Texas Castle Doctrine as it applies to automobiles?


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Tex62
August 29, 2009, 06:26 PM
Hi,

Does anyone have any information on this? What I have found online seems extremely vague.

I probably just need to go get my CHL so I don't have to worry about it...

Thanks!

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TexasRifleman
August 29, 2009, 08:30 PM
What are you looking for exactly?

The term "castle doctrine" really doesn't describe what this does. And the Texas Castle Doctrine has absolutely nothing to do with CHLs.

The main piece of the law is Texas Penal Code 9.31, Self Defense

The whole thing is posted below. There is also a section in the civil code that says if a shooting is found to be justified under 9.31 that it's a defense to a civil suit. Note that doesn't mean you can't be sued, it means if you can prove it was justified the suit is no good. That can still cost a lot of money and time.

In Texas, also, if you kill someone you will go before the Grand Jury, even if it's justified and the cops don't think you did anything wrong.

As for it's applicability to cars, that part is in bold below.

What exactly were you wondering?

The actual bill that was passed, Texas SB 378, is here. http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/80R/billtext/html/SB00378I.htm




Sec. 9.31. SELF-DEFENSE. (a) Except as provided in Subsection (b), a person is justified in using force against another when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect the actor against the other's use or attempted use of unlawful force. The actor's belief that the force was immediately necessary as described by this subsection is presumed to be reasonable if the actor:
(1) knew or had reason to believe that the person against whom the force was used:
(A) unlawfully and with force entered, or was attempting to enter unlawfully and with force, the actor's occupied habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment;
(B) unlawfully and with force removed, or was attempting to remove unlawfully and with force, the actor from the actor's habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment; or
(C) was committing or attempting to commit aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery;
(2) did not provoke the person against whom the force was used; and
(3) was not otherwise engaged in criminal activity, other than a Class C misdemeanor that is a violation of a law or ordinance regulating traffic at the time the force was used.
(b) The use of force against another is not justified:
(1) in response to verbal provocation alone;
(2) to resist an arrest or search that the actor knows is being made by a peace officer, or by a person acting in a peace officer's presence and at his direction, even though the arrest or search is unlawful, unless the resistance is justified under Subsection (c);
(3) if the actor consented to the exact force used or attempted by the other;
(4) if the actor provoked the other's use or attempted use of unlawful force, unless:
(A) the actor abandons the encounter, or clearly communicates to the other his intent to do so reasonably believing he cannot safely abandon the encounter; and
(B) the other nevertheless continues or attempts to use unlawful force against the actor; or
(5) if the actor sought an explanation from or discussion with the other person concerning the actor's differences with the other person while the actor was:
(A) carrying a weapon in violation of Section 46.02; or
(B) possessing or transporting a weapon in violation of Section 46.05.
(c) The use of force to resist an arrest or search is justified:
(1) if, before the actor offers any resistance, the peace officer (or person acting at his direction) uses or attempts to use greater force than necessary to make the arrest or search; and
(2) when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect himself against the peace officer's (or other person's) use or attempted use of greater force than necessary.
(d) The use of deadly force is not justified under this subchapter except as provided in Sections 9.32, 9.33, and 9.34.
(e) A person who has a right to be present at the location where the force is used, who has not provoked the person against whom the force is used, and who is not engaged in criminal activity at the time the force is used is not required to retreat before using force as described by this section.
(f) For purposes of Subsection (a), in determining whether an actor described by Subsection (e) reasonably believed that the use of force was necessary, a finder of fact may not consider whether the actor failed to retreat.



Now, if you are asking about the carry of concealed handguns in an automobile without a CHL, that's an entirely different law from the "Castle Doctrine".

That is under Penal Code section 46. Weapons.

The important piece of that related to cars is:

Sec. 46.02. UNLAWFUL CARRYING WEAPONS. (a) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his or her person a handgun, illegal knife, or club if the person is not:
(1) on the person's own premises or premises under the person's control; or
(2) inside of or directly en route to a motor vehicle that is owned by the person or under the person's control.

That means you can carry a concealed handgun in a car that you own or control. You can't be carrying concealed while riding in the back seat of your friends car.

Tex62
August 29, 2009, 11:03 PM
Hi. Thanks for providing the details on the current law(s). I did not realize that there were two seperate laws for this.

I have had some problems with harassment gas stations. This has happened twice with family in the car and fortunately I was fortunately able to diffuse it verbally. I was looking for information dealing with carry in the car now that it is legal and came across the verbage in Section 9.31 1A regarding "occupied" habitation or vehicle. So I was wondering about a scenirio where you are filling gas and are outside of the car with a weapon inside the car and needed to retrieve it. It does not sound like this is within the bounds of the law as written. The reference to getting the CHL would cause this issue to be mute.

Thanks.

TexasRifleman
August 29, 2009, 11:41 PM
. So I was wondering about a scenirio where you are filling gas and are outside of the car with a weapon inside the car and needed to retrieve it. It does not sound like this is within the bounds of the law as written. The reference to getting the CHL would cause this issue to be mute.

Well, if you are in a self defense situation that calls for a firearm there is no longer a requirement to keep the handgun concealed. Once it's a self defense situation covered under the Penal Code the gun may be visible for all to see. In fact there is one piece of the Penal Code that specifically allows for the display of a firearm as just a threat of deadly force.

Sec. 9.04. THREATS AS JUSTIFIABLE FORCE. The threat of force is justified when the use of force is justified by this chapter. For purposes of this section, a threat to cause death or serious bodily injury by the production of a weapon or otherwise, as long as the actor's purpose is limited to creating an apprehension that he will use deadly force if necessary, does not constitute the use of deadly force.

DHJenkins
August 31, 2009, 12:23 PM
I have had some problems with harassment gas stations. This has happened twice with family in the car and fortunately I was fortunately able to diffuse it verbally. I was looking for information dealing with carry in the car now that it is legal and came across the verbage in Section 9.31 1A regarding "occupied" habitation or vehicle. So I was wondering about a scenirio where you are filling gas and are outside of the car with a weapon inside the car and needed to retrieve it. It does not sound like this is within the bounds of the law as written. The reference to getting the CHL would cause this issue to be mute.

Not for nuthin', but it sounds like you're looking for legal justification to pull a gun to end an argument, not for self defense. Such a course of action could seriously escalate an otherwise 'all mouth' situation and the law may not come down on your side if you shoot someone.

Don't get me wrong, If you're being threatened, robbed or are in fear for your life that's one thing, but being harrassed carries a certain non-violent connotation to it, especially since you've been able to verbally defuse the situations in the past; a past which could bite you in the behind and paint you as a person who was 'out for blood' instead of just protecting himself.

Could you elaborate on what exactly this harrassment entails?

Tex62
August 31, 2009, 10:17 PM
Hi DHJenkins,

"Not for nuthin', but it sounds like you're looking for legal justification to pull a gun to end an argument".

Not at all, but a few characters have had me wonder "what if"..., so I am wondering what the legalities are around car carry without the CHL.

"Could you elaborate on what exactly this harrassment entails? "

Nothing too bad. We stopped late at night for gas north of San Antonio for gas on I-35. An individual came along that insisted he needed a ride into Austin for some "emergency". Wouldn't leave and would not take no for an answer. He made a move to the car, so I locked it with the remote. I pulled a cell phone out and told him we would let the police give the ride. He proceeded to leave...

Tex62
August 31, 2009, 10:31 PM
TexasRifleman,

This is like putting a puzzle together. I should have been a lawyer... :D

One other question...

What constitutes a vehicle? Would this include a bicycle?

Thanks for helping clarify all this...

zxcvbob
August 31, 2009, 10:42 PM
TexasRifleman,

This is like putting a puzzle together. I should have been a lawyer...
One other question...
What constitutes a vehicle? Would this include a bicycle?
Thanks for helping clarify all this... Go for broke; make it a unicycle. ;)

bdickens
September 1, 2009, 06:46 AM
The Castle Doctrine and the Motorist Protection Act are two entirely different things.

The Castle Doctrine removes the egregious "duty to retreat" while the Motorist Protection Act allows law-abiding citizens to carry handguns in their cars for protection.

DHJenkins
September 1, 2009, 09:53 AM
Nothing too bad. We stopped late at night for gas north of San Antonio for gas on I-35. An individual came along that insisted he needed a ride into Austin for some "emergency". Wouldn't leave and would not take no for an answer. He made a move to the car, so I locked it with the remote. I pulled a cell phone out and told him we would let the police give the ride. He proceeded to leave...

Ahh, now see I'd consider that a ways beyond harrassment and more along the lines of attempted forceable entry.

The problem, of course, is that reaching in to retrieve your weapon once already involved in a situation leaves you open to attack while doing so.

I think this section of the penal code would be more pertinant to your question:

Sec. 46.02. UNLAWFUL CARRYING WEAPONS. (a) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his or her person a handgun, illegal knife, or club if the person is not:

(1) on the person's own premises or premises under the person's control; or

(2) inside of or directly en route to a motor vehicle that is owned by the person or under the person's control.

Basically, as outlined, it would be legal (and safer) for you to 'carry while pumping' so long as you pay at the pump. If you walk into the store carrying, you'd more than likely be violating the above statute.

IMO, this statute, coupled with the above quoted self-defense statutes listed by Texas Rifleman should pretty much cover you.

Also, a vehicle as defined by the TPC is a motor vehicle.

My advice would be to fuel up in the city - not in the boonies or outskirts. Gas prices are lower anyway.

TexasRifleman
September 1, 2009, 10:09 AM
What constitutes a vehicle? Would this include a bicycle?

Nope. Motor vehicle as DHJenkins says.

Texas Supreme Court defines it (in Slaughter v. Abilene State School). This cite discusses whether automobiles and motor vehicles are the same, but it's a good guide as to what a court would rule a "motor vehicle" I think.

The courts have held the term “motor vehicle” to be different from and broader than the term “automobile.“. . . Common usage has made the phrase “motor vehicle” a generic term for all classes of self- propelled vehicles not operating on stationary rails or tracks, and therefore, as a result all automobiles are motor vehicles, but the contrary proposition is not true. The term “motor vehicle” is much broader than the word “automobile” and includes various vehicles which cannot be classified as automobiles.

In one Attorney General letter, the AG's office says:

Under the Certificate of Title Act, for example, “motor vehicle” includes “any motor driven or propelled vehicle required to be registered under the laws of this state; a trailer or semitrailer . . . that has a gross vehicle weight that exceeds 4,000 pounds; a house trailer; a four-wheel all-terrain vehicle . . .; [and] a motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, or moped.” For purposes of Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility Act, a “motor vehicle” is “a self-propelled vehicle designed for use on a highway, a trailer or semitrailer for use with a self-propelled vehicle, or a vehicle propelled by electric power from overhead wires and not operated on rails.”

ChickenRanch
August 6, 2010, 01:30 PM
Is it true that if you are carrying a concealed handgun in your vehicle in the state of Texas, your ammunition (or clip) has to be seperate from the gun?

Deltaboy
August 6, 2010, 01:35 PM
False !

TexasRifleman
August 6, 2010, 02:21 PM
Is it true that if you are carrying a concealed handgun in your vehicle in the state of Texas, your ammunition (or clip) has to be seperate from the gun?

Nope, that's not true. Where the heck did you hear that?

Wolfebyte
August 6, 2010, 02:39 PM
hmmmmm...

any relation to this story?

.... "When asked by police why he did not either stop or exit the highway or call 911, Smith told them he thought he was covered under the Castle Doctrine..."


http://www.kxan.com/dpp/news/crime/shots-fired-in-mopac-road-rage-incident

TexasRifleman
August 6, 2010, 02:52 PM
From the story:

That is when Smith, fearing for his life, fired two shots from a 9mm handgun, hitting the truck’s tires twice although he would tell police he was trying to hit the driver.

When asked by police why he did not either stop or exit the highway or call 911, Smith told them he thought he was covered under the Castle Doctrine.

That's absolutely amazing, even more amazing that he would say that to a cop.

I bet his attorney will want to choke him for that one....

Smith is licensed to carry a gun but will still be charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

As well he should be. I'm truly amazed. I thought it might be April 1 there for a second.

So many great lessons here of what NOT to do though, might be a fun topic for Strategy and Tactics :)

Deltaboy
August 6, 2010, 04:18 PM
After reading the Story Austin PD would be well served to ticket or arrest the 20 year old man for his actions that got his truck tires shot.

ChickenRanch
August 6, 2010, 04:40 PM
Not sure where I heard it, but have heard it several times

TexasRifleman
August 6, 2010, 04:59 PM
Not sure where I heard it, but have heard it several times

Just wondered. That sounds like one of the things you'd hear in a gun store :)

Texas law doesn't appear to address loaded or unloaded at all, it just mentions the requirement that it be concealed.

Sec. 46.02. UNLAWFUL CARRYING WEAPONS. (a) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his or her person a handgun, illegal knife, or club if the person is not:
(1) on the person's own premises or premises under the person's control; or
(2) inside of or directly en route to a motor vehicle that is owned by the person or under the person's control.
(a-1) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his or her person a handgun in a motor vehicle that is owned by the person or under the person's control at any time in which:
(1) the handgun is in plain view;

ChefKristian
August 6, 2010, 09:10 PM
The guy should have willfully diffused the situation by exiting MoPac... It was with in his ability to make the use of his weapon a LAST RESORT... just like what is taught in the CHL class he took... And then to fire his weapon on the highway without giving any thought to what would happen to the stray bullets if he had missed, HE WAS AIMING FOR THE OTHER GUYS HEAD AND HIT HIS TIRE...MoPac has houses and businesses all down the road...

Man... what a way to lose his gun rights forever.

Owen Sparks
August 6, 2010, 09:38 PM
In Mississippi, another CD state, your vehicle is concidered an extention of your home. Anything that is legal in your home is legal in your car except for open containers of alcohol.

ChefKristian
August 6, 2010, 09:39 PM
Not sure where I heard it, but have heard it several times
Heck, I keep one mag in the gun, one in the center console, and one in my pocket!

dturner1993
March 24, 2011, 10:25 AM
It is not up to the cops to decide if a person did anything wrong. You are incorrect. It is up to the state attorney. If you murder someone, you are going to jail...it's that simple.

dturner1993
March 24, 2011, 10:26 AM
In Mississippi, another CD state, your vehicle is concidered an extention of your home. Anything that is legal in your home is legal in your car except for open containers of alcohol.
You are correct on this one...this also applies in Texas.

dturner1993
March 24, 2011, 10:28 AM
Just wondered. That sounds like one of the things you'd hear in a gun store :)

Texas law doesn't appear to address loaded or unloaded at all, it just mentions the requirement that it be concealed.
Actually the law does define loaded versus unloaded. If it is loaded, it is referred to as a "readily dischargable firearm". And yes, you can carry both either loaded or unloaded....doesnt matter.

dturner1993
March 24, 2011, 10:30 AM
Ahh, now see I'd consider that a ways beyond harrassment and more along the lines of attempted forceable entry.

The problem, of course, is that reaching in to retrieve your weapon once already involved in a situation leaves you open to attack while doing so.

I think this section of the penal code would be more pertinant to your question:



Basically, as outlined, it would be legal (and safer) for you to 'carry while pumping' so long as you pay at the pump. If you walk into the store carrying, you'd more than likely be violating the above statute.

IMO, this statute, coupled with the above quoted self-defense statutes listed by Texas Rifleman should pretty much cover you.

Also, a vehicle as defined by the TPC is a motor vehicle.

My advice would be to fuel up in the city - not in the boonies or outskirts. Gas prices are lower anyway.
I would agree with you for the filling station scenario, but not for a place sells alcohol for on-premise consumption.

dturner1993
March 24, 2011, 10:33 AM
Hi,

Does anyone have any information on this? What I have found online seems extremely vague.

I probably just need to go get my CHL so I don't have to worry about it...

Thanks!
The castle doctrine does include your vehicle in Texas. Keep in mind that, if you take your car on a public roadway, some limitations of that doctrine are in place for the protection of the public.

txhoghunter
March 24, 2011, 02:32 PM
If you murder someone, you are going to jail...it's that simple

Actually if you murder someone you are going to go to trial, hear witnesses testify against you, hope that some testify for you....and then a group of 12 men and women will tell you whether or not you are going to jail.

Not quite simple, but that's about how it works.

Art Eatman
March 24, 2011, 04:20 PM
Necrothreadia...

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