Thursday, May 22, 2014

While I'm On The Subject Of Open Carry

Rachel, my fellow co-host of The Polite Society Podcast and a gun rights activist in Texas, sent me this link about an agreement on a unified protocol and general policy regarding open carry events put out by a number of open carry groups. As Rachel notes, this is huge given the behind the scenes disagreements among the groups on the best way to push the Texas Legislature to approve open carry of handguns.

The joint release from Texas Carry, Gun Rights Across America, Ellis County Open Carry and Open Carry Texas announcing their unified policy:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Come and Take It Texas, Texas Carry, Gun Rights Across America and Open Carry Texas Joint Statement on OC of Long Arms – May 21, 2014

Over the past year, our members have done what no other organization has been able to do – put open carry at the forefront of the fight to restore gun rights for all Texans. As we have grown, we have had to adjust our efforts based on lessons learned through hundreds of open carry events, big and small.

Looking back, it has become clear that there is one area in which we have gotten the most resistance and suffered the largest setbacks: open carry of long arms into private businesses. This is not a new phenomenon. Early on, because of our efforts, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) sent a message to all TABC licensees warning them about allowing our members to open carry into their businesses. This resulted in places like Smashburger asking us to leave our guns at home. Since then, Starbucks, Wendy’s, Jack In The Box, Applebees and most recently, Chipotle have come out asking we not carry our firearms into their establishments.

Whereas, our mission is to get open carry of handguns passed in Texas, we must once again adjust in a way that shines a positive light on our efforts, our members, and our respective organizations. We are humbly and emphatically imploring our members to cease taking long arms into corporate businesses unless invited. Black Powder revolvers have proven to be very effective and align with our goal of legalizing open carry with a handgun. We do understand that not everyone will be able to afford one, but if you can, we are requesting you do so. Almost every leader has gone to Black powder for a reason. It works.

For all further open carry walks with long guns, we are adopting the following unified protocol and general policy to best ensure meeting our respective legislative mission to legalize open carry:
1) Always notify local law enforcement prior to the walk, especially the day of.
2) Carry Flags and signs during your walk to increase awareness.
3) Carry the long gun on a sling, not held.
4) Do not go into corporate businesses without prior permission, preferably not at all.
5) If asked to leave, do so quietly and do not make it a problem.
6) Do not post pics publicly if you do get permission and are able to OC in a cooperate business.
7) Do not go into businesses with TABC signs posted with a long gun (Ever).
8) If at all possible, keep to local small businesses that are 2A friendly.
We ask that members take a step back and make an objective assessment of what we are trying to accomplish and help us to get open carry passed for everyone. We must be willing and able to recognize what works and what doesn’t, but we need your help to make these efforts a success. It will be very difficult to spin holstered, black powder revolvers into a negative story. This is the goal we are currently striving for, open carry of handguns. We know everyone is working hard for this cause. It is simply time to focus on what has been proven to work. The conversation has shifted from open carry of handguns to rifles in businesses, negating our efforts and distracting us from our mission.

We are winning. Because we are winning, we have come under increased scrutiny by media and politicians. Let’s use that spotlight and make the most positive impact we can!

Carry on!

CJ Grisham, Open Carry Texas 
Terry Holcomb, Sr, Texas Carry 
Murdoch Pizgotti, CATI-TX 
Eric Reed, GRAA

Eric Reed of Gun Rights Across America points out some very valid points that are being ignored by the mainstream media and groups like Everytown would have you not know.
Now under Texas state law, a holder of a concealed handgun license is only required to abide by certain signs that have very specific legal verbiage. Up to this point, none of the above aforementioned businesses have posted these legal signs. So it remains legal for a concealed handgun licensee to concealed carry into these establishments with a valid Texas CHL.

The anti-gun groups have won nothing but a public statement by these businesses to make them just go away. As stated in the press release, gun rights is winning. The fight is in Austin, not at Jack in the Box or Chipotle.


  1. Now THAT makes sense! I also like the idea of wearing an EMPTY Holster, and let someone else start the Conversation.

  2. Definitely a step in the right direction. Additionally, I'd suggest that if you MUST carry a long gun, carry a "traditional" one: black powder rifle, or lever-action. Something blued with wood furniture, on a sling behind one's shoulder or across the back. For the uninitiated/uninformed, "grandpa's gun" is a LOT less intimidating than an AR/AK variant.

    Can't go wrong by displaying empty holsters, either.

  3. Good ones, thanks. I'll keep this link handy.

  4. The problem is it took so long, after loads of negative press, and the public *appearance* of a loss among of people not familiar with, and not interested in becoming familiar with, Texas 30.06 rules, to achieve what a moment's forethought, and brief examination of what happened in Starbucks and with UOC in California, could have revealed from the start.

    Make no mistake, MDA -won- the public battle at Starbucks and Chipotle, parsing Texas law doesn't change that. The OC rifle crew turned neutrals into apparent, and thus meaningfully in the eyes of non-gun people whose votes or apathy we *must* have, anti's.

    Every "own goal" win we hand the Moms and Bloomy on a platter, by being actively stupid, gives them press time and momentum. If we act smart, like OC TX is now getting around to doing, we never give them that press, and thus momentum, in the first place.

  5. They were ASKED to pose for a picture. Do I agree with handling a firearm to pose for a picture? No, but we need to educate those that do and support their fight. If you use the word "but" after the phrase "I support the 2A" then you don't support the 2A... What part of "shall not be infringed" do you disagree with? We either support people using their right to open carry where legal, or you might as well sell all your firearms now because yours will be the next ones on the moron anti-gun agenda. They want ALL guns banned from civilian hands, except for the police of course, so if you don't support the rights you have now then you might as well be one of THEM...

    1. I support the 2A -and- reserve the right to call tools and morons who exercise that right in such a way as to -hurt- the cause of gun rights tools andmorons. "Supporting the Second" and "not being a counter-productive idiot" are not mutually exclusive states of being and implying they are does not enhance one's credibility.

  6. I'd rather a business just come out and ban firearms, so I know where not to spend my money...