Open carry confusion leading to busier attorneys in Amarillo

Open carry confusion leading to busier attorneys in Amarillo

AMARILLO, TX - A local attorney is seeing a rise in cases of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

It's been a few months since open carry laws have taken effect and lawyers are now starting to see some of the impact it is having, as many are proving to be confused with specifics of the laws.

Concealed and open carry laws allow licensed Texans to have firearms by their side. But what happens when people begin using it as means of intimidation?

Attorney Walt Weaver says he now has several cases of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, many of which were not intentional.

"The biggest risk that people have on a license to carry, is the decision to use it. You have to fall back on your training. If you decide to pull out that weapon, the moment you unholster your weapon, you could be accused of committing a second degree felony and face 20 years in prison. It's aggravated assault with a deadly weapon," says Weaver.

What it also comes down to, is picking a firearms instructor who knows the laws inside and out.

"The law is written from a reasonable person's perspective and so when you get your license to carry, they've done a background on you (the state has done a background check on you) and they have determined that they believe you are a reasonable person. If a licensed to carry holder is using the idea of intimidation behind showing their firearm, it's not going to be reasonable," says Owner of Dixon Firearms Training Ayvrie Dixon.

What Weaver and Dixon say it boils down to...Whether a person is in imminent fear of serious bodily injury or death.

"People often confuse just being scared with imminent threat of serious bodily injury and that's not enough. Pulling a gun out is never the end of the story. It's just the beginning of your troubles. Even if it's the right decision," says Weaver.