On Open Carry – Legal

So Open Carry (of handguns) is coming soon to Texas.

In the past when speaking on the topic I’ve framed it as two matters: legal and tactical. These days I’ve added a third facet: social.


From a legal perspective, I don’t see much reason for open carry to be prohibited. From a legal perspective, the reasons for carrying arms doesn’t and shouldn’t hinge on whether it’s under or over your shirt. Whether you, or those around you, are aware of it or not.

And sometimes, open carry may be the only legal means by which a person can arm themselves.

But that’s really all there is about it, and we to consider all this law does is change the status of certain behaviors in the eyes of the law.

To that end, I strongly urge you to know the law. A couple key points:

  • It is licensed open carry of handguns. You still need a CHL – tho I guess they’ll have to just call it an HL now.
  • You will need to know the law. The revisions to the Texas law code are… interesting. Take a read of Paul Martin’s analysis
  • Open carry remains prohibited on college campuses. Just because both Open Carry and Campus Carry passed in the same legislative session doesn’t mean that we’ve got unrestricted both. Again, know the law.

It will take some time for the laws to shake out, for Texas Department of Public Safety to make some determinations, and then for TX CHL (or maybe just “HL”) instructors to receive updated information, curriculum, and then how to proceed.

I know folks are excited here, but be patient.


6 thoughts on “On Open Carry – Legal

  1. While I am happy to see Texas finally get open carry I’m not sure how much this really effects me. About the only utility I see is protection from a brandishing charge should somebody see my gun if inadvertently exposed and have a tizzy fit.

    For me I am not likely to be carrying openly unless I’m out stomping in the woods on a hike or hunt.

    I’ll be standing by to see your comments on the Tactical and Social side of OC. or as you say HL.

    • I think we’ll see more advantage to it over time. I mean, when you know something isn’t an option you generally don’t think about it or consider it when you’re going about life. But now that it’s an option, I expect people will think about it more and give it more daily consideration.. and we’ll find more places where it could actually fit into our daily lives.

      that said, yeah… stay tuned. More ahead. 🙂

  2. mark my words, open carry is what will mobilize the scattered gun control crowd and energize them into action. don’t underestimate them. this will be a social and pr catastrophe if people start seeing guns out in public where ever they go–especially if carried by the exact militant redneck type like those who taunt cops.

    tactically, it completely removes the element of surprise and it even provides the bad guys with a source or multiple sources for a weapon even if they didn’t have one to begin with.

    mark my words, if it becomes a popular practice, us reasonable gun owners will be the ones penalized.


  3. I think it is very important to point out that it remains illegal to Openly Carry a firearm but doing so with a license is a defense to prosecution.
    This means, by law, the police have probable cause to stop anyone who they see OCing.

    I agree with you about more people seeing the utility of Open Carry as it goes along. I can see parents with small children preferring it – not having to clear a cover garment while holding onto a child. I personally will occasionally OC because the heat of the summer aggravates my asthma, being able to wear much thinner shirts and not have to worry about covering a pistol will be very helpful.

    Bob S.

    • Very important point.

      And to that point, I recall during the debates how strange bedfellows were made because a lot of lawmakers thought it would lead to things like “carrying while black” stops and the like. No question, all of this is going to make for some interesting legal matters in the coming years. And frankly, it’s one reason I’d rather not be part of it… I’ll just make popcorn and watch. I don’t need the headaches.

Join the discussion!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.