Texas Ranchers Hold Open Carry Rally Against U.S. Government

| by Michael Allen

Texas rancher Tommy Henderson is leading other ranchers in a battle against the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) over 90,000 acres of grazing land near the Red River, which is the border between Texas and Oklahoma.

According to the Texas Tribune, 116 miles of 90,000 acres along the Red River includes property that was deeded to residents who have used it for crops and cattle for years.

However, in December 2013, BLM officials came to the area to discuss how the land would be used for the next 15 to 20 years.

Texas politicians have jumped on the issue, hoping to gather the same support that Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy once had.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (R), who is running for governor, dared the BLM to “come and take it.”

Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R), who is running for re-election, called the BLM's supposed plans “an outrageous, illegal act" and said Henderson’s property was “directly threatened” by the BLM.

In reality, Henderson would not actually lose any property as he did in 1984 when the federal government won 140 of his acres in court.

The BLM has said it would not finalize plans until 2018.

“It’s been mischaracterized in different forms, as if BLM is coming to seize land or take land in some form,” said BLM spokesman Paul McGuire. “That is definitely not the case.”

Ignoring that statement, an armed group of ranchers and their supporters held an open carry rally in Burkburnett, Texas, last week that was called the "Gathering of the American Patriot."

“How can BLM come in and say, ‘Hey, this isn’t yours.’ Even though its patented from the state, you’ve always paid taxes on it," Henderson told "Our family paid taxes for over 100 years on this place. We’ve got a deed to it. But yet they walked in and said it wasn’t ours. Originally, here the river was out there where it is now and it eroded and accreted up to here, and then it eroded and accreted back."

Sources: and Texas Tribune