by Shorty Dawkins
Three people were reportedly arrested on Friday for openly carrying Civil War-era pistols during a pro-gun protest outside the Texas Capitol. Gun rights activists tell TheBlaze the arrests were unlawful as it is legal in Texas to openly carry a pre-1899 antique firearm.
Terry Louis Holcomb, 44, identified as a Huntsville-area pastor, and Scott Douglas Smith, 50, a military veteran from San Antonio, and Gary Hayes, a quadriplegic, were reportedly arrested by state troopers in Austin and charged with disorderly conduct, which is defined, by law, as an action with a firearm “calculated to alarm.”
It is a curious fact that they were arrested for disorderly conduct, as by definition, in Texas, disorderly conduct must involve a firearm, but the three men were not carrying firearms, as defined by Texas Law. Read the pertinent law and determine for yourself if the three men were carrying firearms.
Under Texas law, a gun manufactured before 1899 isn’t even considered a “firearm,” therefore not subject to open carry laws:
(3) “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.
So, the question is, if they were not carrying what the law defines as firearms, (which remained holstered at all times), how can they be arrested for disorderly conduct which must, by legal definition, involve a firearm?
Two of the men have been released on bond, while Gary Hayes, the quadriplegic, chose to remain in jail in protest.
The three men plan to fight this all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary, according to a spokesman for Open Carry Texas, a gun rights organization headed by C. J. Grisham.
Below are three videos of the arrests.
I’m not sure why Gary Hayes is being referred to as a quadriplegic, as it appears, from watching the third video, that his arms are not useless. I would call him paraplegic. He is wheelchair bound, however, and should not be put through this unnecessary arrest, as he was entirely within his rights.
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