what can an officer do when he sees someone shopping in a store or sitting at a desk typing, both activities quite legal, and can’t tell whether the shopper or office worker will decide to blow up their building?  What is a poor officer to do?

Really, folks, this has become a silly, exaggerated, inflated, dramatic, overly-complicated, hysterical fit.  I can say that because my home state is a traditional open carry state, and I have opened carried, and seen others doing the same.  It’s just not the problem you are making it out to be.  When it’s time for open carry to be legal, some men will decide to open carry, and life will go on.  Business will occur, and the only crimes that may spiral out of control would be SWAT call-outs from politically motivated callers who use the cops to drive their points.

Here’s a note to Texas police departments.  If you don’t want to be used, don’t oblige.  Don’t do it.  Just say no.  Stand up for yourself.  Be men.


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