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Question about concealed carry w/o a license

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Texasboy, Jul 10, 2007.

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  1. Texasboy

    Texasboy Member

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    In the state of Texas is it legal to carry a semi-auto pistol in your vehicle, and if so are there any guidelines?
     
  2. goings_51

    goings_51 Member

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    You must be "traveling." Under new laws, the state has the burden to prove that you are not travelling. Travelling is not defined by statute. Some jusidictions (Houston) have indicated that they intend to continue arrests and let the courts settle it.

    Get the permit.
     
  3. XavierBreath

    XavierBreath Member

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    According to Packing.org:

    In Texas, anyone who can legally possess a firearm, and is traveling, can carry it inside a motor vehicle. The firearm can be loaded and must be concealed. If it is in view it is a violation of the law. Law became effective 9/1/05.

    i) For purposes of Subsection (b)(3), a person is presumed to be traveling if the person is:
    (1) in a private motor vehicle;
    (2) not otherwise engaged in criminal activity, other than a Class C misdemeanor that is a violation of a law or ordinance regulating traffic;
    (3) not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing a firearm;
    (4) not a member of a criminal street gang, as defined by Section 71.01; and
    (5) not carrying a handgun in plain view.

    FWIW, what Goings 51 has said is very applicable. Be safe. Get a permit.
     
  4. wdlsguy

    wdlsguy Member

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    It will become legal on September 1, when HB 1815 goes into effect. You will need to keep your handgun out of sight.
     
  5. goings_51

    goings_51 Member

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    http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/administration/crime_records/chl/Traveling.pdf

    New Law on Carrying Firearm while “Traveling”
    (House Bill 823, 79th Regular Legislative Session, amending Penal Code
    Sections 2.05 and 46.15)

    In Texas, it is generally unlawful to carry a handgun in public, including within a private vehicle. However, Texas also recognizes several exceptions. One such exception is applicable when the citizen is “traveling.” “Traveling” has never been defined by the legislature. Texas courts have said that in
    general, the determination of whether a citizen is traveling is to be determined on a case by case basis, depending on the specific circumstances. Texas courts have generally considered the distance, time, and mode of travel in determining whether the citizen is traveling and have found “traveling” to generally encompass overnight travel, through multiple counties.

    The change in the law, effective September 1, 2005, places the burden of proof on the State rather than the citizen as to whether or not the citizen was traveling. In other words, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the citizen was NOT traveling, rather than the citizen having to prove that he or she WAS traveling. The new law also describes the
    circumstances under which a citizen will be presumed by a jury to be traveling.

    Some local law enforcement and prosecuting agencies have indicated that they will continue to make arrests and file charges when they encounter citizens carrying handguns in motor vehicles and will allow juries to determine whether citizens were traveling. DPS has no authority to determine or to comment on how this law will be enforced by the various local law
    enforcement and prosecuting agencies in the State of Texas.

    I think the new law will open it up some, but this is what the DPS is saying right now.

    Edit
    I hadn't read that law before now, but it sounds like you will only need a permit to carry on your person. Carryin in a car will be legal regardles of travel status. Is that how you read it?
     
  6. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    OK, let me clarify. The September 1, 2005 change of the law created a presumption of travelling. However, some DAs (Harris County and Tarrant County) have taken the position that they will still arrest people and let the jury decide whether the travelling defense applies.

    As a result of some particularly egregious arrests in Harris County, the legislature changed the law by passing HB1815 to make the definition of travelling irrelevant and said flat out that if you are carrying a pistol concealed in your vehicle, you aren't a criminal gang member as defined by statute, and you aren't committing a crime, then you are legal.

    However, this new change of the law will not take effect until September 1, 2007. Until then, you are still at the mercy of the local DA. Search the L&P forum for some in-depth discussion of this issue.
     
  7. JFlores

    JFlores Member

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    ok so lets say hypothetically speaking you carry you gun in your car hidden and you are attacked or someone is trying to rob you, are you justified in using your pistol??

    I plan on traveling from Houston to Amarillo, can I carry my pistol in my car?
     
  8. wally

    wally Member

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    Leaving the county and staying overnight was generally accepted and uequalivally "traveling" even before we had CHL. We did it all the time for weekend trips from Houston to Bandera. You should have no problems during the trip, its driving around Amarillo you could still be at the mercy of an A-Hole DA like Houston currently has.

    --wally.
     
  9. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    A good shoot is a good shoot, insofar as manslaughter/murder is concerned. This is not affected by one's having a CHL or not having a CHL. Legitimate self-defense is legal, even if you weren't legally carrying the means for that self-defense.

    Except as noted for Harris County's DA, anybody who's not a ganbanger/felon can have a loaded handgun in their car while travelling. It must be concealed.

    It is a defense in court, even in Harris County, when one is travelling. The historical court-decision definition of travelling is that a person is out of his home county, overnight.

    So far as I know, the rationalization for the Harris County DA is that he doesn't think that living in Houston and driving around town is "travelling". Again, SFAIK, the only people who have been arrested are residents within his district.

    Going from Houston to Amarillo certainly meets any definition of "travelling".

    Art
     
  10. wolfman01

    wolfman01 Member

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    Wldsguy, I think you're confusing the updated castle doctrine law, with the travelling laws. The travelling law came into effect 22 months ago.

    The updated castle doctrine laws take effect this upcoming September.
     
  11. damien

    damien Member

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    Why not just get a permit? Guidelines too tough for you?
     
  12. duckandcover

    duckandcover Member

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    No, you are mistaken. You are referring to HB 823 that was passed by the 79th Legislative Session.

    Here is what happened this past 80th Texas Legislative session: http://www.nraila.org/Legislation/Read.aspx?ID=3057

    Castle doctrine legislation was SB 378. We are talking about HB 1815 here.

    This was also discussed here on THR: http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=280629

    As has already been said (but I'll say it again), the traveling provision has been on the Texas books for a long time. 22 months ago, it was updated by the 79th Legislative Session to say that a motorist is presumed to be traveling and the burden of proof otherwise is up to the prosecution. Well some DA's (the Harris County one in particular) said that they would continue to advise law enforcement to make arrests and they would continue to prosecute and let juries decide. I think one was quoted as saying, "just because they are presumed innocent does not mean they are innocent."

    These problems led the Texas ACLU to even publish a report entitled "Above the Law" http://tsra.com/docs/AboveTheLaw.pdf documenting these problems which was discussed on THR here: http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=258592

    So this past legislative session, the Texas House went back and stated once and for all that carrying a firearm in the car is legal (as long as you're not a gang member, engaged in criminal activity, or are otherwise prohibited from possessing a firearm).

    I am not a lawyer but you can read the actual law here: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/80R/billtext/html/HB01815F.htm
     
  13. duckandcover

    duckandcover Member

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    While I personally think that a Texas Concealed Handgun License is the best way to go, the same shoe doesn't fit every foot.

    Some people may find the licensing costs prohibitive. Texas does have one of the most expensive licenses in the nation, with the class, fingerprinting and photos costing $60-150 and the state fee running $140. So to get a Texas CHL, we're talking up to $300.

    Some people may have no desire to carry a firearm with them in public. Just because someone desires the means to protect themselves in their home or their car does not neccessarily mean they want to carry a firearm in the grocery store. My parents, for example, probably fall into this category. While they are not antis by any means, they probably are just not people who would want to keep a firearm on their hip while at the movies yet they do see the utility in certain situations of having one around.
     
  14. wolfman01

    wolfman01 Member

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    Thanx Duckandcover. It seems like alot of laws are being passed that are overlapping each other.

    As to Damien's question. I don't yet have my CCW permit. While It is on my "to do" list, I still don't want to be runnig around "naked" in the car. I do carry while travelling, in accordinance to the 22 month old bill (HB 823), knowing that there are some rogue DA's out there, who think that "inconvenient" state laws do not apply to them.
     
  15. AntiqueCollector

    AntiqueCollector Member

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    I really feel bad for anyone who has to spend up to $300 to exercise a right...I certainly couldn't afford a $300 carry permit right now, I'm sure others are in the same boat...thank God for not needing one here.
     
  16. BAT1

    BAT1 Member

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    Sept 1st

    That is cool. Law abiding citizens deserve that right. If they are well trained, they are just more " citizen helpers" to the police. I lived in Harris County and had my car stolen and mugged. The car disappeared in the night, found on loop 610 W., The muggers busted my head open, 18 bottom layer and 21 top layer but my self defense experience stopped it cold. The cops thought I beat them up. [21 witnesses]. That law will help when going to the range, or to your folks house out in the country to shoot etc. Or when in in an RV, or your car. Since I haven't had even a traffic violation in 30 + years, yes I deserve that right. I bet car jacking goes down after Sept 1 st. Some people don't like being registered with a CHL, some do. But it adds a new question they can ask if you do get stopped. :scrutiny:
     
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