San Antonio Open Carry Case Highlights Preempted City Ordinance, Dangerous Police Gun Handling

We recently brought you the video of the arrest of open carrier James Speight, Jr.

San Antonio officers stated at 2:25 in the video above that Speight and his son was being arrested for violating a city ordinance that prevents open carry with loaded firearms. They gave no other reason at the time of arrest, but have since decided to claim that Speight was being reckless with the barrel of the rifle.


SAPD issued the following statement when asked about the reasoning behind the arrests: “On two occasions, officers observed James (Speight) point the barrel of the weapon in a reckless manner in the officer’s direction.”

Do you really want to play that game, SAPD?

Here’s SAPD Officer Steroid McMuscles (not his real name) showing what real reckless behavior with Speight’s rifle looks like.

In the screen capture below, McMuscles (the left-most officer) is pointing the gun towards the lower leg of the officer who has just walked past him.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, here he is pointing it at James Speight’s back  and another officer (behind Speight) as the officer tries to figure out how the gun works to unload it. Yes, he’s attempting to manipulate the bolt and safety of a weapon he doesn’t understand while pointing it at two other people.

There are perhaps grounds for some charges of assault with a deadly weapon in this incident, but Speight isn’t the one pointing a firearm at several people. Officer McMuscles is is desperate need of a firearms safety refresher course.


But let’s get back to the San Antonio city ordinance that Speight was charged with violating.

The problem for San Antonio is that ordinance is preempted by state law.

The department also cited city ordinance Sec. 21-16., which says, “It shall be unlawful for any person, other than duly authorized peace officers, to carry a loaded rifle or shotgun on any public street within the city.”

James Speight said he never handled his weapon in a reckless manner.

“I did 20 years in the Air Force. I’m a 20-year, 100 percent disabled veteran. (I) have an honorable discharge and I’ve never been in trouble before,” he said.

Open Carry Texas, a group dedicated to the safe and legal carry of firearms, has an issue with the city’s ordinance.

The organization said that under state law, citizens can carry a loaded rifle or shotgun, including one bullet in the chamber or additional rounds in a magazine.

“There’s a state law that says, ‘Hey, cities and counties, you may not make laws concerning citizens owning, carrying or otherwise having guns.’ San Antonio has a law anyway,” said David Amad with Open Carry Texas.

The father and son were arrested and charged with carrying a loaded a firearm. They are now fighting the charges.


We would strongly recommend that Mr. Speight and his son carry their long guns on a sling instead of at the low ready, as what they did may be considered brandishing a weapon in many areas. That said, this incident highlights a city ordinance that is preempted by state law and which must be rescinded, and shows that the SAPD desperately needs to hold refresher courses with at least some of their officers before they shoot someone out of negligence.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member