Section 46.02 of the Texas Penal Code (Unlawful Carry of a Weapon) is the law that prohibits open display of a weapon. The oldest reference of this law as it currently exists comes from the codification ofthe Texas Penal Codein 1973 by the 63rd Legislature. Before this time, the laws were organized differently and were notstored electronically, so there is no revision history readily available before this time.
I can tell you that the prohibition of open carry dates back to Reconstruction; laws forbidding weapons carry were passed and then selectively enforced by the "good ol' boy" lawmenagainst free blacks and carpetbaggers. This behavior continued through much of the early 20th century; I would guess as recently as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, officers were stillenforcing this and other laws only as they saw fit. After the CRA passed, the law had to be applied evenly, and as President Kennedy had just been assassinated 6 months previously,followed very soon thereafterby Jack Ruby walking up andplugging Oswald, it would not have been very good PR for Texas to repeal their carry prohibition. So, the majority of the chapter, including handgun law, was left largely unchanged until a major overhaul of the Penal, Government and Beverage Codesbetween 1995-1997 to institute concealed carry licensing. Since that time we've been chipping away at 46.02 and similar provisions; the next major step was in 2007 with the strong Castle Doctrine law and specific exception to 46.02 in the case of a weapon kept concealed in a car.