2016 Brings Open Carry to Texas
Police across Texas are bracing for a spike in 911 calls when the state’s open carry law takes effect Jan. 1 and panicked citizens start seeing handguns on people’s hips.
“For a while we’ll be in a transition period, but it’s something everyone’s going to have to get used to,” said Lt. Pedro Barineau, a Garland police spokesman.
Police will have to contend with the law’s gray areas that experts say will have to be settled in court. The law is unclear, for example, on when officers can demand to see a gun owner’s license or whether they can arrest people who refuse to show the license.
“The law is drafted so simply, it’s really placed a huge burden on the shoulders of law enforcement in Texas to parse through these issues,” said Emily Taylor, an independent program attorney for Force Law Shield, a gun owners’ legal defense group. Taylor trains police on open carry.
It will make for interesting shopping trips, no doubt.
And it sounds like the legislature thought this through:
For officers, the trickier area of the law comes in if a gun owner refuses to show a license. The law provides no penalty for license holders who don’t show their licenses to police. Taylor said case law in Texas could prohibit police from arresting that person, since the action has no penalty.
More at the link.