Interesting read about House Bill 1815 - DFWstangs Forums
 
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-03-2007, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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Interesting read about House Bill 1815

Thought I'd share.

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Texas Concealed Gun Laws Loosen
Have a gun? Feel free to travel.
By Glenna Whitley
Published: October 25, 2007

Subject(s): concealed handgun law

An amendment to Texas' so-called "traveling rule" regarding concealed handguns went into effect September 1 with hardly anyone noticing, though it comes close to gutting the law requiring Texans to obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

House Bill 1815, championed by both the National Rifle Association and the American Civil Liberties Union, clarified the 2005 statute allowing residents to carry a concealed weapon for protection while "traveling" in a private vehicle without a concealed weapon permit.

Most district attorneys and police agencies around the state have construed the definition of traveling narrowly.

According to a study by Scott Henson, with the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, 13 county or district attorneys—including those in Houston and Fort Worth—instructed officers to quiz motorists found in possession of weapons about their travel plans or simply arrest them, seize the weapon and let the prosecutors sort it out. The questioning could get ridiculous: Visiting Grandma in another county was OK; getting groceries was not OK.

The burden fell on the motorist to prove he was "traveling" and thus allowed to carry a concealed gun without a permit.

The new law, the first bill Governor Rick Perry signed from the last session of the Legislature, now allows gun owners without a permit to carry a concealed gun both "to and from" their premises and their vehicles. Guns can be carried in cars with a few restrictions: They must be hidden from plain view, and the owner cannot be involved in criminal activity or a criminal street gang or otherwise prohibited by law from carrying a weapon.

In other words, if you're caught carrying a concealed pistol on the street and don't have a permit, tell the cop you're walking between your car and your home, either getting ready to travel somewhere or coming home. The burden now falls on the police officer to prove you are not really "traveling," which Dallas District Attorney Craig Watkins says is virtually impossible.

"If you read the new statute, it essentially does away with the concealed handgun law," Watkins says. As of September 1, his office no longer accepted most UCW (unlawfully carrying a weapon) charges that involved the "traveling" issue and dismissed pending cases.

"Actually we didn't really have a choice," Watkins says. "The law had changed, and some of the individuals could have fallen under the old statute, but it would be an unfair standard if we prosecuted them. And it's impossible now for us to prove those charges when we get them. Now it makes it the responsibility of the state to disprove that a person is on their way to or from their car, and that's pretty difficult to prove. It does a disservice to law enforcement. They have to prove this person was not on their way to somewhere. Why should they even bother [to arrest them]? I see it as a possibility for a lot of individuals with criminal intent to be carrying weapons."

The change has some police officers grumbling.

"It's insane," says one Dallas officer, who asked not to be named. "They basically destroyed the concealed gun law. We're letting drug dealers with Glocks under the seat go and say have a nice day. In the past we could have charged them at least with a weapons violation and confiscated the gun. Texas is wide open now. It's a huge story. This has just gone under everyone's radar."

Though felons are prohibited from carrying a concealed weapon, the officer says most police officers can't do thorough criminal background checks during traffic stops.

The officer says that Dallas patrol cops have received no information or training on the change in the law. A call to the Dallas police media office prompted puzzlement. "No one's told us," says Sergeant Gil Cerda. "We have yet to receive a legal briefing on that."

The Mesquite Police Department has informed its officers about the change, says a department spokesman, as has the Plano Police Department. Rick McDonald, public information officer for Plano, says that the change in the law may be more far-reaching than its supporters intended.

"It's a law for honest people and good citizens to stand their ground," McDonald says. "Now you can defend yourself in a carjacking. You don't have to retreat."

He says the Dallas Observer is the first media outlet to ask him about the change.

"Some of the smaller agencies may not know about this," McDonald says. Because Plano P.D. has an in-house lawyer who keeps officers up to speed on legal issues, most Plano officers have already had in-service training on this and other new laws, McDonald says. (The last session of the Texas Legislature was good for gun owners. The so-called "castle doctrine" was also modified and now gives citizens more leeway in the use of deadly force to protect one's home or place of business. It also limits the ability of criminals to sue for damages.)

"There's a lot more to this concealed weapon thing," McDonald says. "I work some off-duty at a church, and they have posted 'no gun' signs. A lot more employers need to be brought up to speed. I expect more employers and businesses to come out with rules" limiting possession of firearms on the premises.

Another unintended consequence, says McDonald, is the likelihood that more weapons, stuck in glove compartments or under seats, will be stolen from cars.

The ramifications will take a while to percolate through the system. But the bottom line is: "If you've got a car," says a Dallas officer, "you can carry a gun."

Of course, convincing a cop you were walking directly between your car and home when you're parked 20 miles from your house may be a stretch. Try telling them you're just extremely health-conscious.



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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-03-2007, 12:11 PM
 
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Good read.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-03-2007, 12:22 PM
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Not a fan of the new law honestly. I think everyone should have to have at least the concealed class training to be able to carry a gun.

--wes
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-03-2007, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wesman
Not a fan of the new law honestly. I think everyone should have to have at least the concealed class training to be able to carry a gun.

--wes
"shall not be infringed"

Texans have been carrying guns long before the CHL came along.

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-03-2007, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALLAN
"shall not be infringed"

Texans have been carrying guns long before the CHL came along.
I gotta say I love what my "Uncle Teddy" said about this. Roughly, it was, "I don't need someone else to tell me how, when, or if I can defend myself."

Give me a dollar.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-03-2007, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALLAN
"shall not be infringed"

Texans have been carrying guns long before the CHL came along.

Yeah, well unfortunately half of them shouldn't be and have no clue how to properly handle a weapon.

--wes
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-03-2007, 04:17 PM
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When someone tries to tell another what they can and can't do while in their vehicle or with their property that tends to upset me. I think it's a great law and I have been carrying since AND I went and got my concealed carry to cover the distance from my car to wherever I'm going.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-03-2007, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by wesman
Yeah, well unfortunately half of them shouldn't be and have no clue how to properly handle a weapon.

--wes
Sad thing is there are lots of people that say the same thing about your rights

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-04-2007, 06:54 AM
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The change has some police officers grumbling.

"It's insane," says one Dallas officer, who asked not to be named. "They basically destroyed the concealed gun law. We're letting drug dealers with Glocks under the seat go and say have a nice day. In the past we could have charged them at least with a weapons violation and confiscated the gun. Texas is wide open now. It's a huge story. This has just gone under everyone's radar."




This is BS. If the person he pulls over he knows is a "Drug dealer", or they are in the process of breaking the law, then he can still take him to jail, and take is gun. Most drug dealers usually carry drugs, thus breaking the law. This cop is making excuses based on his personal opinion. Furthermore, If he pulls a known Drug dealer over, this individual will have some kind of past criminal record.



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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-06-2007, 05:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottsMach03


This is BS. If the person he pulls over he knows is a "Drug dealer", or they are in the process of breaking the law, then he can still take him to jail, and take is gun. Most drug dealers usually carry drugs, thus breaking the law. This cop is making excuses based on his personal opinion. Furthermore, If he pulls a known Drug dealer over, this individual will have some kind of past criminal record.

How is he gunna arrest them? Based on there looks? Dumbass...

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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-06-2007, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmxerbrett
How is he gunna arrest them? Based on there looks? Dumbass...


Most drug dealers I know of are usually dealing drugs.... DUMBASS.....



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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-08-2007, 02:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottsMach03
Most drug dealers I know of are usually dealing drugs.... DUMBASS.....

So, just knowing someone is a drug dealer gives you PC to search their car??


There's more to it than that.





An interesting sidebar to that article is that the law change referes to the "operator of the vehicle". It is unclear, or non specific about passengers, so technically, they could be charged with UCW.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-08-2007, 05:46 AM
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Everyone is Innocent until proven Guilty.

I have a CHL and love the new law. If legal, then you can carry. I like it.

How does the cop in the above article know that someone is a so called "Drug Dealer"? If they were dealing drugs, you'd arrest them. Not on a suspicion.

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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-08-2007, 05:56 AM
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This is yet more liberal rhetoric to turn people on themselves. WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH! Call a wambulance, I can't handle a gun, it might go off. lol

Parents, teach your kids to hunt and fish and stop asking the government to do your job. Take your kid to the shooting range. Man up and protect our rights. Don't let this wicked batch of ulterior motived liberals steal from us anymore.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-08-2007, 07:21 AM
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How can they say HB1815 killed the CHL law? HB1815 does not let you take your handgun into Wal-Mart or McDonald's or Luby's. It stays in your car. How can you say you're walking to/from your residence to your car in that case? You can't have it on your while you're in the parking lot. You can't have it on the train. You can't have it while walking in the park. You can't have it on you when you do your afternoon jog around the neighborhood. You can't have it on you in the mall or grocery.

Word of warning: HB1815 doesn't apply if you're caught doing something other than a Class C Misdemeanor (traffic violation). Sitting in a parking lot with loud music, public disturbance, etc. are non-traffic Class C Misdemeanors. Technically, you cuss at someone or flip them off in public and you can be cited for Disorderly Conduct. At that point, HB1815 doesn't apply and you can be charged with Unlawful Carrying of a Weapon.

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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-08-2007, 07:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by propellerhead
How can they say HB1815 killed the CHL law? HB1815 does not let you take your handgun into Wal-Mart or McDonald's or Luby's. It stays in your car. How can you say you're walking to/from your residence to your car in that case? You can't have it on your while you're in the parking lot. You can't have it on the train. You can't have it while walking in the park. You can't have it on you when you do your afternoon jog around the neighborhood. You can't have it on you in the mall or grocery.

Word of warning: HB1815 doesn't apply if you're caught doing something other than a Class C Misdemeanor (traffic violation). Sitting in a parking lot with loud music, public disturbance, etc. are non-traffic Class C Misdemeanors. Technically, you cuss at someone or flip them off in public and you can be cited for Disorderly Conduct. At that point, HB1815 doesn't apply and you can be charged with Unlawful Carrying of a Weapon.
And that is how JBT's will continue to abuse the law.

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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-08-2007, 07:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by propellerhead
How can they say HB1815 killed the CHL law? HB1815 does not let you take your handgun into Wal-Mart or McDonald's or Luby's. It stays in your car. How can you say you're walking to/from your residence to your car in that case? You can't have it on your while you're in the parking lot. You can't have it on the train. You can't have it while walking in the park. You can't have it on you when you do your afternoon jog around the neighborhood. You can't have it on you in the mall or grocery.
bingo.

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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-08-2007, 09:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wesman
Not a fan of the new law honestly. I think everyone should have to have at least the concealed class training to be able to carry a gun.

--wes
WRONG!! It's called the second amendment, you should check it out.
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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-08-2007, 03:19 PM
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I like HB1815...'H'
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-08-2007, 06:18 PM
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