Two men were arrested at a pro-gun rally staged at the Texas State Capitol building after openly carrying black powder revolvers.
“The men were openly carrying suspected deadly weapons and were given the opportunity to leave the area, but refused,” Department of Public Safety spokesperson Tom Vinger told KBTX.
The incident was caught on tape by Republic of Texas TV. The crowd of protesters unleashed a tirade of abuse at the officers during the incident, shouting among other things, “You are a disgrace to Texas.”
Prior to the arrest, the crowd demanded that Texas law does not consider the revolvers to be firearms. They referenced Texas Penal Code Title 10, Chapter 46, which states:
(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.
The rally was organized by Open Cary Texas, and a spokesperson for the group told KBTX that “the pistols the men carried were black powder replicas of pre-1899 revolvers and therefore exempt as a firearm.”
This was echoed by Open Carry Texas member Amanda Andeen, whose boyfriend was one of the arrested.
“Two of our party members were carrying two pre-1899 black powder replica revolvers, they were holstered the whole time, they were never drawn or displayed rudely by any means,” Andeen said.
The gun group declares itself to be “an organization dedicated to the safe and legal carry of firearms openly in the State of Texas in accordance with the United States and Texas Constitution and applicable laws.
“TV, video games, movies have demonized weapons, firearms, and so we’re just trying to make it a point that not everyone with a gun is a bad guy,” Andeen told KBTX.
The arrested Open Carry Texas members were charged with criminal trespassing.