An Open Carry Group Protested at Dealey Plaza Saturday. There's a YouTube Video.

Categories: Guns

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YouTube
An open carry advocate talks to some kids at Dealey Plaza.

As they've been doing on each third Saturday for months, advocates for the open carrying of firearms gathered -- semiautomatic weapons in tow -- at Dealey Plaza over the weekend. As usual the demonstrators, who call themselves Come and Take It Dallas, handed out literature and preened with their armaments of choice.

Wanting to make this trip downtown special, someone decided to film the group's activities. That video has now been uploaded to YouTube. It's a great watch, complete with direct camera addresses about foreign tourists who want to take the group's guns and direct witnessing to a couple of kids. There's even an extended, deeply weird shot at about the eight and a half minute mark featuring a street preacher decrying sexual iniquity intercut with images of an intimidating looking pink rifle. Check out the full video below.

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Open Carry Advocates Win in Court, Will Celebrate by Freaking Out Kids at Six Flags

Categories: Guns

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Kory Watkins for Texas
Kory Watkins and his Open Carry Tarrant County group won an injunction against Arlington.
According to Arlington law, demonstrators can't hand out literature to drivers who are not parked. It would seem, then, that distributing anything -- even pocket copies of the U.S. Constitution -- at busy intersections is out of the question. But earlier this year, that's exactly what members of Open Carry Tarrant County did -- and they did it with long guns strapped to their shoulders.

Police responded and, with armed men yelling at them, ticketed two members. Arlington responded, adding a few lines to its original law making it more difficult for demonstrators to distribute pamphlets. The OCTC guys said this violated their First Amendment rights, so they sued Arlington in late May. And yesterday the group won a temporary victory.

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Starting Today, Some Texas Teachers Are Learning to Become Armed School Marshals

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Patsy Lynch
Some Texas teachers will store guns in safes in case of an emergency.
When the Sandy Hook school shootings occurred in December 2012, Jason Villalba had one toddler and one child in kindergarten. Like all parents, Villalba felt an urgent need to offer better protection for his kids. Unlike most parents, Villalba had just been elected to his freshman term in the Texas House.

Villalba authored a controversial bill that would allow for certain school officials to act as undercover marshals on school grounds. He spent a good part of the 2013 session ensuring its passage, and now the young law is entering its first trial period.

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Dallas County Has More Gun Stores Than Museums and Libraries (Map)

Categories: Guns


Kolten Parker/San Antonio Express-News via Washington Post

For the last week or so, as America's mayors and well-heeled urbanists descended on our fair burg, we have touted ourselves as the bonafide Florence in Texas, a cultural oasis in a vast desert of philistines.

Well, kind of. Turns out we still like our guns just a bit more than our cultural centers, as the map above demonstrates.


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Dallas Moms Descended on a Target Shareholders' Meeting, Hoping for an Open Carry Ban

Categories: Guns, News

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Kathy Tran
Open carry advocates brought long guns into a Target recently, and now some moms are asking the store to crack down.
Toni Gallego knew what she was going to get her granddaughter for her birthday. She knew the store where she was going to get it, too. She shopped at Target all the time, buying formula and diapers. Then she saw the picture: long, black rifles in the big box store's toy aisle. The day before, she had dropped $160 there. She said she hasn't been back since.

Gallego, a retired educator, said she's never supported the use of guns. She hates that her two sons have them. Recently, she saw that Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, an organization that advocates for the sensible use of guns, was to host a "Stroller Jam" outside Target's shareholders' meeting. Come moms, with your strollers, and show Target it should prohibit open carry in its stores. With her granddaughter in a stroller, Gallego made her way to a shady corner of Ferris Plaza Park, across the street from Union Station in downtown Dallas, around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

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Open Carry Has a Good Shot of Passing in Texas, If Those AK-Toting Demonstrators Don't Screw it Up

Categories: Guns

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Open Carry Texas
At the GOP convention in Fort Worth last weekend, as rifle-toting protesters stood outside decrying their guns' exclusion from the convention hall, three thirtysomething men, two brothers and a cousin, approached Texas State Rifle Association lobbyist Alice Tripp. Their pitch -- that Texans should have the right to openly carry handguns -- was identical to the one being shouted at the TV cameras outside. The difference was, this trio had their weapons holstered. Also, their weapons were carrots.

Open carrot -- get it?

Yes, that pun is awful, but that's not the point.

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NRA Calls Texas Open Carry Protests "Downright Weird" and "Just Not Neighborly"

Categories: Guns

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Mike Mezeul II
An open-carry demonstration outside Downtown Dallas' First Presbyterian Church in January 2013
Open Carry Texas and its most active local offshoot, Open Carry Tarrant County, have succeeded marvelously in their quest to mercilessly troll gun-control advocates. Whether they've made any progress toward their stated aim of legalizing openly carried handguns in Texas, however, is another matter.

The National Rifle Association, for one, thinks it may be counterproductive. In a blog post, NRA's Institute for Legislative Action, the most powerful pro-gun group in America, wrote that demonstrating with assault rifles in Chipotle and Home Depot parking lots may be hurting the push for expanded Second Amendment rights.

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Open Carry Group Sues Arlington Over the First Amendment

Categories: Guns

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Kory Watkins for Texas
Before Open Carry Tarrant County members and their rifles set foot in a Fort Worth Jack in the Box earlier this month, setting off a series of increasingly absurd showdowns between open-carry gun activists and national restaurant chains, its members were standing on Arlington sidewalks handing out copies of the U.S. Constitution to passing drivers.

The city of Arlington responded, first by ticketing two OCTC protesters for violating the city's ban on handing out literature to occupants of cars that are not "lawfully parked,"
then by rewriting the ordinance to more explicitly outlaw what the activists were doing and raise the penalty to $500.

Today, OCTC founder Kory Watkin sued, saying the ordinance is a prior restraint on his First Amendment right to free speech.


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There's a Schism in Texas' Open Carry Movement

Categories: Guns

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Open Carry Texas
There comes a time in any sustained protest movement when internal disagreements over tactics, over what ends justify what means, over the acceptability of compromise in the name of progress, reach a boiling point. It happened during the civil rights struggle of the 1960s. It happened in the during the fight to end apartheid in South Africa. Now, it's happened in the equally weighty struggle of the oppressed Texas gun lovers to openly carry their firearms.

The Associated Press, following up on a KRLD report, reported on Thursday of a schism between Open Carry Texas and their North Texas-based offshoot, Open Carry Tarrant County.

The proximate cause of the split is rather legalistic. Open Carry Texas' C.J. Grisham, who launched the group after being hassled by police while carrying his rifle outside Temple, Texas last year, said his group's bylaws say protestors should always notify police before staging an open-carry demonstration.

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Arlington, Targeted By Open-Carry Activists, Bans Guns at City Council Meetings

Categories: Guns

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Open Carry Tarrant County's Kory Watkins
Dozens of open-carry activists turned out at last night's Arlington City Council meeting.
The so-far bloodless battle between open carry advocates and the city of Arlington continued Tuesday evening with a debate over whether guns should be banned at City Council meetings.

Open Carry Tarrant County members, who showed up at Arlington City Hall by the dozens, said no. The Arlington City Council unanimously said yes.

Concealed handguns are already banned from public meetings under state law. The ordinance Arlington passed on a 9-0 vote on Tuesday extended the ban to include all guns (i.e. "any device designed or manufactured to shoot, fire, or otherwise discharge a projectile"), including the rifles, shotguns, or antique pistols that Texans are otherwise allowed to carry in public.

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