Texas State Troopers Wrongfully Arrest 3 Men For Legally Carrying Antique Black Powder Guns In Public

Most of my life I’ve supported our law enforcement officers and recognize the danger they face every day they put on their uniform and walk out their front door.  Over the years, hundreds of law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty.

Here of late, my loyalty to law enforcement personnel is becoming tested by the growing number of instances of police abusing their powers.  An incident that took place this week in Austin, Texas is an example of why I’m losing my loyalty to law enforcement personnel.

Three men, one of which was a paralyzed wounded veteran in a wheelchair, were arrested by state troopers for carrying legal black powder guns outside the Texas State Capitol building.  All three men had their black powder guns properly contained in their holsters according to state law.  They are part of the Open Carry Texas group that push for the legal right to openly carry a firearm in public.  They feel it is illogical to allow people to carry concealed weapons but not to be allowed to openly carry them.

The state troopers stated that the man arrested in the video below was violating state law by openly carrying a firearm.  The man and the group with him pointed out to the troopers that his weapon is a pre-1899 black powder gun and that under Texas law it is exempt from being classified as a firearm.

Texas state law says:

“(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.”

In the video below, you will notice that around the 8:50 mark, the state trooper is reading the Texas law.  When he comes to the section stated above, he goes silent and the people supporting the man being arrested ask the trooper why he stopped reading out loud.

Instead of admitting their mistake in arresting the man and his two fellow companions, they change the charges to disorderly conduct and causing alarm with a firearm, even though under Texas law, their guns are not firearms.  The only one alarmed was a state trooper as there wasn’t anyone else around at the time.

In the second video, state troopers arrest the paralyzed veteran because of his pre-1899 black powder gun that was legally holstered.  Like his companions, he faced disorderly conduct and causing alarm with a firearm.  The veteran again tried to explain to the state troopers that they are not violating Texas law and that his gun is exempt under Texas law.

In all three arrests, none of the men were violating Texas state law.  However, state troopers decided that the men bothered them and consequently violated the rights of the three men by arresting them on trumped up charges.  The Texas state troopers created and enforced their own laws.

Jerry Patterson, Texas Land Commissioner and Tom Pauken, candidate for Governor, are both demanding that the charges against the three men be dropped because they did not violate any Texas state law and that the state troopers acted inappropriately.

I hate to say it, but America is fast becoming a police state where they take the law into their own hands more and more.  Police across the nation are willfully violating the rights of American citizens over what seems to be differences in political and moral issues.  I’ve always told my kids and granddaughter to trust the police, but I’m starting to question whether or not I will continue to do so.



  • nonya

    Black powder is commonly used in IEDs. Put in a metal pipe or glass bottle, instant shrapnel grenade. Isn't black powder what they put in the pressure cookers in Boston? Maybe the guns weren't the problem.

    • http://www.renewthearts.org/projects/music/bands/physick/ Physick

      Yeah, and fertilizer was used to blow up the Alfred P. Murrah building in Oklahoma. I guess cops should start arresting gardeners for possession of an explosive device.

      The cops open carry all the time. It's ridiculous to be forced to "trust" open-carrying cops, but not to trust us lowly "civilians" with open firearms. People call the police when they spot some guy open-carrying a gun. The police arrest the guy for "disorderly conduct" or "disturbing the peace." Well, cops with guns make me nervous. Who's going to arrest them for "disturbing the peace?"

  • Russell Smith

    File a lawsuit. and make it stick Hit them where it hurts, in the wallet, it is high time that these overbearing idiots learn actions have consequences.

    • gbmpython

      Sadly filing a lawsuit doesn't really hurt the crooked cops much. Might cost taxpayers while they keep their jobs. Make it personal. Run them off the force. Show pics with names - call them the illegal Obama clown posse, etc. Stay barely within the law and run them off. We do not need more crooks behind badges.

  • johnny b

    A Bivens Action is demanded here to teach these dumbazs officers a lesson... When they are required to reach into their own personal pockets and pay these guys judgements, then they will know what they did was wrong, along with the rest of Texas police officers are noticed that they too will be personally held liable for false arrests like these....

    • helen sabin

      They need training the laws. SHAME on TEXAS for not providing it!

  • bbarnicle

    There's a Youtube video of a man being unlawfully arrested for openly carrying a rifle while on a hike with his son. The video has over 6 million hits!

  • SSMcDonald

    BIG PERSONAL LAWSUIT! Couple the lawsuit with the firing and striping of these miscreant troopers of their police certification, so that they are forever barred from feeding from the public trough again.

  • charlie

    i want to see an interview with Rick Perry about this incident Texas state gestapo is making news weekly now for false (illegal) arrests

    This is not showing the state to be what they declare it t be

    • grassroot

      Right, what does Gov. Perry think about this? Does he care?
      Or is it all just a show of conservatism?

  • http://www.survivingurbancrisis.com/ Silas Longshot

    The cops are the lap doggies of the state, are they not? And where were these guys doing their 'non firearm' carry bit? Right in the faces of the leash holders of these enforcement bulldogs. 'Sic 'em, boys, they dare offend some liberal in the courthouse.' Doesn't matter if they're made fools of, out of their own mouths reading the law (actually, that pizzes 'em off even worse) you got to be busted for 'something' for making the masters all agitated about them antique shootin' irons.

    This is why 'open carry' will NOT work, no matter the law, because the mere sight of a weapon, even on a cop, gets so many liberal's knickers in a knot that the hassle of carrying openly is not worth it. I can carry concealed all day, no problems. ALSO, open carry does encourage crazies to try and take it away from you.

    • helen sabin

      the hassle of carrying is definitely worth it as these men and others have found out. What is a shame here is that the police didn't know the law! Same thing happened here in Colorado.

      • grassroot

        I suppose they would arrest them if they were open
        carrying water pistols as this could be construed to be
        an affront to Liberal sensibilities.

  • Gitmo (DL) Rupper

    I thought TEXAs was a Conservative 2nd Amendment State. Open carry should be legal in all 50 Staes

    • petroskhan

      Open carry IS legal in all 50 states. Every law that attempts to hinder, limit or take away your right to carry a firearm of ANY type is contrary to the 2nd Amendment, and is therefore null and void.

      Every application for a concealed carry permit is a surrender of power to a growing police state. Every compliance with restricting laws a submission to growing socialist state.

      • gbmpython

        The sad problem is that lots of cops don't really care about what's the law. If they don't like whatever is going on, they feel they can just pick, manipulate, or contrive a charge to force their way. This is tyranny. They should be fired, but more importantly they should be publicly humiliated to stop others from doing the same

    • Lee barrows

      all the people from the bank rep states are coming here because we're prospering here in Texas and they're destroying our state like they did theirs

  • helen sabin

    Texas like Colorado Springs Colorado who violated the rights of a gay man carrying will end up being sued. I wonder if these guys did this with that intent in mind? Hmmmm, wonder if I can get 1 or 2 million from my city by doing so also? I need to retire and that would be one easy way of doing so.

    • Lee barrows

      I know these people they were just dining coffee and they were talking with each other not playing with the guns they just had them with them which is legal in the state of Texas it has nothing to do with concealed carry as above person mentioned.. the cops in this case for wrong plain and simple they can read it they should be if I rested for false arrest and be fired but you liberal left wing idiots always want to take people's rights away just like Germany did before they started killing or respond to say to Jews

  • kal1and2

    stupid cop your momma should spank your arse for being a punk

    • grassroot

      Training obviously does not stress the rights of the populous.

  • G.O. Vanni

    I am not sure if the police are getting jittery at the sight of citizens with guns or pressure is coming from other sources. At the same time it is not right to flaunt the conceal and carry law. I am not saying that was the case here, but it was the state capital building. I support the police and they are, like us doing a job to support their families. They also want to go home at night. They should brush up on the law for sure. It seem that this Administration is causing more havoc then bringing us together. Schools already are above and beyond common sense regarding, "no tolerance" policies. The suspensions of children with a pop tart with the corner bitten or pointing a finger proves that. Hopefully the rest of us will maintain a balance. The arrest did go too far tho. Caring through a mistake is silly, but then there are the higher up to deal with. Saying to the troopers, "we pay your salary", wasn't the best approach either. That is my take.

    • grassroot

      They know they have basically carte blanche with this
      admin. as they also are unlawful. So can get away with
      any and all Fascist acts.

    • nonstopca

      You missed the point.. only in a "police state" can you be arrested - even if you're NOT braking the Law.

  • Gary

    Screw the dam renegade cops, they need to be weeded out and fired!

  • CARLjr

    Black powder and some of these?


  • hardtruth00

    A Police State, the Democrat Utopia...

  • elmcqueen3

    True..The Police care not if citiszens are within the law...The make up their own rules as they go along...Why...Because their superiors are as crooked as they are and they know they can get away with int...So what if the court throws it out...They had their day...And are awaiting the next one!

  • LittleMoose

    What bothers me more then the State Troopers not knowing Texas Law is that when it is pointed out to them they use a trumped up charge instead of admitting they were wrong. Disarm Americans and arm al-Qaida.

    • helen sabin

      Trumped up charge indeed! That officer or DA should be fired for being dishonest.

  • Gaines Bruce

    There need to be a false arrest case filed in court with a high damage request.

  • grassroot

    Poorly trained gestapo, by Liberal Fascists.

  • nonstopca

    I guess even the "legal, uniformed" street gang...don't know the LAW or the Constitution...Or don't care about what they say. they are protected, by the corrupted people in charge, so why sure they ever read them, and follow they.

    • helen sabin

      The key point is they are poorly trained and a good litigation attorney should take them on and get a civil suit for 1 or 2 million for false arrest. No they aren't gestapo - they do put their lives on the line for us, but when they don't bother to learn the law need to be made aware by the city or county paying a judgment.

  • Patriot

    What do you want to bet the guns will not be returned? In California, one of my guns was stolen, and recovered two years later, they destroyed my gun. I had asked for it back, and they said it was involved in a crime, I asked what crime, and they said it was stolen from your house.

  • Joseph Mertens

    We are not a nation of laws any more people and when you upset the straw bosses by thinking your not a slave they do what they like with you, without the cameras and witnesses those guys would likely have been beaten.

  • Sandy

    "Poorly trained"; "legal uniformed street gang"; "Poorly trained gestapo"; "Police State". Bottom line is:

    Americans, including our policemen, are mislead or uninformed on Constitutional rights.

    Americans MUST recapture education from the Department Of Education.

    Method of operation: ELIMINATE the DOE. Period.

  • Bambucha

    One free arrest is still too much. Litigate the officers personally if it occurs again. If it were to occur AGAIN, litigate those involved, their CO and department. Go up the food chain until someone gets the message. If an officer or department wishes to 'trump or gin up' some charges when caught violating the law or Constitution, there will be no DAG, or DANC, someone will wear the orange jumpsuit. I am talking, willful violations. After a few CO's get sued personally(which means, no Dept. lawyers) someone will get the message.
    On the other side of the coin; when they have regained the respect they have almost lost, which will be difficult but not impossible, yet...I feel that we who were raised to respect those in law enforcement will once again back them 100++%.

  • Crowes1

    So, now the troopers have to be knowledgeable in firearms and be able to discern antiques from modern weapons. Sounds very subjective at best because everyone is going to have a different view of a firearm whether it be primitive or modern. Black powder handguns produced prior to 1899 can kill just as effectively as weapons of today.

    • Corey Bryant

      It's pretty easy to discern antiques from modern weapons since they can run the serial through dispatch and get a mfg. date on any firearm - within seconds. Takes as long as dispatch takes to look it up. I don't think anyone questions whether or not a powder gun is deadly either.

  • Conservative sniper

    Really sad that the Texas DPS is humiliated by these three morons. Even when the law is POINTED OUT TO THEM, THEY CONTINUE. Such morons, I used to have a great deal of respect for DPS.Apparently, becoming a member of DPS is much easier.

    • furby

      this isn't evidence of moronity.

      it's the new police state.

  • Corey Bryant

    Are REPLICAS still exempt? Considering they were manufactured at a later time?