Open Carry Texas Statement Following Dallas Shooting

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Open Carry Texas
Open Carry Texas

Temple, TX -( In light of the abhorrent tragedy that occurred in Dallas last week, we would like to address the current push to change or abolish our right to keep and bear arms.

It goes without saying that our condolences are with the families and victims. Since Texas became an independent nation in 1836, the right to bear long arms has been a lawful act. This is nothing new and has nothing to do with the recently passed handgun open carry law. To suggest that open carry had any role in the shooting, the response, or the aftermath is unsupported by the facts and is both wrong and deplorable.

The fact is that there is ample evidence on social media that law enforcement was not confused during the shooting about who was a good guy and who was a bad guy with a gun. Video evidence is clear that officers felt quite at ease during the incident in the presence of open carriers. Once an individual was identified, he promptly turned himself in to assure the public that he wasn’t a threat. We applaud his actions, but condemn Dallas PD for continuing to hold his lawfully possessed firearm even after clearing him.

In light of this incident, Open Carry Texas (OCT) has several suggestions for both law enforcement and open carriers should a similar, highly unlikely event ever occur again.

We applaud law enforcement for the professional and competent manner in which they quickly identified the source of the mayhem and their bravery in confronting it. We reject the notion, as posited in the media by the Chief and Mayor, that officers aren’t intelligent enough to tell the difference between a “good guy and a bad guy.” What is the difference between law enforcement treating the public this way and the public asking how they are supposed to tell the difference between a “good cop and a bad cop.” Both are offensive to hear, but both are equally accurate. It’s a simple concept to tell the difference: the good guys are shooting in the same direction as law enforcement (or not at all) and the bad guys are shooting at them. The good guy responds to police orders. The bad guy does not. Over the past three years, OCT has had numerous encounters with law enforcement around the state, from big cities to small rural towns. These officers have demonstrated time and time again the ability to tell the difference. If Soldiers in combat can do it successfully, we have full faith and confidence that law enforcement officers can as well.

Even suggesting that open carry played a factor, this is attributed to how some in law enforcement view a law abiding citizenry. All too often, we are viewed as a threat or the enemy. There is a perception that only law enforcement should be allowed to carry a weapon in public. This creates animosity and distrust between the law enforcement and gun rights communities. This must change. Law enforcement departments must experience a paradigm shift in their mentality and accept gun owners as an ally, not an adversary. Throughout history, there are stories of law abiding citizens helping law enforcement suppress a threats and having their back. We call on law enforcement to return to this model. There is not an infinite number of police in this country and working with the citizenry instead of against them only results in safer communities. They must stop viewing law abiding citizens with a firearm as suspects.

We applaud Mark Hughes for immediately making himself available to law enforcement as soon as he found out he was considered a suspect. While he disagree with his decision to voluntarily surrender his firearm and DPD keeping his firearm, we praise his good judgment in defusing what could have been a deadly situation. We would like to offer a few suggestions for open carriers in these instances.

First, if carrying a handgun, keep it in a holster and keep your hands off of it unless needed. If you are carrying a long arm, rifle or shotgun, carry it in a non-threatening manner. We suggest carrying it on a single point sling to the side or on your back. This more easily puts people nearby at greater ease.

Second, if you find yourself in the vicinity of an active shooter and your life is not in danger, do not get involved, if possible. Obviously, society is filled with veterans and others whose personal values and honor require that they run towards gun shots instead of against them, but make sure you understand the risks in doing so and are cognizant of those around you. Coordinate with law enforcement if at all possible and obey orders from law enforcement officers.

Third, if your life is in immediate danger, defense yourself with judicious marksmanship. The risk at that point of being shot by law enforcement is no different than the risk of being shot by an active shooter. Once the threat is neutralized, immediately go back to a non-threatening posture by either holstering your weapon if you have a handgun or placing it on your back if you have a rifle. If/when law enforcement arrives, it is a good idea to work with them as they survey the area to ascertain what happened and who is at fault. However, it is important to realize that if you are taken into custody as a potential suspect, it may be a good idea to stop talking and contact your attorney. We encourage our members and all gun owners to obtain gun owner legal protection – like or Firearm Legal Protection – so they are protected under such circumstances.

OCT is an organization dedicated to the safe and legal carry of firearms in the State of Texas in accordance with the United States and Texas Constitution and applicable laws.

About Open Carry Texas:

Our purpose is to 1) educate all Texans about their right to carry in a safe Page | 2 manner; 2) to condition Texans to feel safe around law-abiding citizens that choose to carry them; 3) encourage our elected officials to pass constitutional carry legislation for all firearms; and (4) foster a cooperative relationship with local law enforcement in the furtherance of these goals with an eye towards preventing negative encounters.

For more information, contact CJ Grisham at [email protected] 254-383-8238.

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Tony Prangner

Open Carry Texas should work with our Texas legislators to introduce and pass legislation that makes training mandatory for law enforcment. It could be included as part of their TCLEOSE training requirements. Police officers tend to treat everyone with a gun as a suspect and criminal. They don’t realize that these people are the good citizens who have their back. Politicians and the news media have made gun owners out to be the bad guys. Providing the proper training in the police academies and through inservice training will do a lot to change their way of thinking.


I would have to take some issue with the police being more trained in interactions with armed citizens. I believe it would be better if citizens learn better ways to interact with officers when the citizen is armed. Traffic stops are the most common venue where officers meet citizens. Cops are trained to expect the worst from everyone. From octogenarians to juveniles, anyone can kill you. There are numerous good references on how to interact with police during a traffic stop to help allay their anxiety and, yes, fear. Here are a few that I use and I’m still alive… Read more »


YOU stick to your beliefs and TEXANS stick to theirs. WE do what we feel is our Right, not what other people or states feel is theirs. IF you don t feel the NEED to open carry then DONT. BUT DO NOT PASS YOUR DRIBBLE on about how you feel it if you live some where else. IF you did live in TEXAS dont knock my rights to open carry. I do not open carry, BUT I honor every ones RIGHT to do so. IF I want, I WILL WITHOUT your permission thank you. AS for the FOREFATHERS you best… Read more »


Kinda being a jackass about ones mans opinion. He didn’t tell you not to open carry. He said he won’t and listed reasons. You can politely disagree. This is our problem as a society. We have forgotten how to disagree and still stand common ground with one another.

Btw…native Texan, LTC, always concealed.


Willford, easy friend. I do live in Texas, have a Texas LTC as I stated and I certainly do not ever have a problem with anyone who wishes to open carry. I just dont personally feel it is right for me. I believe we should have constitutional carry in all 50 states as well as open carry. That is how our 2nd amendment rights should work as the founders wished. Commutatus certainly did make some valid and constructive points but I dont think he was telling anyone not to open carry or knocking anyone who does.


Last time I checked, Mr Willford, The Great State of Texas was still a part (if somewhat reluctantly) of this republic. Being a Southerner myself I dare say I cannot understand your outrage at “one man’s opinion” as stated in another reply. Do as you feel is right, legalities aside. Texas has no more or no less rights of the citizens than anywhere else. Legalities are just that. When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty. Also, Mr Willford, most states now have reciprocity laws regarding the “lawful” carrying of firearms and they are remarkably similar which leads to the reciprocal… Read more »


Open Carry is a purely political statement. It has no strategic or tactical advantage to the armed citizen. I am completely immersed in support for the God-given right of self-defense codified by the 2nd Amendment. However, our Founders could not have foreseen the society we live in today where criminals are more of an everyday threat than British troops. I believe that carrying one’s sidearm openly can leave one vulnerable to specific selection of elimination where a bad guy(s) are present. Open carry could also lead to a “gun grab” by potential adversaries. What cannot be seen cannot be known.… Read more »


You have the right idea. When I have to start open carry of a long gun, it will be time for armor and 782 gear. Right now, if my pistol comes into public view it will most likely be very obvious, due to the gunshots coming from it. Otherwise, stealth and gray man, as much as possible.


I agree wholeheartedly with your statements. I have a Texas LTC and NEVER open carry because of the concerns you list. I do not want to be the first target of a bad guy because he sees me as his first threat. Concealment and surprise are two of our greatest tactical advantages should the need arise to defend.

Gene Ralno

Texas government has provided the best of both worlds. Concealed carry is appropriate when wearing a pin-striped suit (unless you like looking like a clown) and concealed is very uncomfortable when wearing shorts & T-shirt, walking down a county road between pastures. Different purposes too. The former as self defense against the cretin who wants your wallet or car. The latter as self defense against the 500-lb feral boar annoyed at being surprised. As a reminder, open carry in Texas still requires a license on one’s person.


“Texas government has provided the best of both worlds.”

more like the TEXAS Government has allowed by permission slip, you to exercise a privilege. A privilege is not a right. If your exercising a Right you don’t need any input from the government.

Sorry Texas, your not as free as you think you are. Hell socialist Michigan has had open carry permission for years.

Permission slips do not = freedom.

Gene Ralno

My intent was not to imply that Michigan or any other state didn’t have the best of both worlds. And my post wasn’t a boast. I consider bragging a sign of weakness. My comment mentioned only Texas because the new “permission slip” is for open carry, something that Texas has not had for a very long time. We’re clearly on the same side because I believe the Constitution merely affirms a natural, civil right to keep and bear arms. Inexplicably, you’ve been sufficiently offended to bluster. We all live with “permission slips” until we’re moved to make war against those… Read more »


Robert, we would love to have you as a citizen of this great republic of Texas! Come on down and help make us even stronger in the fight for freedom, liberty and justice! God bless Texas and the USA!!!

Robert in Oregon

Wish I lived in Texas………and well written sir !


I live in Oklahoma, which fully shares in the value system that Texas espouses (except for college football, of course LOL). Come visit both states, Robert… you’ll be impressed.


northern Texas gets snow and winds, and both get twisters.