Texas Police Chiefs On Open Carry

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 8 months ago

The title is a little bit of a misnomer (since the article focuses on one chief) but follows the title at KXAN.com:

CEDAR PARK, Texas (KXAN) — At McBride’s Guns in Central Austin, gun sales are up in advance of an open carry law potentially being passed at the state Capitol. But Cedar Park Police Chief Sean Mannix says there are several unanswered questions attached to the law.

“What are the requirements of open carry, what about proof of eligibility?” he said. “Will people have to carry it with them?”

All 84 of his officers attend training on a daily basis for a variety of reasons, and even more training will be required if the bill passes.

“I will say that’s just a reality,” said Mannix. “It is going to be difficult for the beat cop to know who should have a gun, who shouldn’t have a gun, and frankly there are people out there who shouldn’t own guns.”

Mannix also serves as the chair of the Texas Association of Police Chiefs. He worries open carry could make situations, like ones involving an active shooter, more dangerous.

“The last thing you want to see is somebody with a gun who’s not a police officer at an active shooter situation not immediately responding to commands to drop their weapon and get on the ground,” the chief said.

The Chief has raised two different issues in the same breath.  The first issue has to do with proof of eligibility, and I told you this would be a problem.

… 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.

Gun rights advocates are better off to hold out for constitutional carry rather than begging for scraps that fall from the master’s table.

I didn’t say give Texas LEOs a stop and identify statute.  I said give the citizens of Texas recognition of their constitutional rights with un-permitted open carry.

The second issue the Chief raises has to do with situations of responses.  He said, “The last thing you want to see is somebody with a gun who’s not a police officer at an active shooter situation not immediately responding to commands to drop their weapon and get on the ground.”

Why does he think this is going to be a problem?  First of all, the situation is likely to be mitigated by the time LEOs get there if there are carriers in the area, and whether they are open carriers or concealed carriers isn’t relevant to the question (there are concealed carriers all over Texas and always have been).  So what problems has the Chief seen that he thinks will get worse because of some unstated characteristic of open carriers?  My suspicion is that there are no problems the Chief can cite because he is using boogey-man arguments.  Boo!  Boo!  Be askeerd!

In the end we all know the truth, and it is that constitutional carry, concealed or open, is the best option because it comports with the rights God has granted to men and women.  The politicians and LEOs in Texas have apparently yet to learn (or acknowledge) that.


Comments

  1. On April 16, 2015 at 7:44 am, TexTopCat said:

    The argument of not knowing who is licensed or not is not valid. Namely, as with the drivers on the street, how does a cop know that you have a license or not. Namely, the cop should not care unless there is probably cause, like running a stop sign for the cop to stop and ask. If a OC person is going about his business and not breaking any law, there is no probable cause and the cop has no reason to care. So, as the author pointed out there will not be any problems.

    And yes, I agree that Constitutional Carry is the place where we need to end up, but there is a long road and we will never get there unless we take one step at a time and prove that the sky did not fall or blood did not run in the streets.

  2. On April 16, 2015 at 11:58 am, Archer said:

    Bingo. Without probable cause, there’s no reason to suspect anything is amiss. A Washington State court came to that exact conclusion – that the mere presence of a firearm does not constitute probable cause to stop/detain/arrest. Washington is an OC state with strong state pre-emption against local laws, and OC hasn’t been a problem. Texas could learn a few things from other states if they were so inclined.

  3. On April 19, 2015 at 1:40 am, DAN III said:

    Archer,

    Pennsylvania is a shall-issue, open carry state also. The pre-emption law recently, made stronger by outgoing Republican governor, Tom Corbett. Which the anti-gunners are fighting tooth and nail, btw.

    Yes….Texas should look elsewhere. But that would dispell, make mute, the anti-Freedom arguments of Texas statists and their badged thugs.

  4. On April 16, 2015 at 9:17 am, Heyoka said:

    I’m confused about the LEO’s comment. We have a Constitutional Carry Law, 2nd Amendment. Although it is merely a codification of the preexisting right, the Amendment has much more teeth than people have been led to believe. No rights are absolute…. BS! Read this:

    THE
    Conventions of a number of the States having at the time of their adopting the
    Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse
    of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be
    added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will
    best insure the beneficent ends of its institution

    Understand that the Preamble of the Constitution itself has been as a grant to government specifically the General Welfare Clause. So why is this not as binding as a restraint??? You will notice that the language states “further declaratory and restrictive clauses”.

    So there are other restrictive clauses. This sheds light on the intent that limits of authority were meant by restrictive wording in the original document and intent, not the all inclusive manner in which it is being manipulated today.

    We need to stop letting the cat tell us we are but mere mice for their pleasure, I say…. But as TexTopCat says it is best we move slowly and take our little bites as they have of us. Remember the words of Madison:

    “I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”
    This is how we have arrived here, this is how we get it back. When the Israelites entered the Land they were promised god told them to take care not to run out all the heathens least the Beasts of the Field take it over and present a new problem.

  5. On April 16, 2015 at 10:18 am, Duke_Digger said:

    Perhaps Cedar Park Police Chief Sean Mannix should take a weekend away from the suburb of Austin, and visit other states sharing common borders with Texas. He might be surprised to discover they have managed it just fine. But perhaps he would rather “keep Austin weird”

  6. On April 16, 2015 at 11:41 am, Bobbye said:

    “In the end we all know the truth, and it is that constitutional carry, concealed or open, is the best option because it comports with the rights God has granted to men and women. The politicians and LEOs in Texas have apparently yet to learn (or acknowledge) that.” I believe that the politicians and LEO’s do know that, and acknowledge it every time they oppose God given rights. Their problem is that they believe that a government that supports God given rights is no government at all.

  7. On April 19, 2015 at 1:33 am, DAN III said:

    I heard the same whining, “the sky is falling” crap from thugs with badges in Pennsylvania 15+ years ago. What was the issue then ? Motorcycle helmet laws. Freedom and Liberty folks wanted the state mandatory helmet law to go away. The statists opposed eliminating helmet laws. They claimed there would be carnage and bloodshed galore on the highways. Guess what ? The PA legislature changed the law eliminating mandatory helmet laws anyway. The governor signed it. Years hence the carnage didn’t happen. The predictions of the statists failed to materialize.

    Fast forward to today’s assault on the 2nd Amendment.The predictions of the anti-gun, big government statists and their badge-bedecked thugs use the same old hypothetical arguments. “The sky will fall” if “we alllow” open carry. Bullshit. Pennsylvania is an open-carry, shall issue state. The sky hasn’t fallen.

    I don’t believe in open carry for myself. I want my on-body firearm a secret. But for those who want to employ open-carry….more power to you.

  8. On April 19, 2015 at 12:58 pm, Ned Weatherby said:

    Right – what a “danger.” Anyone remember Charles Whitman? The murderer at the University of Texas at Austin where, over an approximate 90 to 95 minute period, he killed 16 people and wounded 32 others in a mass shooting in and around the Tower?

    Mere “civilians” grabbed rifles and shot back, forcing Whitman behind cover. I really don’t think it took more than a room-temperature IQ by police to determine who was either the good or the bad guy in this “active shooting” scenario.

    While the event took place on August 1, 1966, we still hear about this mass paranoia by police on identifying good guys. That being said, since police shoot people in the back, and for other reasons in which they are in no danger, it’s a pretty safe bet that a Texas open carry law would have no effect on police shootings of innocent people.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Guns and was published April 15th, 2015 by Herschel Smith.

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