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May 08, 2007


Danny Boy

While I appreciate the thoughtful consideration of your nuanced approach, here's an alternative approach, although perhaps a little simplistic for your taste:

"A well regulated militian being necessary to the security of a free state, THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED"

Sound familiar? May it ever be so. Open carry of a sidearm is unrestricted in Idaho (and several other states) and has never, to my knowledge, been a problem at any time. Granted, rarely does one see an openly carried pistol these days other than out in the field or by an officer, but at least the option exists: no permits, no legalese, no infringement.

Worried about the occasional idiots with guns getting drunk in bars? Not a problem. It's illegal to drink and carry, just like it's illegal to drink and drive. Get drunk and pull your gun unnecessarily anyways? Better not, you might get shot. So it doesn't happen.

I love the Texans and their healthy attitude toward firearms, but your carry laws still need a little work. (ie, loosening up) Keep up the good work!

Danny Boy

Don't get me wrong, yours is an excellent and well thought out plan to turn Texas or any other place back into an (openly) armed and polite society, one step at a time.

I like it.


I like the idea of open carry and it looks like you have thought it out considerably.

I've got a bunch of cool guns and holsters that don't see the light of day because of the carry laws.

If your plan went into effect I would carry my 629 with glasers.

I'm tired of ruining the finish on my blued concealed guns with Texas sweat.

Jim - PRS

Open vs. concealed carry is an interesting issue, but one that is completely foreign to New Jersey.

This is so, because the Jersey Legislature has already pitched a good deal of the Second Amendment into the trash bin in several respects, but most certainly by requiring a citizen to show "good cause" before a carry permit can be issued. The courts have cooperated in this scheme by virtually assuring that no one can ever prove "good cause".

As a result, only cops and bad guys carry guns in Jersey, and the bad guys take full advantage of this.

Great post.


8. It shall be prohibited for a Texas Open Carry licensee to enter a business...

As written, this clause would preclude someone with your proposed TOC license from entering a bar, regardless of if they were carrying at the time.


8a needs to be revised slightly, perhaps with 'service of alcohol' instead of sale of, otherwise a liquor store would be offlimits.

William Earl Dungey

Arm ten thousand of my country's citizens in open carry and I will not worry nor break a sweat. I don't fear them, eighty percent are fine folks, ten percent I don't trust to do well and ten percent I know will do wonderful things that I never imagined - and one hundred percent of them will never be controlled by bad laws and excess oppression in realm of Safety. I find most people are good, like I find most life is wonderful, ninety percent of us will be able to affect the ten percent I don't trust - and they will scurry off to the darkness and hide.


Given the current political climate, and as a move towards something better, points 1-3 are not objectionable. But point 4 just confuses the issue. I see where you're going with it, but I doubt the efficacy of such a measure, given the potential for counterfeiting etc. You're better off just saying that a licensee must show their permit to anyone who asks. Eliminating point 4 automatically takes out point 5 and 6. I don't see the point of 7. Dictating how someone would carry isn't even done for police officers. Most of them carry high on the hip because it's easier to get in and out of vehicles, and for retention while grappling close in with a perp. The private citizen doesn't, or shouldn't need to physically engage a perp- if you're threatened with serious bodily harm or death, shoot the bastard, don't wrestle with him. It's not your responsibility to 'arrest' him.

#8 again is unobjectiobale given current political climate and feasibility, especially with the above-noted verbiage “for on premises consumption” added. I'm in favour of #9 for current concealed carry holders, people who want to open carry, kids in schools, public offocials at ceremonies, around the picnic table on holidays, etc. Except the oath should be to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States, of your state of residence, and the laws derived from same. Hint- there's really good examples of wording the be adapted for that purpose here and in the first half of this.

Number 10 is redundant given that bearing arms is a right protected under the 2nd Amendment, and would be obviated given a rational understanding of the natural rights of human beings and the purpose of the 2A.

Anyway, if situations like the aftermath of Katrina happen and you worry too much about the niceties of open carry, you're worrying about the wrong thing anyway.


L rather like it. The exception that was noted regarding the "51% rule" precludes stopping to pick up tipple on the way home from work. Driving While Intoxicated, and Carrying While Intoxicated should be equal, similar restrictions or laws. Aside from that, just as over here in NM, one step at a time.


Rosignol & JohnOC.

You're right, guys. See my annotation at point #8 in the body of the post.

But Mr. Bastige? Dealing with point #4 is just good P.R. It's not for you and me, it's to assuage the fears of the GFW public.

To deal with the potential of forgery? First, make it a Class A misdemeanor to possess a forged medallion, and a Felony to carry one while armed.

And on your complaint about point #7? Come on man, you can't be serious! Damn near every P.D. I've ever been around has very well defined requirements for an officer's belt gear, and nowadays the overwhelming majority of such agencies absolutely do require some form of retention holster.

And as far as this somehow interfering with the Citizens freedom to carry as he sees fit? Maybe, that is, if your main concern is that of the philisophical 2A purist. And maybe, after a few years without "blood in the streets", the population as a whole will just grin and agree to let us all carry however the hell we wish.

But until then, this is salesmanship, and we've got to sell a doubting public on the benefits of our carrying openly.

Reassuring them by demonstrating that some Joe Yokel out there won't be able to "just yank our guns outta our holsters", is a small accomodation, really.

And finally, I was in the Rita evacuation. Being able to have carried openly, without fear of being nailed by some zealous cop, would have been one less stressor on that sad journey.

There's an old saying: "The Perfect is the Enemy of the Good".

My ideas for damn sure aren't perfect. But I'll wager my approach will get Texas, a state which has not enjoyed open carry for around a hundred years now, to begin to right that course, even though more gradually than some may desire.

And yes, just as I get pissed at libertarians for their never ending splitting of the hairs of doctrinal purity, I also do tend to get peeved with my friends in the shooting world for the same reason.

I too, wish we were "at purity", as the founders wished when the penned the Second Amendment. But I also know without a doubt, that we're not going to get from A to Z, without going through at least a big chunk of the intervening letters, so to speak.

The GFWs got as far as they did by pushing their version of "compromise", where they get what they want, in increments large and small, while we lost ground with every "deal".

Well, I'm just proposing that we play their own game against 'em.

"Commmmmppppprooomissseee", is one of the emotional trigger words of the left. We can press them to be reasonable, etc. Indeed, I want to use every one of their catch phrases against them, at every opportunity.

No doubt, we'll get further in increments, than we will with the obstinance of purity.

Sloop New Dawn
Galveston, TX

Mike M.

I've got one issue....I really don't like the Government telling me what holster to use. They aren't buying the thing. And I'm partial to Ken Null's work.


Alternately, you could adopt New Hampshire's statute regulating open carry. If one existed.

100% legal, no license required.

Want to carry concealed? That'll be $10 for the license. No photographs, no fingerprints, turnaround time is about a week.

Now, to get back to work on the NH/MA border moat.

David, Chandler, AZ

The way Arizona does it seems to work.

You may carry openly as long as all or part of your holster can be seen.

Other restrictions still apply such as places that serve alcohol, schools and so on.


A surprising number of states are open carry. I don't know the number off the top of my head, but at one time, they exceeded the number of "shall issue" states.

In fact, the existence of open carry was pointed to by opponents of "shall issue" in Ohio as a reason that "shall issue" was unnecessary. (After all, if you really think you need a gun, why not carry it openly?)

That was, until they started organizing "open carry" marches in support of "shall issue". :)

Having lived and worked in several open carry states, I gott say that the excercise of it is incredibly rare, at least on the east coast, and the both of you are making a complicated mountain out of a relatively simple molehill.

I accept your point on the need for good PR, and to get the public's support.

Actually, what you need is less the public's support, and more a lack of public opposition.

I submit that the CHL already serves that purpose, so, if you want to start with the compromise position of open carry with a permit, that's keydokee.

Just add one line of well crafted text to the existing CHL statutes, and be done with it.


Hell, open carry is legal in California, in counties with populations less than 200,000. Cities in such counties can ban open carry, though.

One intrepid sole has been trying it out for months in his county, with few raised eyebrows.

See opencarry.org.


Personally, I think Texas is going at it backwards with regard to Open Carry (however, all states should be following "Shall not be Infringed" - but they're not). I think it should be more along the lines of Arizona, where OC is default and Concealed Carry is the endorsement - because LEOs won't know who's carrying.

Having OC available gives people the opportunity to protect themselves on the spur-of-the-moment, without the licensing process and other red-tape BS. Not everyone wants to carry all the time, and having unregulated OC is far more obvious to LEOs and others planning evil deeds, with the added bonus of allowing people traveling thru Texas to be armed without needing to be licensed.

I like being able to OC in Arizona, but I don't visit often enough to look into a CCW.

Unrestricted Open Carry is great for visitors.


Sam, don't go by opencarry.org for anything other than initial information. Verify the actual language before relying on it. Current CA law (Penal Code) reads (in very small part - there's lots of other parts to it including gangs, prohibited persons, etc., but no reference to 200,000):

12031. (a) (1) A person is guilty of carrying a loaded firearm when he or she carries a loaded firearm on his or her person or in a vehicle while in any public place or on any public street in an incorporated city or in any public place or on any public street in a prohibited area of unincorporated territory.


Mike, I am personally going to test those provisions. I'd rather get a CCW, but that ain't gonna happen anytime soon in my county, either.

IANAL, but from the CAAG website, it says this:

"Where the population of the county is less than 200,000 persons, the licensing authority
may issue a license to carry a pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person, loaded and exposed. (Penal Code § 12050.)"

http://ag.ca.gov/firearms/forms/pdf/Cfl2006.pdf (page 34)

Pass the salt, though.


Actually, universal open carry is quite successful. Virginia allows open carry by anyone able to legally own a firearm. Certain places are restricted. Open carry is the only legal way to carry in an alcohol-serving restaurant. Not many take advantage, but those that do, by and large, do not report any problems. Police, if called at all,show up, and when they find no crimes being committed, sometimes just leave without speaking to anyone. In fact, one bank loves having a gun carrying customer. His presence prevented a robbery.


Sam, you're right. I don't trust the CAAG's website since it's not updated very often, but when I searched the Penal Code for 200,000, Section 12050 did not come up. Putting the section in provided the correct information. That section just gives the Sheriff the ability to issues either type of permit.

Personally, I think it's nuts to have to get a permit to open carry, but that's this incredibly stupid state for you.


308 Mike, at least in CA, you can at least, in theory get a license to carry openly in those sparsely populated counties.

That's not even in the cards here, to date.

As for the other comments from states like Arizona, Vermont and Alaska......

...... the rare times when you're envied by Texans.

Which is the point of my peculiar essay. You're there already.

What we have to consider here is how to succeed in that sausage factory we call the Texas Legislature.

And I assure you, going for the whole enchilada is a guaranteed path to failure. Hence, my tactics and suggestions.

Y'know, no one even really cottoned onto the real Camel's Nose Under The Tent. What do y'all think would be the public's reaction when, once they get a taste of being legally (albiet temporarily) empowered to carry, even if only under a State of Emergency?

Presuming the GFW's usual fears about Dodge City and rivers of blood fail to materialize, I've no doubt that Joe Citizen will become much more supportive of unrestricted Open Carry.

Incrementalism has been our enemy. Now, it's time to make it our friend.

Sloop New Dawn
Galveston, TX

The Freeholder

We will know we've won when an openly carried firearm draws as much attention as a openly carried cell phone.


While I'm not a Texan, I would actually prefer this kind of regulation on Open Carry. Even though my state allows me to carry concealed with only a $10 fee and a 7 day wait (no qualification course), for open carry I would support this Act.

If, for no other reason, than for the clarification it would provide. Currently, the clarification of allowance for Open Carry is spotty at best. There is no distinction, as far as I can tell - which can be seen as both good and bad. The good is obvious, though the bad is that it may potentially be interpreted as "brandishing" and other such nonsense by an unfriendly politician and officer.

Ed Foster

In regards to the PR factor, Connecticut has perhaps the toughest fair permit system on the books. When I got my permit, my background was checked back to birth, three times, by local, state, and federal authorities. My military records were pulled at Ft. Holabird, and I had to supply three letters of reference from permit holders, elected public officials, law enforcement officers, or doctors, any of whom were required to have known me for more than five years. After that, I had to pass a training program more comprehensive than that given to many law enforcement officers. George Washington would not have handed a musket to a known psycopath or the town idiot. Advantage? Nobody can call the permit system into question without also calling the competency of the comparably trained and vetted police into similar question. An advantage of no small import in a very liberal state

Roger Slayden

Let me see if I can help put OC into perspective. Arizona, classical example, had 433 murders the year before they went to OC. The following year they had FOUR, so that should say something for OC. It would also stop a lot of robberies, and a deterent to someone coming on your property to steal anything, knowing you carry a weapon all of the time.

Patrick O'Casey

I live in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Here we still believe in the Old West Laws, Open Carry is just fine throughout the State with the exception of Denver where it would be the wisest to OC. Up there when people stop at a stop light, not only in the dark hours but daylight too, men will "jack" your car at any cost needed for the resistance the car owner might use. Just think of all the saved cars there could be if the citizen could protect their belongings. When I ride a motorcycle here in El Paso County, CO., I get funny, strange, and even angry looks. Oh well, it's my God Given Right.
Keep up the Grrrrreat Site.
100% Service Connected Disabled Army American Veteran - Cpl. Patrick O'Casey

Richard in Austin

Nice post. I want open carry in Texas. I want all my freedoms, all the time.

Here's a group committed to make it happen, apologies if they've already been linked:

Not to mention that concealed carry has its problems: comfort, ability to bring the firearm to bear when needed, having to worry about printing/flashing, etc.

Texas is behind the times on this issue. I can't tell you how many folks I've met from other states who think we already have open carry, just because we're Texas.

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