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 and constitutional. However, the more discrete and practical carrying of a Glock, 1911 or other modern handgun tucked away in a holster on your belt is verboten! Verboten: forbidden, especially by an authority. This disparity is the message that the open carry movement is trying to address. Educating the public to this absurdity is their mission, because quite frankly, it has been this way for so long in Texas that most don’t even realize it. The hidden danger of concealed carry, which Texas did finally get in the mid-90s is the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality that it breeds within the public’s perception of their rights.
Our government relies on the involvement of the people in order to guide their legislators in the proper execution of law within the confines of our constitutional law framework. When the population at large fails to exercise their rights and their civic duty as the overseers of our government, the only other option is Nullification and battling it out in the court system. The courts are supposed to be the arbiters and interpreters of the constitution, but as the courts have repeatedly shown they are not always consistent or accurate in their decisions. So, there you have it, one way or another at 12:01 AM Sep. 1st the place to be is at the State Capital in Austin Texas. It will be a Texas-sized celebration of freedom or a Texas-sized civil disobedience and nullification event. The legislative session ends Jun 1st, 2015 and that is when we will know for certain what kind of event this will be, a celebration or civil disobedience demonstration, either way it promises to be one helluva show.
If you’d like more information on the event, so you can make your travel plans early, check out the CATI Facebook Page, the Sep. 1st Event Page on Facebook or the CATI website for regular updates. Of course Cold Dead Hands will be following this event as well as the proposed open and constitutional carry bills as they move through the process. Saddle Up Texas, you’re in for a wild ride.
Jon Britton aka DoubleTap is Chief Operating Officer of CDH, Inc., a regular contributing author and regularly involved in most aspects of their social media. “Writing was never a goal or even vaguely contemplated as a career choice, it just happened, an accidental discovery of a talent and a passion.” A passion that has taken him in many directions from explorations of the zombie subculture and zombie stories to political advocacy. Joining the U.S. Air Force right out of high school, Jon had the opportunity to experience many different parts of the world and different cultures. His post military career path, both white collar and blue collar, allowed him to work alongside both CEOs and average Joes. As a founding member Cold Dead Hands his study of human nature and writing ability found a purpose. His zombie roots provided a variety of issues from prepping to human behavior under crisis to firearms that he applies to his advocacy for gun rights. A ravenous appetite for the study of history combined with his current events political junkie addiction led to him writing an e-book Gun Sense: Past, Present and Future.