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.