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Thread: Status Of Open Carry Effort

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    I am a little behind on some current events. What is the status of Open Carry efforts in Texas?

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    Regular Member CrossFire's Avatar
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    It is pretty much stalled right now. The legislature only meets in odd numbered years. Hopefully as we get closer to 2011 the ball will start rolling again.

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    Thank you.

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    Lone Star Veteran Ian's Avatar
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    I've put an auto responder on my email address so when people ask about the petition that I have going for Texas they get sent here.

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    Letter to my Texas State representative-

    Dear Representative Patrick:

    I would like to take a minute or two of your time to address aimportant issue in the hope that you will be interested in supporting legislative action in the next session that many Texans believe is long overdue.

    I am referring to the growing movement calling upon members of the Texas Legislature to consider amending the Texas Penal Code in order to bring it into harmony and compliance with the constitutionally guaranteed right to keep and bear arms openly in Texas. Texas is one of only 6 states neither allowing, nor recognizing the constitutionally guaranteed right to openly wear a holstered firearm for the lawful purpose of self-defense.

    Exisitng Texas law provides that a person may not routinely wear a holstered handgun publicly unless they have beenlicensed to carry a concealed handgun.Statutory provisions licensing concealed carry, and generally prohibiting open carry. do not satisfy the requirements of the Texas Constitution's guarantee of the right of every citizen in Texas to keep and bear arms for the lawful purpose of self-defense.

    Article I, section 23 of the Texas Bill of Rights provides that:

    "Every citizen shall have the right to keep and bear arms in the lawful defense of himself, or the State; but the Legislature shall have power to regulate the wearing of arms, with a view to prevent crime."

    Please note that there is no provision in the text of Article I, section 23 excepting handguns from the exercise of this right, and the reason the legislature is empowered to regulate wearing of arms is to prevent crime.

    Texas Penal Code section 46.02 provides: Unlawful Carrying of Weapons - " A person commits an offense if he intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his person a handgun, illegal knife, bowie knife, or club."

    This section 46.02 wording violates Article I, section 23 in failing to cite a crime intendedbe prevented by the provision. In fact the only "crime" referenced by this section is the exercise of a constitutionally guaranteed right of citizenship-the right to keep and bear arms in the lawful defense of one's person.

    Law enforcement in Texas has long labored under the twisted logic of section 46.02 subjecting the free exercise of a civil right to a very selectively enforced presumption of criminal purpose and intent. Section 46.035 (failure to conceal a handgun by a licensee) also establishes presumptive prima facie criminal purpose and intent in the absence of any supporting evidence .

    Some Texans believe thatenactment of aprovision for either concealed or open carry by a licensee would be a simple fix to address this constitutional problem. Unfortunately that approach does not remedy the core problem inherent in the State's presumption of constitutional authority to deny, or license the free exercise of a civil right.

    Justice Scalia delivered the following commentary during recent presentation of oral arguments in the McDonald v The City of Chicago's handgun ban casepending before the Supreme Court:

    " What is the purpose of a State constitutional guarantee which has at the end of it - subject to such regulation as the legislature may provide ? That would make a nullity of the constitutional requirement."

    Whether you are inclined to agree or disagree with my point of view on this subject, the problem exists and is not going away.Either the next session of the Legislature, or the courtswill have the opportunity to address the civil rights violation aspects of this issue.

    If you have any questions, concerns,or comments regarding this issue I will be happy to try to address them. Thank you for taking the time togive some consideration to thisissue.



    __________________________________________________ ______________

    As for the status of the movement ? It's not too early for us to start communicating with the Texas Legislature - is it ?





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    Regular Member One_Shot's Avatar
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    Good letter! And you are right, it is never too early to communicate with the lawmakers in Austin.

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    Last year I spoke to the staffers in Charlie Howard's office, district 26. They told me that he would support the OC bill but not introduce it because he is not on the law enforcement committee. I stupidly let that stop me.

    I was at the SD 17 convention last month, and I spoke to Charlie Howard's wife. I told her my experience with the staffers, and she got kind of pissed off, I guess about as much as a little old grandma can. She told me Charlie Howard would definitely introduce the bill, and that I need to set up an appointment with him and let him know what his staffers told him.

    I will get with him and discuss OC.

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    I just had a conversation with one of his staffers. The staffer I spoke to told me the same thing that I heard the last time I called. Rep. Howard supports OC, but will not introduce it because he is not on the law enforcement committee. Rep. Howard's wife said otherwise. The staffer did say that the earliest something could be filed is November, so that is a good piece of information.

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    Rep. Howard's wife called me today. She was doing research on open carry, and she came across the previous post. She wanted me to know that she gave me the wrong impression, not just about Rep. Howard's position on open carry, but that we needed to take a cane to his staff. Apparently, his staff has raised the bar for helpfulness to the citizens of the district, and they have the letters to back it up.

    She wasn't saying that Rep. Howard will automatically going to support OC. I think I caught her off guard with OC, so she was doing some research to learn more about OC, and she came across this thread.

    She said I needed to talk to him about it, and she would have him call me. I guess she realized after she read the post that she was putting words in Charlie's mouth, and I was doing the same to her. She didn't want me to get the impression that she tells him what to do, since she doesn't consider that biblical.

    She seems like a really good lady. Sorry, Jo for getting ahead of myself.

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    I'm also interested. It would be great for any updates to be posted.

    After posting and re-reading I realized just how vague that must sound and thought I would intro myself. I live in TX, hold a CHL and am very interested in the status of the OC effort. It's sometimes tough to find up to date information and I really enjoy being able to get updates via a few forums. Love the site! keep up the fight!





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    CrossFire wrote:
    It is pretty much stalled right now. The legislature only meets in odd numbered years. Hopefully as we get closer to 2011 the ball will start rolling again.
    I hope we get the "ball rolling" as soon as possible well in advance so that we can make sure to get the open carry message spread across Texas. It felt like we were so close last session. We just need to stay on top of our reps and demand that someone introduce the open carry bill.

    Honestly, I believe that the 2nd amendment is our right to carry, but I would settle for now if we could get it to where Texans that have a CHL, or obtain a CHL, have the option to open carry, or conceal carry. We can then later further chip away at the anti-gun laws.

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    I agree. You have to start somewhere

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    Good luck guys. I have determined that the Texas legislaure is full of gutless wonders. They will not approach open carry in this session or any in the near future. TSRA will not endorse it, nor will NRA. Until one or both endorse open carry in Texas,it will not even be considered.
    The thing about common sense is....it ain't too common.
    Will Rogers

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    Blinn79 wrote:
    I hope we get the "ball rolling" as soon as possible
    While you are rolling your ball in one direction, you'll probably pass all of their's rolling the other.
    The thing about common sense is....it ain't too common.
    Will Rogers

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    rodbender wrote:
    TSRA will not endorse it, nor will NRA. Until one or both endorse open carry in Texas,it will not even be considered.
    Then maybe we need to start with TSRA... maybe they need to get a ton of phone calls and letters. Maybe some gun owners protesting outside their HQ would help. I wouldn't think it would be good to have lawful gun owners protesting a gun association. Then you would just need about a dozen people to call a local news station and report gun owners protesting TSRA. If you could get even 30 seconds worth of coverage, or even an article in a local paper about it, seems like TSRA would have to start to pay attention. Just a thought...

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    Blinn79 wrote:
    rodbender wrote:
    TSRA will not endorse it, nor will NRA. Until one or both endorse open carry in Texas,it will not even be considered.
    Then maybe we need to start with TSRA... maybe they need to get a ton of phone calls and letters. Maybe some gun owners protesting outside their HQ would help. I wouldn't think it would be good to have lawful gun owners protesting a gun association. Then you would just need about a dozen people to call a local news station and report gun owners protesting TSRA. If you could get even 30 seconds worth of coverage, or even an article in a local paper about it, seems like TSRA would have to start to pay attention. Just a thought...
    While you may be correct in thinking that we need to protest TSRA. What I meant by not endorsing it was that Alice Tripp was openly hostile to the idea. Probably because it was NOT TSRA's idea. You know how that works.
    The thing about common sense is....it ain't too common.
    Will Rogers

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    rodbender wrote:
    Blinn79 wrote:
    rodbender wrote:
    TSRA will not endorse it, nor will NRA. Until one or both endorse open carry in Texas,it will not even be considered.
    Then maybe we need to start with TSRA... maybe they need to get a ton of phone calls and letters. Maybe some gun owners protesting outside their HQ would help. I wouldn't think it would be good to have lawful gun owners protesting a gun association. Then you would just need about a dozen people to call a local news station and report gun owners protesting TSRA. If you could get even 30 seconds worth of coverage, or even an article in a local paper about it, seems like TSRA would have to start to pay attention. Just a thought...
    While you may be correct in thinking that we need to protest TSRA. What I meant by not endorsing it was that Alice Tripp was openly hostile to the idea. Probably because it was NOT TSRA's idea. You know how that works.
    You mean .....the right to keep and BEAR ARMS wasn't TSRA's idea?

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    Rush Creek wrote:
    rodbender wrote:
    Blinn79 wrote:
    rodbender wrote:
    TSRA will not endorse it, nor will NRA. Until one or both endorse open carry in Texas,it will not even be considered.
    Then maybe we need to start with TSRA... maybe they need to get a ton of phone calls and letters. Maybe some gun owners protesting outside their HQ would help. I wouldn't think it would be good to have lawful gun owners protesting a gun association. Then you would just need about a dozen people to call a local news station and report gun owners protesting TSRA. If you could get even 30 seconds worth of coverage, or even an article in a local paper about it, seems like TSRA would have to start to pay attention. Just a thought...
    While you may be correct in thinking that we need to protest TSRA. What I meant by not endorsing it was that Alice Tripp was openly hostile to the idea. Probably because it was NOT TSRA's idea. You know how that works.
    You mean .....the right to keep and BEAR ARMS wasn't TSRA's idea?
    Oh, good grief.
    The thing about common sense is....it ain't too common.
    Will Rogers

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    More of us need to join TSRA and push this. What a constituancy wants matters.

    Keep kicking this link around to friends and family too.

    http://www.petitiononline.com/texasoc/petition.html



  20. #20
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    CommonMan101 wrote:
    More of us need to join TSRA and push this. What a constituancy wants matters.

    Keep kicking this link around to friends and family too.

    http://www.petitiononline.com/texasoc/petition.html


    The petition is old news -- but sign it if you haven't -- butjoining TSRAis the right approach. Those of you that also are members of www.texaschlforum.com will find that OC discussions are ongoing. Protests aren't the answer. The Brady Bunch would love video of one pro-gun group protesting another.

    My view is that we need to concentrate our fire, if you'll pardon the pun. We need to work WITH the TSRA. They aren't the enemy. They know that incrementalism is how you change 120 years of deprivation of liberty.

    For those that might not understand how the Texaslegislative branchis structured, here's a quick primer. The Legislature only meets for a few months every other year. That means that2 years worth of businessfor the 2nd largest state in the union (both by land mass and population) has the conducted in about 120 days. Thus, only the highest priority items get attention. The result is that making law is tough and repealing a law already on the books is even tougher (due to the competition for the very limited attention of the Legislature).

    In general, this is a good thing. We don't have lawmaking bodies in session all the time finding ways to justify their existance and drawing salary (see CA, NY, etc.). On the other hand, any opportunities missed hurt for much longer. We missed one last time. OC probably wasn't going to pass but we missed the chance to make our case and make a positive impression. We didn't even get a bill introduced (unlike AR, OK, and others). We didn't plant some positive seeds that had the opportunity to grow and make it easier this time.

    The situation we find ourselves in is this: the legislative agenda is going to be even more crazy than usual because of redistricting. Therefore it is crucial that we, the pro-2A community, come to the Legislature with one message. If there is dissention among the ranks we stand no chance.

    The TSRA does good work. They got CHL in Texas. They've worked for improvements every session. To have any hope, we first have to convince our friends that this is an objective worth seeking. The only way to do that is to join TSRA and lend your voice to the debate. Like all organizations, they are much less interested in what non-members say than those whose checks pay their expenses. Worse, if verbal bombs are thrown toward them or pro-2A members that don't yet understand why open carry is important, this is counter-productive and makes enemies not friends! Pro-2A legislators who simply don't understand open carry are not the enemy; they are our audience -- the ones who can be persuaded. Anti lawmakers are never going to support open carry so if you alienate those who are generally pro-gun, you simply ensure defeat.

    I'm participating in that discussion right now. Others are too. I ask you to trust me on this: if you want to have a positive impact and increase the chances that an open carry bill will be introduced and have some support, join TSRA and get involved. I'm not saying that I'm happy with the way everything has been in the past but I recognize the reality for what it is: unless the most recognized gun lobby in the state is ready to fight for it, the odds are very slim. We need the full muscle of all Texas gun owners and we don't have that right now. Add your voice to the chorus.

    SA-TX

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    SA-TX wrote:
    CommonMan101 wrote:
    More of us need to join TSRA and push this. What a constituancy wants matters.

    Keep kicking this link around to friends and family too.

    http://www.petitiononline.com/texasoc/petition.html


    The petition is old news -- but sign it if you haven't -- butjoining TSRAis the right approach. Those of you that also are members of http://www.texaschlforum.com will find that OC discussions are ongoing. Protests aren't the answer. The Brady Bunch would love video of one pro-gun group protesting another.

    My view is that we need to concentrate our fire, if you'll pardon the pun. We need to work WITH the TSRA. They aren't the enemy. They know that incrementalism is how you change 120 years of deprivation of liberty.

    For those that might not understand how the Texaslegislative branchis structured, here's a quick primer. The Legislature only meets for a few months every other year. That means that2 years worth of businessfor the 2nd largest state in the union (both by land mass and population) has the conducted in about 120 days. Thus, only the highest priority items get attention. The result is that making law is tough and repealing a law already on the books is even tougher (due to the competition for the very limited attention of the Legislature).

    In general, this is a good thing. We don't have lawmaking bodies in session all the time finding ways to justify their existance and drawing salary (see CA, NY, etc.). On the other hand, any opportunities missed hurt for much longer. We missed one last time. OC probably wasn't going to pass but we missed the chance to make our case and make a positive impression. We didn't even get a bill introduced (unlike AR, OK, and others). We didn't plant some positive seeds that had the opportunity to grow and make it easier this time.

    The situation we find ourselves in is this: the legislative agenda is going to be even more crazy than usual because of redistricting. Therefore it is crucial that we, the pro-2A community, come to the Legislature with one message. If there is dissention among the ranks we stand no chance.

    The TSRA does good work. They got CHL in Texas. They've worked for improvements every session. To have any hope, we first have to convince our friends that this is an objective worth seeking. The only way to do that is to join TSRA and lend your voice to the debate. Like all organizations, they are much less interested in what non-members say than those whose checks pay their expenses. Worse, if verbal bombs are thrown toward them or pro-2A members that don't yet understand why open carry is important, this is counter-productive and makes enemies not friends! Pro-2A legislators who simply don't understand open carry are not the enemy; they are our audience -- the ones who can be persuaded. Anti lawmakers are never going to support open carry so if you alienate those who are generally pro-gun, you simply ensure defeat.

    I'm participating in that discussion right now. Others are too. I ask you to trust me on this: if you want to have a positive impact and increase the chances that an open carry bill will be introduced and have some support, join TSRA and get involved. I'm not saying that I'm happy with the way everything has been in the past but I recognize the reality for what it is: unless the most recognized gun lobby in the state is ready to fight for it, the odds are very slim. We need the full muscle of all Texas gun owners and we don't have that right now. Add your voice to the chorus.

    SA-TX"

    Neither open carry nor constitutional carry are even on the TSRA's list of things to do for any legislative session, much less the upcoming one.

    I suppose that TSRA does some good, but there are many occasions when I wonder. They screwed up the legislative efforts for (licensed) concealed carry for more legislative sessions than I care to recall.

    Frankly, we need an organization that actually does more.

    Is there anyone actively making an effort to get a bill for open carry or constitutional carry pre-filed for the upcoming legislative session? If so we need to spread the word because TSRA will not be making any effort at all in this regard. (TSRA will tell you that they have "other priorities".) IMO you will be wasting your time trying to "work with TSRA" on open carry at this time.

    As an aside, if you do a little reading, all of the Texas laws restricting firearms carry are re-enactments of post-civil war Jim Crow laws originally enacted by the reconstruction era carpet bagger dominated legislatures which should make one wonder about the people who keep re-enacting them.

    Make a trip to the Alamo museum some time and take a look at the armaments carried by the heroes of the Alamo which have been outlawed by the legislature. (A Bowie knife is outlawed by name, among other things.)

    It is simply too bad that we do not have a better organization than TSRA to take up the effort.

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    Rogue Warrior, I thought that was the whole purpose of the Texas Citizens' Defense League.

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    Glock37,

    Is there any indication that TCDL is active?

    From what I have seen, it was never more than one or two people, not that there is anything wrong with that.

    I am not saying "don't join TSRA", just that TSRA does not have any intention of supporting either open carry or constitutional carry. If that is to come to pass, another organization will need to get involved.

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    Regular Member rodbender's Avatar
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    As far as http://www.texaschlforum.comis concerned, Charles Cotton is the honcho there and he has let it be known that OC is notsomething thathe will support. He is a member of the BOD at NRA and TSRAand will not even bring the subject up at the board meetings and has said so many times. He is willing to wait until the majority of the membership pushes for it (which will probably be never) and has come close to banning me for hammering him for it. I did hammer him pretty good, I might add. Guess he got his feelings hurt. Easy to do on some of these forums. Most are a bunch of pansies that think they are intellectually superior andACT like they are tough as nails. Cotton is no Einstein, I can tell you that much. I understand that he is a lawyer (not sure), but common sense ain't his strong suit.
    The thing about common sense is....it ain't too common.
    Will Rogers

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    rodbender,

    Cotton is the current TSRA Executive Director.

    He is an attorney. The rest I leave to you.

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