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Texas Chiefs: Open Carry "Handcuffs" Law Enforcement

May 28, 2015  | 

Texas police chiefs are urging Gov. Greg Abbott to veto legislation repealing certain handgun restrictions in Texas if lawmakers do not remove a controversial provision the chiefs fear would allow criminals to carry firearms without repercussions, reports the Texas Tribune.

If the provision stays on the bill, the only responsible thing for Abbott to do would be to veto it, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said at an impromptu news conference organized as the legislation faces what could be a final vote in the House on Wednesday. "You can't be the party of law and order and not listen to your police chiefs," he said.

At issue is language added to House Bill 910, the bill allowing licensed Texans to openly carry handguns, that limits the power of law enforcement to ask those visibly carrying to present their permits. Opponents say that provision amounts to a backdoor effort to repeal licensing requirements for handgun-toting Texans altogether.

The provision has support from some Democrats who say it would help prevent racial profiling, as well as conservatives who say it is necessary to protect Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Flanked by about a dozen law enforcement leaders from around the state, Acevedo said Wednesday that the legislation would "handcuff" police officers, endangering both them and the communities they protect.

Comments (3)

Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

OTJBlue @ 5/28/2015 6:40 PM

Without the ability to verify if people are lawfully carrying a weapon, prepare to live in a much more dangerous world. Criminals will love this law if that section is not removed.

Ok @ 5/31/2015 7:17 PM

I don't work in an open carry state, but i would think it would be a given that anyone carrying openly could be and should be stopped and asked to provide permits.

MH @ 8/12/2015 9:38 PM

Been open carrying a fullsize pistol for years in Iowa. Never been stopped by police or asked for proof of permit. No trouble from civilians either. Most people just want to know more about the law and how to get a permit (I always carry a FAQ sheet as well as application instructions to hand out).
Once even had a store owner thank me because he was convinced he was about to be robbed when I walked in. The group of young men left quickly after I said "hello" and they could clearly see I was armed. I was dressed business casual, and I'm sure they thought I was some sort of law enforcement. Upon reviewing outside camera footage we could clearly see two of the boys "strapping up" before entering the store. Glad I could help.
I trust that 99% of my fellow Iowans are good people and I feel safer that more citizens are carrying everyday. When asked why I carry I have two answers: I would rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it; and remember that when seconds count, police are only minutes away.

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