Open Carry Texas Leader Wouldn’t Qualify to Openly Carry Handguns Under Proposed Law

CJ-GrishamI’ve made no secret of my deep disdain for open carry advocates, Kory Watkins of Open Carry Tarrant Country in particular. While I’m not a big fan of gun nuts in general, I loathe these asinine fools who, in my opinion, have a sick obsession with guns. Whenever the “gun debate” is brought up, often pro-gun people will cite mental illness as the main issue behind gun violence, not the guns themselves.

Well, couldn’t it be argued that people who are obsessed with guns are suffering from a potentially dangerous mental illness? When someone resorts to outright threats against the lives of Texas lawmakers, shouldn’t that disqualify them from legally being allowed to own or carry guns? The way I see it, if you’re so paranoid that you feel the need to openly carry an AR-15 around with you at all times, that’s a form of mental illness.

No matter how many of these individuals I encounter, I never walk away with the impression that I just dealt with a mentally stable individual.

That being said, it seems like Mr. Watkins and Open Carry Texas leader CJ Grisham, two men who’ve dedicated much of their adult lives to being radical anti-government wackos fighting for gun rights in Texas, might finally be getting their wish as a current proposal would pave the way for Texans to openly carry handguns.

There’s just one slight catch – neither man would qualify to do so under the proposed law.

Under current laws anyone convicted of a Class A or B misdemeanor is prohibited from carrying concealed handguns for 5 years, and anyone arrested on either of those charges loses their concealed license until the case is resolved.

Well it just so happens that Grisham was arrested during a hike carrying an AR-15 and charged with interfering with an officer’s duties, while Watkins was arrested this past September while he and his group of anti-government activists were out harassing police officers in Arlington, Texas.

It’s believed that the requirements under this new proposal would mirror the state’s current laws concerning concealed handgun licenses, which means that if convicted, neither Grisham or Watkins would be allowed to openly carry handguns for at least 5 years.

Naturally, neither man believes that any form of license should be required to carry guns. As always they’ll cite the “shall not be infringed” fragment of the Second Amendment – while completely ignoring the whole “well regulated” part at the very beginning. 

But as we’ve seen with basically every single right we’re given in our Constitution, there are always some form of restrictions. Our First Amendment is a prime example. As Americans we’re given the freedom of speech, but that doesn’t mean all speech is protected. For example, we’re not allowed to yell “fire” in a movie theater or “bomb” in an airport and no one is allowed to make a threat on the president’s life.

We placed certain restrictions on free speech because adults came together to pass laws to keep citizens protected from idiots. Which is what requiring licenses to carry handguns aims to do as well. You know, make sure that those carrying deadly weapons with them in public have at least a basic understanding on how to use said weapon.

If you simply go by the strictest translation of “shall not be infringed” (as many of these open carry lunatics do), then I guess both Grisham and Watkins believe convicted felons should have the right to own guns. After all, it doesn’t say anything in our Second Amendment about restricting the “right to bear arms” for those convicted of felonies.

While I completely oppose the right for people to openly carry handguns (concealed is more than enough), only an absolute fool would think it’s a good idea to have ordinary citizens publicly carrying handguns without any kind of license to do so.

It’s like I’ve said before, these people aren’t as much gun advocates as they are anti-government radicals. They loathe authority and basically want a society built on ridiculous libertarian ideologies. Because it’s not at all unreasonable to ask those who choose to carry guns on them at all times be at least minimally licensed to do so. And I think it’s a great provision that those convicted of Class A or B misdemeanors have this privilege suspended for 5 years. It doesn’t mean these people can’t own guns, it just means that, because of their irresponsible behavior, they’re restricted from carrying them in public for a few years.

If the law is passed that ultimately allows Texans to openly carry handguns (and at this point it’s just a matter of if, not when), I think it’s vital that those who choose to do so must abide by the same laws that those who carry concealed handguns must follow. And if fools like Grisham and Watkins don’t like it, too damn bad. The United States has grown and advanced as a nation despite bottom-feeders like these two men – not because of people like them.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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  • Edward Krebbs

    I knew about one of them. Now there are 2 identified.

    So the two most prominent open carry gang leaders in Texas have a history of violence with firearms (including interfering with police by use of a firearm). They have made threats of violence (and even death) against Texas legislators. etc. These actions would fully justify the state in not allowing them to carry – either open or concealed.

    Can’t wait for the comments on how they are the proverbial good guys with guns and just trying to exercise their legal rights. And how they are responsible gun owners.

    • MollyB

      Wow…you’re special. The “interfering with police” charge had nothing to do with a firearm as it was not labeled “aggravated”. Also, it will lose on appeal as the entire search and detainment was illegal. I just love how some of you Internet legal experts are so passionate, but perhaps you should leave questions like this to those of us that really have law degrees. BTW…what new cause will get sand in your vagina after Texas becomes the 45th state to have legal open carry, Buttercup? You’re going to need something new to b!tch about, I’m guessing.

  • Pamela Parker Ricer

    Alcee was right.

  • David Liveoak

    Those guys are loud mouth jackasses that don’t actually represent your average gun owner, we hate them more than anti-gunners, Just because someone is loud, obnoxious, and self appoints themselves as a “leader” doesn’t mean he/she represents a particular group. Try talking to any other pro-gun person and you’ll see a huge difference. Pretty much everyone I’ve met in the shooting community are really friendly helpful people that generally do the right thing whenever possible.

    • MollyB

      Not sure who “we” is, but I am pro-gun. Just because you like your God-given freedom in small doses and with restrictions does not mean you speak for everyone, kemo sabe.

      • David Liveoak

        I’m refering to us gun owners who support open carry. Those guys hurt our cause more than help it by looking like lunatics and threatening politicians. So I think you misunderstood my post.

      • MollyB

        I misunderstood nothing. You said “any other pro-gun person”….so you obviously think you’re in the majority. I don’t care for Kory’s tactics, but if you think CJ is a lunatic or loud and obnoxious, you are NOT an open carry supporter. I call BS…sure, you may take open or constitutional carry if its given to you, but that’s where your commitment ends. Prove me wrong: what have YOU done to restore your rights? Perhaps if you were required to purchase a 1st Amendment license before you posted stupid crap on the Internet, you would feel differently about loud, obnoxious leaders doing your job of fighting for your rights for you.

      • David Liveoak

        Wow combatative much, and with someone who wants the same thing. How does threatening politicians help? They panic buttons because of these tactics, do you really think this will get them to pass constitutional carry or more likely get them to want more restrictive laws? Think rationally instead of emotionally. Parading around town with ARs doesn’t build support it just freaks out people.

      • MollyB

        Combative? Not hardly. I just think you’re a poser and a Butter. And you’re conflating Kory and CJ…just like this idiotic article did. They’re not even CLOSE to the same thing. CJ has chosen respectful education and debate and has had respectful meetings with just about every legislator in Austin, and so have several of us others. If you truly supported open carry, you would know WHY they’re “parading around town with ARs”. Grow a pair, Nancy.

  • MindlessHack

    And when you say, “radical anti-government wackos”, I am pretty sure that you are referring to a man who spent his entire adult life fighting for our country.

  • grendal113

    Bahaha what a hack piece. Long on opinion short on facts or rational.

  • For someone with a political science degree it is surprising (not really) that Mr. Clifton doesn’t understand the First or Second Amendment. The First Amendment does not GIVE us free speech, we have that with or without government, the First Amendment merely protects us from government retribution if we say something they don’t like. Misuse of that right, such as inciting a riot or bomb threats is deservedly punishable. Likewise, the Second Amendment PROTECTS a natural pre-existing right. Misuse of that right (murder, assault, etc) is rightly and deservedly punishable, however interference with the exercise of that right is not. News Flash: Ex-felons have guns already, despite current law. Oh, and for the record, I know it doesn’t fit your agenda driven narrative, but both Kory and CJ WOULD be able to openly carry under the OTHER proposed bill you so conveniently ignore. HB 195 & SB 342 would make it legal for anyone who can legally own a gun to carry it openly or concealed. There is nothing more cancerous in this society than the agenda driven propaganda, like this article, that we have allowed to proliferate.

  • tireddog

    ‘forward progressive’? I submit you are a tyrannical repressive who would happily strip me of my right to possession and use of effective self preservation tools to suit your inane vision of a compliant society.

    In other words you’d rather see people dead than able to resist assault.

    Kiss my ass in Macy’s window.

  • Nick

    I suppose it’s a good thing repressive tyrants like you don’t get to decide if someone has more than enough of their own rights.