Open Carry at the Gun Rights Policy Conference in Dallas

By Dean Weingarten

This lady carried a S&W Shield in an inside the waistband holster.
This lady carried a S&W Shield in an inside the waistband holster.
Dean Weingarten
Dean Weingarten

Arizona -(Ammoland.com)–At the Gun Rights Policy Conference (GRPC) in Dallas, Texas, I noticed a significant amount of the open carry of sidearms. This would not have been legal as late as December of 2015. The open carry of a Bowie knife would have been illegal up until then end of August this year!

In addition to the licensed open carry of handguns, edged weapons with blades of more than 5.5 inches can now be legally carried in most places. One participant carried an iconic Bowie knife at the GRPC. He graciously allowed me to take a picture.

Knife Rights deserves much of the credit for reforming antique knife law restrictions in Texas.
Knife Rights deserves much of the credit for reforming antique knife law restrictions in Texas.

Knife Rights deserves much of the credit for reforming antique knife law restrictions in Texas. The knife laws lineage dates back to the “reconstruction” government in Texas, that wanted select groups disarmed after the War between the States, or Civil war. Full disclosure: I had a great grandfather fight in the Union Navy. He later homesteaded in Minnesota. The reconstruction government rewrote the Texas Constitution, effectively eliminating the right to wear arms.

Most Texans find it hard to believe it was illegal to carry a Bowie knife in most public places in Texas. Knife rights fixed that. Todd Rathner, Director of Legislative Affairs for Knife Rights deserves a lot of the credit for the passage of knife reform in Texas. The bill almost died after a knife attack at the University of Texas, Austin, close to when the bill was coming up for a vote.  Rathner displayed his impressive skills of persuasion to make the carry of formerly outlawed knives legal in 99% of Texas. Knife Rights will be back the next legislative session.

One participant chose to carry a Desert Eagle. I believe it was in .50 AE caliber.
One participant chose to carry a Desert Eagle. I believe it was in .50 AE caliber.

One participant chose to carry a Desert Eagle. I believe it was in .50 AE caliber. It makes an excellent “barbecue” gun, the term many Texans use for pistols they wear to barbecues or other semi-formal occasions.

Open Carry Texas had a table at the conference.
Open Carry Texas had a table at the conference.

Open Carry Texas had a table at the conference. They have earned it with their activism to restore open carry of pistols in Texas.  Open Carry Texas organized thousands of open carry marches throughout the state. In the 18 months before the passage of open carry legislation in Texas, there were over 2,500 open carry marches. It is one of the biggest political movements in Texas since the 1960's. C.J. Grisham, the founder of Open Carry Texas, was manning the table.

This Smith & Wesson hammerless model was in a pocket holster. Both revolvers and semi-autos have their advantages.
This Smith & Wesson hammerless model was in a pocket holster. Both revolvers and semi-autos have their advantages.

There were revolvers present. This Smith & Wesson hammerless model was in a pocket holster. Both revolvers and semi-autos have their advantages.

As the movement to restore Second Amendment rights has swept across the United States, those who push for disarming the public try to portray people attending the NRA meeting, or other events where Second Amendment Activists gather, as hypocrites for not attending the events armed.

Those days are gone.

There are now five states that ban open carry of handguns in most public places. They are California, New York, Illinois, South Carolina, and Florida. There are strong movements to restore open carry in Florida and South Carolina.

With open carry legal in 45 states, it is nearly impossible to rationally justify an open carry ban. Open carry does not increase crime. It does not increase accidents. It does not increase suicide.

It does what the opponents of an armed population cannot abide. It educates, clarifies, and creates activists.

Open carry was always strong, symbolic, political, speech. It is an act that was the seed that grew into an army of activists. It is common for open carry marchers to be cheered by members of the public that see them as a force standing for the Constitution.

Their numbers have increased geometrically with YouTube videos and facebook pages. Activists move the political ball forward.

Now, when I am in Texas, I do not worry about finding a coat to cover my Glock, as I step outside to retrieve something from my car.

My open carry experiences in Texas have been positive.

Open carry in Florida and South Carolina is coming. Predicting when is beyond my capacity.

©2017 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.

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Danny Griffin
Danny Griffin
2 years ago

I travel to Texas almost every year. I am now able to open carry like I do in the rest of the country. I had zero issues, and I encountered zero 30.06 or 30.07 signs!

A. X. Perez
A. X. Perez
2 years ago

I do not know what is going on elsewhere in Texas. In El Paso and most urban areas people do exercise the right to carry handguns openly much. As for long blades, I have observed only one person carrying a sword cane. I have “made” a few people carrying concealed because they printed or their coats flapped open. Interestingly, the two most memorable were with family and I have no doubt wanting to be sure they could protect their loved ones was why the pistoleros in question were heeled. Good on them. Re: Constitutional carry: Killed in 2017 session of… Read more »

A.X. Perez
A.X. Perez
2 years ago
Reply to  A. X. Perez

second sentence is supposed to read “In El Paso and most urban areas people do not exercise the right to carry handguns openly much.” Concealed carry is a highly valued right however.

Smitty
Smitty
2 years ago

My old eyes have hopefully been fooled. Looking at the picture of the person seated in a chair, the one with the caption of “One participant chose to carry a Desert Eagle. I believe it was in .50 AE caliber.”, it appears that the gun doesn’t fit the holster or the gun isn’t inserted all the way – the trigger is exposed! Also, it seems that the gun is not secured in the holster – no strap or other obvious mechanism holding it in place. (I’m not familiar with that holster. Perhaps there is a mechanism securing it.) To me,… Read more »

Vanns40
Vanns40
2 years ago

Despite what anyone may tell you there is no open carry in the State of Maryland. Don’t even think of trying it.

MB
MB
2 years ago

Don’t take this as Open carry is Constitutional Carry in Texas, this applies only to (License To Carry) LTC permit holders, and with many restrictions. Texas has always allowed long gun open carry in most public places, but Open Carry Handgun is relatively new to Texas, which has been traditionally difficult to get a handgun concealed carry permit. While the LTC permit is a very big step forward, what should happen is Constitutional Carry in Texas. Vermont has always been a Constitutional Carry in Texas ( yes, ultra liberal Vermont ) and Vermont is the safest state in the country… Read more »

Danny Griffin
Danny Griffin
2 years ago

2017 was the first year I got to OC in Texas. Not only was it a relief (since I OC everywhere else) but it was a non-event.

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
2 years ago
Reply to  Danny Griffin

, When I first got to Texas, my neighbors made me read a book about Texas history. Modern Texas is explained by Texas history. The way Texas is makes complete sense after reading its history. Welcome to Texas.
I, too, noticed that there was little need to carry in Texas. The people are presume that are armed. They might rob you in a business deal, but there is little armed robbery.

Danny Griffin
Danny Griffin
2 years ago
Reply to  Wild Bill

People may carry, but it was a relief not to have to CC,and I encountered zero 30.06 or 30.07 signs. I did find some 51% signs, but there you go.

A.X. Perez
A.X. Perez
2 years ago
Reply to  Danny Griffin

Almost every 30.06 ( no concealed carry) and 30.07 (no open carry) sign I’ve seen has been at legally defined “no gun zone.” 51% signs are for establishments which make most f their money from selling booze, mostly meaning bars.

Clark Kent
Clark Kent
2 years ago

Open carry; AKA the free gun zone. Proof positive you can’t fix stupid.

JS
JS
2 years ago
Reply to  Clark Kent

Funny I was thinking the same thing about you. We could try to have a discussion about facts and data that show crime goes way down as well as shootings where you can open carry but you would throw out some other half formed thought, hence the cant fix stupid comment.

PavePusher
PavePusher
2 years ago
Reply to  Clark Kent

And you’ll cite to statistical (or even suffucient anecdotal) evidence any minute now, right?

Vanns40
Vanns40
2 years ago
Reply to  PavePusher

No he won’t because he’s a troll.

Ugly
Ugly
2 years ago

Open carry is legal in New Jersey only with a CCW permit. CCW permits are unobtainable in the state of New Jersey effectively making open carry illegal in New Jersey. With a population of 8.8 million there are less than 2,000 CCW permits. That equates to .0002% of the population.

Jeff Foster
Jeff Foster
2 years ago
Reply to  Ugly

In NJ the method of carry is not specified… Why? Because so few CCW permits iare issued that it did not even matter. If for example National Reciprocity ever passed they would define the term “Carry” to mean concealed carry the very next day.

I have never seen anyone carry openly in NJ not clearly identifiable as LEO or Arm Security Guard.