Gun-rights activists are praising city council members in Alamo Heights and Hollywood Park for repealing their local ordinances that prohibited anyone other than an authorized police officer from carrying a loaded rifle or shotgun on public streets.
“Anytime that the second amendment is respected, and even better promoted, that’s a very good, very healthy and very American thing,” David Amad, vice president of Open Carry Texas, said Wednesday. “The truth of the matter is state law has pre-empted all of these different city ordinances for some time. It’s really just a formality.”
“To get them erased from the books, that’s always a good thing,” he added.
City council members in Hollywood Park and Alamo Heights voted late Tuesday and early Wednesday to repeal their open carry ordinances, less than a week after the Olmos Park City Council did the same.
All three of the ordinances were in clear violation with state law, which allows individuals to openly carry a long gun without a license. Texas also prohibits municipalities from pre-empting state law by regulating the transfer, ownership or carrying of firearms.
A new report from the Center for American Progress analyzing data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacc… – Provided by Hearst Communications, Inc FILE – In this Jan. 26, 2015 file photo, a supporter of open carry gun laws, wears a pistol as he pr… – Provided by Hearst Communications, Inc
a close up of a gun: A new report from the Center for American Progress analyzing data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives found that, from 2014 to 2016, more than 50,000 guns originally purchased in the U.S. were recovered in criminal investigations in 15 North American, Central American and Caribbean nations. (Puttawat Santiyothin/Dreamstime/TNS)
The laws came to light early last week after CJ Grisham, the president and co-founder of Open Carry Texas, was tased while being arrested at a small gun rights demonstration in Olmos Park. Two other activists also were arrested at that time.
David Nunez sits with a sign Thursday at Olmos Park City Hall while the Olmos Park City Council meet… – Provided by Hearst Communications, Inc
Paco Alcácer sitting in a chair: David Nunez sits with a sign Thursday at Olmos Park City Hall while the Olmos Park City Council meets in executive session to discuss an ordinance prohibiting people other than police from carrying long guns in public, a conflict with state law. The council repealed the ordinance.
Police charged Grisham, a retired Army sergeant from Temple, with assault of a police officer, interfering with the duties of a public servant and obstructing a roadway, according to court records.
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A spokeswoman for the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office said Wednesday that prosecutors are reviewing all three charges.
The arrests drew the ire of gun-rights activists who say Grisham and his peers were lawfully practicing their First and Second amendment rights and that the police department’s response to the demonstrations were unwarranted.
They also say the arrests follow a pattern of similar behavior by Olmos Park police. Between Feb. 7 and March 17, three other activists who were openly carrying weapons in the small city were arrested, detained or threatened during similar demonstrations, the group says.
During a short presentation Wednesday, Alamo Heights Police Chief Rick Pruitt suggested the City Council repeal its ordinance, which was passed on Oct. 12, 1964, but he assured residents that the police department was aware of their concerns.
“We will investigate all cases of individuals displaying rifles and shotguns. … We’re going to observe the behaviors out there because it’s not the possession or display of weapons. It’s the conduct of the individual that’s going to initiate police action,” he said.
Hollywood Park Mayor Chris Fails said the ordinance there had been on the books for at least three decades. No one in the city was aware the ordinance existed, he said, and the police department was not enforcing it.
David Mennie Jr. holds a 30-round magazine containing three .223 bullets as he prepares to test fire… – Provided by Hearst Communications, Inc
“I’m a big supporter of the Second amendment . . . I’m glad we have our ordinance in line with state law,” he said.
Greg Holland sits with a sign Thursday at Olmos Park City Hall while the City Council meets in execu… – Provided by Hearst Communications, Inc