Temple – Police in this city have instituted a new policy. When Open Carry – Temple and Dontcomply.com activists visit a place of business on their armed walks, they counsel the owner to bar them from carrying weapons.
Activists say some business operators are following the suggestion, while others continue to open their doors to those who choose to go armed.
|Murdoch Pizgatti of dontcomply.com|
It's all part of a bitter dispute in which the authorities claim that carrying a long gun such as a rifle or shotgun in public – though there is no law against it – is an alarming thing, something that should not be done.
Following the March arrest of Army Master Sgt. C.J. Grisham under a disorderly conduct statute in which he was charged with carrying a gun in a manner “calculated to alarm,” the matter has escalated.
Activists have staged armed marches in dozens of Texas cities, including Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, Ft. Worth, Houston, Waxahachie, Belton, as well as Temple.
Recently, a former police officer who is now a law student published information accusing a co-founder of the movement, who goes by Murdoch Pizgatti, of being disallowed to possess firearms due to a 2009 conviction for assault causes bodily injury in a domesticviolence case. (click here to read the blog post)
The author of the blog, who remains anonymous, says the Little Elm resident received a 20-month sentence of probation and a 5-year ban on possession of firearms.
He says his real name is Phoenix Walter Horton, born 4/26/1984, and that he is in violation not of rude display of a weapon, but a violation of the probation laws and federal regulations.
“Now having said all of this, Horton would be committing an offense if he carried his rifle, but not Disorderly Conduct. According to publicly available records on the Denton County website, Horton was convicted of Assault with Bodily Injury – Family Violence in Denton County, Texas on cause number CR-2006-03330-A on July 3, 2007 by a jury and sentenced to 20 months probation. He was released from probation on March 10, 2009. Unlawful Possession of a Firearm prohibits Horton from possess a firearm until five years after his release from probation, or March 10, 2014. Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 46.04(b)(2); Worley v. State, No. 01-03-00329-CR, 2004 Tex. App. LEXIS 3271 (Tex. App.–Houston [1st Dist.] 2004, pet. ref’d) (not designated for publication). It is also a violation of federal law. 18 U.S.C.S. § 922(g). So while Horton would not be committing Disorderly Conduct, he would be subject to arrest.”
Horton, Phoenix Walter04/26/1984
County Criminal Court #1Crouch, Jim E
Adult MisdemeanorInactive: Disposed
|ASSLT CAUSES BODILY INJURY FAMILY VIOLENCE|
“Everyone on the internet thinks they're a detective...To be clear, Phoenix is part of dontcomply.com Hint: Phoenix has two brothers. What a piece of crap cop to slander people with bad information."
It's a bone of contention in the ongoing dispute with police, who insist on seeing photo identification immediately when they begin to talk to a gun-toting activist. Their reason? They want to see if there is any reason the individual may not have a firearm due to previous felony conviction, mental difficulties, or a record of domestic violence.
|An activist visiting Convenience Bank at Wal-Mart|
The activists disagree. They say they don't have to produce identification unless they have been charged with a crime. Then, and only then, if it can be proven they did not give their true identity, they can be charged with the misdemeanor crime of failure to identify.
In this YouTube video Mr. Pizgatti made of a visit police officers made to his home, one may hear their typical arguments against the practice of parading through the streets carrying a weapon.
'What are we attempting to achieve here?'
In another encounter, M/Sgt. C.J. Grisham confronts a Temple police officer, Sgt. T. Simeroth, at a board meeting of Open Carry Temple.
In their long, rambling conversation, the policeman attempts to explain that though he is a hearty supporter of the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, “The demographics have changed.” He argues that many people have moved into Texas from other areas, that they are easily alarmed by the appearance of citizens strolling the streets and roads with assault rifles slung over their shoulders, or going into places of business armed.
At one point, he counters the Army sergeant's argument that the U.S. Constitution allows people to keep and bear arms by saying, “The constitution can be changed.”
“It's not,” Grisham replies, with blunt and forceful tone.
The video is lengthy, but it provides a fascinating snapshot of the true attitudes and beliefs displayed by two diametrically opposed camps.
'The demographics have changed.'