October 22, 2016

Open Carry

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

Last month, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 910, also known as the “open carry bill.”  The bill will allow licensed Texans to openly carry their handguns in a hip or shoulder holster, starting January 1, 2016.  Private businesses will still be allowed to prohibit handguns within their premises as long as they post the proper signs.  Under the version that was approved, law enforcement personnel have the authority to stop and question someone who is carrying to check for a gun license.

What’s your perception?

There is quite a bit of controversy about this new law, even within pro-gun citizens.  Some critics feel that openly seeing handguns in everyday places like movie theaters and stores will just make people anxious.  Picture this:  you go to a restaurant and see five individuals with handguns on their side holsters.  How would you feel?  Would you start to wonder if these people are responsible types, who are properly trained in using their guns?  Or would something set them off, then a fight and shoot out ensues?  On the other hand, these same five people could have had concealed handguns all along, but you never noticed and therefore you never really thought about it.  People have their own perceptions about guns being carried, and once it is out in the open they will have to deal with it.

My brother in law Bill has been waiting for this bill to be signed and he is gratified that it will finally go into effect.  He’s had his concealed carry license for years and feels this new law upholds the 2nd Amendment and celebrates freedom by extending the privilege to carry handguns openly.  He feels that law abiding citizens being allowed to carry openly would be a deterrent to potential criminals and make them think twice about attacking an armed individual.

One the other hand, my friend Jim is not as enthusiastic about the upcoming change.  He has a license as well, but feels that when you carry openly, you lose the element of surprise, and may potentially become a target.  If a criminal were to case out a store before a robbery, he or she will try and identify who is armed, and try to eliminate the threat.  On the other hand, Bill would argue that having a number of armed individuals would deter the criminal from robbing that particular store.  And so the argument continues.

I am not going to get into how I feel about it as I am not trying to sway anyone’s opinion.  Just voicing out the two sides.  How do you feel about this?   Would you carry openly if you were licensed a handgun in your state or country?

© Apartment Prepper 2015


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7 Comments on Open Carry

  1. I’m all for it. I have a CHL, and will continue to carry my firearm, but now I can have it outside of my waistband, which will be much more comfortable. I’ll still have a shirt over it, as this is how I dress 99% of the time. I used to teach at a technical college in a maximum security prison, and if there’s one thing I learned about criminals – it’s this: they’re cowards. If they see several people open-carrying, they will be more likely to move-along to a more passive target (say a “gun-free zone” for example.) I like having the option, just my 2¢.

    • Hi Joseph P, This is true, most criminals are cowards, so the deterrent argument holds a lot of weight. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Law-enforcement officers possess unconcealed firearms for the visual deterrent it provides them for their safety and that of others around them regardless of the grumbling of some who dislike the appearance of firearms generally. For most citizens who possess unconcealed firearms, the reasons they do so are similar. Also, for some citizens with minor physical disabilities who choose to possess unconcealed firearms, doing so reduces the necessity (and danger) of fumbling around with a backpack, fanny pack, purse or other concealment method to retrieve the firearm. In my state, a paraplegic student at a local university successfully complained years ago that the university’s rules against possession of unconcealed firearms violated state and federal disability laws. He had previously succeeded in obtaining a concealed firearm permit but preferred to possess his firearm unconcealed as it was the safest method for him and others around him. Possessing unconcealed firearms has a variety of legitimate reasons. The choice should remain with the individual with the firearm.

    • Hi David, That is another good angle you mentioned -ease of reach, especially for someone with a physical disability. Thanks for bringing it up!

  3. I don’t know about the law. Both sides have merit. From a security standpoint, I don’t like open carry. It takes away any element of surprise you have. In close quarters with only a moderately trained person, if they have a gun on their hip, it’s my gun if I want it. And I’m old and slow. Some young punk jacked up on drugs who really wants my money, if he sees I’m carrying a gun could just shoot me in the back. I’d much prefer him to just ask.

    It takes away the ability to hold back and not respond. If you’re in a store and two armed robbers enter, if you have a concealed gun you don’t need to respond. If they grab the cash and go, so be it.

    If the robbers see you have a gun on your hip, you’ll be forced to respond. That’s different from them seeing a uniformed officer and deciding not to enter the store.

    I understand the Second Amendment point, but from a tactical standpoint, a concealed weapon is better for most of us.

    • Hi Prepper Next Door, Those are great points-having the weapon out in the open takes away the option to not respond. Having a license does not place the same responsibility as a law enforcement officer, but once it is known you are armed you may be expected to act anyway. Thanks for weighing in on this issue.

  4. “Under the version that was approved, law enforcement personnel have the authority to stop and question someone who is carrying to check for a gun license.”

    This is not completely correct.

    The same rules still apply under the Texas Code of Criminal Procedures. Example: In Texas like most states you are required to have a driver’s license to operate a motor vehicle on a public roadway. I can not stop you for the purpose to insure you have a driver’s license, I must have another violation first such as speeding, or expired registration. At the end of the day while an officer can contact you an request information you are not required to provide it unless you are lawfully detained for suspected unlawful activity. Open carrying by itself will not meet the legal threshold required to force someone to identify themselves.

    There will be agencies such as Austin PD because of their chief who will test the limits of the law, but at the end of the day they will be slapped down by the courts. The amendment that was stripped was aimed at agencies such as Austin PD and was meant to send a clear message, which by the way whose chief was the point man on fighting the amendment and open carry.

    Most line officers could care less about open carry, we assume everyone is armed until we can verify otherwise!!!! It just make survival sense.

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