Yesterday’s article, “Yes you ARE being detained” stirred up more controversy than I expected. My goal was to inform you – the potential open carrier – about how the new Texas “open carry” laws are being interpreted by the police, district attorneys, and lawyers. Yet, there were some who disagreed with what I wrote (on my blog, in Facebook comments, and emails).
What I wrote was not my random opinion.
What I wrote was an explanation of the realities and facts of how the current open carry laws are presently being interpreted and thus WILL be enforced.
This was written for YOUR benefit, so when a peace officer approaches you while you are openly carrying your handgun, you can have an informed, knowledgable, and good interaction. Because if you decide to get your “rights” up in a bunch, that the first words out of your mouth are “AM I BEING DETAINED?!?!” while you fire up your phone’s video recorder so you can give the officer a roadside civics lesson, you need to understand that the encounter is NOT going to end in a manner that you care for – AND YOU WILL LOSE because of your ignorance and/or arrogance. Not only will you lose, but you’re going to make the rest of us lose as well.
Here’s a video from a November 4, 2015 meeting held by Houston Police Chief Charles A. McClelland, Jr., Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson, and Houston City Attorney Donna Edmundson specifically to address questions regarding the new Open Carry laws:
You don’t need to watch the whole thing. Just watch and listen to the first 2 questions, starting about 6 minutes into the video. They specifically address these issues, and they said the same thing I said.
If you want to blow that off as “Houston”, then take a read of the Nov/Dec 2015 issue of TSRA Sportsman, the magazine of the Texas State Rifle Association. Edin Walker, independent attorney for Texas Law Shield, wrote an article and said the exact same thing. TSRA is about as pro-gun rights as you can get, and they are saying the same thing.
You are welcome to disagree all you want, but the facts are what they are.
When this law goes into effect January 1, 2016, if a police officer sees a person carrying a handgun in plain view, they can stop and detain you until they can determine if you satisfy the “unless” clause (produce your ID and LTC). If you fail to do so, you will be in violation of the law and consequences for disobeying the law will ensue.
If you disagree with all of this, then it’s simple – don’t open carry.
Furthermore, you don’t need to give me or the peace officer a civics lesson. Instead, you need to contact your state legislators and discuss improvements to the law for the 2017 legislative session.
Either way, you need to think about the big picture.
Come January 1, 2016, every anti-gun-rights group AND media outlet is waiting. They are waiting – salivating – eager for that first open-carry fuck-up. They will parade it around, turn it into national news, they will twist it to serve their agenda, and they will use it as ammunition to further restrict our rights and abilities.
Do you want to be that poster-child?