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Thread: Texas State Senator Jeff Wentworth (R - San Antonio) tells USA Today: He Opposes Open Carry

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    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/...-11-guns_N.htm

    4 states, among last holdouts, eye open-carry gun laws

    By Donna Leinwand, USA TODAY
    Four Southern states — Texas, South Carolina, Oklahoma and Arkansas — are considering legislation that would allow people to carry handguns openly in a holster.
    These generally Second Amendment-friendly states are among the last six holdouts against open carrying of guns. Openly carrying handguns is legal in most states, even those that ban concealed firearms. New York and Florida also bar openly carrying handguns.

    The four other states that ban so-called open carry "are extremely gun-friendly. They understand the individual-rights aspect. Yet for whatever reason, the carry laws in these states are restrictive," says John Pierce, a co-founder of OpenCarry.org, which promotes gun rights.

    Most states have strict laws governing concealed weapons. Illinois and Wisconsin ban carrying them entirely, according to the National Rifle Association. Concealing a weapon "was seen in the early days of our nation as something of an unwholesome act. People would bear arms openly," Pierce says.

    Says Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, which opposes open-carry laws: "We don't want more people carrying guns either openly or concealed because the more guns you have in a situation, the more likely you are to get gun violence."

    Grass-roots movements supporting open carry have emerged via Internet and e-mail campaigns, Pierce says. The online Texas petition now has more than 55,000 signatures. OpenCarry.org raised $25,000 through online donations to pay for advertising in Texas, says OpenCarry.org co-founder Mike Stollenwerk.

    Legislation is getting varying degrees of traction:

    • In South Carolina, Republican Rep. Dan Cooper sponsored a bill endorsed by 36 other legislators to allow anyone who legally owns a handgun to carry it openly.

    • In Oklahoma, Republican Rep. Mike Ritze is the sole sponsor of a bill filed Feb. 2 that would allow open carry.

    • In Arkansas, a legislator is moving forward with a similar bill, Stollenwerk says.

    • In Texas, Ian McCarthy, a student who chairs the Texas Open Carry Work Group, started the online petition in late 2007. He says a concealed gun is uncomfortable during hot Texas summers, takes longer to draw in self-defense and won't deter a criminal.

    "If a criminal sees you're armed, he's not going to mess with you," McCarthy says.

    Texas Republican Rep. Debbie Riddle has asked the state's legislative council to draft an open-carry bill. She wants to see how other gun-rights bills fare, particularly one to allow concealed weapons on college campuses."

    Republican state Sen. Jeff Wentworth, who sponsored the college campus bill, opposes open carry. "I think that's harkening too far back to the Wild West," he says.

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    Here in Connecticuthouse Bill 6457has just been raised to mandate the concealed carry of a firearm. Good luck Texas with your open carry campaign now we Nutmegers have to fight to keep open carry legal.

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    ...but this man would appreciate our support on HIS bill, no doubt....united we stand, divided, we're screwed.....

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    Does Jeff Wentworth know that now there are 55546 voters in this state (TEXAS) that are in favor of OPEN CARRY? Hmmmmmmmmmm.

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    Cowboy_Rick wrote:
    Does Jeff Wentworth know that now there are 55546 voters in this state (TEXAS) that are in favor of OPEN CARRY? Hmmmmmmmmmm.
    Probably so however, even though the people who have signed the petition have now gone up to 55,628 The population on April 1, 2000 was 20,851,820. Since 55,628 is far from 20 million, I guess he thinks it is ok to screw the 55 thousand that want to have an open carry bill brought forth and passed

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    JUMPMASTER wrote:
    Here in Connecticuthouse Bill 6457has just been raised to mandate the concealed carry of a firearm. Good luck Texas with your open carry campaign now we Nutmegers have to fight to keep open carry legal.
    Make sure it fails.

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    Mike wrote:
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/...-11-guns_N.htm

    Republican state Sen. Jeff Wentworth, who sponsored the college campus bill, opposes open carry. "I think that's harkening too far back to the Wild West," he says.
    So, he does the right thing by sponsoring campus carry, but he actively opposes open carry by invoking the "Wild West" boogieman.



    Didn't he pay attention in '95, when it was promised that allowing concealed carry would mean a return to the "Wild West" and blood in the streets?

    Didn't he pay attention in '07, when it was promised that allowing any non-criminal to carry in a car without a license would mean a return to the "Wild West" and blood in the streets?

    Oh, wait... those things didn't actually happen, despite the worries of ex-spurts like Sen. Wentworth.



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    Aaargh. He was not forthcoming regarding his opposition when he spoke to us at the Austin Rifle Club annual banquet.

    He just made said he didn't think it would pass. Gee, Jeff, why don't you tell us how you REALLY feel?

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    prehaps Sen.Wentworth should stop and think about the next election while I'm surre all 55thousand don't come from his district alone I'm sure a lot do. How much was his margin last time?

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    You must also remember that the petition signers represent only a fraction of the people who are like minded. Petitions are only signed by those that are aware of them, thus the billboards, etc. I would be interested in seeing what would happen if the state sent out mailers to all registered voters on the Open Carry referendum to gauge public response, we might find a few MILLION more supporters. :celebrate:celebrate:celebrate:celebrate

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    Tex4OC wrote:
    You must also remember that the petition signers represent only a fraction of the people who are like minded. Petitions are only signed by those that are aware of them, thus the billboards, etc. I would be interested in seeing what would happen if the state sent out mailers to all registered voters on the Open Carry referendum to gauge public response, we might find a few MILLION more supporters. :celebrate:celebrate:celebrate:celebrate
    Yeah but 55k+ is pretty big number for a petition. Look at Oklahoma and South Carolina. They have already introduced UN-licensed OC bills with petitions 18 times smaller than the one in Texas!

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    Ianmtx wrote:
    Tex4OC wrote:
    You must also remember that the petition signers represent only a fraction of the people who are like minded. Petitions are only signed by those that are aware of them, thus the billboards, etc. I would be interested in seeing what would happen if the state sent out mailers to all registered voters on the Open Carry referendum to gauge public response, we might find a few MILLION more supporters. :celebrate:celebrate:celebrate:celebrate
    Yeah but 55k+ is pretty big number for a petition. Look at Oklahoma and South Carolina. They have already introduced UN-licensed OC bills with petitions 18 times smaller than the one in Texas!
    Then where is our bill?

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    Rob_B wrote:
    Ianmtx wrote:
    Tex4OC wrote:
    You must also remember that the petition signers represent only a fraction of the people who are like minded. Petitions are only signed by those that are aware of them, thus the billboards, etc. I would be interested in seeing what would happen if the state sent out mailers to all registered voters on the Open Carry referendum to gauge public response, we might find a few MILLION more supporters. :celebrate:celebrate:celebrate:celebrate
    Yeah but 55k+ is pretty big number for a petition. Look at Oklahoma and South Carolina. They have already introduced UN-licensed OC bills with petitions 18 times smaller than the one in Texas!
    Then where is our bill?
    You should ask Rep. Debbie Riddle that question.

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    Republican state Sen. Jeff Wentworth !?!?!?

    WTF ??? AREPUBLICAN??? A Republican that OPPOSES OCing ??? Especially a Republican Senator. No wonder this country is going to H*ll in a handbasket loosing all the Rights.

    TJ

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    just because they're in the right group don't mean they cot their mind right or priorities straight

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    Republican state Sen. Jeff Wentworth, who sponsored the college campus bill, opposes open carry. "I think that's harkening too far back to the Wild West," he says.

    The SW is 15 times more violent nowthan the Wild West days. Maybe because fewer people OC (or carry at all) and are easy marks. Wentworth is a metro... and disingenous at that. NM & AZ (right next door) are both OC states. Maybe he ought'a take a ride on the I-10W and look around a bit.

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    When are these people finally gonna get it through their heads, people are either going to obey the law or they're not. The lawless are by definition not affected by the law, and the law abiding are, well, law abiding and no threat. We need to be treated as such.

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    UTOC-45-44 wrote:
    Republican state Sen. Jeff Wentworth !?!?!?

    WTF ??? AREPUBLICAN??? A Republican that OPPOSES OCing ??? Especially a Republican Senator. No wonder this country is going to H*ll in a handbasket loosing all the Rights.

    TJ
    Sen. Wentworth is a solid pro-2A member. Did I like the comment? NO but I'm not going to overreact either. He will be helping (maybe even carrying) the legislation for campus carry and parking lot carry. Both are very important improvements for Texas. The way to approach Senator Wentworth and all other pro-2A members is to help convince them that OC isn't a problem. It has a big psychological profile (i.e., scary images), but if you look at the proposition logically and show the ACTUAL EXPERIENCE in other states it can be overcome.

    I know this seems odd and maybe a news flash to some here, but Texas isn't as pro-gun overall as you might think. We haven't had open carry for post-1898 firearms for about 120 years. We only got concealed carry in 1995. Yes, hunting and sport shootingare important and there is a vocal, strong segment of the populationthat is pro-2A/limited government, but by no means is it everyone. Even the CHL numbers are low on a percentage basis.

    The bottom line is the pro-gun legislation isn't the easy sell you might think. We struggle every session to improve the CHL situation. This session will be worse as more democrats (most who are anti-gun) were elected due to the Obama wave. OC is highly controversial. My advice, and the policy that I am pursuing, is to engage with members and help take away the boogeyman image of OC. Threats about the next election will get us nowhere.

    SA-TX

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    Is it really okay to open carry cap 'n ball, cause that would make a hell of a statement, and I would go out and get full 1890's rig just for that purpose!!!

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    Tex4OC wrote:
    Is it really okay to open carry cap 'n ball, cause that would make a hell of a statement, and I would go out and get full 1890's rig just for that purpose!!!
    Cap 'n ball was 'antiquated' in 1873 with the introduction of the Colt SAA to the civilian market.Toward the middle of the 1890's (1896) Mauser was producing the C96magazine fed 'Broomhandle' pistol.

    As an aside... a full 'period rig' can run well over $2,000.00 if it's accurate. This rig is early 1880's. It weighs 31 lbs.

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    Let me clarify, do the weapons need to be manufactured before 1898, or just designed before then, can I carry replica black powder arms openly?

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    Tex4OC wrote:
    Let me clarify, do the weapons need to be manufactured before 1898, or just designed before then, can I carry replica black powder arms openly?
    Those manufactured before 1899 (so 1898 is fine) can fire any type of ammunition. Replicas cannot use center fire or rim fire ammunition.

    Pre-1899 carry is completely untested. The waters were muddied even further by the recently addedlanguage referencing "that may have, as an integral part, a ... ". It used to say, paraphrasing, "Firearm does not include an antique or curio firearm manufactured before 1899 or a replica ... ". The purpose was to exclude older weapons that had bayonetsor other long knives,short barrels, short stocks, etc. A sharp DA might try to say that "MAY HAVE" means "MUST have" and that a generic pre-1899 pistol or rifle won't qualify. Additionally, there is no definition for "antique or curio firearm". Do all pre-1899 firearms qualify or must there be something special about them?

    Federal law may help some. An antique is defined there as being pre-1899 (can provide a citation if needed). These are exempt from the usual '68 GCA transfer and paperwork issues. It is completely legal to obtain them interstate and via the mail. No FFL or forms. "Curios and relics" under federal law, however, only have to be 50 years old or older. Those are still subject to transfer requirements but a C&R FFL (i.e. - a collector's license) can buy and sell them interstate.

    In short, Texas law is a mess when it comes to older guns. Based on both the past and current state of the law, I believe -- but I'm not a lawyer -- that open carry of any pre-1899 firearm is perfectly legal. However, expect to be arrested, have to go to court and argue the case. I suspect that you'd win but given the consequences if you don't (you'd be convicted of at least a Class B misdomeanor, lose your CHL, etc.) I'm not prepared to be the test case. If I were an attorney myself, maybe.

    Here's the exact section from the penal code:

    Sec.46.01.DEFINITIONS.In this chapter:

    (3)"Firearm" means any device designed, made, or adapted to expel a projectile through a barrel by using the energy generated by an explosion or burning substance or any device readily convertible to that use. Firearm does not include a firearm that may have, as an integral part, a folding knife blade or other characteristics of weapons made illegal by this chapter and that is:

    (A)an antique or curio firearm manufactured before 1899; or

    (B)a replica of an antique or curio firearm manufactured before 1899, but only if the replica does not use rim fire or center fire ammunition.


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    'Far as I know nobody 'made' cap 'n ball anything after 1873. There was no market... no point. The 1851 .36 Navies and 1860 .44 Armies etc were being converted to ctg.

    There were huge advances in firearms in just a bit over 30 years after the Civil War... all over. You can find 'modern' replicas' in Cabela's catalog... up to the huge Walker Colt .44 horse pistol for 'reasonable'. Each cylinder is loaded individually, then capped with a primer over the firing nipple.

    Note that rim fire and center fire metallic ctgs are a no-no.

    That said... I would not stake my life on any SAA pistol for self defense in the 21st Century. If you just want'a carry 'open'to 'make a statement'... That's up to you. Personally, I wouldn't do it... not w/o a CC'dmodern BUG in Texas.

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