Texas Open Carry Stumbles At The Finish Line; Allows Police To Abuse Authority

Texas open carry has become a reality as has campus carry.  Those are great things.  I always found it laughable that, before the police in Pennsylvania were properly trained, some cops would harass me and other open carriers and say things like: “This is Pennsylvania, not TEXAS.”

Well, Texas has finally joined the other 45 states that allow Open Carry.

It by no means smooth sailing as Bloomberg and his cabal of astroturf supporters tried their usual shtick of fearmongering and deceitful propaganda, but to no avail this time.

HB910 went to Gov. Abbott’s desk for his signature and he signed it into law on June 13th, 2015.

Open carry becomes legal for all permit holders in the Lone Star state come January 1st, 2016.

Why the wait?  I don’t know.  And yes, a permit-less open carry law would have been preferable.

But where the law really stumbled was with the removal of the Dutton Amendment.

The Amendment, would expressly protected gun owners who were open carrying from being victims of police harassment.  To wit:

Sec. 411.2049.  CERTAIN INVESTIGATORY STOPS AND INQUIRIES PROHIBITED. A peace officer may not make an investigatory stop or other temporary detention to inquire as to whether a person possesses a handgun license solely because the person is carrying a partially or wholly visible handgun carried in a shoulder or belt holster.

To put it simply, an officer couldn’t just stop you and jack you up based solely on the act of you exercising your constitutional rights.

Doing so would be akin to a cop pulling you over just to check to see if you have a license.

I mean, tell a Liberal that you want to see ID when someone goes and votes and they’ll scream bloody murder, but somehow a law protecting someone from police harassment is a bridge too far.

Theoretically, not only can one cop stop you and detain you while busting your chops about open carrying a firearm, but nothing prohibits him from calling up a couple of buddies from his squad to do the same thing.  If a cop takes up 15 minutes of your time in order to “check your papers” then when his 4 buddies stop you in successive order you are wasting more than an hour of your life being harassed.  The ultimate goal of course is to try and dissuade you from open carrying in the first place.

The Dutton Amendment would simply eliminated this type of abuse but it was scratched out during conference committee.

The reasoning for which I find most suspect as some legislators argued in the week before its passing that court rulings already prohibit such investigatory stops.  If that is truly the case then what is the issue with reaffirming such a stance with 2 simple sentences reigning in police abuse?

Politicians are so long winded (ever try reading Obamacare?) I scoff at the notion that two lines of text was SO burdensome to the bill that its redundancy would have been a bridge too far.

In truth, without the Dutton Amendment, “anonymous” tips could have police harassing legal gun owning open carriers all around the great state of Texas.

They were SO close to getting this one right and then just had to fall flat on their faces.

Well…at least they fell INTO the endzone.  I guess that’s something.

To all my readers in Texas who look forward to open carrying next year, please do not let police corruption go unreported.

Keep calm and carry on.

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