Written by Jon Britton aka DoubleTap
Come And Take It Texas, the group who started the open carry movement in Texas, has planned an event to celebrate a new open or constitutional carry law, even though the new session of the Texas Legislature has only just begun and Governor Greg Abbott was just sworn in. The event plans are already set for September 1st. Optimistic? Yes they are, but their planning also includes a "Plan B" just in case an open/constitutional carry bill is not signed into law. The next five months of the Texas Legislative session promise to be interesting to say the least and regardless of the outcome at 12:01 AM on September 1st, 2015 SOMETHING will be happening at the State Capital.
Traditionally, when Texas bills are signed into law, unless otherwise stated, they take effect September 1st. Come And Take It Texas was the first group to do an open carry walk with long guns to bring attention to the disparity in law between long guns and modern handguns in Texas. It only makes sense that they would schedule the first legal modern handgun open carry event, even before the legislation begins its rounds through the legislature. You may be wondering what this "Plan B" is that I referred to above. Well, in the event that an open carry or constitutional carry bill does NOT get signed into law another group will take over the event. A group called Don't Comply, whose mission is to challenge such unconstitutional and unjust laws in court. The group will take over the event which will then transition from the proposed celebration to a civil disobedience event. It will still be a modern handgun open carry event, but the "Plan B" event hosted by Don't Comply will have legal consequences. Under current law, assuming it does not change during this legislative session, openly carrying a modern handgun is a Class A Misdemeanor. Such a charge would not put someone in the prohibited possessor category, but if you have a Texas Concealed Handgun License it could result in that license being revoked for 5 years.
The open carry movement in Texas has been criticized by gun owners and gun rights advocates around the country, primarily because they do not understand the dynamics of Texas Gun Law. Most of the country has some form of open or constitutional carry of modern handguns already, so the open carry of long guns is seen as excessive by many. What they fail to realize is the message of the long gun open carry. So, before you "shoot the messengers" understand that the message is quite simple. Open carry of long guns in Texas has always been constitutional, no permits, no regulation. Handguns produced after 1899 are a different story, you can open carry a pre-1899 black powder pistol or replica only because the way Texas law is written, such a pistol does not qualify as a firearm. Are you starting to see the absurdity yet? So, the open carry of rifles, shot guns and other modern rifle variations, you know the scary black ones that get people's panties in a bunch, is perfectly legal...
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