Open Carry Passes the Texas Senate

Open Carry TexasAmmoland – by Dean Weingarten

Arizona – -(Ammoland.com)- The Texas Senate passed an open carry bill on Tuesday, 17 March, 2015.  The bill removes restrictions on the open carry of weapons that dates back to reconstruction, when radical Republicans changed the Texas Constitution to disarm former confederates, and which Democrats kept in place to disarm freed slaves and Hispanics.   The bill passed on partisan lines, with 20 Republicans voting for it and 11 Democrats voting against it.  A minimum of 19 votes was required for the bill to make it out of the Senate.  From woai.com:  

The vote was 20-11, right along party lines, for a measure proposed by State Sen. Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls).

The bill mirrors the current concealed handgun license law, except for two changes.

“We just take the word ‘concealed’ out in every section,” he said. “Also what we are doing is adding a sign that business people can put up, if they are comfortable with concealed carry, but are a little uncomfortable with open carry.”

The measure is far from the victory that Open Carry advocates had expected when the session opened. The bill does not allow the open carrying of long guns, just handguns, requires that anyone carrying weapons openly have a Concealed Handgun Permit, and allows business owners wide latitude in keeping people with openly carried handguns off the premises.

The companion House Bill, HB 910, was considered in a public hearing on the same day, 17 March.  It is pending in committee.  Four of the nine committee members are authors or coauthors, including the committee chairman.   It has 80 authors and coauthors.  The big question is whether it will be allowed a vote on the floor by Speaker of the House Joe Strauss.  From opencarry.org:

No bill gets passed without Joe Straus letting it through the House. I still haven’t seen any evidence that that hurdle is surmountable. I certainly want Texas to get Open Carry, but let’s make sure our optimism is grounded in reality.

Joe Straus has been blamed for the failure to pass open carry legislation two years ago.  It looks different this year, with thousands of open carry marches throughout the state, and activists causing a fair number of Representatives to be primaried.   A correspondent activist in Texas told me that Speaker Strauss lost a significant number of allies in the last primaries.

A favored tactic in legislative manuvers is to allow bills to die for lack of time.  They just are not voted on.  It is much harder to do when bills such as the open carry and campus carry bills have such widespread support.   The House has 150 members, 80 are already authors or coauthors, so it already has a majority of members, on record, supporting it.  There are 98 Republicans in the House, and 52 Democrats.   It may be significant the Speaker of the House, Joe Straus is not one of the authors or coauthors of the bill.

Opponents of open carry claim that the demonstrations have been counterproductive.  It does not look that way to me.  Open carry has advanced considerably further than it did before the demonstrations started.  It is clear that opponents of open carry are willing to obfuscate, exaggerate, and lie to mis-characterize those who open carry.  A certain amount of this occurs on both sides, but because most of the old media also opposes open carry, the demonization of open carriers has been claimed to be “caused” by the open carry activism.  It is the old story of blaming the victim.  Reports from the field show overwhelming support for the open carry demonstrations as they actually occur, not as they are mis-characterized by the disarmists.  I believe the open carry bill being considered in Texas will pass. It is a very mild reform, and Joe Straus is a practical politician.

Definition of  disarmist 
c2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch

About Dean Weingarten;

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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6 thoughts on “Open Carry Passes the Texas Senate

  1. how long did that take? 2 months?
    The communist have bills pass in 2 weeks. We’re not gonna win politically.

  2. its all just BS

    until every state of this United States is Constitutional Carry ,, we are slaves and are not exercising our rights to run this government

    show me where for any of our other rights , that we need a permit for them..

    ony the 2nd article have we allowed to be subjugated by the ruling elite .. and its high time to pull the plug on that

    time to resist their “papers” and licences , we have a bill of rights and thats all that is needed

    Texas.. dont take this crap laying down

  3. Watered down for sure…

    Texas law allows the carrying of long guns already. Loaded or unloaded as long as it is not in a threatening manner. The article states that long guns were not allowed…B.S. Just read the Texas law on long guns…

    I could care less about open carry. BUT, if someone wants to open carry… be my guest. Just get ready for the small town Barney Fifes that cannot read but have a badge and try to arrest numerous open carry folks.

    1. thats fine .. more OC needs to happen .. and the cry babies that “dont get it” need an education too , especially the cops

      OUR ENTIRE COUNTRY SHOULD BE CONSTITUTIONAL CARRY !

      those people are just exercising their rights and I support that 100%.. more people should stand up and defend them and their right to do so

  4. “The bill does not allow the open carrying of long guns, just handguns, requires that anyone carrying weapons openly have a Concealed Handgun Permit”

    Once again, how is this good?

    You still need a permit to exercise your right.

    What the hell is wrong with them? Everyone is doing Constitutional Carry these days and these buffoons are happy about open carry as long as you have a permit. This is Texas, for cryin’ out loud. WTF? Grow some balls! PASS A CONSTITUTIONALLY CARRY BILL AND NOTHING LESS, YOU DUMBASSES!! The only thing you did was allow the government to “permit” you to carry your handgun in the open. It changes nothing! We don’t need a “permit” or their “permission” to carry a gun. That’s what the 2nd Article says and don’t give us that “Well, this is one step closer to it. We’ll eventually get there, little by little.”

    Sorry, but We the People don’t play Commie games.

    Restore the Second Article Right and exercise it, otherwise take your watered down bill and shove it up your ass. STOP DOING THE COMMIE COMPROMISE!! GROW UP!! 😡

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