Open gun carry is coming to Texas

Beginning Jan 1, 2016 Texas will allow folks with concealed carry permits to openly carry weapons. This is not intended to be a debate as to whether it should or shouldn’t be allowed, rather a question as to why someone would want to openly carry a weapon.

I am about as pro second amendment as one can get, and I do not really have a problem with the law, but I would never want to openly carry. I believe it would make me more of a target. I am wondering what someone who does openly carry will say when asked why. The answers “Because I can” or the equally absurd “I’m exercising my rights.” come to mind. There HAS to be a better reason than that.

I met Open Gun Garry at a party once. He was a jerk. Open Gun Steve was much friendlier.

Open Gun Steve is a friendly guy, but Open Gun Fred is the real life of the party. They call him that because he uses his gun to open beer bottles. It was really funny the time he shot that guy’s parrot.

Thank you Bryan Ekers and TriPolar for those most helpful posts. Yes, it was a typo. Gotta admit, pretty good comeback though. I really hate the limited editing time this forum has.

Shot that guy’s parrot
After hearing him speak out.
No more cackers, Pol.

ETA: You have 5 minutes to edit your post, but 0 seconds to edit a thread title.

Glad you’re taking it in stride.

I think open gun carry is better than concealed, I’m fine if I know who’s armed. Maybe there’s an additional benefit, not sure if it would prove out in reality, but an openly carried gun can have a deterrent effect. By the time you un-conceal a gun it may be too late to stop something before it happens.

Well, on a more serious note:

If it’s a right, they don’t have to give a reason for exercising it. You’re free to ask them about it, of course, and say what you like about their response (if any).

I predict crime rates will not be significantly affected in Texas. There will be a few isolated (and heavily-reported, if there’s a sexy angle involved) cases of an open-carrier getting involved in a shootout, sometimes helping the situation, sometimes aggravating it.

Open carry is necessary for the high noon showdown scenario that dances with sugar plumbs in the dreams of gun enthusiasts. Hope they also wear the ‘good guy’ badge so other gun owners will know who to avoid shooting when an opportunity presents itself. One would also hope the bad guys wear clearly defining ‘bad guy’ badges or there might be problems when bullets start flying.

Those are perfectly valid reasons, and are among the answers you will get if you ask concealed carry people why they carry a gun.

Virginia law permits open carry with no license required, and requires a permit for concealed carry.

If you were to ask me, I might reply that by openly carrying a handgun, I incrementally normalize the act, making it less surprising and more of a normal event.

Easier to get to the firearm if you need it when it isn’t hidden under layers of clothing.
Allows you to easily carry a full-size firearm while wearing shorts and summer clothes (important in Texas) when its hot outside.
Easier to carry at the beach.
Easier to carry while wearing fitted clothing like business suits.
Can wear it as a fashion accessory. High quality holsters can costs hundreds of dollars. Firearms can cost thousands. Sometimes, people might just want to show off their possession. That is true of almost anything; cars, purses, shoes. Guns are no different.

There are dozens of reasons. These are just a few off the top of my head.

ETA: Also it allows for smaller or skinnier people to carry full-sized pistols. The smaller a person is, the harder it is to conceal a firearm.

Bank robbers walk into a bank in Texas, look around and see about a dozen guys with guns on their hips, decide they might want to take their criminal career to a different state and leave.

Deterrence is the only real good reason I can think of. You’ll have those people who are just wanting to look “bad” or “cool”, which is a horrible reason.

Open-carrying bank robbers look into banks until they see one that isn’t filled with gun carriers, walk right in and take it for everything it’s got. Because open-carry is legal, the bank guard can’t raise any alarms as they walk around the bank(they are just honest citizens until proven otherwise, right?), and thus the robbers have had half the job done for them by the good citizens of the state.

Another reason is if there is a penalty for open carry, a concealed carrier may accidently reveal their firearm which could be grounds for penalty if open carry is prohibited.

There is also comfort, access, and clothing options that open carry may be preferable.

How would that differ if the bank robber concealed his weapon?

How would the scenario you responded to differ if the customers concealed their weapons?

In a non-open carry state, robbers open-carrying weapons would be automatic suspects, and in a state where open-carry is promoted to show the bad guys that the good guys mean business, the open-carrying bad guys will have a much better idea of where the guns aren’t. The scenario described by Keln only works if the bank is always occupied by a larger group of open-carrying good guys…and I don’t think you’ll have that situation at this point, even if every single concealed-carry citizen in Texas converted to open carry. Remember-deterrence works best when it is reliable and consistent.

As a resident of Wyoming, where there is and has been no prohibition against openly carrying a firearm, I occasionally do so.

As previously stated, the reasons are comfort, speed of the draw, and the ability to carry a bigger gun.

I almost always open carry in the field, and almost never in town, where it might upsiet the tourists, womenfolk, and other fearful types. But I don’t switch from open to concealed if I’m stopping at a gas station or something.

I’m a small-medium framed guy. Concealed carry for me usually means a .380 or snub-nosed revolver in the pocket, in an inside the waistband holster, or outside the waistband under and untucked shirt or long enough coat.

Open carry means a full-sized revolver in .357 or .44 magnum. Better, and faster.

Has it mattered so far, and what are the chances(you think) that it will matter in the future that your gun is now better and that you can draw faster? Yes-I understand that you have a constitutional right and that you don’t have to answer to anyone, especially me…but you brought up those specific reasons yourself, and I’d like to explore that angle just a little bit, if you don’t mind.

:confused: :confused: I am SO ignorant about guns, I always thought that open carry was the default, and a special permit was required for concealed carry. Now I know at least one state is the opposite. :smack:

Interesting that when I politely asked for an explanation of “concealed carry” in one of the gun threads I mostly got gibberish, tautologies and snark and no one thought to mention this.

I’ve spent a total of almost 40 years in the U.S.A. and never once saw a gun brandished as a threat. Not once! (My life was sheltered, friends being academics, computer professionals, etc.) My experiences as an expat have taught me much more about Americans and Europeans than I ever learned during the 40 years in the U.S. (Can’t remember meeting an anti-Semite in the U.S. A large plurality of older expat Europeans in Thailand hate Jews. Just a few days ago one justified this with “There must be something wrong with them, because people have hated them for thousands of years.”)

I also met a Texan over here. He was proud that he lived in a state where “if someone stole an old broken TV from me, I have the right to shoot him with my gun… I’d fire the first shot into his center-of-mass and then approach to finish him off with head shots… When Obama comes to grab my gun I’m gonna shove it up his ass.”

What does this have to do with the “Debate”? Just one thing. I’m sure that none of the fine people posting on the SDMB is an asshole or a racist. But the correlation between gun nuts and racist assholes is very strong. By blinding themselves to this fact, the pro-gun posters manage to see all debates in a twisted way. I ask the pro-gun people to consider the millions of assholish Americans with guns next time they want to turn deaf ears to the complaints of rational thinkers.


There are a lot of things you have a right to do that you don’t do for many reasons. And deciding to exercise a right might not require an explanation to the government, but it’s perfectly reasonable for people to ask for your reasons.