Texas' new "open carry" law went into effect on the first day of 2016. Since then, businesses have had the ability to refuse gun owners the right to bring guns openly into their store locations.
This means that every business needed to choose to do one of the following regarding this very controversial issue: 1) anger gun rights advocates by not allowing them to bring guns into their stores; or 2) anger gun control advocates by allowing openly carried weapons on site.
Many businesses probably would have preferred to avoid answering this question altogether.
Walmart's Controversial Gun Policy
While some businesses put up large signs informing customers whether they could or could not openly carry their firearms inside store locations, Walmart took the approach of using store employees to verify that customers with openly carried firearms have the proper permits to do so. This has resulted in some very tense situations when angry customers refuse to comply with showing their gun licenses.
Who Is on the Right Side of the Law? Walmart Is, of Course
In one viral video, a Walmart employee demands that a gun toting patron display his gun license, but the customer refuses and is told to leave. The frustrated customer tries to explain to the store employee that he is not required to produce his gun license by law. However, that is not the case. While open carry enthusiasts do not have to present their licenses to a police officer without probable cause, they do have to present it to a business owner; and, the customer does not have the right to enter Walmart with a gun if the store manager tells the individual to show his or her permit or vacate the premises.
Furthermore, it is not necessary for Walmart to post signs saying that guns are not allowed. If a business owner simply tells a customer verbally not to enter the premises with a gun, it is sufficient cause to stop him or her from entering. If the customer does not comply, it will be referred to as trespassing.
With new and updated gun laws appearing throughout the nation, it is absolutely vital that firearm owners and gun enthusiasts know their second amendment gun rights and keep abreast with the law if they want to avoid getting into trouble.
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