Three people were reportedly arrested on Friday for openly carrying Civil War-era pistols during a pro-gun protest outside the Texas Capitol. Gun rights activists tell TheBlaze the arrests were unlawful as it is legal in Texas to openly carry a pre-1899 antique firearm.
Terry Louis Holcomb, 44, identified as a Huntsville-area pastor, and Scott Douglas Smith, 50, a military veteran from San Antonio, and Gary Hayes, a quadriplegic, were reportedly arrested by state troopers in Austin and charged with disorderly conduct, which is defined, by law, as an action with a firearm “calculated to alarm.”
However, witnesses say the men, one of which was in a wheelchair, had their “black powder” pistols holstered and weren’t causing alarm in any way. More than a dozen other gun-rights activists openly carrying rifles walked free.
Under Texas law, a gun manufactured before 1899 isn’t even considered a “firearm,” therefore not subject to open carry laws.