Wednesday, April 15, 2009

From the Mail Bag

Received a good question in this morning's email:

"Whats the ruling on CHL's at political protests? Do you know?"
The short answer to the first question is that there is no ruling on CHL's at political protests here in Texas.

The longer answer can be found in the Texas Penal Code, the appropriate sections are:

Penal Code Section 46.02 - Unlawful Carrying Weapons

Penal Code Section 46.03 - Places Weapons Prohibited

Penal Code Section 46.035 - Unlawful Carrying of Handgun by License Holder

In PC 46.03 we can find the list of general prohibited places:

46.03 (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;

(3) on the premises of any government court or offices utilized by the court, unless pursuant to written regulations or written authorization of the court;

(4) on the premises of a racetrack;

(5) in or into a secured area of an airport; or

(6) within 1,000 feet of premises the location of which is designated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice as a place of execution under Article 43.19, Code of Criminal Procedure, on a day that a sentence of death is set to be imposed on the designated premises...
PC 46.035 relates specifically to CHL holders:

46.035 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 fails to conceal the handgun.

(b) A license holder commits an offense if the license holder intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries a handgun under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, regardless of whether the handgun is concealed, on or about the license holder's person:

(1) on the premises of a business that has a permit or license issued under Chapter 25, 28, 32, 69, or 74, Alcoholic Beverage Code, if the business derives 51 percent or more of its income from the sale or service of alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption, as determined by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission under Section 104.06, Alcoholic Beverage Code;

(2) on the premises where a high school, collegiate, or professional sporting event or interscholastic event is taking place, unless the license holder is a participant in the event and a handgun is used in the event;

(3) on the premises of a correctional facility;

(4) on the premises of a hospital licensed under Chapter 241, Health and Safety Code, or on the premises of a nursing home licensed under Chapter 242, Health and Safety Code, unless the license holder has written authorization of the hospital or nursing home administration, as appropriate;

(5) in an amusement park; or

(6) on the premises of a church, synagogue, or other established place of religious worship.

(c) A license holder commits an offense if the license holder intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries a handgun under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, regardless of whether the handgun is concealed, at any meeting of a governmental entity.

(d) A license holder commits an offense if, while intoxicated, the license holder carries a handgun under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, regardless of whether the handgun is concealed.
Of course, every time we talk about PC 46.035, we have to include 46.035(i):

(i) Subsections (b)(4), (b)(5), (b)(6), and (c) do not apply if the actor was not given effective notice under Section 30.06.
46.035(i) states that hospitals, churches, amusement parks and .gov meetings have to be properly posted IAW 30.06 to prohibit CHL holders access.

So yes, you can carry under authority of your CHL so long as the protest is not taking place in a location that is otherwise prohibited.

Here is the quick reference for Texas Concealed Handgun Laws and Selected Statutes (.pdf)

3 comments:

John the Texaner said...

Just for a point of clarification, people often times ask "isn't it illegal to carry at a political rally?"

The short answer is for a CHL, no. For long guns, it can be.

Section 229.001 of the Texas Local Government Code defines the limits of a city or municipality's power to restrict firearms. In 229.001(b)(6), the code states that a local government may:

(6) regulate the carrying of a firearm by a person other than a person licensed to carry a concealed handgun under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, at a:
(A) public park;
(B) public meeting of a municipality, county, or other governmental body;
(C) political rally, parade, or official political meeting; or
(D) nonfirearms-related school, college, or professional athletic event.
(c) The exception provided by Subsection (b)(6) does not apply if the firearm is in or is carried to or from an area designated for use in a lawful hunting, fishing, or other sporting event and the firearm is of the type commonly used in the activity.
This is usually the section that trips people up. However, the law specifically states that a municipality may not apply these restrictions to someone carrying under authority of a CHL.

J said...

Weapons are prohibited at River Legacy Park in Arlington. I checked it out beforehand.

JR said...

John;

Thanks for clarification on long guns. I often forget to bring that up.

J:

The firearm prohibition in the Arlington city parks does not pertain to CHL's.