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Thread: Open carry of long arms?

  1. #1
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    I was always under the impression that open carry of long arms in Texas is legal, but I was browsing through this site and the map of states that allow open carry show Texas to dissalow all open carry, rifles included. I did a little research and found this in the Texas penal code:

    § 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.

    It explicitly forbids handguns, but says nothing of long arms/rifles. Would this imply that open carry of long arms is therefore legal?

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    Longarms are alright to carry in TX. I don't advise you to walk down the street in a liberal city like Houston or the DFW area with a rifle. In this day and age, it would get you a huge police presence. It seems that the rural areas around hunting time are pretty open to it. I've seen people in East Texas during hunting season take their rifles into cafes with them. One thing I need to point out is that I'm not an attorney nor have I spoken to one. It would be good advice to speak with one concerning the carry of long guns in TX. In other words: CYOA.

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    Yes, I'm aware that though technically legal it would still be a bad idea, (and that you'd probably get a disordaly conduct or breach of the peace citation) I was just confused because the map on the front page lists Texas as "non permissve open carry state". I suppose it's possible that there is case law or something that has ruled against it, but I'm not sure!

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    http://www.nraila.org/statelawpdfs/TXSL.pdf

    They don't have any info on carry of longguns either. I would guess that as long as it's over your shoulder (not in your hands) and unloaded it's ok.

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    glock37 wrote:
    Longarms are alright to carry in TX. I don't advise you to walk down the street in a liberal city like Houston or the DFW area with a rifle. In this day and age, it would get you a huge police presence. It seems that the rural areas around hunting time are pretty open to it. I've seen people in East Texas during hunting season take their rifles into cafes with them. One thing I need to point out is that I'm not an attorney nor have I spoken to one. It would be good advice to speak with one concerning the carry of long guns in TX. In other words: CYOA.
    A year ago myself and my 2 assistant pastors went to downtown Dallas on Sunday afternoon where the longhorns are located (long story, but it was a theme we had at my Church and needed pictures). We took several pictures with a photographer holding some shotguns. I called the DPD before we went to tell them what we were doing in case they had any calls. They kindly thanked me in advance for letting them know. Two hours of photos a lot of STRANGE LOOKS, but no police.

    :celebrate

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    Sitrep wrote:
    http://www.nraila.org/statelawpdfs/TXSL.pdf

    They don't have any info on carry of longguns either. I would guess that as long as it's over your shoulder (not in your hands) and unloaded it's ok.
    In Texas it CAN BE loaded. You can place it in plain view - it does not matter.

  7. #7
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    Technically and Theoretically we do have open carry of long guns in Texas. Where I come from - small town, Texas Panhandle - we always had a .22, 30-30, or a shotgun in the back window of the pickup. You still see it frequently in smaller rural ranch communities. On large Texas ranches we frequently have predator problems and the need to keep the coyote population in check. In Texas it's not illegal to open carry a hand gun ON YOUR OWN PROPERTY. I can strap on my .45 Government right now and sit out in my own back yard.

    There are two issues with open carrying long guns in Texas.

    First is Texas Penal Code 42.01 Disorderly Conduct. (a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly (8) displays a firearm or other deadly weapon in a public place in a manner calculated to alarm; (c) for purposes of this section: (1) an act is deemed to occur in a public place or near a private residence if it produces its offensive or proscribed consequences in the public place or near a private residence.

    This is the issue of "brandishing." If someone reports that they are "alarmed" by the presence of your firearm you have committed Disorderly Conduct. If you walk down the street with a long gun over your shoulder or walk into Walmart openly"displaying" your long gun - and it causes "alarm" you can be sited for brandishing and disorderly conduct. Thus, this is a very subjective definition and subject to the community, location, and activity.

    Case in point - I bought a new 30-06 at Gander Mountain the other day. The sales clerk had to carry the rifle in it's box to the front of the store and hand it to me as I exited the store. They also have signs posted stating that your gun has to be disabled and unloaded and in a case before you can bring it into the store for repair. I guess this policy may be as much for my protection as it is (real or imagined) for the company's liability.

    The second issue is theft. Most prudent folks wouldn't leave a long gun in the gun rack of their pickup in a metropolitan area for fear of theft. Its a sad state of affairs but a true statement of our society today. You would more-than-likely return to your vehicle to find the window smashed and your gun missing. Of course, this goes for leaving most anything of value laying in the open in your vehicle these days.

    Would Iwalk around witha long gun downtown Houston, Texas - in the open - no way. Do I openly carry a long gun when out on our property in the rural Texas Panhandle- yes. If I needed to run into town (Miami - pop. 300)for some supplies would I leave my gun in the gun rack of my truck - yes. In our home (besides our handguns) my wife keeps a loaded lever-gun handy and we've both been known to go outdoors with a loaded rife or shotgun to investigate a "noise" or disturbance.

    So the bottom line is - the Texas gun laws for both handguns and long guns needs a lot of work!

    Gary Williams, President TCDL

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    Arizonatexan wrote:
    So the bottom line is - the Texas gun laws for both handguns and long guns needs a lot of work!

    Gary Williams, President TCDL
    It should be a given that we can open carry. It is ashame to have to legislate your right AGAIN and AGAIN!!!!! I am all in. I would love to go into a restaurant and remove my jacket.

  9. #9
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    Yes...most people in other states can't believe how backwards TX reallyis about this issue.

    -- John D.


    (formerly of Colorado Springs, CO)

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    Arizonatexan wrote:
    First is Texas Penal Code 42.01 Disorderly Conduct. (a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly (8) displays a firearm or other deadly weapon in a public place in a manner calculated to alarm; (c) for purposes of this section: (1) an act is deemed to occur in a public place or near a private residence if it produces its offensive or proscribed consequences in the public place or near a private residence.

    This is the issue of "brandishing." If someone reports that they are "alarmed" by the presence of your firearm you have committed Disorderly Conduct. If you walk down the street with a long gun over your shoulder or walk into Walmart openly"displaying" your long gun - and it causes "alarm" you can be sited for brandishing and disorderly conduct.
    Please take note of the phrases I highlighted: to commit Disorderly Conduct, you must intentionally or knowingly display a firearm in a manner calculated to alarm. In common language, you must "brandish" it, although the term "brandish" does not appear in the Texas Penal Code. If you're not intentionally or knowingly intending to alarm someone, it's not Disorderly Conduct. The fact that Soccermom Sally has palpitations over it is irrelevent.

    Over on TexasCHLforum.com, there's already a thread for the 2009 legislative goals, and legal open carry has a lot of support.

    Kevin

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    KBCraig wrote:
    If you're not intentionally or knowingly intending to alarm someone, it's not Disorderly Conduct. The fact that Soccermom Sally has palpitations over it is irrelevent.

    Kevin

    I agree with Kevin. However, my point is that although you may be totally in the right we have seen over and over again that you are still likely to be involved in an unfortunate confrontation with police. It becomes "Soccermom"s"word against your's and depending on the LEO that answers the "man with a gun" call - you can still find yourself in quite a pickle.

    Is it "legal" for me to carry my new long gun in Gander Mountain or walk calmly into Walmart with my rifle in the open, carried muzzle down and the safety on? Do you think I'll make it past the front door? In Houston - I doubt it. In Pampa in the rural Texas Panhandle - maybe.

    Gary


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    I don't disagree that you might get hassled. Even TSRA Director Jim Dark found himself in an unpleasant exchange, trying to explain the law to a pair of local LEOs, after a soccerninny called 911. It seems Jim had a Civil War-era Enfield muzzleloader on his truck seat when he stopped for lunch at Sonic. :what:

    As for getting in the front door of Wal Mart... that's private property. Up to them to decided if they want to say something. It's not illegal unless you refuse to leave.

    Kevin



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    Arizonatexan wrote:
    KBCraig wrote:
    If you're not intentionally or knowingly intending to alarm someone, it's not Disorderly Conduct. The fact that Soccermom Sally has palpitations over it is irrelevent.

    Kevin
    I agree with Kevin. However, my point is that although you may be totally in the right we have seen over and over again that you are still likely to be involved in an unfortunate confrontation with police. It becomes "Soccermom"s"word against your's and depending on the LEO that answers the "man with a gun" call - you can still find yourself in quite a pickle.

    Is it "legal" for me to carry my new long gun in Gander Mountain or walk calmly into Walmart with my rifle in the open, carried muzzle down and the safety on? Do you think I'll make it past the front door? In Houston - I doubt it. In Pampa in the rural Texas Panhandle - maybe.

    Gary
    From your first post, I recognized "Miami" as beingclose to Pampa.

    Lubbock here.....

    I agree with the TXCHL Forum that open carry should be an '09 legislative goal.

    I've been bugging Alice Tripp (over at TSRA) about this for the last few years, but I realize (probably *almost* as well as she does) that we had/need to get our legislative/carry house in order first.

    We've come a long way in the last few years (while admitting that we've still got a *long* way to go).

    I think "now" (e.g. 2009) is the time for open carry.


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    UCW applies to handguns only. Places weapons prohibited applies to all firearms. If you carry your long gun down the street some police depts. instructed their officers to charge you with displaying a firearm with the intent to alarm (disorderly conduct). It is B.S., but that is what it is. If you put it on a rack inside your vehicle you will be fine. Wouldn't advise you to do your bank deposit with it, but it is not against the law. If you keep it shouldered and don't fool with it, I don't see how they can stick that disorderly conduct on you.

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    There is no case law against open carry of long guns. It is legal. Some police depts. instructed officers to harrass you and intimidate you and threaten with the charge of displaying a firearm with the intent to alarm. It is 100% legal though and most officers know it. Just keep it shouldered so they cannot say you were brandishing it to alarm people.

  16. #16
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    cloudcroft wrote:
    Yes...most people in other states can't believe how backwards TX reallyis about this issue.

    -- John D.

    It's [largely] that whole punitive Reconstruction-era thing.

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    hey y'all, I just moved here from Commiefornia, and I'm glad to finaly be out of that prison. :celebrate
    Curious to know, since we're on the topic of OC of long guns, I live in New Braunfels in a neighborhood where everyone has at least an acre or so, its pretty wild out here theres deer everywhere and packs of wild dogs. The part of the neighborhood I live in is underdeveloped meaning theres many empty lots around where I'am, so my question lies in, since I like to take walks at night, usually after 8 or 9pm I was curious if I should carry a 30-30 or something since I've heard yet havent seen any wild dogs, as of yet...
    What would the Sherriffs department think? they patrol on a very minimal level, and usually not at night, also would anyone consider that brandishing if its slung on my shoulder at night? usually its only me and my brother out there, since its darker then pitch and theres no street lights.
    Soon as Febuary hits I'll be trying to get my CHL, but untill then I want to keep my self legal and protected from these dogs, and possible jail time.

    anyway, thanks for letting me ramble on.

    P.S I'm not a typical Commiefornian, I was born in georgia, so I'm a southern boy at heart, please forgive my parrents stupid idea to move to Commiefornia in the first place, I got here as quick as I could.

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    It is legal. They may pay you a visit once, but once you'll explain to them why you're carrying it probably you will be left alone in a small place like New Braunfels. You don't need a permit to have a concealed handgun in the car you own or you drive. If it is shouldered they won't be able to say you were brandishing it. The disorderly conduct charge is for intentionally displaying it in a manner calculated to alarm. Just because someone is alarmed that doesn't make it a crime. However, there are some Commie PD's here, too who told their officers to arrest you for intentionally displaying it in a manner calculated to alarm. That would be a Fourth Amendment violation, which could make you a lot of money... Get the drift?

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    Carry concealed in the car eh? where would I conceal it in my standard cab truck? and how concealed does it have to be? under a coat? in a box? under the seat? in the glove box? locked? unlocked? loaded? unloaded? wheres the details, I'd like to know, and also could I technically carry it on my person in the car?

    Just like to be legal in any case.


    Take it easy

  20. #20
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    Anywhere (including on your person) as long as it is not discernable to ordinary observation. It needs to be your car or a car you are in control of. If you are a passenger in a friend's car your friend needs to say it is his... You are not required to declare it as long as you are not a concealed permit holder. Keep your paperwork in a separate spot, so nobody gets excited... So, UCW doesn't apply as long as it is inside your vehicle concealed. If you enter a state park than the Administration code states you need to keep all firearms concealed and unloaded, unless you are a permit holder. That is a class C Parks and Wildlife code violation, not UCW.Cities do have the right to regulate firearms in their parks for non-permit holders. Again that would be a city ordinance violation and you are only immune to UCW.

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    So.. is it legal to keep a loaded long gun in your vehicle in Texas? In plain view or in the trunk?

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    Dr. Fresh wrote:
    So.. is it legal to keep a loaded long gun in your vehicle in Texas? In plain view or in the trunk?
    Completely legal. The Texas Constitution only gives the legislature the right to restrict the "wearing of arms" and the Texas Supreme Court decided long ago (I don't have the citation in front of me at the moment though; I'll bet someone can provide it) that long guns (rifles, shotguns) aren't "worn" and thus can't be regulated by law.

    That said, take heed what the others have posted: while it is legal to openly carry, loaded or unloaded, long arms in Texas doing so in urban areas will probably earn you a chat with the local police. Also, as has been pointed out, if you leave a valuable item -- like a long gun -- visible in your vehicle in an urban area you risk having your vehicle burgalized.

    I think the best way to think about it is this: in urban Texas, feel free to go to the range or travel to your hunting spot with your long guns present any way you like. Even if you get pulled over, you are legal. In rural areas, "gun rack carry" is more accepted and probably won't get stolen.

  23. #23
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    Dr. Fresh wrote:
    So.. is it legal to keep a loaded long gun in your vehicle in Texas? In plain view or in the trunk?
    Completely legal. The Texas Constitution only gives the legislature the right to restrict the "wearing of arms" and the Texas Supreme Court decided long ago (I don't have the citation in front of me at the moment though; I'll bet someone can provide it) that long guns (rifles, shotguns) aren't "worn" and thus can't be regulated by law.
    That said, take heed what the others have posted: while it is legal to openly carry, loaded or unloaded, long arms in Texas doing so in urban areas will probably earn you a chat with the local police. Also, as has been pointed out, if you leave a valuable item -- like a long gun -- visible in your vehicle in an urban area you risk having your vehicle burgalized.

    I think the best way to think about it is this: in urban Texas, feel free to go to the range or travel to your hunting spot with your long guns present any way you like. Even if you get pulled over, you are legal. In rural areas, "gun rack carry" is more accepted and probably won't get stolen.

  24. #24
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    Dr. Fresh wrote:
    So.. is it legal to keep a loaded long gun in your vehicle in Texas? In plain view or in the trunk?
    Completely legal. The Texas Constitution only gives the legislature the right to restrict the "wearing of arms" and the Texas Supreme Court decided long ago (I don't have the citation in front of me at the moment though; I'll bet someone can provide it) that long guns (rifles, shotguns) aren't "worn" and thus can't be regulated by law.
    That said, take heed what the others have posted: while it is legal to openly carry, loaded or unloaded, long arms in Texas doing so in urban areas will probably earn you a chat with the local police. Also, as has been pointed out, if you leave a valuable item -- like a long gun -- visible in your vehicle in an urban area you risk having your vehicle burgalized.

    I think the best way to think about it is this: in urban Texas, feel free to go to the range or travel to your hunting spot with your long guns present any way you like. Even if you get pulled over, you are legal. In rural areas, "gun rack carry" is more accepted and probably won't get stolen.

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    SA-TX wrote:
    Dr. Fresh wrote:
    So.. is it legal to keep a loaded long gun in your vehicle in Texas? In plain view or in the trunk?
    Completely legal. The Texas Constitution only gives the legislature the right to restrict the "wearing of arms" and the Texas Supreme Court decided long ago (I don't have the citation in front of me at the moment though; I'll bet someone can provide it) that long guns (rifles, shotguns) aren't "worn" and thus can't be regulated by law.
    That said, take heed what the others have posted: while it is legal to openly carry, loaded or unloaded, long arms in Texas doing so in urban areas will probably earn you a chat with the local police. Also, as has been pointed out, if you leave a valuable item -- like a long gun -- visible in your vehicle in an urban area you risk having your vehicle burgalized.

    I think the best way to think about it is this: in urban Texas, feel free to go to the range or travel to your hunting spot with your long guns present any way you like. Even if you get pulled over, you are legal. In rural areas, "gun rack carry" is more accepted and probably won't get stolen.
    Haha, nice accidental triple post. Thanks for the reply. I plan on moving to TX at some point (I live in WA now), and I'd like to keep a 12 gauge hidden in the trunk. Good to know I can. BTW, I plan on living in the country.

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