Olmos Park city council repeals open carry ordinance
OLMOS PARK —
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The video has gone viral. Open Carry Texas President CJ Grisham and several other members were along the streets of Olmos Park protesting their right to carry a loaded gun.
Grisham and two other men were arrested by Olmos Park police, facing various charges including resisting arrest and assaulting a peace officer.
"He was legally carrying and they are drawing down on him like he is a terrorist, he had his hands up and he is backing away, which they will say he is resisting arrest, but doesn't everyone back up from a threat,” said Open Carry Texas member Felix Cano.
Open Carry Texas says they were protesting a Olmos Park city ordinance that prohibited anyone other than law enforcement to carry a loaded rifle or shotgun on public streets. Thursday City Council voted unanimously to repeal that ordinance.
"The City of Olmos Park had from a long time ago put in place an ordinance that none of the current council members were involved with, regarding not allowing those two types of weapons to be loaded,” said Olmos Park City Council member Enzo Pellegrino.
Open Carry Texas says this was a victory for them.
"There shouldn't be any more illegal arrests and throwing down Americans that are legally allowed to carry and putting other charges that don't belong there,” said Cano.
Previous story below:
Olmos Park city council voted to repeal its open carry ordinance Thursday following the arrest of Open Carry Texas founder CJ Grisham.
Police stopped him on Tuesday for allegedly carrying a loaded gun, but he was arrested and charged with interfering the duties of a public servant, obstructing a public roadway, assaulting a peace officer and resisting arrest. He was released on bond Wednesday afternoon.
Olmos Park had an ordinance prohibiting anyone other than police from carrying a loaded gun, but Open Carry Texas members said that is against state law.
The city council gave a unanimous vote to repeal the ordinance. All members refused to give further comment, including Mayor Ronald Hornberger.
Watch the full meeting here:
On Thursday evening, the city of Olmos Park released a statement regarding the situation. Below is the full statement:
Texas is an “Open Carry” state which authorizes persons to openly carry a handgun on their person provided he/she is licensed by the State and the person is not committing a crime. In Texas, a citizen is also allowed to openly carry a long gun without a permit as long as the person is not violating any law. In fact, a person who may have been denied a “License to Carry” a handgun permit may legally still carry a rifle and/or a shotgun without a license in public provided they are not prohibited by law and/or committing a crime.
During the last two months a group of gun activists have openly carried in the City of Olmos Park. In response to calls to dispatch, Police have responded and in some instances, the individuals been detained and some arrested by Olmos Park Police. As a result of the arrests, this group via social media is promoting a protest in person somewhere in the city on April 7th. Their message is to meet at the HEB on that date. It may be earlier, but that is the date they are calling for a public protest. While they have communicated their intent to protest and rally, no Special Activity Permit for any type of protest/march has been requested and/or approved.
It is challenging when people have rifles or other firearms slung over their body or openly carrying and the officers don’t know their intent and who is a law-abiding citizen or who is attempting to commit a crime. Olmos Park Police Officers have been dispatched for disturbances involving firearms and “man with a gun” calls. Our Police Officers have to very quickly determine the intent of the person(s) carrying and/or displaying weapons/firearms.
On Thursday March 29, 2018 the Olmos Park City Council in special session voted to repeal City Ordinance 24-85 – Unauthorized carrying of a loaded rifle or shotgun within the city limits. This action was taken because in Texas, a citizen is allowed to openly carry a rifle or shotgun and the Texas Penal Code allows for officers to take action if any person is displaying any firearm in a public place in a manner calculated to alarm.
The City’s main priority is the safety and welfare of its residents and visitors and our police department is working with different law enforcement agencies to achieve a safe and peaceful resolution to this situation.