Long before open carry legislation passed the legislature in 2015, Texas citizens have been free to carry long guns openly without a permit.

One Republican candidate for the Texas House, however, recently demonstrated he has a problem with gun-rights activists exercising their right to bear arms as protected in both the United States and Texas Constitutions.

During a recent debate in the Republican primary runoff election in House District 12, located in San Antonio, candidate Steve Allison was asked whether he believed Texans should be able to carry long guns openly in public.

Allison’s response flew in the face of the Second Amendment:

An officer has an obligation to us to at least go up and say ‘hey, is something going on? What’s going on?’  Or there’s a mental health problem, or there is a danger problem to the officer, to us. How would you feel if someone walking into your neighborhood, attired like that [in combat type attire] wouldn’t you expect the officer to at least ask, stop him, and say ‘what’s going on?’ … that’s how it should be to protect our homes

Matt Beebe, Allison’s opponent, denounced the position as “unconstitutional” and “shameful”:

No one should be detained or arrested just because they dress differently or are exercising clearly enumerated Constitutional rights. Steve Allison has said he wants citizens who haven’t broken the law, to be subject to detention, questioning, and search. His unconstitutional position means that being a gun owner in Texas would require you to surrender your personal privacy and your right to be free from harassment – it’s ridiculous.

During the same forum, Allison also referred to C.J. Grisham, former legislative candidate and gun rights activist, as a “convicted felon,” a claim that is patently false. Grisham was recently arrested in HD 121 during a lawful protest in which he and other activists openly carried long guns. The charges against him were recently dismissed by the Bexar County Magistrate.

Grisham has called Allison’s characterization “slanderous” and has promised to take legal action.

Early voting in the Republican primary runoff election in HD 121, and across the state begins, May 14 with election day May 22.

The exchange can be viewed here:


Brandon Waltens

Brandon serves as the Senior Editor for Texas Scorecard. After managing successful campaigns for top conservative legislators and serving as a Chief of Staff in the Texas Capitol, Brandon moved outside the dome in order to shine a spotlight on conservative victories and establishment corruption in Austin. @bwaltens