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Thread: Open Carry in Texas - Fait Accompli

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    Open Carry in Texas - Fait Accompli
    Traveling

    While I certainly think that unlicensed, constitutional OC/CC is the ultimate goal here in Texas, I don't think we should shirk from the exercise of what we already have on the books. I've been following the Florida OC Event thread at http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum17/44563.html and was inspired by the folk in that group exercising their own greatly limited rights. Namely, it was the mention of PC §46.15(b3), which states we can carry how we choose if we are "engaging in lawful hunting, fishing, or other sporting activity on the immediate premises where the activity is conducted, or is en route between the premises and the actor's residence or motor vehicle, if the weapon is a type commonly used in the activity." Unfortunately, we don't get the blanket ability to carry a handgun while fishing, since a handgun isn't "commonly used" to catch a fish. But it gave me the bravery to exercise §46.15(b2) and openly carry while traveling this weekend across the state! It was purely a "because I can" and "I like to use my rights" moment; I have my CHL, and don't try to BS by saying "driving to the store is traveling because I don't normally go there." CHL is the day-to-day way to carry in this state, and I make a concerted effort to follow the law in all activities, not just those related to firearms. But the law of the land says we can openly carry while we're truly traveling, and in the limits of the law, I enjoy my rights.

    My girlfriend and I traveled from near Houston to near Gilmer for a wedding, a total of 237 miles each way across nine counties - more than enough to double the precedent of Allen v. Texas in terms of sheer distance of "traveling." My carry was the same as my past OCing in, say, Virginia: 1911A1 in a Serpa, tucked button-up shirt, khaki slacks. No chance of thinking I am a PO, though, since I have a full beard and normal-length hair, no Texan buzzcut.

    Aside from researching the standard legal stuff, I double-checked the TABC website for liquor license information, TABC policy (which carries the force of law in Texas), and county status - traveling exempts a person from PC §46.02, but the Alcoholic Beverage Code and TABC regulations also prohibit carry without a CHL if they have any sort of liquor license, on-or-off-premises (redundant under most circumstances, but not for a traveler!) Ergo, I was sure to stop for gas only in Rusk County, which is completely dry and therefore could not have any "licensed premises" whatsoever in a gas station or the like. Likewise, if I needed a bite to eat, McDonalds or Whataburger were the choices.

    Actually being in the car was a complete non-event; while sitting in the driver's seat, my pistol is completely covered by the seat and center console, so "not in plain sight" gave me redundant protection under the MPA. Likewise, I kept my CHL in the glove box in case it were for some reason necessary, but not on me while walking about, so no §46.035(a) issue could ever be claimed. In the EXTREMELY unlikely case of being pulled over in a school zone, I also didn't want to give absolutely any wiggle room I didn't have to.

    The two times I actually got out of the car were markedly different. Coming home, I grabbed some gas just outside of Henderson with no looks or interaction with anyone in any way, almost to the point of "cheating at my experiment." Heading up, however, I had a heart-in-my-throat moment: I stopped in Cleveland to grab a hamburger and a couple of sodas for dinner, and as I walked across the parking lot to go inside and order, I saw a San Jacinto County deputy walking in with what I'm sure was his kid. Cleveland is just across the line in Liberty County, but that doesn't matter here in Texas, since all PO's have their status and powers wherever they go in the state. We crossed paths quite closely, maybe ten feet or so, but that was it… I was VERY surprised. No actual interaction at all. I guess his son really, really, really wanted a burger immediately! :-) So, I take surprise out of that one!

    While I was around Gilmer, I wasn't "traveling" anymore, and didn't try to BS myself into thinking I was. By happenstance, I didn't carry anywhere outside of my weekend bedroom in any event, as I didn't carry at the wedding or reception, and I never went anywhere else the rest of the time.

    So, in sum total, it was a good time! The sky didn't fall down, nor did the seas boil; I don't know if I'll try OCing while traveling again anytime soon, but I'm very happy that I did at least once. And I'm REALLY looking forward to the day when we'll have unlicensed OC under all conditions and times here in Texas… we just need to keep up the pressure and make sure our voices are being heard!

    -----

    Addendum - I decided not to cross-post this on texaschlforum.com. I read that forum as well every day, and lots of the people on there are why we even have a CHL in Texas today to begin with, but they plain-old hate the notion of open carry period, licensed or unlicensed. I don't like mixing ammonia and bleach in the real world, so won't be trying it there either!

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    denwego wrote:
    Addendum - I decided not to cross-post this on texaschlforum.com. I read that forum as well every day, and lots of the people on there are why we even have a CHL in Texas today to begin with, but they plain-old hate the notion of open carry period, licensed or unlicensed. I don't like mixing ammonia and bleach in the real world, so won't be trying it there either!
    Ammonia and bleach? I bet Charles Cotton would go into convulsions if you posted this over there.
    The thing about common sense is....it ain't too common.
    Will Rogers

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    This is very incouraging and an excellent example ofwhat is needed in Texas until such time as the elected representatives of the people decide it's time to address the ball of knots known as Chapter 46 of the Texas penal code.

    The OP's experience supports my contention that Texans are generally quite OC friendly because of their history and heritage. Few would undertake the exercise described in the OP, but that's alright because few would OC even if Texas law allowed routine OC. It is not for everybody, but those who work against it under whatever pretext simply do not value our freedoms that must be asserted, exercised, and defended.

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    Thanks for the encouraging words, Rush! Chances are that I'll OC again sometime again over the summer while traveling, but I don't travel all that much and my options are thereby pretty infrequent.


    rodbender wrote:
    denwego wrote:
    Addendum - I decided not to cross-post this on texaschlforum.com. I read that forum as well every day, and lots of the people on there are why we even have a CHL in Texas today to begin with, but they plain-old hate the notion of open carry period, licensed or unlicensed. I don't like mixing ammonia and bleach in the real world, so won't be trying it there either!
    Ammonia and bleach?* I bet Charles Cotton would go into convulsions if you posted this over there.
    My thoughts exactly, rodbender. If people want to get a CHL and then only carry concealed, by all means. It's not like we want only OC to be legal or something. But the sizable majority of folks on that site are still so hung up on the notion that "15 years ago, there was no way to carry a handgun at all, but now I have my $300 piece of paper that says I can!", that they don't tolerate the notion of people being allowed to do what they can't take credit for, or that people who haven't paid for the privilege of a CHL should be allowed to carry at all. And that says nothing of the fact that a big chunk of the admins over there are NRA instructors and get their pockets lined by the Texan status quo... curious.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rodbender View Post
    denwego wrote:
    Ammonia and bleach? I bet Charles Cotton would go into convulsions if you posted this over there.
    It is more likely that the poster would be banned.

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    His banning "trigger finger"

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Warrior View Post
    It is more likely that the poster would be banned.
    It has been noted by others that he seems to be more sensitive on this topic than any other. Does anyone know how many have been banned recently for rules violations during OC discussions versus non-OC topics? I do not. The only banning during an OC discussion that I'm aware of came when the poster implied Charles was lying.

    IMHO, Charles Cotton is not the enemy. As was noted earlier in the thread, TSRA is responsible for the pretty good CC situation that we have in TX today. Notice I said "pretty good"; not perfect. Moreover, it has generally gotten better each legislative session: 30.06, MPA, fewer off-limits areas, LCRA land, beneficial changes in the licensing process, etc. If Charles and the TSRA has their way, that will be the case in 2011 with campus carry and parking lot carry as well as some other initiatives that they don't want to discuss yet.

    It is true that some there think CC is just fine and aren't willing to risk upsetting the current state of affairs to push for OC. The key sticking point is the fear that more businesses will post legally binding 30.06 signs making them off-limits to CHLers while carrying. While I disagree that this would happen in great numbers -- and have said so there frequently -- I do think that the concern is legitimate.

    For those that want to see OC in Texas, I'd recommend joining TSRA, making it known that OC is somerthing that you want pursued, and make your voice heard on www.texaschlforum.com and other places where open-minded CHLers might be persuaded. Without the support of a broad swath of the CHL and pro-2A community, OC will continue to be ignored. I know that other groups are forming to try to advocate for OC and I'm supportive but I doubt they will have the needed impact. They simply don't have the contacts in Austin needed to get things done. The exception to that rule might be if someone brings a test case against PC 46.02 in the courts. With McDonald decided, the lower Texas courts will have to take a new look at the issue instead of summarily dismissing such challenges as already decided by the Texas Supreme Court. If a new organization funded such as effort, that has the potential to be very helpful and it doesn't depend on the political machinery at the Capitol.

    SA-TX

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    Quote Originally Posted by SA-TX View Post
    It has been noted by others that he seems to be more sensitive on this topic than any other. Does anyone know how many have been banned recently for rules violations during OC discussions versus non-OC topics? I do not. The only banning during an OC discussion that I'm aware of came when the poster implied Charles was lying.
    Not exactly. The word was "canard", as in, "please don't trot out that tired old canard again". In common American usage, it means "Please stop striking, for this particular equine has expired." Charles Cotton took it as an opportunity to refer to the obscure French origin, which was to sell half ducks as whole while deceiving the buyer. And then he said, "Nobody can get awy with calling someone else a liar on this forum", and issued his ban.

    And of course, in that same thread and others, he has accused Alan Gura of dishonesty and incompetence and glory-seeking in much more direct terms than "canard", and has continued to do so as recently as the last couple of days. (Did I mention that IP bans are useless?)

    The TexasCHLforum.com prohibition on personal attacks seems to depend entirely on the position of the person being attacked.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KBCraig View Post
    Not exactly. The word was "canard", as in, "please don't trot out that tired old canard again". In common American usage, it means "Please stop striking, for this particular equine has expired." Charles Cotton took it as an opportunity to refer to the obscure French origin, which was to sell half ducks as whole while deceiving the buyer. And then he said, "Nobody can get awy with calling someone else a liar on this forum", and issued his ban.

    And of course, in that same thread and others, he has accused Alan Gura of dishonesty and incompetence and glory-seeking in much more direct terms than "canard", and has continued to do so as recently as the last couple of days. (Did I mention that IP bans are useless?)

    The TexasCHLforum.com prohibition on personal attacks seems to depend entirely on the position of the person being attacked.
    I don't want to hijack this thread too much and I don't think that we disagree greatly. I agree with both you and Charles on different issues. I have to side with Charles on the defintion of canard. Regardless of official definitions, I suspect that most people associate it with something that isn't true (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/canard).

    As for personal attacks, yes it probably does matter. Charles is the owner. He has a right to enforce the rules as he sees fit. As for Alan Gura, I think Charles's opinions, which seemed to relate to legal strategy and effectiveness, didn't strike me as personal but rather as a professional critique. Back to your side, I will admit that I was surprised when the ban was issued because "canard" is pretty tame. No one has presented any evidence but I do sense in my interactions with Charles that OC is a very touchy subject.

    SA-TX

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    I think Mr. Cotton is leaving his position with TSRA soon, in any event. I seem to recall reading something to that effect on the forums the other day.

    In other news, I'm in Springfield, MO, and enjoying all the open carrying I can stomach here. And in a day or so when I'm heading home, I'll be openly carrying on my travels back, all the way from Denison to Houston... hopefully this trip will be as fun and uneventful as the last.

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    SA-TX, I know you and I agree on many issues, just as we both agree with Charles Cotton on some issues.

    I only find it amusing at this point that there is a 1-in-18 chance of using the term "canard" on that forum and getting banned for it.

    Oh, and Charles was being disingenuous at best, dishonest at worst, by continuing to refer to opencarry.org as a "Virginia-based organization". He was doing so in order to make it look like a bunch of outsiders were interfering in Texas politics, when the people actually contacting legislators to urge OC reform were Texas residents.

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    Well your activism has already had an effect. I didn't realize this effect of the travel clause. I'm going to have to get around to seeing about doing this too. The only real thing is that TABC bit, makes just about every gas station off limits.

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    Quote Originally Posted by denwego View Post
    Open Carry in Texas - Fait Accompli
    Traveling

    Aside from researching the standard legal stuff, I double-checked the TABC website for liquor license information, TABC policy (which carries the force of law in Texas), and county status - traveling exempts a person from PC §46.02, but the Alcoholic Beverage Code and TABC regulations also prohibit carry without a CHL if they have any sort of liquor license, on-or-off-premises (redundant under most circumstances, but not for a traveler!) Ergo, I was sure to stop for gas only in Rusk County, which is completely dry and therefore could not have any "licensed premises" whatsoever in a gas station or the like. Likewise, if I needed a bite to eat, McDonalds or Whataburger were the choices.
    Which TABC statutes are you referring to? The only items that I find in the Alcoholic Beverage Code mandate the suspension/revocation of the permit/license if the business knowingly allows carry, but do not appear to address the carrier at all.

    This is a search for the word "firearm" in the Code. http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.u...Phrase=firearm

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    Quote Originally Posted by SA-TX View Post
    Which TABC statutes are you referring to? The only items that I find in the Alcoholic Beverage Code mandate the suspension/revocation of the permit/license if the business knowingly allows carry, but do not appear to address the carrier at all.

    This is a search for the word "firearm" in the Code. http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.u...Phrase=firearm
    You're right, the only legislatively defined statutes regarding weapons in the ABC code are 11.61(e) and 61.71(f), which talk about suspending the license of a holder who allows someone to be present with any sort of weapon, handgun or otherwise. What I was referring to, though, is the interaction of ABC 5.31 and following (which gives a regulation of the TABC the power of law) and the TABC's regulations in Chapter 36, which prohibit ordinary citizens from carrying any sort of firearm unless they're carrying a handgun under the authority of a CHL. I can't directly link to the TABC regulation, but if you go to http://www.tabc.state.tx.us/ , you can use their search function to pull it up.

    Before I saw those regulations, I had assumed that Penal Code 46.02 was the reason for the Blue Signs in Texas, which had led me to believe that you could carry a rifle or shotgun past those signs despite their misleading "no weapons" portion (got to remember that rifles and shotguns aren't generally regulated as weapons here). After reading those regulations, I'd say any firearm is no-go anywhere around alcohol without a CHL.

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    Also - I'm back in Houston after driving back from Missouri yesterday. I carried openly while I was traveling, except for when I had to stop in Corsicana at a gas station for some fuel and to run to the bathroom... a wet county gas station meant grabbing my CHL and concealing.

    I did stop for lunch at a Taco Bell in Sherman, though, carried openly as I ordered, and got no reaction or looks at all. Now, it's back to concealing again... I miss Missouri already!

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    Quote Originally Posted by denwego View Post
    You're right, the only legislatively defined statutes regarding weapons in the ABC code are 11.61(e) and 61.71(f), which talk about suspending the license of a holder who allows someone to be present with any sort of weapon, handgun or otherwise. What I was referring to, though, is the interaction of ABC 5.31 and following (which gives a regulation of the TABC the power of law) and the TABC's regulations in Chapter 36, which prohibit ordinary citizens from carrying any sort of firearm unless they're carrying a handgun under the authority of a CHL. I can't directly link to the TABC regulation, but if you go to http://www.tabc.state.tx.us/ , you can use their search function to pull it up.

    Before I saw those regulations, I had assumed that Penal Code 46.02 was the reason for the Blue Signs in Texas, which had led me to believe that you could carry a rifle or shotgun past those signs despite their misleading "no weapons" portion (got to remember that rifles and shotguns aren't generally regulated as weapons here). After reading those regulations, I'd say any firearm is no-go anywhere around alcohol without a CHL.
    I respectfully disagree.

    1) Section 5 is a general empowerment to enforce the statue via regulation. True, this gives their regulations the force of law as long as the regulations conform to the statute, but this is common.

    2) Section 36 of their rules never mentions CHL holders. I checked both the PDF version (found here: http://www.tabc.state.tx.us/laws/rules/Chap36.pdf) and the MS Word version. Why? Because it is focused on the TABC permit/license holder & their conduct of business. I have been unable to find ANY statutory or regulatory support for the assertion that the TABC can and has criminalized the carrying of a weapon by a customer.

    3) Unlike Section 36, this document (http://www.tabc.state.tx.us/laws/oth...icersGuide.pdf) has a firearm section that is a compilation of many firearms-related laws from outside the Alcoholic Beverage Code. Here you find the CHL exemption but also disorderly conduct, carrying while intoxicated, etc.

    IANAL and I might have missed some relevant section of Texas law, but until shown otherwise I maintain my position that no statute or TABC regulation imposes criminal sanctions on a customer for carrying a firearm.

    SA-TX

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    Smile You got lucky!

    Quote Originally Posted by denwego View Post
    Open Carry in Texas - Fait Accompli
    Traveling

    While I certainly think that unlicensed, constitutional OC/CC is the ultimate goal here in Texas, I don't think we should shirk from the exercise of what we already have on the books. I've been following the Florida OC Event thread at http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum17/44563.html and was inspired by the folk in that group exercising their own greatly limited rights. Namely, it was the mention of PC §46.15(b3), which states we can carry how we choose if we are "engaging in lawful hunting, fishing, or other sporting activity on the immediate premises where the activity is conducted, or is en route between the premises and the actor's residence or motor vehicle, if the weapon is a type commonly used in the activity." Unfortunately, we don't get the blanket ability to carry a handgun while fishing, since a handgun isn't "commonly used" to catch a fish. But it gave me the bravery to exercise §46.15(b2) and openly carry while traveling this weekend across the state! It was purely a "because I can" and "I like to use my rights" moment; I have my CHL, and don't try to BS by saying "driving to the store is traveling because I don't normally go there." CHL is the day-to-day way to carry in this state, and I make a concerted effort to follow the law in all activities, not just those related to firearms. But the law of the land says we can openly carry while we're truly traveling, and in the limits of the law, I enjoy my rights.

    My girlfriend and I traveled from near Houston to near Gilmer for a wedding, a total of 237 miles each way across nine counties - more than enough to double the precedent of Allen v. Texas in terms of sheer distance of "traveling." My carry was the same as my past OCing in, say, Virginia: 1911A1 in a Serpa, tucked button-up shirt, khaki slacks. No chance of thinking I am a PO, though, since I have a full beard and normal-length hair, no Texan buzzcut.

    Aside from researching the standard legal stuff, I double-checked the TABC website for liquor license information, TABC policy (which carries the force of law in Texas), and county status - traveling exempts a person from PC §46.02, but the Alcoholic Beverage Code and TABC regulations also prohibit carry without a CHL if they have any sort of liquor license, on-or-off-premises (redundant under most circumstances, but not for a traveler!) Ergo, I was sure to stop for gas only in Rusk County, which is completely dry and therefore could not have any "licensed premises" whatsoever in a gas station or the like. Likewise, if I needed a bite to eat, McDonalds or Whataburger were the choices.

    Actually being in the car was a complete non-event; while sitting in the driver's seat, my pistol is completely covered by the seat and center console, so "not in plain sight" gave me redundant protection under the MPA. Likewise, I kept my CHL in the glove box in case it were for some reason necessary, but not on me while walking about, so no §46.035(a) issue could ever be claimed. In the EXTREMELY unlikely case of being pulled over in a school zone, I also didn't want to give absolutely any wiggle room I didn't have to.

    The two times I actually got out of the car were markedly different. Coming home, I grabbed some gas just outside of Henderson with no looks or interaction with anyone in any way, almost to the point of "cheating at my experiment." Heading up, however, I had a heart-in-my-throat moment: I stopped in Cleveland to grab a hamburger and a couple of sodas for dinner, and as I walked across the parking lot to go inside and order, I saw a San Jacinto County deputy walking in with what I'm sure was his kid. Cleveland is just across the line in Liberty County, but that doesn't matter here in Texas, since all PO's have their status and powers wherever they go in the state. We crossed paths quite closely, maybe ten feet or so, but that was it€ I was VERY surprised. No actual interaction at all. I guess his son really, really, really wanted a burger immediately! :-) So, I take surprise out of that one!

    While I was around Gilmer, I wasn't "traveling" anymore, and didn't try to BS myself into thinking I was. By happenstance, I didn't carry anywhere outside of my weekend bedroom in any event, as I didn't carry at the wedding or reception, and I never went anywhere else the rest of the time.

    So, in sum total, it was a good time! The sky didn't fall down, nor did the seas boil; I don't know if I'll try OCing while traveling again anytime soon, but I'm very happy that I did at least once. And I'm REALLY looking forward to the day when we'll have unlicensed OC under all conditions and times here in Texas€ we just need to keep up the pressure and make sure our voices are being heard!

    -----

    Addendum - I decided not to cross-post this on texaschlforum.com. I read that forum as well every day, and lots of the people on there are why we even have a CHL in Texas today to begin with, but they plain-old hate the notion of open carry period, licensed or unlicensed. I don't like mixing ammonia and bleach in the real world, so won't be trying it there either!
    In Cleveland there is a young lady who is on the CPD who has a reputation of arresting everyone she stops who has a weapon. Your CHL will beat the rap but not the ride.
    There have been numerous complaints about her behavior and the latest rumor I've heard is she is now on the Warrants force.
    I sure hope they get this narrow minded little lady educated!
    The CPD is pretty lenient.
    I walked into the bank with my weapon and went to the OOPS mode.
    The off duty officer working there noticed when I unconsciously checked my shirt was covering me and then I abruptly turned to leave.
    He called out to me and I thought I'd bought it!
    He asked if I was carrying and I answered yes!
    He asked if I'm licensed, I said yes.
    He then said just keep it covered while your here.

    Also the San Jac Co. Sheriff people are pretty cool in all respects.
    I had a false “panic alarm” at my house, "which is very secluded" in deep woods and not in sight of any neighbors, roads etc.
    Deputy came to my front door as I was sitting and watching the news.
    All I saw was someone trying to look in my glass at the front door. won't work but when you put you're fact in your hands up against the glass it is pretty obvious from my point of view.
    I went to the door with weapon in hand.
    He was totally OK with it.
    Didn't even ask for ID after I spoke with him.


    P.S.
    It appears the CHL group are just wanting to be a "in my opinion" cut above everyone else!
    Sort of like the police officers who think they should be the only people with a right to carry a weapon.

    I have a CHL but I have no intention of OC what ever the law.
    I don't want anyone to know if I'm carrying.
    I'll post my real name later.
    Your right I can use any IP I want.
    I can be in any country of my choice except for some of the really bad ones.
    I can even be in Russia or China withing a few seconds.
    The IP I'm using right now is really mine.
    Last edited by anonymous99; 04-29-2011 at 11:09 AM. Reason: typos and spelling

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