Open carry is now legal in Texas. While we don’t have Constitutional carry, this is a step in the right direction. Several businesses that are Texas icons have stated that they would not allow open carry, such as Whataburger, and HEB Grocery stores. Anti-gun activists like Moms Demand Action (MDA) have claimed this as a victory for their side, not realizing that they didn’t really win anything.
Before we talk about the anti-gunner non-victory, a few points about open carry need to be discussed first;
- Open carry in Texas requires a license.
According to Texas law, under penal code 46.03, carrying a weapon outside of your own private property or vehicle, is illegal. Having a Licence to Carry, is a defense to prosecution for carrying a weapon, either openly, or concealed, in any place that does not otherwise ban the possession of a firearm, such as a school or sporting event. Basically this means that yes you can open carry with a license, except in places that specifically ban open carry. Yes the police can ask an open carrier to see their license. Even if you produce a valid license, a police officer can still detain and/or arrest you, although that is unlikely because as soon as you get to court, and produce a valid license, they cannot charge you for unlawfully carrying if you did not break any other laws. (Any police officer who does this is probably going to have a bad day in court, so it’s very unlikely to happen.)
- The requirements to get a License To Carry are the same as they were for getting a Concealed Handgun License.
Although Texas is a shall issue state, meaning that if you meet all the requirements you cannot be denied getting a License To Carry, it isn’t easy to get.
- You must pass a federal background check that is fairly in depth. That time that you went to jail for playing your radio too loud in a little town called Benson in North Carolina? They need to know what the final disposition of that case was.
- You must also have your fingerprints filed, again federally.
- You must take a class and pass a test on the laws about carrying a firearm.
- You must shoot and qualify. The Texas License To Carry shooting test passing score is 175 points out of 250 points or a score of 70%. This is the exact same requirement that our police officers have to meet in order to be certified.
- You cannot owe any back taxes or child support.
- You cannot have been convicted of a felony… ever.
- You can’t have ever been convicted of domestic abuse.
- You can’t have been convicted of a Class A misdemeanor within the past ten years.
- You cannot be a recreational drug user.
Even after all the above, you still have to pay for the license. $140 on top of the cost of the class (which is usually around $60 to $100.) So after dropping at least $200, and meeting all the other requirements, you can anxiously watch your mailbox for your new license to arrive. Once you get it, six to eight weeks later, you can now finally carry a firearm legally in Texas. Even after you receive your licence you must keep up with the laws and regulations, ignorance or poor judgment is not an excuse for doing something stupid while carrying concealed or open. You can get your licence suspended or revoked.
There are laws about where you can and can’t carry a firearm, whether concealed or openly. (Remember that class?) There are some places where it is against the law by default, such as federal buildings, schools (unless you get a special exemption), and so on. In addition there are two signs that restrict open or concealed carry. And those two signs are where the anti-gun advocates have claimed their hollow victory.
Whataburger and HEB have stated that they would not allow the open carry of firearms in their establishments. They have NOT stated that they are banning firearms altogether. There have been guns in these locations legally since 1995 when the Texas Concealed Carry law was passed. The only difference now is… nothing. The Open Carry law did not change anything about where you can carry concealed.
AT A GLANCE: POSSIBLE VIOLATIONS
Police urge residents to call 311 if they have questions and to call 911 only if they believe someone is violating the law. Such possible violations would include:
- The gun owner removing the gun from a secured holster
- The gun owner seeming intoxicated.
- The gun owner committing a crime or acting recklessly or suspiciously.
- The gun owner bringing a gun into a private business where signs say it’s prohibited, or refusing to leave when asked.
NOTE: Police Departments across Texas have stated that if people try to “SWAT” someone legally carrying a firearm or make unnecessary calls about people open carrying, they will press charges against the caller.
Now that we have covered some basics, let’s throw some images at you.
Now you see it….30.07
Now you don’t….
How many guns do you think the woman in the picture below is carrying?
Obviously, the one in the bra is covered when in public. The woman in these pictures is well endowed and wearing a very tight undershirt and is capable of concealing 2 weapons a knife and spare mags. She stands next to you in the grocery store and has your back if something was to happen. She will defend her self, her child, you and your loved ones. Her weapons have never developed a mind of their own and decided to go on a mass shooting spree. They can’t, they are inanimate objects. The man in the pictures is your next door neighbor, he is your hard working man trying to make a living for his family and protect them.
Now that open carry is legal please remember a few things,
- wear a respectable level 2 or higher retention holster
- only call the police if you see a open carry person acting suspicious, gun out of holster, intoxicated, or refuses to leave a certain location.