Texas CHL Law Update

I might have mentioned this in passing but I didn’t cover in any detail. On 1 Sep 2013, a few firearm related bills were enacted into law.

One of those was Senate Bill 299 which changed section 46.035 as shown below

AN ACT

relating to the intentional display of a handgun by a person licensed to carry a concealed handgun.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:

SECTION 1. Subsections (a) and (h), Section 46.035, Penal Code, are amended to read as follows:

(a) A license holder commits an offense if the license holder carries a handgun on or about the license holder’s person under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, and intentionally displays fails to conceal the handgun in plain view of another person in a public place.

(h) It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a) that  the actor, at the time of the commission of the offense, displayed the handgun under circumstances in which the actor would have been justified in the use of force or deadly force under Chapter 9.

SECTION 2. The change in law made by this Act applies only to an offense committed on or after the effective date of this Act. An offense committed before the effective date of this Act is governed by the law in effect on the date the offense was committed, and the former law is continued in effect for that purpose. For purposes of this section, an offense was committed before the effective date of this Act if any element of the offense occurred before that date. 

SECTION 3. This Act takes effect September 1, 2013.

How big of a change is this? Really really big folks.

Remember in Section 411.171 there is this definition:

(3) “Concealed handgun” means a handgun, the presence of which is not openly discernible to the ordinary observation of a reasonable person.

This removes considerable worry about a shirt riding up or the wind blowing a cover garment up and exposing the firearm.Combine that with the protection of displaying in situations where the use of force or deadly force would be appropriate and the really helps the gun owner.
Not quite Open Carry but on the way. Even more importantly was the fact this bill wasn’t a stretch, it wasn’t an oddity in an otherwise hostile legislative session; it was 1 of 14 bills (Link edited — Happy Cormac???????)  that generally improved the rights of the people.

Please join the discussion.

 Aaron Spuler looked at the bills back in June 2013  - good recap

An Argument Against “Gun Free Zones”

If people are willing to break the law over such a minor issue; do we really think that a sign prohibiting guns is going to work any better?

You’ve undoubtedly seen them on your way to work or home, panhandlers.

For the last year the City of Fort Worth has tested using signs to deter the practice by warning both panhandler and driver with the message, “soliciting from roadway prohibited.” However, at the first intersection where the signs were installed, about a year ago, you’ll still regularly see people begging for money or food. Those who work in the area said the signs don’t work.

“No they don’t, we still have them coming in here, panhandling every where,” said Alma Baca.

Baca works along the intersection at Interstate 20 and Hulen Street, where the signs were installed. She said they’ve done little to slow down those begging for spare change.

“I get one that stands right there and waits and waits and then walks out and asks people for money,” Baca said.

Standing next to a sign prohibiting the very same action — yep, really effective eh?

 

Reason for Open Carry?

How about 87 of them?

That was the High temp yesterday.
On November 17th.

 

 

Concealed Handgun and Voting

As I previously mentioned, without a lot of detail, I voted on Saturday. I’ve also previously mentioned that I have a Concealed Handgun License and generally carry where I morally and ethically can.

Some might wonder where the two statements intersect; the answer is in the law of course. Seems the Legislators think that those of us who carry firearms can’t be trusted to vote and not shoot up the place at the same time.

Sec. 46.03. PLACES WEAPONS PROHIBITED. (a) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly possesses or goes with a firearm, illegal knife, club, or prohibited weapon listed in Section 46.05(a):

(1) on the physical premises of a school or educational institution, any grounds or building on which an activity sponsored by a school or educational institution is being conducted, or a passenger transportation vehicle of a school or educational institution, whether the school or educational institution is public or private, unless pursuant to written regulations or written authorization of the institution;

(2) on the premises of a polling place on the day of an election or while early voting is in progress;

There are more prohibited places but I want to just focus on #2 for now.

A couple of questions come to mind– I doubt if any anti-rights cultist will stop by and answer them but who knows. They might and the horse might learn to sing also.

Question #1 — How do you know that I didn’t carry on the premises at the polling location?

After all, the firearm has to be concealed from detection by a reasonable person, right? And unless the volunteers staffing the polls have extensive training and experience; they are unlikely to be able to detect a concealed firearm.

Question #2 — What harm was committed even IF I did carry on the premises of the polling place?

This isn’t a rhetorical question; I am seriously interested in someone explaining just what harm, what damage to someone in our society was created if someone carried a firearm with them to vote?

There was no scuffle, no fights, no shootings, no threats made, no drama of any type involved in the voting process. I drove up, walked in, showed my voter registration card and driver’s license, signed by on the line, got my “I voted” sticker then spent 2 minutes at the booth.

I understand some proposals or elections may be a little contentious but that isn’t the norm. Most elections are dull, boring and completely drama free. I wonder why legislators felt it necessary to include polling places in the list of prohibited places.

Question #3 — If the idea is to keep disturbances to a minimum; why doesn’t the penal code prohibit various other crimes at the polling place?

Look through the penal code and the election laws; there is a limit on how close people can advocate for near a polling location. Other then that, no other crime is called out as especially prohibited at the polls. No “no sexual assault at the polls” laws, no “pick pocketing prohibited” on the premises, “no aggravated assault at the polls” is listed.

Nope, just a prohibition against carrying weapons at the polls. Isn’t it difficult to argue that the laws are designed to change behavior when they aren’t focused on behavior but inanimate objects.

Question #4 — And this is really the key question; Does anyone really think that a person is going to change because the law draws an imaginary line around a certain place?

The law doesn’t cover just those with a Concealed Handgun License; it covers everyone. It prohibits everyone from carrying a weapon past the doors of the polls. Of course, without a license a person is breaking the law. Wouldn’t a person breaking the law by carrying without a license ignore one more law ?
And and the same time, wouldn’t a person who goes through the trouble of getting a license be generally willing to follow the law and not cause harm?

A person doesn’t change their values, their principles, their entire philosophy just because they are carrying a weapon or not, just because they cross some imaginary line. Nope, they are the same person aren’t they?

 

I want to make it very clear — some anti right cultists are a little thick — I didn’t break the law regarding the carrying a weapon at the polling place. My wife and I drove up to the polling location, we voted and came back home. When I dropped off my wife at home, I donned my concealed handgun and then proceeded on the errands I mentioned yesterday. Notice how I was willing to follow a law even though I see no purpose in it. Notice how criminals will go about their purpose without regard to the law. There is a big difference there and it really matters.

Please join the discussion.

News Guaranteed To Upset Antis

Can’t help but chortle when I read the news this morning.

Last year, 1,979 21-year-olds sought a license, as did 1,713 22-year-olds and 1,583 23-year-olds.

More people in their 30s generally seek their CHL than those in their 20s, and more 40-somethings appear to seek their license than 30-year-olds.

But 57-year-olds led the way in 2012, with 3,609 of them seeking a license.

They were closely followed by 64-year-olds (3,588), 53-year-olds (3,576), 54-year-olds (3,562) and 55-year-olds (3,542), the analysis shows.

The top five age groups seeking licenses in the past five years were all similar — and all featured Texans older than 51.

That’s right people; our old folks are leading the way- in record numbers.

And that was before the changes in state law this year.

Earlier this year, lawmakers passed several measures geared to give Texas gun owners more freedom — shrinking the required training time for those seeking concealed handgun licenses, letting CHL holders leave their weapons in parked vehicles on college campuses, even letting Texans renew their CHL licenses online without taking a renewal class.

Wieland said he believes the changes “will serve to increase interest and demand” in getting licenses.

 

Shorter class times, the ridiculous requirement regarding revolver/semi auto removed, only renewals without proficiency tests; all should make it easier for people to get and keep their licenses.

 

Statewide, there are more than 580,000 active licenses, with nearly 150,000 of them being issued last year, and Tarrant County has the second most active licenses, according to data from the Texas Department of Public Safety.

And historically the conviction rate of those with Concealed Handgun Licenses has been incredibly low; some where around 0.3% of all convictions — not all people. In 2011, there were 120 CHL holders convicted out of 63,679 convictions. That is with a total state population over 17 Million adults — 0.0007% of the total adult population.

 

Wonder how much more we have to do before the anti-rights cultists start going into fits?

 

What It Really Says — Failure to Identify

We’ve all heard it, in movies, on television dramas, on reality shows (Cops, filmed on location) – the local law enforcement officer asks someone their name and tells them they have to provide it, their address, etc.

Must say I was surprised when I actually started reading what the law said.

Sec. 38.02.  FAILURE TO IDENTIFY.

(a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally refuses to give his name, residence address, or date of birth to a peace officer who has lawfully arrested the person and requested the information.

(b)  A person commits an offense if he intentionally gives a false or fictitious name, residence address, or date of birth to a peace officer who has:

(1)  lawfully arrested the person;

(2)  lawfully detained the person; or

(3)  requested the information from a person that the peace officer has good cause to believe is a witness to a criminal offense.

(c)  Except as provided by Subsections (d) and (e), an offense under this section is:

(1)  a Class C misdemeanor if the offense is committed under Subsection (a); or

(2)  a Class B misdemeanor if the offense is committed under Subsection (b).

(d)  If it is shown on the trial of an offense under this section that the defendant was a fugitive from justice at the time of the offense, the offense is:

(1)  a Class B misdemeanor if the offense is committed under Subsection (a); or

(2)  a Class A misdemeanor if the offense is committed under Subsection (b).

(e)  If conduct that constitutes an offense under this section also constitutes an offense under Section 106.07, Alcoholic Beverage Code, the actor may be prosecuted only under Section 106.07.

So unless a person is under arrest, has been detained or the police have identified that person as a possible witness it is perfectly legal not to identify yourself or give a false name.

So elements – not identifying and providing false identification but all of them are predicated on a.) being arrested, b.) being detained, or c.) a witness to a crime. Ex-Cop Law Student  has a great post  with citations to relevant court cases.

Of course, Concealed Handgun License holders are under different requirements Sec. 411.205   of the penal code requires a CHL holder to present not only his License but also his Driver’s License or State ID card if requested.  This, of course, only applies if a person is actually carrying under the appropriate statutes regarding the license. Carrying on your own property, not carrying, etc means a person does not have to identify themselves to the police unless as shown above.

Section Sec. 521.025 of the penal code applies if a person is operating a motor vehicle — a license must be displayed on request. Of course that doesn’t stop people from driving without a license either.

And yes, this is applicable to my last couple of posts.

Please join the discussion.

 

 

New State Laws In Effect

Several new laws took effect on Sunday; luckily none of them roll back our right to keep and bear arms.

SB1907 — Colleges and universities, both private and public, can not back firearms from private vehicles on their property. This applies only to students and visitors and only to those with Concealed Handgun Licenses.

It doesn’t apply to faculty and staff. Nor does it seem to apply to those who legally carry a firearm in their car without a license. How does that make sense? One group of people can legally park their car in the lots but the other groups can’t?

SB 299 - This is a huge gain ! It changes the requirements from ‘intentionally fails to conceals’ (a very vague statement) to “displays the   handgun in plain view of another person in a public place in a  manner calculated to cause alarm and not pursuant to a justified use of force or threat of force”

Basically a person has to brandish a firearm now instead of just “printing” or having his/her cover garment ride up/ fly up and expose the firearm.

SB 864 – Wish this one would have been in effect back in April — Reduces the number of hours needed for a new concealed handgun license to 4 to 6 hours.  My brother would have appreciated it.

I imagine many instructors don’t like this one and frankly I don’t get it. 10 to 15 hours (original time requirement) still isn’t enough time for a person to learn all the rules, all the laws, to consider even a fraction of the subject matter. The person with the license should be responsible enough to gain the necessary knowledge and proficiency outside of a class.

HB48 is another I wish was in place months ag0 — does away with the class room and demonstration of proficiency requirement to renew a Concealed Handgun License.

Again….many instructors don’t like this but how many incidents with Concealed Handgun License holders can be traced back to them not being properly instructed?

 

Updated  — H.B. 1862 (2013) made it legal to possess, manufacture, transport, etc Switchblades !

 

Please join the discussion.


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