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Texas carry in car....new law?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by phantomak47, Aug 13, 2005.

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  1. phantomak47

    phantomak47 Member

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    I read on packing.org, that on sept. 1 you can carry a firearm in your carry only if you can legally own it and its concealed. But it also sayes if your traveling.


    My question is can I carry my pistol concealed in my carry if I am only driving around town?
     
  2. MechAg94

    MechAg94 Member

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    I think Texas law allows the gun in the car if a person is "traveling". I think the new law just says that LEO's must assume you are traveling regardless of where you are going. I don't know what the alternative assumptions are.

    I am certainly no expert. I have seen many people who are supposed to know say what you said, but I was waiting to see a true legal interpretation of the law to be sure. I know the Texas State Rifle Association was supporting the new law and reporting it would do just that.

    I have a CHL so it really doesn't affect me directly.
     
  3. javafiend

    javafiend member

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    HB 823 modifies Penal Code Section 46.15 and states that a person is presumed to be traveling if the person is in a private motor vehicle, not otherwise engaged in crime other than a traffic violation, not prohibited by law from possessing a firearm, not a member of a criminal street gang as defined by law, and not carrying a handgun in plain view.
     
  4. rhubarb

    rhubarb Member

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    As much as I grouse about violations of our Second Amendment Rights, this is a baby step in the right direction. As I understand it, as of September 1 2005 in Texas you may legally carry a concealed handgun in your car.

    The current law reads:
    http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/statutes/docs/PE/content/htm/pe.010.00.000046.00.htm#46.02.00
    "Traveling" was not defined.

    Traveling is now defined:
    http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/cgi-...&BILLTYPE=B&BILLSUFFIX=00823&VERSION=5&TYPE=B
    Therefore, in two weeks, if you are in your car and a good guy, you may now carry a concealed handgun. This has been discussed here before, but since I am so happy about it, I am glad to post this info again. :D
     
  5. O.F.Fascist

    O.F.Fascist Member

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    Some people seem to still be missing the point on this law.

    Travelling was not defined before, and it still is not defined now.

    The new law in question pretty much states if you have a concealed handgun in your vehicle that you are presumed to be travelling.

    However if you arent in a vehicle, or if you are and have a handgun unconcealed or whatever it is still possible to be travelling.

    Travelling is not defined, its still whatever it was before this law.
     
  6. Azrael256

    Azrael256 Member

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    I'm very curious to see how this plays out. I've heard it go both ways from different sources.
     
  7. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

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    Travelling IS defined--that's the entire point of the new law. As of 1 September 2005, travelling is ANY TIME you are in your motor vehicle.
     
  8. gulogulo1970

    gulogulo1970 Member

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    Allright! another reason for me to put off getting a CCL.

    It is so funny I voted for Bush over Ann Richards mostly because of his stance in favor of making CC legal. I have procrastinated more than a decade in getting one. One day I will, promise.

    I'm happy about the new law. I've got a place all cleaned out for my Glock 19.
     
  9. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

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    You might want to pass along some of the savings to the organization that helped pass this law...
    |
    |
    V
     
  10. O.F.Fascist

    O.F.Fascist Member

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    JohnKSa, you are obviously misinterpreting the law.

    It clearly states...
    If you follow the law as it is worded it is presumed that you are travelling.

    The law does not however define travelling or change the definition of travelling.

    If the law defined travelling then it would mean that this is the only possible way to be travelling.

    It is possible to be travelling via other means.

    I definately think this law is a good thing because it makes it more clear what travelling is, for prosecutors, police, judges, and politicans, pretty much the kinds of people who like to twist what meanings are.

    IMO however it would be nice if people had enough common sense that we could go with the original law. IMO if you are going anywhere via any means that is travelling.

    I also think this change is funny too, you are presumed to be travelling, however before this law was passed, if you were charged with unlawful carry, arent you also supposed to be "presumed" innocent unless they can prove to a jury that you are guilty.

    Pretty sad state of affairs that our legal system is in now. I guess we need to get Congress to pass a law restating that we are all presumed innocent unless they can prove we are guilty.
     
  11. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

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    Sure is, but you'd better not be caught with a pistol on you if you're using "other means." You seem to think that this is an oversight--that they accidentally or carelessly left out some of the ways you could be travelling and legally carrying a handgun. I don't think many will consider that a reasonable interpretation of the law. I think (and I think most people will take the same view) that the legislators defined what they wanted to be "legal travelling for the purpose of carrying a handgun without a license" and that definition is pretty much exclusively: "in a private motor vehicle." They clearly aren't talking about airline travel, they certainly don't mean public transportation--they specifically say "PRIVATE motor vehicle", it would be a tremendous stretch to assume that walking would qualify, and if they meant to include bikes and horses, why would they say "MOTOR vehicle."

    I see where you're going with your parsing of the phrase, but I don't think it's a productive or insightful approach to understanding the new law.

    With the law now being so specific, the intent of the lawmakers will seem obvious to most. IMO, arguments about what constitutes travelling will not be legally productive in avoiding prosecution.
    Perhaps but that was clearly not the intent of the old law, and it is clearly not the intent of the new law. Going anywhere via any means would be walking down to the convenience store on the corner, or biking to the park, or taking the bus to work. Neither the old nor the new law would give you a ghost of a defense in any of these situations, and it's hard to reasonably argue that it either law was intended to protect you in such cases.

    Still, the new law not only partially defines travelling, it considerably expands the intent of the original law. Clearly the old law was not, under any circumstances, interpreted to mean that simply going from one place to another in a vehicle was sufficient reason to carry a handgun. In fact, the only way to be CERTAIN you were travelling under the old law was if you were going on a trip that required you spend at least one night away from home. You MIGHT get away with shorter trips, but certainly not anything routine like driving to work which will now be definitively legal. Now, driving to and from work with a handgun is perfectly and unquestionably legal.

    So, at the very least we have a partial definition of travelling. We know for sure that being in a private motor vehicle qualifies. Practically speaking, it's going to be more concrete than that, IMO. The law will be interpreted to be a complete definition of travelling. Not surprising since that's the way it's being touted by people who were there in person when it was debated and passed.
     
  12. O.F.Fascist

    O.F.Fascist Member

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    I disagree.

    If the old law wanted to limit what travelling really was, then they would clearly have had a section which defined travelling to whatever limited manner they wanted.

    The fact that travelling was not specifcially defined either then or now, means that the common definition or travelling is what should apply. Which dictionary.com defines as "To go from one place to another, as on a trip; journey."

    There is always a chance of defense by citing travelling, the only time you have no chance for defense is when you simply give up and put up no defense.

    Sure prosecutors, police, and judges may try to twist what "travelling" means to whatever limited scope they want it to. Hell it seems that you are one of those types of people. And while I will probably just choose to cover my ass and go along with the concealed carry handgun in a vehicle definition just to avoid hassel, travelling does simply just mean going from one place to another, and all it takes is one person on the jury who understands it for justice to succeed.

    IIRC that is not codified in law anywhere, that was simply caselaw, meaning that in those cases the jury choose to let the person walk.
     
  13. beerslurpy

    beerslurpy member

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    This law just carves out an area of behavior which cannot be construed by a prosecutor to not constitute travel. It doesnt narrow or widen the definition of travel, merely takes away some prosecutorial discretion to interpret the actions of a person.

    Importantly, it doesnt present any new restrictions as to when a defendent can claim they were travelling. It actually makes the defendent's job easier by releiving them of a burden of proof when they are traveling in a car.

    It does seem to permit citizens to engage in unlicensed in-car concealed carry.
     
  14. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

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    Surely you realize that this "common definition" is MORE restrictive than "being in a private motor vehicle." No one would consider driving to the gas station a couple of blocks over to be a "trip" or "journey". Yet the new law says you WILL be presumed to be legally travelling.
    No, I just don't see the logic in your arguments. If travelling were meant to be very generally interpreted, there would be NO need for this amendment. More to the point, if travelling were being that liberally interpreted by the courts and juries, this new law would not have come about.
    Well, YEAH, but the chances of being successful DO have some dependence on how realistic your claim of travelling sounds. The fact is that the "common definition" IS being used by the courts--the problem is that people find that less than useful in defending themselves because the common definition is quite restrictive. The new law relaxes the definition to include "being in a private motor vehicle". That makes it considerably LESS restrictive, and also means that travelling (in terms of TX law) now takes on a meaning OTHER than the common meaning.

    You can say that's not defining travelling, but in practice that's not going to be an effective argument, IMO.
     
  15. O.F.Fascist

    O.F.Fascist Member

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    I disagree.

    Have you never heard or said the phrase, I'm going to make a trip to the gas station, or to the grocery store?

    If travelling were to be intepreted differently than the common definition it would be given a codified definition in law. It was not and still has not therefore it has the common definition.

    IMO this is another of those cases where we have a clearly written law and yet it is being disregarded, much like the 2nd Amendment. Because of such blatent disregard that is why we have what we have here.

    It is not, and that is clearly the problem. No doubt many judges are instructing many juries about what thier "interpretation" of it is, which does not mean that they are right.

    Actually it has more to do with how much common sense most jurists and much education about civil liberties jurists have, which is sad to say not as much as they should.
     
  16. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Texas law never spoke to "travelling". Court decisions evolved to say that one could carry a handgun while travelling, and travelling became defined as out of one's home county, overnight.

    Based on casual observation, I'd say the problem was that a lot of street cops didn't know of these court decisions; they just knew the law said no handguns. And, later, no handguns without a CHL.

    The new law seems to say that if you'll just refrain from being mouthy and stupid, you won't get busted for having a handgun with you in your car.

    Seems to me a hitchhiker is a traveller...

    :), Art
     
  17. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

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    Sure, but try using that one in court! :rolleyes: :D
    Actually, if they're disallowing a "trip to the gas station" because they don't feel it qualifies as "travelling" I think their common sense is just fine (at least in this particular regard.)

    Just for fun--if you asked 100 people on the street if going to the gas station was "travelling", how many do you think would say yes? My guess is none of them that understood the question.

    Art,

    I also would think that a hitch-hiker could make a case for being a traveller. However, I suspect that this law is going to be interpreted as being exclusive rather than as stating only one particular type of travel. So far all of the feedback from folks involved with the passage of the law indicates that they consider this to be a definition of travelling. Of course, what do they know about it? :D :rolleyes:
     
  18. txgho1911

    txgho1911 Member

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    Traveling with a handgun

    Laws on this in Texas predate CHL in TX IIRC. As I understand the laws before TX as a whole was outlawed handgun carry in any fasion except by traveling.
    Art and others involved, maybe a TX specific history lesson would be in order. Don't forget Jim Crow is not yet in the ground.
     
  19. Old Guy

    Old Guy Member

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    Carjack law?

    Is it possible that this is an anti Carjack devise? Spread the word that car carry is legal to the bad guys.. "Oh my goodness the legal guys have guns in holsters in my (proposed) new ride!"
     
  20. MudPuppy

    MudPuppy Member

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    While I won't argue that "we'll have to see how this one plays out in court", the absolute purpose of Keel introducing this bill was so that law abiding citizens can carry legally in their car. There's been lot's of discussion about that here and no one 'round these here parts missundertands that.

    It's not so much an anti-carjacking law as it is a flat out re-affirmation of the 2nd and recognizes law-abiding citizens are responsible enough to be trusted.

    BTW, this bill passed with about a dozen other pro-gun bits of legislation--not a single measure failed. (stuff like extending CCW permit length, military/trained 18 yo's can carry, reduction of CCW fees in certain situations. I don't recall all the specifics, but was good stuff. I think Hillary died a little inside when this stuff passed, I'm sure Feinstein wept...)
     
  21. woerm

    woerm Member

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    Old Guy

    My personal take on this is

    Open season on carjackers starts on Sept 1

    no bag limit,

    I figure in Houston there may well be double digit body counts in the first week or so til the felonious free car fliching crew gets a clue by four.

    Glitter Gluch (Dallas) may not be far behind. If only due to the preponderance of Urban Assault Vehicles (UAV) not being suited for carjacking. The UAV's are usually rolling forts anyway.
     
  22. MudPuppy

    MudPuppy Member

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    Yup--I'm thinking of building an AK pistol for my "car pistol".
     
  23. Hawkmoon

    Hawkmoon Member

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    That'll be a mite awkward to conceal, won't it? :D
     
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