As Texas joins the rest of the nation in varying degrees of freedom to bear arms in public, I advise caution while the kinks are worked out, authorities get used to the new standards and procedures, social norms develop, shop keepers acclimatize, the public gets used to the new normal of open carry, some bad apples test the limits of endurance and civility (not recommended), and a few of you become test cases to clarify the gray areas. Even here in Arizona where I am, with free (paperless) open carry legal since statehood in 1912, there’s a little more to it than just putting on your boots.
Do your best to avoid being a test case. The anti-rights advocates out there and some authorities will be looking for the very worst examples to make into test cases, to hurt our rights, make gun owners look bad in public, and set precedents that limit exercise of the Second Amendment. They’ll be seeking to “prove” the BITS myth — blood in the streets — like they tried in vain when CHL passed. Don’t argue in public while armed.
Especially in the early days of open carry, watch out for each other and be on best behavior. We don’t live in the same wild west any longer. Belligerence or anything less than calm civilized behavior while you’re reasonably well dressed and carrying openly is an invitation for scrutiny and attention you would do best to avoid. I’m being nice about that (from a state that now enjoys full Constitutional Carry). Go slowly as you test the waters.
Open carry has advantages, especially the “inoculation effect” on the uninitiated, when they see reasonable people going about business politely armed.
January 28, 2016
Texas Open Carry Overview
[I think this is some good advice. Especially about being a test case. If we let our opposition chose the cases to take to court we stand a much greater chance of losing ground. We, closely supervised by experienced gun rights lawyers, must be the ones to carefully craft the cases to challenge the repressive gun laws in this country.—Joe]