Illegal Arrest? Or Dubious Understanding of the Law?…Open Carry

Over the last 36hrs, Open Carry Texas tweeted that three of their members were “illegally arrested” for openly carrying “pre-1899 black powder revolvers” at the Texas Capitol. News of the arrest has quickly gone “viral.” Infowars.com was also there to record it and has posted video on their website and YouTube channel.

 

There are several video segments on YouTube and other sites in which Open Carry Texas members and even a DPS trooper can be seen reading Chapter 46 (Weapons) of the Texas Penal Code. Specifically, they are reading the definition of a firearm. The text of that section reads as follows:

“Firearm” means any device designed, made, or adapted to expel a projectile through a barrel by using the energy generated by an explosion or burning substance or any device readily convertible to that use. Firearm does not include a firearm that may have, as an integral part, a folding knife blade or other characteristics of weapons made illegal by this chapter and that is:
(A) an antique or curio firearm manufactured before 1899; or
(B) a replica of an antique or curio firearm manufactured before 1899, but only if the replica does not use rim fire or center fire ammunition.

I hate to be the guy taking unpopular positions but, I honestly think the troopers on the scene made a reasonable call. My father (a retired, 32-year veteran cop), was well known in his department for saying that people often know just enough about their rights to go to jail. Experience has shown me the man knows what he’s talking about. I say that because as I read Chapter 46, the cap-and-ball revolvers may be replicas of pre-1899 firearms but, they are also handguns. Being that it is currently a Class A misdemeanor under Section 46.02 to carry a handgun openly in Texas, an arrest would seem reasonable to most police officers.

It should be noted that none of the people at the scene who were carrying long guns were arrested.  This would seem to indicate DPS troopers clearly recognized that openly carrying a long gun does not, in and of itself, constitute an offense under Texas law. Now having said this, the folks at Open Carry Texas can and should cite the definition of “Firearm” under Section 46.01 in their defense but, I am not a lawyer. There’s a good chance that because of what might be seen as the vaguarities of the law, charges may be dropped…Or not. Time will tell as this story is still in play.

-Gary

Carrying the Shield

A review of Comp-Tac’s Minotaur M-TAC holster and concealment magazine pouch

 

As summer approaches and temperatures reach new highs, many of us will transition to smaller/lighter guns for summer carry.  This is Texas. We won’t be able to get away with jackets, sweaters, or light, unbloused shirts to carry full-size guns or even mid-size guns like the venerable Glock 19.  Nope, soon we’ll be trying to get as close to naked as we can comfortably (and legally) be in an attempt to beat the heat.

To match our gun to our summer wardrobe, many of us will switch to smaller guns like the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield or some other pocket-sized gun carried in, well, a pocket.  Pocket carry; for what may be the only gun you have on you, isn’t optimal for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the fact the gun and magazine are typically relocated to positions inconsistent with any other time you might carry a gun.  That’s not saying I don’t carry in my pocket but, I’ve long wanted to be able to continue carrying a gun on my strong-side at the 3/4-o-clock position with at least one spare magazine on the support side at the 8/9-o-clock position while still wearing a tucked shirt.  The reason boils down to keeping the gun and ammo in as consistent a location as possible, regardless of how I dress.  We can’t all dress like contractors in Afghanistan.  Many of us have to live and work in business casual setting or aren’t willing to suffer the summer heat in anything more than cargo shorts and a golf shirt or t-shirt. So I talked to the folks at Comp-Tac about a solution to these kinds of issues. The Minotaur M-TAC holster and concealment magazine pouch came to mind.

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The Minotaur M-TAC is one of Comp-Tac’s most popular holsters and aptly named in that the construction is a hybrid of leather and Kydex. It represents an evolution of the concept behind the earlier Comp-Tac C-TAC. But rather than pressing a hard, unyielding plastic shell against your body, the Minotaur offers a leather surface that conforms to your body. The outside of the holster retains a hard plastic “body” or shell to provide positive retention of the pistol but at the same time, the shell facilitates re-holstering with one-hand by preventing the holster from collapsing the moment you draw the gun.  It’s the best of both worlds..The comfort of leather with the security and utility of Kydex.

20130511_IMG_2212The M-TAC is almost a Swiss-Army knife among IWB holsters. You can have it left or right-side carry, tucked or not.  It can be ordered to fit handguns from more than twenty major manufacturers.  The most common models from Beretta, Glock, HK, Kahr, S&W, Sig, Springfield, and common flavors of 1911 are all covered.  But, it isn’t necessary to buy 100 holsters for 100 guns. You can swap the “body” for different guns so that one holster covers them all.  The cant or angle of carry and ride height of the holster are both adjustable through a combination of mounting holes on each of the two standard ,1.5-inch belt clips that come with the holster. You can also change the standard belt clips for “V-clips” designed to fasten via Velcro to the back of an appropriately lined belt.  This effectively hides the clips for those seeking a more discreet carry option. It should be noted however that, the standard clips are available in an array of colors to match your belt and are themselves, almost unnoticeable to the casual observer.  Your friends or better half who know you carry will surely spot the clips but, few people who don’t know you and aren’t specifically looking for a man with a gun will.

20130505_IMG_2205Gregg Garrett, founder of Comp-Tac, has always stressed quality in his products.  This latest M-TAC shows the firm remains committed to maintaining the utmost quality in a holster while also constantly improving their product.  Aside from the very high quality fit and finish of this new holster, it also features a significantly improved molding process that, like their “International” holster, now includes embossing of the model name of the gun for which that holster is intended. For those of us who own several Comp-Tac holsters for several different guns, it means knowing at a glance what gun a holster fits rather than discovering the hard way that you’ve grabbed a holster for your Glock 34 when you thought you were grabbing a holster for a 1911. The new molds are more accurate with respect to the fit of the gun and providing positive retention than those Comp-Tac has used in the past.  Translation; I haven’t found a need to adjust the tension on this holster at all…It’s just right.

While we’re talking about use, I’ve only had one day on the range with the M-TAC and Shield together.  I’m not going to blow smoke up your butt and tell you I managed a 0.7-sec draw with a solid hit at 10 yards with this rig. It’s not that kind of rig and I’m above average but, I’m not that kind of shooter either. That said, I was hoping to maintain my normal draw from concealment of about 1.5 seconds with an “0-down” hit on a standard IDPA target at ten yards.  Well, I didn’t…I failed to meet that average but, that’s not unexpected because tucking your shirt in over your gun adds a step to the draw. You can certainly work to economize the motion but, no matter how you slice it, you’re adding movement and therefore, adding time. How much time added varies by the user and how much time and effort you devote to perfecting the draw.  In my case, the added step of un-tucking my shirt, with limited practice adds a full-half second to my draw. Now ask me if I care…Nope. If I need to tuck my shirt over the gun to hide it, the speed of the draw is taking a backseat to concealment. So, I’m willing to sacrifice a little time in this application.  As I said earlier, this isn’t speed rig.

20130511_IMG_2215So what’s it like to wear the M-TAC? Well, I’ve worn it for a little more than two weeks for up to sixteen hours at a time. I like it. I like it a lot. It has gotten better with each passing day.  I will likely beg to keep it but, let’s face it, if you’re carrying a gun on your body all day, you notice it.  This is not a typical between the ads, manufacturer paid review in which I claim the gun disappears and that I forgot I had it on. If you’re looking for a gun and holster that you can forget you’re wearing, go buy one of those little miniature pistols attached to a key-chain. Real guns are full of lead, copper, and steel. You’re going to notice that you’ve shoehorned a piece of dead animal hide, Kydex, and a gun into your pants along with the rest of you.  All that said, the M-TAC is quite livable and comfortable for all day carry. While the holster adds about a quarter inch to the overall width of the gun, it rides much thinner than the bulk of the material would suggest.  I find the holster works well for me configured as shipped which is mid-height with an FBI cant/angle.  Some people will prefer that the gun ride higher or lower with a different angle and as mentioned earlier, the holster allows a wide range of adjustment in that regard. While this review has been specific to the newest iteration in combination with the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield, this holster is worthy of consideration for any inside the waistband application, especially with full-size handguns like the 1911 or Glock 17.

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By now, you’re probably wondering about the concealment mag pouch.  In terms of construction and overall quality, everything I’ve said about the M-TAC applies here as well.  Professional gunmen and many of us who carry concealed have been asking for this solution for years. Many manufacturers have tried and failed to make the concept work. Comp-Tac is no exception but, they went back to the drawing board several times and I have to say I’m very happy with the result. This thing rocks!

You can mount the magazine carrier at three different heights, almost anywhere you like along the belt line. Like the M-TAC, you can tuck your shirt over the top of this carrier and the result is a very well concealed magazine.  It can be hand in a variety of sizes to fit a variety of magazines but, I’d say it works best with single-stack magazines such as those of the 1911 or in this case, the Shield. I’m not sure I’d recommend it for double-stack magazines like the Glock or full-size M&P.  I also doubt many people will want to carry more than one such carrier in their pants at a time.

20130505_IMG_2170-2If I ding this design for anything it is what amounts to extra material in the “sweat shield” at the top that tends to fold over the top of shorter magazines like that of the Shield. Actually, it may not be fair to ding the design as the the pattern is meant to fit a wide variety of magazines that are similar but, vary wildly in overall length. That said, if you find that the pouch has too much material above your particular magazine, you could simply trim off the extra leather so that it cannot wrap over the top of your magazine. And as much as I like this solution; I’m not above warning you that carrying a magazine inside the waistband isn’t for everyone, even if you stick to a single-stack magazine.

“Shut up and take my money!” The M-TAC retails for $90 but, a cheaper version called the Spartan is available for $74 and offers all the same function and utility, it simply isn’t as “pretty.” The concealment mag pouch sells for $40. The company stands behind their work and they offer a wide variety of holsters and accessories to fit a wide variety of needs. If the M-TAC and concealment magazine pouch aren’t quite your speed, give Comp-Tac (comp-tac.com) a call at 281-209-3040 or toll free at 866-441-9157 to discuss their many options to help you find the right holster and accessories for your gun.

Just the right amount of arrogance, ignorance, and stupidity…

Diana DeGette displays the same sort of arrogance, ignorance, and stupidity toward a concerned citizen that she would attribute to Todd Akin with regard to rape.

That she displays such idiocy should not be a surprise.  She is, after all, a politician.  Worse, she’s a liberal Democrat who lives down to their reputation in this video. She not only completely dismisses her constituent’s concerns about self-defense, she mocks him saying,  “Good news for you. You live in Denver. The DPD would be there in minutes.”  But then she goes on to say, “you’d probably be dead anyway.”  This is the true face of liberal Democrats when it comes to the issue of your right to defend yourself.  She couldn’t have said it better if she were Marie Antoinette.  Of course, at the same meeting, she goes on to demonstrate her complete ignorance on firearms with regard to the efficacy of magazine bans.

These are the kinds of people dictating laws and policies with regard to firearms…As if Joe Biden’s own stupidity and ignorance wasn’t enough. What’s worse? The media is complicit and in many cases, just as ignorant. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we are in a war. We cannot pat ourselves on the back for every little battle. There is an outright cultural war going on right now and it’s not really about guns, drugs, religion, or race. It’s about control, period.

-Gary

Kaul: Nation needs a new agenda on guns | The Des Moines Register | desmoinesregister.com

Typical liberal, first to advocate violence and the stripping of rights from anyone one who doesn’t walk in lock-step with their agenda…. Kaul: Nation needs a new agenda on guns | The Des Moines Register | desmoinesregister.com.

I’m not going to ask you to read all of the above article but, here are the main points he advocated in his own words…

• Repeal the Second Amendment, the part about guns anyway. It’s badly written, confusing and more trouble than it’s worth. It offers an absolute right to gun ownership, but it puts it in the context of the need for a “well-regulated militia.” We don’t make our militia bring their own guns to battles. And surely the Founders couldn’t have envisioned weapons like those used in the Newtown shooting when they guaranteed gun rights. Owning a gun should be a privilege, not a right.

• Declare the NRA a terrorist organization and make membership illegal. Hey! We did it to the Communist Party, and the NRA has led to the deaths of more of us than American Commies ever did. (I would also raze the organization’s headquarters, clear the rubble and salt the earth, but that’s optional.) Make ownership of unlicensed assault rifles a felony. If some people refused to give up their guns, that “prying the guns from their cold, dead hands” thing works for me.

• Then I would tie Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, our esteemed Republican leaders, to the back of a Chevy pickup truck and drag them around a parking lot until they saw the light on gun control.

And if that didn’t work, I’d adopt radical measures…”

I’ll leave it to our listeners and readers to make up their own minds which side of this discussion they are on.  Make no mistake; this man is advocating the idea of classifying an entire swath of law-abiding citizens as terrorists and criminals and killing them if they don’t comply with his personal agenda.  And then there’s that whole political discourse thing where people on the left complain about Sarah Palin “taking aim” at politicians while this columnist advocates dragging two sitting members of Congress around a parking lot in the same style of the lynching of James Byrd.

I may have been born into a Democratic household but, this is the kind of stuff that makes me ashamed to know anyone associated with the party.

-Gary

 

Road rage ends in fatal shooting in NW Harris County – Houston Chronicle

Road rage ends in fatal shooting in NW Harris County – Houston Chronicle.

Details are still sketchy at best but, the shooter is CHL holder and she is claiming self-defense.  Reports are, the decedent (don’t know that he’s a victim yet) was banging on the shooter’s, driver-side window in a manner that caused her to believe she was in imminent danger. At first glance, that might justify her actions.  However, there are also reports of this being a case of shooter allegedly being cut off by the decedent and then zooming around said decedent and slamming on her brakes to cause the accident that lead to the confrontation.  When it’s a situation of your own making and one that involves criminal or reckless behavior, it can be harder to argue that you were an innocent victim in your use of force.

-Gary

The latest update on this case supports self-defense. Crystal Scott pulled into a gas station behind the driver of a pickup with whom she’d had a collision.  That pickup driver ran toward Ms. Scott’s vehicle and began beating on her car.  When the man started trying to open the door, Ms. Scott believed the man was about to gain entry to the car and assault her. As a result, Ms.Scott fired through her window to stop the driver from assaulting her. She then called 911 and waited for police to arrive.  The driver was DRT (dead right there), having been shot twice in the chest.

-GM