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Texas Moms Demand Action Applauds Port Arthur Police Chief Mark Blanton for Opposition to Expansion of Open Carry

January 17, 2015

Open Carry Extremists Plan Armed Demonstration In Response To Chief’s Position Today

This past December, Port Arthur Police Chief Mark Blanton went on the record to say that he opposes the expansion of open carry laws in Texas and urged lawmakers to rule this dangerous proposal out in the 2015 legislative session. He expressed that allowing the open carry of handguns will “ put a tremendous burden on law enforcement because citizens are going to call when they see someone openly carrying a weapon.”

Today in Port Arthur, Texas, C.J. Grisham, leader of Open Carry Texas (OCT), led an armed demonstration walk in response to Chief Blanton’s position. Grisham also participated in a press conference earlier this week showing his support for the passage of HB 195 and a companion bill in the Senate, which would allow the open carry of handguns with no permitting or background check requirements.

“As Texans and as Moms, we thank Police Chief Mark Blanton for his opposition to the expansion of open carry and for speaking out in favor of public safety and responsible gun ownership,” said Claire Elizabeth, volunteer with the Texas Chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Open carry forces police to ask questions that present a real challenge to their ability to ensure public safety – does this person have a permit? Is he a felon?—and that’s why Chief Blanton opposes the dangerous legislation that Texas politicians are carrying on behalf of the extremist gun groups. We are proud to stand with Chief Blaton and other law enforcement on this issue and we applaud his bravery to stand up to a very intimidating and vocal opposition.”

Earlier this week, Grisham went on record criticizing other armed supporters of the expansion of open carry laws, like Come and Take It Texas whose lobbying efforts included an armed rally, a demonstration on how to manufacture untraceable AR-15 parts, and conducting office visits to lobby for passage of open carry legislation this session. This video surfaced showcasing open carry proponents harassing Texas lawmaker and gun owner Poncho Nevarez because he refuses to support the permitless open carry of handguns. Grisham said, “I mean, it’s the first day of the Legislature, we are this close to getting open carry passed, and now these guys want to come and manufacture a firearm on the steps of the Capitol? I just don’t get it.”

“What we don’t get is how Grisham sees his armed response to a Police Chief’s position as any different than an armed response to that of a legislator,” continued Claire Elizabeth. “Moms are here to support leaders like Chief Blanton who stand up for common sense and who don’t back down in the face of intimidation.”

Earlier this week members of the Texas chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America visited 175 offices in the state legislature with cookies and strollers in tow to introduce themselves and discuss common-sense gun legislation and the chapter’s opposition to expanding open carry in Texas.

About Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is a grassroots movement of American mothers fighting for public safety measures that respect the Second Amendment and protect people from gun violence. Moms Demand Action campaigns for new and stronger solutions to lax gun laws and loopholes that jeopardize the safety of our children and families. Since its inception after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Moms Demand Action has established a chapter in every state of the country and along with Mayors Against Illegal Guns is part of Everytown for Gun Safety, the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country with more than 2.5 million members and more than 40,000 donors. For more information or to get involved visit Follow us on Facebook at or on Twitter at @MomsDemand

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