Open-Carry Legal Advice in the Wake of Charlottesville

Independent Program Attorney Emily Taylor addresses the legal issue of whether you can legally open carry your firearm at a demonstration in Texas—and why such an action can get you unwanted police attention.


Sam: Welcome to U.S. LawShield and Texas LawShield’s Live Report on Facebook Live. From the news desk in Houston, I am Sam Malone.

Let me get to Independent Program Attorney Emily Taylor, a woman who can break the internet as a lawyer. How are you Emily? What’s going on?

Emily: I’m great, how are you?

Sam: Fan-tastic. After the violence that took place in Virginia, where you had members of various hate groups, and had leftist groups in there fighting, in a car and a person died. What kind of advice do you have? Let’s say something like that had — there was a rally, going to be a protest in Texas. What advice do you have on concealed carry and open carry? Obviously you want to bring your gun, because there’s a lot of thugs who have been looting and burning, and doing all kinds of bad behavior when Trump was elected, when Trump was inaugurated. We saw it happen at Berkeley, Chicago. Anyway what advice do you have for going into a crowd where there’s a lot of anger and there could be violence with an open carry or concealed carry?

Emily: Well here’s what I’ll say first. There are many states that actually have laws against carrying a firearm into a permitted protest or rally. Texas is not one of those states. So in Texas, so long as you have that license to carry, you may have your weapon with you at one of these protests or rallies.

open carry
Independent Program Attorney Emily Taylor

Just because the law says its okay doesn’t mean that it is without restriction or limitation and I would just issue some words of caution which is that in these situations, which I think can get very tense, if you have a visible weapon, you’re kind of opening the door to the guys on the other side of this protest. Because they see your weapon, and you get mad, and it gets heated, and you exchange words. It is really easy for them to call the cops up and say “Hey that guy with the 1911 on his belt, pulled it, and he pointed at me.” You’re sort of giving them a head start on making up these tales, which you might think that I sound really paranoid and crazy saying that, but we say it in road rage all the time where people will just, you know, get in a road rage, look at that pickup truck, and say “I bet there’s a gun in there” and calling the police and say “oh yeah, that red pickup, the crazy guy waved a gun at me” and it’s totally illegitimate but it requires a police response.

Sam: Emily Taylor, independent program attorney, U.S. LawShield. This is why you need U.S. LawShield folks. There are so many questions and so many answers, and they’re on call, and the entire lawyer staff, Emily included, are there to help you.


Attorney-Answered Emergency Hotline: Your Lifeline for Self-Defense


Big News on Big Knives

As noted in a recent legislative update, Texas Law Shield Members will soon have a major expansion in their ability to defend themselves with bladed weapons.

On September 1, 2017, H.B. 1935 becomes effective. It amends Texas Penal Code § 46.01(6) to remove the term “Illegal” knife and create the term “Location restricted” knife. Knives will no longer be classified as throwing knife, dagger, dirk, stiletto, poniard, bowie knife, sword, or spear. The only requirement to be a “Location restricted” knife is having a blade over 5 ½ inches long, from the guard to the tip.

Also, the new law creates TPC § 46.02(a-4), which prohibits a person under the age of 18 from carrying a location-restricted knife except on their own property, their motor vehicle or watercraft, or under the direct supervision of a parent or legal guardian.

And the new law creates TPC § 46.03(a-1), which adds the following prohibited places for location-restricted knives to the list of weapons prohibited places already in TPC § 46.03. These places include:

  • —51% businesses;
  • —high school, collegiate, professional sporting events, or interscholastic events;
  • —correctional facilities;
  • —hospitals, nursing facilities, mental hospitals;
  • —amusement parks; and
  • —places of religious worship.

The offense for taking a location-restricted knife into the premises of a school or educational institution is a 3rd degree felony. The offense for taking a location-restricted knife into any other prohibited place is a Class C misdemeanor. There is no requirement to give notice of the location-restricted knife prohibition, i.e. no 30.06 or 30.07 criminal trespass notice, or 51% business establishment notice needed.

To hear more about the law in the video at the top, watch Independent Program Attorney Edwin Walker of the Walker & Taylor law firm discuss it in an excerpt from a U.S. Law Shield News live event with host Sam Malone.

Also, to find out more before the new knife-carry law becomes effective on September 1, be sure to attend an upcoming Gun Law Seminar. In the “Event Type” column, look for the description “Legislative Session Results in New Laws–Get the Update.”

If you are a Member and can’t make a seminar, but you have questions about the new knife law, please call the non-emergency number at (281) 668-9957, and Independent Program Attorneys will be happy to explain your options.  —Texas & U.S. Law Shield Staff




Guns in Bars and Restaurants: What’s Legal, What’s Not?

In this excerpt from a U.S. Law Shield News live report, watch Emily Taylor, independent program attorney with Walker & Byington, discuss the basic rules for carrying firearms into restaurants and bars. Click the video below to find out the major differences between blue signs and red signs in Texas establishments, and how getting those colors crossed up could lead to some orange jumpsuit time.


If you would like to see these reports live on Facebook, click here to join the Texas Law Shield Facebook page and sign up for live notifications.

U.S. Law Shield News Report: Instagram Outrage

In this excerpt from a U.S. Law Shield News live report,  watch Independent Program Attorney Michele Byington and host Sam Malone discuss the sad case of a 7th grader who was suspended for “liking” a picture on an Airsoft gun on Instagram.

If you would like to see these reports live on Facebook, click here to join the Texas Law Shield Facebook page and sign up for live reports.


U.S. Law Shield News Update: Gun-Deregulation Ideas Offered by BATFE

In an 11-page white paper labeled “not for public distribution,” but which has been obtained by Texas & U.S. Law Shield, Ronald B. Turk, associate deputy director and chief operating officer of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, outlines several steps the agency could take to remove many restrictions on gun regulations in the United States. Texas Law Shield Independent Program Attorney Michele Byington walks U.S. Law Shield News Host Sam Malone through the proposals.