Open Carry bill introduced in 82nd Texas Legislature

Looks like Rep. George Lavender (R, District 1, “A” grade from the NRA)  has filed HB 2756 “related to the authority of a person who has a license to carry a handgun to openly carry the handgun.”

I’ve given the bill text a read and it looks like what’s been done is go through the Texas law books and cross out or repeal portions of the law pertained to concealed carry. For example: “who possesses a [concealed] handgun”. I’m not sure anything was added, I unfortunately don’t have the time right now to do a side-by-side comparison of the submitted bill vs. the present books.

I’d like to hear reader thoughts on this.

My initial reaction is this may not go far enough for many open carry advocates. Many of them have changed from advocating “open carry” to advocating “constitutional carry”, the difference being that 2A is all the “license” needed so no other regulations should be on the books. So what this really comes down to is a continuum and how far along it you wish to go.

As well, if I’m understanding the bill, you are still going to have to be licensed to carry, it just doesn’t matter if it’s open or concealed. That might make the CHL Instructors happy because suddenly a need for their classes won’t go away (like the income that goes with it). But could it create more hassle for citizens and law enforcement? Perhaps, because someone will freak out about a “man with a gun”, LEO has to check it out. Or perhaps LEO’s just start randomly checking.

I’ll be curious to hear what the NRA and TSRA have to say on this. My feeling is, from a political standpoint it’s good to start talking about this, it’s good to start crafting legislation and see how people stand on it, how business and special interest react. But it may be too big a leap yet for people to make. But as I said, on the continuum, it may be a small enough leap that people could accept (i.e. it won’t get all “wild wild west”, there’s still licensing to ensure only good people can do this). Who knows. We’ll see. Sometimes it’s better to chip away at the stone instead of dynamiting the entire quarry.

15 thoughts on “Open Carry bill introduced in 82nd Texas Legislature

  1. I’m fine with this, at least the whole printing thing will go away. I do believe in Constitutional Carry, but we probably have to get there in steps.

    • That’s the direction I’m leaning. This is a baby step, but a step in the right direction. And yes, it would allevaite issues of printing or accidental exposure.

  2. While I don’t see myself ocing much if it passes I’m a full supporter of anything that advances gun rights

  3. Hmmmm…

    From my point of view (behind the badge so to speak), this is just going to make us more overworked, and greatly increase the chance of an ND.

    Cause here is the thing, if I pull you over, you’ve got a gun (be it CHL/Joe Blow/whatever), you tell me you’ve got a gun, I’m disarming you, simply said. So I have to touch it to disarm, do the stop, then give it back to you, then you have to load.

    Now imagine doing that a lot every day. Whether one likes it or not, it’s going to happen. The prefence here is to disarm, and I certainly see that extending to people who OC.

    • I was pulled over recently by a State Trooper and he simply asked if I had a gun and where it was and that was it. He did not disarm me so how would that be different if there was open carry?

      • I said, ‘if I pull you over…’, so not all cops are going to disarm you. I also said ‘the preference here is…’, so not all agencies are going to do the same thing.

        That was his decision to not disarm you. I’m not saying the choice he made was right or wrong, as it was his choice to make.

        But me personally, if I pulled you over in my neck of the woods, I would disarm you.

        You also assume that because the one State Trooper did not disarm you, all cops aren’t going to disarm. I’m sorry, but the preference for my agency is to disarm, be it CHL’rs, off-duty cops, etc. I’m sure there are other agencies they do recommend disarming while on traffic stops or answering calls, just like there are agencies that would prefer their officers to not disarm people.

        • I assumed it is at the discretion of the officer to disarm or not to disarm. I figure maybe experience would have something to do with an officers comfort level with CHL holders and off duty officers.

          Are you mandated to disarm or is it just the preference of the agency?

          I was surprised as to how the trooper disregarded the fact I was armed but then again I was with my wife and had a baby seat in the back so I assumed it was his comfort level that dictated his decision no to disarm me.

    • I wondered about this, and your later comments answered most of my questions.

      But then my question becomes: why do you do this? Why is this the policy?

      If someone is a CHL holder, aren’t they trustworthy enough to allow them to remain armed? or are we not to be trusted because “you never know”?

      • Simple fact is, when I pull someone over, I don’t know anything about them. If they legally are carrying a gun, good for them, but it still doesn’t change the fact that I don’t know anything about them. Therefore, they will be detained and disarmed. Once the stop is over and everything checks out, they are free to go about their business with their firearm.

        So, couple the complete unknown of this person and they have a gun, makes me nervous. CHL’rs included. I understand one feels they have a right to carry a gun or have the license to carry a gun, but that still doesn’t change the fact they have a gun and could easily shoot me. Saying “But they were carrying legally…” surely wouldn’t ease my parents and my fellow officer’s grief if I got shot and killed. The adage of “action is faster than reaction” certainly rings true here.

        Official Policy is officer discretion, but most of my fellow officers are going to disarm.

        See above. “But they were a CHL holder!” won’t make anyone happier at my funeral.

        Sure, not just everyone can get a CHL, but that still doesn’t mean one is liable to go crazy. Having a CHL would certainly put me at a little more ease, and the way I would go about things would certainly be different, but they would still be disarmed.

        I wouldn’t say “we are not to be trusted”, because thats not true. It’s not an issue of trust nor is it an issue of power trippin’. It’s an overall issue of safety, for both me and you. I don’t want to have to shoot someone because I believed they were reaching for their gun in the glove box, when they were just moving the gun to get their insurance card. I don’t want someone to get slammed to the ground and injured because they happened to accidently flash a gun while they were getting their wallet out and they were getting restrained. It’s easier from a safety standpoint to just removed it from the situation very briefly, then returned it as soon as possible.

        • Yeah I figured it was up to the officer. I would not want to pull people over and have to deal with the possibilities everyday day.

          I had never heard of anyone being dissaemed so your comment suprised me.

  4. I am, and have (almost) always been a Constitutional carry advocate… that said, getting open carry legalized in all states is unquestionably a step in the right direction, if only to stop the idiotic criminalization of wardrobe malfunctions.

    Me, I am willing to take baby-steps to get to the end goal, and completely understand that going from 0 to 60 in a microsecond is not going to work terribly well… but I have sometimes been called names for being entirely too reasonable ;).

    In other news, this is Texas, for God’s sake. It amazes me that this is sill an issue! 🙂

    • I was hoping (expecting?) you to chime in here. 🙂

      I will take forward progress, even if it’s slow.

      And yes I know.. it’s Texas. Go figure.

  5. Hello all,

    I just found this blog and I would like to say that for those who would like to help get this and other pro-gun and pro-Constitution bills passed, join Lone Star Citizens Defense League. http://www.lonestarcdl.org/ We are the ones who introduced the bill in it’s original form and the ones who are pushing for it to pass. We’re a non-profit and we do have other things to do but no one was doing anything about it so in May of last year we started LSCDL.

    HB 2756 is a good first step toward getting back rights that were taken away from Texans 140 years ago. We wanted Constitutional Carry but quickly realized that if we tried to get that through, we would have come away with a big fat “nothing”. Join with us and let’s make a coordinated effort, unlike the circus of 2009 when a lot of open carry advocates shot themselves in the foot by not all singing in tune with each other.

    So, if you’re interested in helping out, we’d love to have you among our ranks. Dig that!

  6. Pingback: Texas Open Carry Bill progresses « Stuff From Hsoi

  7. To the COP that chooses to “disarm” a legal CHL carrier. I think you are over stepping your authority. I the citizen do not know who you are either. You could be a fake cop in a fake car that wants to disarm me and rob me…see how that works both ways? To me it makes logical sense to always be prepared for a confrontation. If a person is there to do you harm why the hell would he/she tell you they are armed? They won’t! So the only people that will tell you they are armed are honest law abiding citizens. And then you want to “disarm” them so you feel comfortable? I don’t feel comfortable with you taking my weapon off my person when the only thing I have done is speed or roll at a stop sign.

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