Charges Dropped Against Texas Open Carrier Who Refused to ID
FT WORTH TX – In late February 2016 I was arrested along a stretch of a highway in Southlake, Texas for refusing to provide the proper permit to an officer of “the law” while open carrying my pistol. I was later charged with one count of “unlawful carrying of a weapon” which is a class A misdemeanor and carries up to two years in jail. Today i’m happy to report that all charges against me have been dismissed.
The problem with the open carry law in Texas and a big reason I made my stand, is that police departments all over the state have claimed a right to stop, detain, and demand paperwork from anyone who they see open carrying a pistol. This idea goes against the very foundation of the Second and Fourth Amendments that allow the free exercise of the right to bear arms and the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. I happened to be in a situation where I was participating in a legal activity, yet a South Lake, Texas police officer decided that he had a right to demand a government permission slip that “allows” me to carry a pistol out in the open, so I decided to defy their illegal orders. Once I invoked my fifth amendment right to remain silent, I refused to answer any questions and the officers promptly arrested me for “unlawful carry of a firearm” even though they had no reasonable suspicion that I was not licensed.
Thanks to Cell411, I was able to livestream my location and video of the entire arrest which mobilized a massive outpouring of support and angry calls to the jail where I was being caged. So many calls were pouring in that it actually delayed my lawyers efforts to bail me out –well worth it in my opinion. Nonetheless, a friend of liberty and lawyer Alex Kim was able to coordinate my bond without any communication from me. I only spent two hours in a cage as a result.
Now, nearly seven months after the arrest and three trips to court later, the state has decided that they don’t stand a chance prosecuting this alleged crime, and cut their losses by dismissing the case. Once a judge approves the seized property to be returned to me, I will regain an additional two pistols to my arsenal.
I would like to thank all the activists who shared my story, called the jail, and chimed in to the debate. If this case was not on the public’s radar, they might have gone forward and steamrolled me, along with everyone else’s rights in the process. Also, a big thank you to Texas Law Shield for taking this case as it was civil disobedience, a self inflicted arrest, so to speak. Thank you!
Stand strong and CARRY ON!