Rachel, my fellow co-host of The Polite Society Podcast and a gun rights activist in Texas, sent me this link about an agreement on a unified protocol and general policy regarding open carry events put out by a number of open carry groups. As Rachel notes, this is huge given the behind the scenes disagreements among the groups on the best way to push the Texas Legislature to approve open carry of handguns.
The joint release from Texas Carry, Gun Rights Across America, Ellis County Open Carry and Open Carry Texas announcing their unified policy:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Come and Take It Texas, Texas Carry, Gun Rights Across America and Open Carry Texas Joint Statement on OC of Long Arms – May 21, 2014
Over the past year, our members have done what no other organization has been able to do – put open carry at the forefront of the fight to restore gun rights for all Texans. As we have grown, we have had to adjust our efforts based on lessons learned through hundreds of open carry events, big and small.
Looking back, it has become clear that there is one area in which we have gotten the most resistance and suffered the largest setbacks: open carry of long arms into private businesses. This is not a new phenomenon. Early on, because of our efforts, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) sent a message to all TABC licensees warning them about allowing our members to open carry into their businesses. This resulted in places like Smashburger asking us to leave our guns at home. Since then, Starbucks, Wendy’s, Jack In The Box, Applebees and most recently, Chipotle have come out asking we not carry our firearms into their establishments.
Whereas, our mission is to get open carry of handguns passed in Texas, we must once again adjust in a way that shines a positive light on our efforts, our members, and our respective organizations. We are humbly and emphatically imploring our members to cease taking long arms into corporate businesses unless invited. Black Powder revolvers have proven to be very effective and align with our goal of legalizing open carry with a handgun. We do understand that not everyone will be able to afford one, but if you can, we are requesting you do so. Almost every leader has gone to Black powder for a reason. It works.
For all further open carry walks with long guns, we are adopting the following unified protocol and general policy to best ensure meeting our respective legislative mission to legalize open carry:
1) Always notify local law enforcement prior to the walk, especially the day of.
2) Carry Flags and signs during your walk to increase awareness.
3) Carry the long gun on a sling, not held.
4) Do not go into corporate businesses without prior permission, preferably not at all.
5) If asked to leave, do so quietly and do not make it a problem.
6) Do not post pics publicly if you do get permission and are able to OC in a cooperate business.
7) Do not go into businesses with TABC signs posted with a long gun (Ever).
8) If at all possible, keep to local small businesses that are 2A friendly.
We ask that members take a step back and make an objective assessment of what we are trying to accomplish and help us to get open carry passed for everyone. We must be willing and able to recognize what works and what doesn’t, but we need your help to make these efforts a success. It will be very difficult to spin holstered, black powder revolvers into a negative story. This is the goal we are currently striving for, open carry of handguns. We know everyone is working hard for this cause. It is simply time to focus on what has been proven to work. The conversation has shifted from open carry of handguns to rifles in businesses, negating our efforts and distracting us from our mission.
We are winning. Because we are winning, we have come under increased scrutiny by media and politicians. Let’s use that spotlight and make the most positive impact we can!
CJ Grisham, Open Carry Texas
Terry Holcomb, Sr, Texas Carry
Murdoch Pizgotti, CATI-TX
Eric Reed, GRAA
Eric Reed of Gun Rights Across America points out some very valid points that are being ignored by the mainstream media and groups like Everytown would have you not know.
Now under Texas state law, a holder of a concealed handgun license is only required to abide by certain signs that have very specific legal verbiage. Up to this point, none of the above aforementioned businesses have posted these legal signs. So it remains legal for a concealed handgun licensee to concealed carry into these establishments with a valid Texas CHL.
The anti-gun groups have won nothing but a public statement by these businesses to make them just go away. As stated in the press release, gun rights is winning. The fight is in Austin, not at Jack in the Box or Chipotle.