Monday, June 23, 2008

Thousands sign petition to make Texas an open-carry state

The push for open carry in Texas is covered in the Star Telegram.

By Anna M. Tinsley

If Duane Suddeth had his way, he could strap on a handgun and wear it — anytime, anywhere — without concealing it.

That day has not come in Texas, but the 42-year-old Bedford man is among thousands hoping it is on its way.

"This is the public’s right," Suddeth said. "Whether they choose to exercise that or not is up to them."

Texas, despite its independence and frontier reputation, is one of only six states where handguns cannot — in some form — legally be worn in plain view.
The first time V was exposed to open carry in a public setting was at the NRA Annual Meetings and exhibits in Louisville. After getting over her initial surprise at seeing so many folks wearing sidearms openly, she decided that open carry might be a good idea. I personally would open carry quite often if that option were open to me.

In Texas, where residents may carry concealed handguns if they have a permit, more than 3,500 people have signed an online petition asking Gov. Rick Perry and the Legislature to make Texas an open-carry state.
I just checked and there are now over 4600 signatures on the petition. A little news coverage goes a long way.

Of course not everyone is liking this idea.

Gun safety advocates aren’t so sure.

"What are they trying to do? Go back to Texas gunslinger days?" asked Richard Leal, a board member of the Houston-based Texans for Gun Safety. "Things are bad enough as it is, with people 18 and older being authorized to carry guns."
Gun safety advocates? This sentence makes me think this group is advocating a bit more than gun safety: "Things are bad enough as it is, with people 18 and older being authorized to carry guns." Sounds like a gun banner to me. Lets check their web site shall we?

History and background Information

Texans for Gun Safety (TGS), formerly known as Texans Against Gun Violence Education Fund, was founded in 1995 as a 501(C)(3) Texas corporation. TGS is a grassroots organization dedicated to significantly reducing gun violence in Texas through education.
I am a Texan for gun safety, often posting commentary on safe firearm handling, taking folks out to the range and giving hands on instruction on safe gun handling, and working with children on firearm safety. These folks are just an anti gun shill group with a nice, fudd friendly sounding name.

Next we get the typical LEO "it will never work" quote:

Some law enforcers say they would be leery of an open-carry policy in Texas.

"I really think it would cause a lot of uneasiness in the community, with people seeing so many guns," Tarrant County Constable Sergio DeLeon said. "It could create more problems than it would solve."
Well Constable, that is where education of the public comes in to play. If open carry is legitimised in Texas, then the news outlets and law enforcement will have the obligation to help educate the public on the fact that they will be seeing folks wearing a sidearm out in the open in public.

On a side note. There is no law in Texas against carrying a long arm in public. Just food for thought.

Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, who as a state senator helped make concealed-carry law in 1995, said he doesn’t believe that open carry would create any problems.

While he never considered proposing an open-carry measure, Patterson said he has seen the practice in Arizona.

"I went into the bank, and a guy walked in with a .45 in his back pocket," he said. "I thought, 'Well, that’s unusual.’ "
Commissioner Patterson is a hoot. If you don't know who he is, this quote should get you acquainted with him:

He carries a gun in his boot, likes the smell of burning diesel and observes "Confederate Heroes Day" like a religious obligation. He will ask but never beg for your vote, answer ridicule with scorn and dress down whiny liberals with a smile on his face.

So go ahead, critics, make Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson's day: Recruit an opponent, elect a new land commissioner or have him impeached. But don't count on him to yield. One. Inch.

"Over my dead body," the Republican wrote to General Land Office staffers last year when it was suggested he could use government condemnation powers to provide access to the storied Christmas Mountains in West Texas.

"Never trust them," he says of the "lying" reporters who cover him. Even average citizens can expect Patterson's wrath should they criticize his stewardship of publicly owned lands.

"You, sir, are the one that doesn't get it," Patterson wrote to one citizen who was angry over a controversial plan to sell off the Christmas Mountains to private interests. "In your narrow minded view only the 'government' can do what's right ... you are more inclined to have an open mouth than an open mind. I can detect you are a typical partisan."
Back to open carry.

To sign the petition head on over to Open Carry of Handguns in Texas. (4995 signatures now)

To learn more about the open carry movement, go to


Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this. First I've heard of it, but it's up to #6099 so it's gaining momentum. BTW, Jerry Patterson for Governor, that guy rocks.

Ride Fast said...

Do you think it would hurt or help if out of state residents signed the petition?

John R said...

Anon: You are quite welcome.

Ride Fast: You have to indicate that you are a Texan and there is another check for voter registration.