Gun Laws Apply to All Texans . . .


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HankB
October 12, 2005, 09:26 AM
. .. . EXCEPT democRAT politicians.

In today's (10/12/05) Austin American Statesman newspaper on page B3 there's an article titled "Gun case against senator dismissed."

Texas State Sen. Juan Hinojosa (D-McAllen) was found with a loaded 9mm handgun in his briefcase Monday afternoon as he tried to take it through airport security as a carry-on.

He was arrested.

McAllen Municipal Court Judge Kathleen Henley dropped the charge. Reporters who attempted to find out from the judge why she dropped the charge have not had their calls returned, and were told by a clerk that the judge said talking to reporters would "violate the code."

Police aren't happy, and said the case will be referred to federal authorities and Hidalgo County District Attorney Rene Guerra . . . but of course Guerra already said that he thought Henley did the right thing, because " . . . some people will make innocent mistakes."

*******************************************

Hmmm . . . I'm traveling this coming weekend and flying out of Austin. If I were to make such an "innocent mistake" I wonder if I'd be shown the same consideration?

Fat chance. :rolleyes:

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DontBurnMyFlag
October 12, 2005, 09:41 AM
id like to see any other law abiding texan do that and claim it was a mistake. they would be on the next flight to gitmo only after being added to the terror watchlist. :banghead:

Fred Fuller
October 12, 2005, 10:49 AM
...some pigs are more equal than others...

lpl/nc

HighVelocity
October 12, 2005, 10:58 AM
People make mistakes. Yeah, he screwed up and I'm sure John Q Public wouldn't have gotten off so easily but just like American Express, membership has it's priviledges. :rolleyes:

El Tejon
October 12, 2005, 11:11 AM
:confused:

So, the judge did this sua sponte, or after a Motion to Dismiss had been filed or what?

Why are the po-po upset? Cases are bounced every day.

They want to refer it to the USA? What do they think the USA will do with it? :rolleyes:

Shipwreck
October 12, 2005, 11:46 AM
See, that irritates me. Anyone else would have their butt in jail and would be prosecuted.

Lonestar.45
October 12, 2005, 11:49 AM
Happens all the time. Laws do not apply to people of stature and the peasants equally. A few weeks back, Nolan Ryan accidentally brought a knife in his carry on luggage here in Austin, was detained, and released.

I wonder what would happen to me if I tried that?

WT
October 12, 2005, 11:58 AM
Good call on the part of the judge.

Reading between the lines the judge realized that the defendant was a good guy and didn't deserve to be jammed up.

Nice to see justice served once in awhile.

MechAg94
October 12, 2005, 12:14 PM
I thought with knives and nail clippers they just made you throw them away?

Daniel T
October 12, 2005, 12:22 PM
Texas State Sen. Juan Hinojosa (D-McAllen)

Yall do know that Chuy (as he's known) here was a co-sponsor of HB823 which defined "traveling" in Texas as simply being in your car, right?

Not quite the standard gun-grabbing Democrat, eh?

rmgill
October 12, 2005, 12:24 PM
Well, I did miss pulling an ASP baton from my tote bag and into my checked luggage in Chicago in the latter part of 2002. The first baggage screener went looking for it and couldn't find it, the second more experienced guy went looking for it and found it. I was standing there all innocent not realizing I'd forgotten to move it. The screener pulls it out and I nearly fell over. :eek: He knew exactly what it was from the X-Ray. He was real nice and said he could check it in a box and I'd be able to get it. I was so afraid of getting gigged by the nearby Chicago PD officer that I said, he could take it, I needed a small lesson and reminder to double check my bags.

Mind you, a handgun is a different thing.

CentralTexas
October 12, 2005, 12:34 PM
enator goes free
October 12,2005
Cari Hammerstrom
The Monitor


Judge’s decision upsets chief

McALLEN — A McAllen judge late Monday dismissed charges against state Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa shortly after his arrest for trying to carry a 9 mm handgun onto an airplane.

McAllen Municipal Court Judge Kathleen Henley tossed out the case against Hinojosa just before his arraignment, a court procedure in which suspects are read their rights and allowed to hear charges against them. A suspect typically is booked into jail after arraignment.

Hinojosa said he had put the gun in his briefcase and forgot it was there.

Henley on Tuesday declined comment, but said through a staffer she could not comment because it would be a violation of the judicial conduct code.

Shortly before 6 p.m. Monday, Transportation Security Administration screeners at McAllen-Miller International Airport discovered a loaded gun in a briefcase Hinojosa had planned to carry onto the plane. Screeners called McAllen police and Hinojosa was arrested and taken in a police car to the McAllen Police Department for booking.

Hinojosa, a longtime Democrat who represents Texas Senate District 20, told reporters as he left the police department that he had cleaned the gun and placed it in his briefcase, then forgot it was there.

Carrying a gun onto a plane is a violation of state and federal law. According the TSA Web site, violations can result in criminal charges and fines of up to $10,000.

McAllen Police Chief Victor Rodriguez said he was not pleased with decision to drop the charges against Hinojosa.

"I think ‘dismayed’ is too kind of a word for it," he said.

Rodriguez said this was the first case he could remember that was dismissed as it was being arraigned.

Whether Hinojosa simply made a mistake is not for the police to decide, Rodriguez said.

The strength of the law is that it allows police to charge a suspect even when the possession of a firearm is reckless, he said.

The department will continue the investigation despite the judge’s dismissal of the case, Rodriguez said. Once that investigation is complete, McAllen police will refer the case to the Hidalgo County District Attorney’s office and to the U.S. Attorney’s office, because the case involves both state and federal charges.

"The (U.S.) Department of Justice neither confirms or denies the existence of the investigation," said Nancy Herrera, spokeswoman for Chuck Rosenberg, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas.

Hidalgo County District Attorney Rene Guerra said he was told Monday evening about the senator’s arrest.

Hinojosa after his arrest told reporters he did not violate any laws because he did not have malicious intent when going through the metal detectors.

"I was handled like any other citizen," he said.

Guerra said that when McAllen police finish the investigation, his office will review whether legislators are allowed to carry a gun onto an airplane, and whether Hinojosa falls under the traveler’s exception that determines where a person can carry a handgun. Texas Penal Code Sec. 46.15 says some people, such as licensed peace officers, can carry handguns into places where weapons are otherwise prohibited.

———

TheEgg
October 12, 2005, 12:40 PM
"I was handled like any other citizen," he said.

:rolleyes:

svtruth
October 12, 2005, 03:46 PM
Can we build on this to make this the way peons such as ourselves are treated?

thorn726
October 12, 2005, 03:54 PM
if he was republican he probably wouldnt even have been arrested

HankB
October 12, 2005, 04:41 PM
. . . if he was republican he probably wouldnt even have been arrested . . . No, if he was a Republican then Ronnie Earle would already have convened 3 grand juries to indict him on everything from jaywalking to terrorism.

Standing Wolf
October 12, 2005, 06:49 PM
The Democratic (sic) party fix is in.

rhubarb
October 12, 2005, 08:33 PM
Yall do know that Chuy (as he's known) here was a co-sponsor of HB823 which defined "traveling" in Texas as simply being in your car, right?

...which made legal the unlicensed possesion of an handgun in your car. Yep, that's him.

He also sponsored failed legislation this year that would have limited the power of police to search your car during a traffic stop. I suspect this is why Chief Rodriguez has his panties in a wad. At least that's what I wrote in my letter to the editor here as I am local to this dustup.

Senator Hinojosa, make no mistake, is no conservative right wing High Roader. He is a liberal Dimacrat. That said, his sparse record of very real support of our Constitution is more than most Repugnantcans can claim and I plan to vote for a Democrat for the first time in my life if this scandal doesn't do him in.




As for him being more equal than others, I'm glad to see that someone that got caught by TSA with a loaded gun goes free. Probably have been some Joe Blows that have got off the hook too, but it ain't newsworthy. Geez, this guy's had a background check done on him by both the Texas Department of Public Safety and FBI, submitted a bunch of personal information, given his fingerprints to be put on file, and gone to a class that included among other things nonviolent conflict resolution and Texas law. Part of being a Senator, you ask? No, part of being a Concealed Handgun License holder. That oughta be enough right there to know that he didn't have no malicious intent. Let him go.

beerslurpy
October 12, 2005, 09:49 PM
If they find a loaded gun on you, as long as you dont attempt to hide the fact from them you have the option of giving them custody of the firearm (permanently I expect) or simply not boarding the flight. I beleive most states make carrying in a "place of nuisance" a misdemeanor. Which includes the airport terminals.

So I dont beleive he got shown exceptional favoritism. Given that he is the author of much of Florida's recent concealed carry legislation, I would imagine he has a pretty nuanced understanding of such laws.

Also, I dont think this has anything to do with democrat or republican- he is pretty far from a typical democrat.

Desertdog
October 12, 2005, 11:16 PM
Any of you have a "Senior Moment" and forget to remove your firearm from your luggage or briefcase, recite this case as your defense. :D

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