Texas has been going through some growing pains since its new open carry law went into effect at the beginning of 2016, with some businesses choosing to not allow customers to carry firearms openly in their establishments, as we reported earlier.
Naturally, this has led to some confusion based on the individual policies of different establishments. Walmart enacted a practice of requiring store managers in Texas to confirm that open carriers have a valid handgun license.
When Aaron Darby went into a Walmart in Devine, Texas on Jan. 20, an employee asked him to present his handgun license. The employee and Darby argued for a few minutes, according to this story from chron.com, when Darby refused to show his license. He recorded the encounter on video:
In the meantime, the police were called. Darby went to the customer service desk after the events in the video above and was met by officers who asked to see his handgun license, the story says.
“I complied and explained to them that there was no probably cause of any crime being committed and by law, I was not required to do so,” Darby said in the story. “They agreed, reviewed my (license to carry) and said I was good to go back to shopping.”
Darby told chron.com he has gone back to that Walmart while carrying openly every day since the incident without any more problems.
In the story, Brian Nick, a Walmart spokesperson, says the policy is in place in stores across Texas that sell alcohol, meaning beer and wine.
“We will continue to allow customers to carry firearms on Walmart property as long as they follow local, state , and federal firearms laws,” Nick says in the story. “In line with Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission requirements, our stores that sell alcoholic beverages do not allow customers to carry non-licensed handguns or long-arms into our facilities.”
Because Walmart’s alcohol sales make up less than 50 percent of the total gross receipts, it’s legal to carry a licensed handgun on the premises.
In Texas, police are not permitted to stop and demand to see a person’s ID and license based solely on the fact that they’re open carrying. They can request it, but they cannot demand it without probable cause.