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By Dean Weingarten

Open Carry

Open Carry is Coming to Texas

Dean Weingarten

Dean Weingarten

Arizona - -(   For those who do not pay close attention to insider politics in Texas, both parties’ likely candidates for governor have now endorsed the policy of restoring the legal open carry of sidearms to Texans.

The open carry of sidearms was banned by the  reconstruction government after the civil war (war between the states), when the reconstruction government effectively neutered the state constitutional guarantee of the right to keep and bear arms by writing a new constitution.

After the reconstruction governor was forced to flee the governors mansion (he lost the election, refused to concede, and an impromptu Texas militia was advancing on the mansion), the Texans rewrote the constitution again, but left in a clause that allowed the legislature to regulate the wearing of arms.  The legislature never repealed the reconstruction ban on wearing arms.  This left Texans with the right to openly carry long arms, but not sidearms.

Texans have been exercising that right as a means of pushing for restoring the open carry of sidearms in the state.

Greg Abbot will almost certainly be the Republican candidate for governor of Texas this year.   He came out in favor of open carry over a year ago, and his support of open carry draws the most applause at campaign stops.  It is not clear exactly what open carry policy Attorney General Abbot would support as Governor.   It could be anything from the most common policy in the rest of the country, unrestricted open carry, to the less common but more restrictive policy of licensed open carry.  Texas is currently one of five or six states, depending on how you define it, that explicitly bans the open carry of sidearms.

Most people, given Texas’ reputation as “gun friendly”, find this surprising and inexplicable.

The Democrat Party’s nearly certain candidate for governor, Wendy Davis, has been struggling lately with revelations that she has not been candid about her history.  Her campaign has made some poor choices lately.  While Davis has been doing well at raising money from the left, she faces an uphill battle in slightly right of center Texas.   Davis, who has an F rating from the NRA, is attempting to build some belated bridges to Texas gun owners.   Apparently in anticipation of a run for the governors mansion, Davis made some mildly “pro-gun” votes where it made no difference last year.    In January of this year, she promised to expand where concealed carry permit holders may carry handguns.  At the time, Bryan Preston of the PJTatler suggested that if she really wanted to distract voters from the contradictions in her origins story, she should come out in favor of open carry of handguns.

It appears that she has taken Mr. Preston’s advice to heart.  From the AP article in

Rising Democratic star and gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis has joined her top Republican rival in supporting a proposed “open carry” law. It would allow people with concealed handgun licenses to wear a pistol on their hip, in full view, while in public.

While AP says the two candidates for governor support the same policies, that is not immediately clear.    In my Internet researches, I have only found that Greg Abbot says that he supports the restoration of open carry of handguns.   Wendy Davis says that she supports the open carry of handguns by people with concealed handgun licenses.

Perhaps Ms. Davis timely conversion to second amendment proponent will prompt Mr. Abbot to clarify his position.

In any case, with both governor candidates openly proclaiming that the time for Texans to reclaim their open carry rights has come, it seems likely that open carry of sidearms will pass the Texas legislature next session.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

About Dean Weingarten;
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973.  He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

  • 12 User comments to “Open Carry is Coming to Texas”

    1. D. Murphy on February 7, 2014 at 8:02 AM said:

      Never trust a democrat when it comes for gun rights…

    2. Rule #1: NEVER trust a Democrat with anything that pertains to Liberty.

      Rule #2: If there is any doubt, refer to Rule #1.

      The idea that one would or should need a “government permission slip” (i.e. – license) to openly exercise an Affirmed Constitutionally-guaranteed RIGHT is not only absurd, it is ASININE.

      As a Texan, I have, and will continue to be, a BIG bump in the road to such efforts.

    3. Bob Shell on February 7, 2014 at 11:41 AM said:

      About time. Now if you allow people to carry without a permit then you are doing something useful

    4. Even if I lived in TX, I’d prefer to keep my gun concealed.

    5. Need it in Indiana. Without the infringing permits and give everyone their money back!

    6. Otto Heuckeroth on February 7, 2014 at 7:26 PM said:

      While it is nice to hear that both probable candidates for governor support legislation consistent with the second amendment, most of the candidates who are not Constitution based are not trustworthy. Once in power they can just change their mind–especially Democrats.
      As one comment above indicated, he’d rather keep his gun concealed. I believe people should be allowed to keep guns, but wonder with today’s increasing lawlessness whether permitting general permission to carry guns might lead to less willingness on the part of people to “follow the law of reasoning” in working out differences rather than reverting to the ‘Old West’ pistol dueling solution.

    7. richcatt on February 7, 2014 at 7:32 PM said:

      I live in Texas and prefer concealed also. I don’t see the tactical benefits of open carry, but I’m sure there are some who do.

    8. Tn. Patriot on February 8, 2014 at 2:40 AM said:

      Good for Texas, I hope you get the law passed soon. As for Wendy Davis, never trust a democrat when it come to guns or freedoms. You will just get the knife in the back.

    9. jhenry on March 4, 2014 at 9:19 PM said:

      It’s not about carrying out in the open so much as it as about being concealed and noticeable… open carry will protect the person from being prosecuted because if his or her weapon is visible under concealment.. only the few will try to attempt to carry open like a police officer to get noticed or to make a point… (my opinion)I just approve the law because if I choose to carry, then I would not be arrested because it might be noticeable or the outline of my weapon is seen.. That, I would think would be our biggest concern.. I do believe that the more people carrying firearms the bigger the deterrent it will be for a crime committer to do the crime… to me it’s all about making someone that is thinking of committing a crime to think twice before doing so…

    10. I agree with the concealed I like caring but those small gun don’t feel right so I carry full frame g 22 that ones very hard to totally conceal so just the ability to carry and not worry about an outline showing or someone seeing it when I bend over or reach to the top shelf of the store would be nice and there are days in the summer I don’t want to always ware a jacket to be totally concealed there may be a day or two that I openly carry just cause my gun wont fit inside my wranglers and let me breath I just want the option and the safety net to know that if someone can tell or sees my gun I wont get a ticket or go to jail

    11. A few points to touch on about Texas law..
      1st – having a weapon concealed ” is to be totally covered” the law has changed that a shirt that shows an outline is not a brandish of the weapon.
      Brandish of the weapon is if the gun itself is clearly visible..
      2nd I am with other commenters here that it is about a deterrent. If a criminal is going to commit a robbery and there are 7 open carry holders in a bank.. then that criminal will not make it.. or maybe better yet won’t commit the crime…

    12. For those that prefer to conceal a handgun, that should be a personal choice. There might be circumstances where I would feel more comfortable with my piece out of sight. When we again have the choice, I’ll open carry a Glock 21 or 1911 most of the time and those are difficult to conceal in the warm weather of Texas.

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