Recently another hit piece written by Bob Owens with Bearing Arms has surfaced. This time of course, he wants to defend himself as not being anti-second amendment.  I did chuckle a bit when I read it. Any time a supposed “gun rights” supporter has to defend themselves against such an accusation, there is usually something wrong with that person’s stance on whatever issue we are dealing with.  Bob Owens is no stranger to these accusations. As a matter of fact, Bearing Arms has been banned from Texas Carry’s pages because of this very thing.  He begins the article with:

 “I got a message this morning from a Missouri man who describes himself as a former reader of our Facebook page.”

“Have had enough of your anti open carry nonsense. Might want to look into renaming the page, as it’s currently falsely advertised. You just lost a ‘Like.’

Well Bob, you should take note and maybe re-evaluate your 2nd amendment values.  They are certainly skewed at best.  As a dear friend of mine noted after reading the hit piece; “Does anyone else see the irony of a website called "bearing arms" being totally against "bearing arms?”  Indeed, we do.  I have done rebuttal write-ups from this anti-carry group before, and now I will once again dive off into the world of fairy-tales, mythology, and emotional fiction.  I do find it interesting that I have tried over and over again to get those like Bob Owens to accept my invitation to a formal debate on the issue at hand.  To date none have accepted.  There are good reasons they won’t.  It is so much easier to be a keyboard warrior, and make stuff up than to actually face off with someone who has data, facts, and statistics at their disposal. 

So let’s get off into it.  I have linked the article so you can read his nauseating anti-carry stance.

For sake of space I’m going to break this down into the following categories; 
1) His credentials/experience 
2) His obvious intent with the pics he used to skew the readers view
3) His study of open carry (lack of integrity) 
4) The defensive firearms instructors crutch 
5) The law enforcement angle 
7) His claim to be a “journalist”

1) He begins by laying out his extensive hours of training. “Some of the best shooters and firearms instructors in the world.”  That is great!  He knows how to shoot a gun and likely is very proficient in defensive handgun use.  I personally would like to see the carry community take more training.  Here is the thing though, this has zero to do with open carry.  Training is a CARRY issue, not a concealed carry issue or an open carry issue.  He wants the reader to believe that somehow his training gives him credentials to offer an “educated” opinion on open carry, and it certainly does not.  His training creds mean nothing in the discussion, especially when he does not even open carry.  He has no experience whatsoever on the issue.  He is not in the slightest an expert on this subject matter.  He’s a shill for the elite that think they know best in their own minds.  The statistics, facts, and data be damned.  The peasants need to bow down to him just because he says so. 

2) When one looks at the article, one cannot help but notice the pictures he uses.  The infamous Chipotle pic of the two guys open carrying their long guns comes to mind.  Why post that pic when addressing open carry of a handgun?  Very simply, he is unable to get past his great disdain for activism.  He is of the old school mindset of play nice, and stay in a defensive posture.  That my friend, is how we lost California gun rights but I digress into another topic for another day.  He uses these intentionally to skew the readers view.  It is intentional, and reveals his disdain for our rights. 

3) As we continue down the list, the next one is at best laughable.  His study of open carry. 

“I’ve paid keen attention to real world open carry incidents as well. I have several news filtering tools with filters set up to specifically capture open carry news. I’ve also of course read forum posts, articles, and discussions with professional firearms instructors, both public and private about the subject of open carry.”

“You know what I’ve discovered?”

“I’ve discovered that the majority of urban and suburban open carriers tend to have little or no defensive firearms training. No, basic gun safety classes don’t count as defensive firearms training.”

This has to be the most disingenuous statement in the entire article.  I need only to be brief to make the point.  Why does he not address the very same issue with concealed carriers?  This has to be the most ridiculous point in the entire article.  Again, it has nothing to do with open carry but with the reality that carriers do not take his 400 hours of professional training.  There is no difference whatsoever in the training level between open and concealed carry that we can point to.  Many of the open carriers that I know have countless hours of training.  This reveals his inherent belief that concealed carriers are superior for no other reason than they conceal carry. His arrogance is beyond the norm and he is blinded by his own emotional fairy-tales.  

He excruciatingly rails on the gun choices and holster choices of open carriers.  I honestly laughed out loud when he said that.  The old saying that ignorance is bliss is quite fitting here. This same thing would be said about conceal carriers except for the fact you can’t see their cheap gun or cheap holster.  The quality of gun/holster choice again is a carry issue, but he wants to put forth his superior position that conceal carriers only carry top quality guns in a top quality holster?  If he had a shred of credibility he lost it with this point. 

To compound his lack of integrity, he goes down a road he could never defend in a public debate.  Which by the way I have challenged him to.  He states; “Instead of deterrence, we’ve found numerous instances (some of which we’ve documented here at Bearing Arms) where criminals saw an openly carried firearm as a target to be snatched.” This, by every stretch of the imagination is intentionally deceptive.  We are aware of 6 incidents over the last 20 years of an open carriers being a victim of a crime.  On the other hand, we can find more than double the incidents of conceal carriers being targeted AND losing their weapons.  That number goes significantly higher when the conceal carrier was able to defend themselves from the attack while retaining their weapon.  The fact is, conceal carriers are targeted at an enormously higher rate.  Of course he does not mention that, nor will he ever do so in his ramblings.  It simply would not fit his elite narrative, and he could never accept that.  I will say more on this when we address his supposed “journalism” claim.

4,5) By necessity the instructor crutch and law enforcement arguments must be lumped together. Most of the renowned instructors are ex law enforcement.  He is right when he states that most professional firearms trainers with military, law enforcement, and civilian backgrounds do not like open carry. The problem with that is that you cannot compare law enforcement or military with civilian carry.  They are chasing bad guys. They are looking for trouble by the nature of their jobs.  They are getting into hand to hand situations and so on.  We are shopping at Kroger. Our side often points to the fact that law enforcement open carries as a deterrent.  That is true beyond any shadow of a doubt.  While true, it is simply not a good comparison for civilian carry. Law enforcement’s view is greatly skewed because of the job not because of open carry.  They literally go looking for the worst of the worst.  They are trying to catch the most horrible people in society.  I understand how their view can be skewed.  However, trying to correlate that to open carry vs conceal carry is comparing apples to oranges.  There simply is no correlation.  This is a common mistake in the gun community, and I do not have much heartburn with the fact Bob Owens makes the same common mistake.  The only issue is his motives make the mistake look intentionally deceptive.  In his case, I concur with that perception.  Most of the defensive firearms instructors that we would name are not open carry fans, mainly because of their LE or military background.  Not because they have studied the issue or even experienced it in a civilian capacity themselves.  It just feels wrong based on their experience of chasing the worst of the worst.  Carriers do not do the things they do, therefore there is simply no correlation.  

6) Bob Owens states; “More than just being “just” a journalist, I am an advocate for gun rights and best practices among gun owners.”  He is neither.  Yes, he puts on the gun rights makeup and says the right things in front of the right people.  He is anything but an advocate for gun rights.  He is an advocate for himself and the elite in his camp.  He is an advocate for his way and how he thinks we should look and act.  There is no leadership from him or his organization.  He has constantly attacked the activist and open carriers.   His claim that he’s a journalist?  This entire article proves why we all know journalism is dead.  There isn’t a shred of journalist integrity in the article.  As a matter of fact he makes a comment that shows his willing deception. “Sadly, I could not find concrete examples of open carriers deterring violent crime by their mere presence, as “common wisdom” holds.”

Here Bob, let me help you with a very basic google search;

Another well documented fact is that 60% of convicted felons admitted that they avoided committing crimes when they knew the victim was armed. Just sayin...

I could likely write a book on all of these subjects and more.  I could also write pages of supporting documents, but that is what a public debate forum is for.  So Bob, will you accept my challenge to a public debate on the subject of open carry vs. conceal carry?  Or will you continue to hide behind your keyboard and spew your fairy-tale, mythological, emotional “journalism”?

As another friend of mine noted; “So only a special delta force seal team operator with thousands of hours of training should open carry, there's no real evidence of open carriers deterring crime, and because police are targets of violent crime open carry is bad?” 

According to Bob Owens? Yes… 







You may view the full text of the opinion here. 

As is our practice, we wanted to ensure our members had the best information possible while understanding all the risk associated with the issue.  The AG released his opinion on non-profits that lease government property (public property) posting 30.06 or 30.07 signs.  His opinion fell in line with what our position has been all along.  You can read the entire opinion at the link provided.  We will for the sake of time give the highlights, and the necessary overview. We will also address a piece no one has discussed or considered. It is important to note that while this opinion was specifically about non-profits, we believe it applies to any entity that rents or leases public property. The fact this specific opinion revolved around non-profit is of no consequence in the penal code realm. 

To begin with we will address whether or not and entity leasing government property CAN post 06/07 signs. 

The AG opinioned; “Section 411.209 of the Government Code creates a civil penalty for a state agency or a political subdivision that provides notice that a license holder carrying a handgun is prohibited on property owned by the governmental entity unless carrying a handgun in such locations is expressly prohibited under the Penal Code. Section 411.209 applies only to a state agency or political subdivision of the State and does not address whether a private entity, including an independent nonprofit entity, may provide notice to license holders that the carrying of handguns is prohibited in the private entity's offices. As long as the state agency or political subdivision leasing the property to the private entity has no control over the decision to post such notice, the state agency or political subdivision lessor would not be the entity responsible for the posting and would therefore not be subject to a civil penalty under section 411.209.” 

To answer the question is quite easy.  They are not prohibited from posting.  It is not illegal for them to post 06/07 signs if an entity is leasing governmental property.  There is simply no provision in law prohibiting them from doing so.  We will use an example near and dear to the gun community.   Gun shows are private entities that lease government property all over the state.  We almost always see such signs posted at the gun shows.  Yes, they CAN post 06/07 signs according to the AG’s opinion that corresponds with Texas Carry’s opinion.  There is simply nothing to prevent them from doing so.  It is also important to note that there is no legal recourse for the citizen if they do.  This would apply to concerts, craft shows, civic center events and so on.  Any entity other than a governmental entity that is leasing public property can post 06/07.  It is simply not prohibited by 411.209 or any other code. 

Do the signs carry force of law?

This is now where it will get interesting. While they can post, an 06/07 sign posted on public property carries no legal weight for LTC holders.  Yes, you are reading that correctly.  They can post till the cows come home, and it literally carries no force of law behind it.  Here is why according to the AG opinion and the penal code:

The AG opinioned; “Section 411.209 of the Government Code creates a civil penalty for a state agency or a political subdivision that provides notice that a license holder carrying a handgun is prohibited on property owned by the governmental entity unless carrying a handgun in such locations is expressly prohibited under the Penal Code. Section 411.209 applies only to a state agency or political subdivision of the State and does not address whether a private entity, including an independent nonprofit entity, may provide notice to license holders that the carrying of handguns is prohibited in the private entity's offices. As long as the state agency or political subdivision leasing the property to the private entity has no control over the decision to post such notice, the state agency or political subdivision lessor would not be the entity responsible for the posting and would therefore not be subject to a civil penalty under section 411.209.” 

“When possible, courts will discern legislative intent from the plain meaning of the words chosen, and only when words are ambiguous will courts "resort to rules of construction or extrinsic aids." Entergy Gulf States, Inc., 282 S.W.3d 433, 437 (Tex. 2009). The plain language of subsections 30.06(e) and 30.07(e) make an exception if the property on which the license holder carries a gun "is owned or leased by a governmental entity." TEX. PENAL CODE§§ 30.06(e), .07(e). These statutes make no exception to that exception for property owned by a governmental entity but leased to a private entity, and to conclude that carrying a handgun on such property is prohibited would therefore require reading language into the statute beyond what the Legislature included. See Entergy Gulf States, Inc., 282 S.W.3d at 443 (noting that courts "refrain from rewriting text that lawmakers chose"). Thus, a court would likely conclude that a license holder carrying a handgun on property that is not a premises or other place from which the license holder is prohibited from carrying under sections 46.03 or 46.035 of the Penal Code and that is owned by a governmental entity but leased to a private entity is excepted from the offenses in 30.06(a) and 30.07(a).” 

The penal codes 30.06 (e) and 30.07 (e) state the same thing in very plain English.  It is an exception to the application of this section that the property on which the license holder openly or conceal carries the handgun is owned or leased by a governmental entity and is not a premises or other place on which the license holder is prohibited from carrying the handgun under Section 46.03 or 46.035. 

Putting is simply, an 06/07 sign posted on public property, regardless of who posts it, does not apply to license holders unless on the list of prohibited places found in 46.03 or 46.035 according to the AG’s opinion and ours. 

Now we want to address one other code that was not considered in the opinion or other discussion we have seen.  Texas penal code 30.05 (Criminal Trespass).  We reached out to Texas Law Shield to discuss this in great detail, and we both came to the same conclusion.  30.05 can’t apply to a license holder if the sole reason for the exclusion from the property is because you are carrying with a license.  We bring this up because we can promise you this is where law enforcement will try and go. 

30.05(f) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that:

(1)  the basis on which entry on the property or land or in the building was forbidden is that entry with a handgun was forbidden; and

(2)  the person was carrying:

      (A)  a license issued under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, to carry a handgun; and

       (B)  a handgun:

              (i)  in a concealed manner; or

             (ii)  in a shoulder or belt holster.

It is important to note that this is a defense to prosecution, so please understand the implications of that.  This takes us into our closing comments.  While 06/07 signs in the AG’s opinion and the clear reading of the law do NOT apply to license holders, there are going to be problems.  We absolutely foresee, and want to warn our members of the risk that are almost guaranteed.  We will use the example of the Houston Gun show at the George R. Brown Convention Center.  When going here there are have law enforcement officers that work these events.  They also post signs, and law enforcement has prevented people form coming in because they were carrying.  While they can post, the signs simply carry no force of law.  However, understand that it is almost certain that the leasing entity will get law enforcement involved.  When this happens you will have choices to make. 


1)      Just go ahead and leave to put your handgun up secure or leave and not come back.

2)      Dig in and refuse to leave public property where you have a lawful right to be.

Option two does a couple of things.  One, it can get you arrested.  So make sure you are prepared to deal with that.  Beat the rap but not the ride is an appropriate statement here.  However, it also does something else.  Once law enforcement engages you, and refuses to let you into the public property they have now violated 411.209.  Now a governmental entity is prohibiting a license holder from carrying onto public property that is not prohibited by 46.03 or 46.035.  They have now broken the law, and you have a viable complaint against them.  Proof of course, would be needed and you should record any and all such encounters.  Also, whichever option you take please ensure you always remain professional and respectful.  There is no need to become belligerent or rude.  That does nothing for you or the cause.  Be polite!  Whichever option you take, try and educate as much as possible.  We fully expect problems with some law enforcement agencies regarding this, so be prepared to deal with it. 

It is important to note here that Texas Carry absolutely supports private property rights.  If businesses and non-profits want to exercise private property rights, then use private property.  Do not use public property.  It is a fairly easy solution, and one that is solely up to them.  If they lease public property, then they accept the fact we can carry there and they can’t stop that.  If they can’t live with that then find a private venue.  

Terry Holcomb

Executive Director

With SB 273 (Unlawful exclusion of a CHL holder by a governmental entity) going into effect on September 1, 2015, the questions have begun to fly in regards to courthouses. Texas Carry would like to provide our members with the most accurate information possible so that you can make a good decision. 

The law:
Here we get right to the heart of the issue. The law states in in Texas Penal code 46.03. PLACES WEAPONS PROHIBITED. (a) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly possesses or goes with a firearm, illegal knife, club, or prohibited weapon
(3) on the premises of any government court or offices utilized by the court, unless pursuant to written regulations or written authorization of the court;

Note that it says premises of a courtroom. That is important as we do not believe the legislature intended to make the entire building of a courthouse off limits. Had that been the intent, the word “courthouse” would have been used. The other point of confusion is the definition of “premises”. In 46.035 (f)(3) it states: "Premises" means a building or a portion of a building. The term does not include any public or private driveway, street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area. While most will jump to the word building, we need to read the entire definition to understand the issue. It also states “portion of a building”. This clearly indicates that something can be in a building and be off limits while the entire building is not off limits. This is what we believe to be the case with courthouses and courtrooms.

Words have meaning and this is a very important distinction. With that, we would concur that if a building houses ONLY courtrooms or offices of the court then that entire building would be off limits. However, if there is any other office in the courthouse that the public may access then the entire building is not off limits. For example, many courthouses handle services such as getting your tags for your car, paying your taxes, getting property records and so on. These are not offices of the court and if a building houses these along with a courtroom then we are of the opinion that the entire building is not off limits. Therefore, a 30.06 posting at the entrance would be unlawful.

This is a very technical issue and we do not recommend testing that boundary at this time. There is already a pending request for an AG’s opinion of this issue. The opinion request is linked here: RQ-0040-KP. We warn you that there are some incorrect statements in the opinion request such as liquor stores being off limits. It’s scary when those that enforce the law do not even know it.

We highly recommend letting the AG opinion process take its course before taking any risk and carrying in a courthouse.  We can also notify them that they are in violation of the law through the process passed by SB 273. All of this should be resolved in a few months but we want to ensure that our members have the necessary information to make good decisions on how to proceed. If you have any questions or believe a governmental entity is posting a 30.06 sign in violation of the law, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Terry Holcomb
Executive Director