Open Carry – Legal vs. Tactics

So Texas’ new Governor-Elect, Greg Abbott says:

“If an Open Carry bill is passed by the House and Senate, I will sign it into law,”

The past week I’ve seen many people on both sides of the issue responding to this pledge. One thing that I keep seeing is pro-gun people commenting on the stupidity of such legislation because open-carry is stupid, dangerous, or insert your reason here. The argument tends to be to keep open carry illegal because it’s dangerous tactics.

I think it’s important to separate the legality of open carry from the tactics of open carry.

People tend to prefer options. I’m sure when you’re presented with a problem, you don’t like being forced to solve it by A – you’d be happier if you could choose between A, B, and C especially if B and C are better options, yes? We seem to prefer choice (our consumer patterns demonstrate this), because it provides better opportunity for optimal solutions.

And so, if Open Carry (of handguns) becomes legal in Texas , that provides law-abiding Texans with more options.

But just because it’s legal doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right and best option for solving a problem. There remain many reasons why concealed carry is a superior tactical option. Yes, some people may choose their options unwisely, but unwise decisions are nothing new in this world and the only solution there is for people to seek further education.

I know some will ask what I will do. Will I Open Carry? Generally speaking, no – I will continue to carry concealed. But having the option is something I will appreciate because there may come a time when it will be the better option and I appreciate having the choice.

When making arguments for or against Open Carry, do separate out the legal aspects from the tactics aspects. They are both valid areas of discussion, but we shouldn’t use “bad tactics” as justification for “bad laws”.

7 thoughts on “Open Carry – Legal vs. Tactics

  1. I would open carry roughly .01% of the time, but Abbot has only said he would sign a bill into law. There has to be a bill passed through the legislature first.

    • Exactly. That’s something that allows him a little leeway — good soundbyte, but will be hard to make come true since the legislature is in the way.

  2. you already know i think it a bad idea and will only act as a provocation to the anti-gun crowd who are usually too distracted with climate change to follow through on any of their threats. there are already enough idiots among us carrying concealed and carrying openly isn’t going to make them smarter–only more prone to losing their guns to assailants or 6-year old kids.

    but i have a question: if open carry passes, does that mean i can now brandish? i’ve never understood why that very useful tactic has been left out from the concealed carry laws.


  3. Hi, Nevada CCW Permit holder/Instructor here. One significant advantage of an Open Carry law for Texas would be that a CCW permit holder would not be charged with brandishing for an inadvertent display of their holstered handgun. As I understand your current law, if the wind blows your shirt or coat, etc. and someone see it, you could be arrested/charged with Brandishing? Not so if you have an Open Carry law. Tactically, of course, I much prefer CCW and abide by the old adage, “Concealed Means Concealed.”

  4. i am a huge fan of open carry laws. in many places that have concealed law and a legally carried piece is seen by some dweeb,you win a visit by swat. with open carry laws,this is not an issue. here in fl,open carry failed. supposedly the legislature changed it so that accidental exposer was not labeled brandishing if a good faith concealment effort was made. i would hate to be the on the test that. i have no faith in the police or the courts to do the “right thing” about this,or frankly anything else.

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