We tried to tell open carry advocates in Texas that their tactics of open carrying long guns into restaurants, stores, and other establishments were causing problems, not winning converts. The major open carry groups in the state eventually backed off what many in the general public saw as an intimidation tactic, and a lesser version of open carry finally became law despite their antics.
Unfortunately it appears that the damage has been done.
In a post on TexasCHLForum.com, a popular gun rights website moderated by National Rifle Association board member Charles L. Cotton, one user reported that the new law has triggered private business owners to not only exercise their right to bar open carry on their premises, but prohibit concealed handguns as well. Any private business in Texas that wishes to bar firearms must display a strictly regulated sign — dubbed “30.07” for openly carried guns, and “30.06” for concealed firearms. Amid the controversy over open carry, this gun owner was noticing more of both varieties.
“Got an email from work telling us that not only are 30.07 signs going up over the weekend on our office building but 30.06 as well. What makes this even more frustrating is I have yet to see a single open carry,” wrote a user with the handle LTUME1978, before predicting in a subsequent comment that, at least in Houston, “Once the signs are up, they are not ever going to come down.”
There are right ways and wrong ways to make your point. Thanks to the bombardment of the general public by images like those of the slovenly yahoos pictured at the top of the page, many businesspersons in Texas don’t associate open carry with responsible citizens. As a result, many are ordering their 30.07 signs to ban open carry, and are throwing concealed carriers under the bus as well by picking up and 30.06 signs at the same time.
It remains to be seen if this is going to be a relatively isolated phenomena, or if this is the start of a wave of paired signage that will impact concealed carriers across the state.
We sincerely hope that this is just a temporary, overly cautious reaction to the new law, and that both signs soon come down as Texans discover that the open carry of a holstered handgun, like concealed carry, simply isn’t that big of a deal.