FORT WORTH, Texas–The lawful open carry display of long guns will be allowed at the Republican Party of Texas (RPT) state convention this week in Fort Worth, but only outside. Liquor license laws of the convention center prohibit open carry of weapons inside the facility.
RPT Chairman Steve Munisteri said, in an email to convention delegates, “Consistent with the RPT platform, our policy is to allow open carry of long rifles or concealed carry for CHL holders at any RPT event, as long as doing so does not violate a contract with the facility or violate a city ordinance or state law.”
However, Munisteri confirmed that after a meeting with officials from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) and the convention center staff, it was confirmed that open carry of long guns inside the facility would be a violation of Texas liquor laws. The food vendor for the convention center, Trinity Food and Beverage, has an on-premises consumption liquor license.
“[T]he “Blue License”–held by Trinity Food and Beverage (and not the FWCC) to sell alcohol on the FWCC premises does permit CHL carriers but does not allow for open carry of long rifles,” Munisteri explained. “As a result of TABC regulation, anyone carrying an openly exposed weapon will be asked to do so outside of the building.”
According to the TABC website:
All alcoholic beverages retailers must post one of two firearms signs. One sign is intended for use on the types of premises where a holder of a concealed hand gun license may lawfully possess a concealed hand gun: establishments licensed to sell alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption or, if licensed for sale for on-premises consumption, establishments whose alcohol sales are 50% or less of total gross receipts. It warns that unlicensed possession of a concealed weapon is a felony.
“To our knowledge,” Munisteri continued, “open carry of long rifles will be allowed on the city blocks surrounding the convention center. CHL holders will be allowed to carry their concealed handguns during the RPT State convention.”
Munisteri concluded, “Thank you, in advance, for your understanding in this matter. As an organization, we work to promote your second amendment rights while respecting existing laws.”
Bob Price is a staff writer and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.