More Infringement of Texans’ Gun Rights
Are you ready to take action and DO something about it?
If so, you are not alone.
An increasing number of Texan liberty-lovers, upset that the Open Carry bill (among others) failed to pass, have determined to at least take full advantage of a specific right that we do currently have: peaceful open carry of long rifles and black powder pistols.
However, even those rights are now being infringed through harassment by law enforcement, and even unlawful arrests, such as those at the Texas State Capitol on September 13.
One of the victims of infringement at the Capitol was Pastor Terry Holcomb, who explained to reporters that he was carrying his black powder pistol as a gesture of gratitude for the rights that he does have in Texas.
He read the statute in Texas law stating that pre-1899 models and replicas like his are not defined as a firearm and are thus not subject to firearm regulations. Therefore, it was perfectly legal for him to open carry his black powder pistol.
A few minutes later, he was arrested for disorderly conduct under TX Penal Code 42.01 (a) (8), which states that a person commits an offense if he “intentionally or knowingly displays a firearm or other deadly weapon in a public place in a manner calculated to cause alarm.” Video evidence clearly shows that Pastor Holcomb was not in violation of this statute.
Why This Matters
People get arrested every day, right? What’s different about Pastor Holcomb’s arrest than the average arrest? Turns out, a LOT is different. Here’s what you need to know:
- Several open carry groups planned an open carry event at the Capitol. This has been done multiple times this past year without a problem.
- The groups (including Pastor Holcomb himself, who is a leader of the Texas Carry group) talked extensively with DPS, who at first gave permission for rifles to be open carried inside the Capitol, then retracted that and required that the carry be outside, on the grounds.
- At an hour-long meeting on Monday, September 9, DPS Commander Ortiz and others present were clearly informed that the leaders of the Texas Carry group fully intended to comply with DPS regulations for a safe open carry event
- On September 7, a group open carried rifles on the Capitol grounds. One man, however, went inside the Capitol with a black powder pistol; he was detained, but then released with his pistol as the DPS affirmed that it was legal for him to openly carry it.
- On September 13, Pastor Holcomb was met by multiple DPS officers between the parking garage and the Capitol grounds. On the first two encounters, they questioned him and agreed that it was legal for him to carry his black powder pistol. On the third encounter, they arrested him – before he even made it all the way to the Capitol grounds.
- Pastor Holcomb’s black powder pistol stayed in its holster and he never touched it. He remained calm before, during, and after the arrest.
Actions Speak Louder than Pictures, Mr. Abbott
Attorney General Greg Abbott, the highest-ranking law enforcement officer in the state and a candidate for Texas governor, has refused to take action despite the increasing infringement experienced by Texas citizens. He even refused to simply make any kind of public statement condemning the unlawful arrests.
We were able to meet with some of Abbott’s campaign staff members to question them both on this failure to act and on Abbott’s firearms policy. Despite his penchant for posting pictures of himself using firearms, the response we received shows that he does not understand that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
Many thanks to Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson who took a strong and public stand, even offering to post bond for the release of those who were unlawfully arrested and actively working for their release and defense. Gubernatorial candidate Tom Pauken also made a statement condemning the arrests.
Line in the Sand
Under siege by Santa Ana’s formidable army in March of 1836, William Barrett Travis sent a letter out from the Alamo:
To the People of Texas & All Americans in the World . . . I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch . . .”
Travis is famously said to have drawn a line in the sand that fateful day, calling for those who would stand for liberty to join him in his stand at the Alamo.
Do you feel that a line in the sand has been drawn again here in Texas? Will you rally to Alamo in defense of liberty?
Rally at the Alamo
Gun rights groups in Texas are co-sponsoring a rally at the Alamo! This family-friendly event is scheduled for Saturday, October 19, 2013, 10 AM-2 PM.
Although San Antonio law enforcement have threatened to infringe the rights of those who would dare to exercise them peacefully, Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, who has lawful control over the Alamo property, welcomes the event and is actively standing up for firearms freedom in Texas.