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Enforcement of Public Carry Restrictions: Texas as a Case Study

Brennan Gardner Rivas

Vol. 55

June 2022

Page 2603

In ongoing conversations about public carry laws, many scholars make references to enforcement of public carry laws. These references tend to claim that such laws were enforced in a discriminatory way, or even not at all. This Article presents data-driven conclusions about the enforcement of the 1871 deadly weapon law of Texas, the state’s primary public carry law which prohibited the open and concealed carrying of pistols, knives, and some other small weapons. The author collected this data from the extant criminal misdemeanor records of four sample counties, relying upon archival research rather than digital repositories to identify cases.

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