Anybody openly packing a handgun is no longer a police concern, at least not under an amendment passed 133-10 Monday by the Texas House.
See somebody with a gun?
Don’t bother dialing 911.
That’s right. Under House Bill 910, police are barred from asking anyone “whether a person possesses a handgun license.”
Maybe even regardless of age.
Look, passing open carry wasn’t supposed to be a big deal. The idea was just to let nearly 1 million Texans with concealed-handgun licenses choose where they holster a gun.
But this amendment is a very big deal. If nobody ever has to worry about being stopped to show a license, that’s closer to the unlicensed-carry freedom promoted by Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford.
Well played, Texas. Your move, Florida.
This obviously only applies to white people. Any black man open-carrying say, a pulse, is considered a deadly threat to law enforcement.
If a gun license is a valid form of ID to vote in Texas, would the gun be enough to verify a voter’s bona fides?
I’d love to see dusky-hued folk test the broadness of this law but I’d rather not see anyone killed.
Anonymous At Work
So, is it now illegal for cops to stop people with open-carry guns at the scene of a shooting? Will that end up being challenged as an illegal search under Texas law?
That’s just sad.
I think you can trace a lot of police shootings back to fear of the citizens they’re supposed to be protecting and defending. Awash in guns.
OMG Cole is awake today. Good to see you so active.
Re Texas: Not my idea of rational governance, but at least within a year we will have data to see which side of this debate had the more realistic view.
IOW, I am really tired of expending energy on open and concealed carry (and guns in general), so let them do want they want, measure the results, and get back to me later.
As if data would change their minds.
I have got to get out of this idiot state.
@Belafon: Anybody’s or just theirs?
Question: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
Answer: No matter how many laws they pass, minorities still go out and vote.
@Belafon: “Realistic view” and Texas wingnut are mutually exclusive things.
Personally I’d rather only open carry and concealed carry to be illegal. If I’m out shopping, then I know to leave the store.
In GA, you can’t be asked to see your license.
@Keith G: Doesn’t matter. Greg Abbott a few years ago conducted a study in Texas which showed that there was not enough voter fraud to influence any kind of election. Texas passed voter restrictions anyway, because these laws have nothing to do with voting or safety. It’s all about white people losing their precious status (I am white if it matters).
Guns and fetuses, the only things the South deems worthy of protection.
I may be skipping SXSW next year.
@trollhattan: White guns and poor fetuses
At what point does this kill tourism, out of state and out f the country recruitment for anything? Is there a floor to this phenomenon?
In Texas, as elsewhere in the US there are presumably classes of people restricted from owning or carrying firearms — like those with previous convictions for, I don’t know, gun-related or violent crimes. Does this law mean that they too get to carry guns?
So it’s illegal to ask someone for their gun permit but it’s required to ask someone for their ID to vote.
Doesn’t make sense.
And don’t get me started on all the requirements for a woman to have an abortion.
Of course. The black race is so far inferior that they have no Second Amendment rights which the white police officer is bound to respect.
@Tenar Darell: That’s what I wonder. I had plans to visit Texas later this year, and am thinking maybe not.
Texas loves money more than anything else, and if they lose some major conventions and people do measurably stay away from SXSW, would that be noticed?
Lots of other places to spend money.
Over the course of time, progress returns to the mean.
Now, back to returning those guns to the empty gunracks in the high school parking lot.
It makes perfect sense; it’s just evil.
Based on the old three-fifths formula, I believe black folks only get the 1.2th Amendment.
@beltane: Like a black man in this country needs to be carrying anything to be a target from the fucking police.
@Southern Beale: Oh, man, now I have this image of abortion protestors open carrying near clinics. It can only be a matter of time.
@Anonymous At Work:
It’s illegal to stop them “solely” because of the handgun. So I think the cops could still stop someone if they had another reason for doing so.
This is terrible. It’s probably a vain hope, but there’s still the chance the state senate won’t pass it. I’m not holding out for Abbott to have some rash of decency.
@Amir Khalid: Not by the law.
I am currently slogging through it here
@Joseph Nobles: On his show last night, Larry Wilmore had a segment about black men riding bicycles. I was half asleep at the time, but I still picked up on the fact that 8 out of 10 people who were stopped on their bicycles were black. The confiscated one (black) guy’s bicycle because he wasn’t carrying the receipt for the purchase of his bicycle. That makes perfect sense because, you know, I always carry the receipt for my bike when I go out riding.
So if it’s not safe for a black male to walk while black, drive while black, or even ride a fucking bicycle while black, what’s left? No wonder Wilmore called his segment “black men can’t do nothin'”.
So here is my utterly reckless and morally compromised suggestion: We throw a giant fundraiser and buy guns, lots of ’em! and give them to Black Texans to holster on their hips.
Lets see how long open-carry is viewed as a good idea in the Lone Star State.
I’ve noticed that many open carry proponents appear a little less than formidable with respect to their self-defense skills minus the handgun – they would seem to be the people who would least want to advertise a weapon for the taking. I wonder how long we have to wait until relieving old guys of their pacifiers becomes popular with violent criminals.
I don’t think it’s a big deal. I live in a hood where it seems every sockbaby up to no good conceals a 9 illegally already. At least in my hood open holstering is a sign of a legal gun and carrier.
So criminals who carry illegally, are they now going to open holster in TX? I doubt it. However, those in TX cannot have as much faith in the manner of how I judge a person openly holstering a gun here in Mpls.
In my opinion, this new law does a disservice to legal carriers, and of course to those who don’t like guns, but I don’t think it will affect how criminals carry their guns in TX. Now, if a cop in TX can’t ask a person why they have a gun in their HAND at any particular moment, that could be a bigger deal.
So far, Magic Wingnut Eightball Says: “Don’t count on it”
Oh no. Senate has already approved.
Part of the reason I moved out of Texas in 1995 was the passage of concealed-carry. As an openly gay man in a f*ing redneck state, I really did not like the idea that liquored up homophobes were probably packing a gun (that they were probably ill-trained to use) and might just want to shoot up some fags at that bar down the road.
I think I was largely irrational, I don’t believe there was a big uptick in deadly violence against gays after concealed-carry. But the increasing gun-fetishism just pushed me to take my butt – and my real estate and income dollars – and get the heck out.
I’ve been in MN ever since. We have concealed-carry here now, but far fewer rednecks. Oh, and anti-discrimination laws, freedom to marry, etc.
So, so glad I bugged out of there.
@RaflW: Ideally, as part of your operation you should spend money on the classes and registration fees for a permit and then buy guns, big guns, for those who make it through the qualification.
Or maybe spend that money helping get more voters registered and to the pools.
When everyone’s carrying it gets real hard to tell who the psychos are. Seems like there are more and more states in the middle of this country that I have no desire to ever visit… not that they would want a latte-loving, progressive Californian there anyway so it’s a win-win!
And here’s why my adopted state is better:
4/23/15: Minnesota’s Gov. Dayton will veto a bill legalizing silencers. “Nowhere in the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution does it refer to right to bear a silencer.”
Where I’ve lived in this state, this bullshit has nowhere near the pull you find out in rural areas and small towns. There’s some Fox-fed identity affirmation thing going on lately among the wingnuts, and it’s got to stop.
@Tenar Darell: For all we know, Texas would be receiving a lot more tourism if not for its unsavory reputation.
@Keith G: I should have referenced that. Yes, since TX allows gun permits as proper voter ID, that’s the frosting on the shit sandwich (to badly mix metaphors).
@RaflW: Your state is also quite cold, and comes with certain other drawbacks I cannot abide. Damn. Those of us here have to fix this state’s voting dynamics — the fucking Repubs are mad with power, and pissing on common sense.
Where did you live? San Angelo?
As an openly gay man, I have been holding hands in public with my guy since we met in ’91. Of course, I am based in Houston, but we traveled throughout the state. I love making straights squirm and yet my efforts usually came to nothing. Maybe it’s about attitude.
I thought the ’96 law was a mistake, but it did not lead to an increase in gun violence.
If the cops in Texas can’t ask to see your licence for an unconcealed gun, might that not encourage criminal types to carry their guns openly to pass off as regular people? Bear in mind that criminals don’t necessarily look any different from regular folks.
@Elizabelle: I got nothing. I can see the unintended consequences of this law in a smaller state, but Texas, with its oil revenues seems less likely to change because high value technical industries and tourism go away. I see Florida changing first. Magic Kingdom ain’t magical if there’s guns everywhere.
@RaflW: Notice I typed “getting voters to the pools”. Subconscious slip. It is very warm in Houston today.
@Amir Khalid: That it might. We will find out.
Like I said, I think this is a mistake, but I see no use for me to get worked up. The events will unfold as they will. We (the societal ‘we’) will have to figure out what this means and how it needs to be dealt with.
I wonder how high the bodies have to be before the 2nd amendment idiots think it’s gone too far. I vote for never.
The comments on the linked article only confirm my desire to avoid Texas at all costs.
@RaflW: I still don’t get it…why do people have to carry guns anyway? I guess as a Canadian, I just don’t understand.
Thank god or whoever that we got Dayton instead of Emmer. Still we have morons that think Wisconsin looks great…wish they’d all move there or Texas.
@Amir Khalid: You can pass as a “regular person” more easily concealing. I suppose though it would be good subterfuge for some to say “look at me, I’m normal and not an insane criminal because I’m open holstering this rather large firearm”.
So what you’re saying is that we’ve entered an era where it’s more “normal” to open display a firearm on your person than not? Happy times!
Belafon, in a previous thread you said a friend of your parents finally believes that Paul Ryan wants to cut Social Security. I’m curious how facts finally got through to that person which doesn’t happen often with republican voters.
@Marmot: It is quite cold a few months of the year here. No doubt.
But I found that in addition to the politics of TX, that I just couldn’t stand the 6 to 7 month long summers there. When I had to run the A/C to bear the idea of roasting a turkey on Thanksgiving day one “autumn”, I knew I had to move…
@bemused: Well, given the non-existent heap of dead from twenty years of concealed carry, you don’t have to worry about it.
Texas would go purple a lot quicker if people weren’t so hung up about guns.
I’m just waiting for the first group of mass shooting involving open carry morons at the local waffle house or wal-mart. Even worse, people who think they are dirty harry and try to stop some crime being committed and end up killing multiple bystanders.
Probably more states than Texas would go purple for the same reason.
I keep thinking of my dad and guys of that generation. They had guns for hunting period and wouldn’t bring one to town unless they needed it to be repaired or something like that. I know my dad would be would swearing in his second Scandinavian language over this gun insanity.
Everything I’ve ever read about “silencers” says this: there’s really no such thing. There are only noise suppressors which take the top two or three decibels off the sound. Suppressors aren’t meant to make guns silent, only to help the firer not lose his hearing as quickly.
@bemused: Nobody was trying to take your Dad’s gun away.
@Hal: You’re so precious.
@RaflW: I totally get that. :)
@Amir Khalid: That was the argument being made at the Capitol. But then, one can also buy moldable silicone earplugs that cut 22dB, for about $1.33 per pair in a three-pack from Amazon.
One argument against suppressors is that in cities like Minneapolis, we rely in part on a network of gunshot detectors in high crime neighborhoods to alert the cops to illegal discharges of guns.
And even if Dayon misused the word silencer, I agree with him that the 2nd amendment is not a blanket OK for all the gun accessories and gadgets one desires.
“That’s the first thing that’s ever gone wrong.”
@Amir Khalid: no. They aren’t allowed to stop you just to ask if you have a license, but nothing prevents them from following and watching you. Or from booking you for not having a license after they arrest you for something else.
@ms_canadada: small penis.
@daverave: Sigh. Well, I’m sure your local rag features plenty homegrown wingnut flavor. They’re attracted there, for some reason.
@Amir Khalid: I agree that Gov. Dayton should veto the silencer thing. While I know many hunters and shooters with hearing impairments would probably enjoy and responsibly use silencers I think the risk of criminal use is too great even if the law would only allow them for certain calibers, i.e., rifles.
As you mentioned, they’re not truly “silent”, however, they’re silent enough to be used for many a bad thing. And, inevitably they would end up illegally in neighborhoods like mine where it’s taken me years to accurately judge caliber and distance of shots being fired. I don’t want that skill to be obsolete!
We are not a good country to have silencers introduced anywhere period in my opinion due to our complete over saturation of firearms and lax gun laws.
@bemused: Thus far, what evidence exists indicate this, in and of itself, is not going to lead to a rise in gun violence. I think the set is too small, but some of us have been waiting quite a while now for the hmmm smoking gun bit of data showing us the folly of all carry laws.
Not saying it won’t be made manifest, but it’s sure taking it’s sweet time.
Thinking the gov’t going to take your guns away is paranoid. I’d be more worried about other folks coveting your guns.
@ms_canadada: if you can’t cradle your substitute peen in public, then it’s not a free country.
Me too. I think if you’re carrying you should be required to carry in a place that everyone else can see. Maybe in front of your face. That kind of thing. Let us all see who has a gun.
Now I have this stuck in my head: http://youtube.com/watch?v=nonVj7odbmU
Seriously, Watch what happens if even an almost non-existent Black political group like the New Black Panthers holds a rally in Austin with open carry– there’s a reason Reagan signed off on Gun Control in California and it sure as hell wasn’t because John Wayne was brandishing a Peacemaker.
Adam L Silverman
This was actually why the amendment was added. It was added by State Representative Terry Dutton (D-Houston). Dutton is African-American, represents a largely African American district, and wrote the amendment to: “If you see black guys with open carry, I didn’t want them stopped because they happened to be black guys exercising their right to open carry,” said Dutton, who voted against the overall open carry bill.” The Dallas Morning News has the whole story: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/state-politics/20150421-amendment-raises-concerns-that-some-will-carry-guns-without-licenses.ece.
This was done to prevent racial profiling once the permit based open carry legislation passes, is signed by Governor Abbott, and enacted into law. And Dutton voted against the final bill.
@RaflW: How exactly did the vetoed MN law propose to address the issue of requiring a Federal license (see first FAQ entry) to legally possess a silencer (among other sundry toys)? State’s rights, amirite?
Tree With Water
All the crazy states will lose big money eventually because of these insane laws. As far as I’m concerned, they already look as contemptible as Indiana did a few weeks ago. Although it’s unlikely the tide$ of perception$ will catch up them as swiftly as happened to the Hoosiers, I do see it happening in as dramatic fashion when it does happen. Suddenly, people will come to their senses, and act accordingly. Even the Texans.*
* Excepting, of course, the Willie Nelson/Ann Richards-caliber Texans, who already know the score, and whose numbers I know are vast- something that’s sometimes too easy to forget.
@socraticsilence: I’ll take a stab and say there’d be a bunch of dead Black Panthers.
Everyone knows these laws only apply to the melatonin-challenged.
The Republic of Stupidity
Quite frankly, I’m shocked there were actually TEN legislators who voted AGAINST it…
We are talking Texas here…
Oh, as if they’re going to allow the application of “statistics” or other such witchcraft.
(Seriously, the NRA is violently opposed to any sort of study that could possibly be used to support gun control. There are federal statutes against funding such studies.)
Of course this law does not apply to black or Hispanic men.
I still have wingnut friends who bring up the black panthers in a ‘voter supression’ frame of reference. That was two guys, and neither one of them was carrying. Can’t wait to see dozens of black men doing open carry at polling places in Texas. Perfectly legal, amirite?
@beltane: Also, any man driving while Black.