Newly Proposed Hays County Ordinance Concerning Discharge of Firearms

Discussion in 'Gun Legislation' started by SIG_Fiend, Mar 20, 2008.

  1. SIG_Fiend

    SIG_Fiend Administrator TGT Supporter Admin

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    Before anyone gets their panties in a wad, there's nothing negative in this proposed ordinance. I've looked it over and can't see anything unreasonable at all. It's an ordinance proposed by Commissioner Jeff Barton and that will be going to court in the next few weeks for the Judge to make a determination on whether to implement it or throw it out. I figured if anyone here lives in Hays County like I do that they might want to read up on it:

    REGULATION OF THE DISCHARGE OF FIREARMS
    HAYS COUNTY, TEXAS


    Article 1: Statutory Authority

    1.01.Adoption. These Regulations were formally adopted by the Hays County Commissioners Court on or about March 18, 2008 pursuant to the authority granted by §235.022 of the Texas Local Government Code, subject to the following statutory limitations.

    [FONT=Courier New, monospace][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]1.02.[/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Limitations.[/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif] These Regulations shall only apply to lots of ten (10) acres or smaller that are located in a subdivision all or a part of which is located in the unincorporated area of a county and for which a plat is required to be prepared and filed under Chapter 232 of the Texas Local Government Code. It is an affirmative defense to prosecution that any alleged violation under these Regulations occurred:[/FONT][/FONT]

    [FONT=Courier New, monospace][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]a. [/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]in a location that, at the time of the alleged offense, was not in the unincorporated area of Hays County,

    [/FONT]
    [/FONT] [FONT=Courier New, monospace][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]b. [/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif] in a subdivision for which a plat is not required to be prepared and filed under the Texas Local Government Code, Chapter 232, or

    [/FONT]
    [/FONT] [FONT=Courier New, monospace][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]c. [/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif] on a lot that, at the time of the alleged offense, had a gross area of ten (10) acres or more.[/FONT][/FONT]

    [FONT=Courier New, monospace][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]1.03.[/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Additional Limitations.[/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif] These Regulations shall not be construed to require the registration of Firearms, or to prohibit or restrict the transfer, ownership, possession, manufacture, maintenance, repair, or transportation of Firearms.[/FONT][/FONT]

    [FONT=Courier New, monospace][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]1.04.[/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Conflicts of Law.[/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif] These Regulations shall not be construed to legalize or nullify any prohibition or restriction regarding the use or possession of Firearms that may be found in other Local, State, or Federal laws, including but not limited to §62.0121 of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code. Likewise, these Regulations do not limit any statutory defense to prosecution that arises from other Local, State, or Federal laws.[/FONT][/FONT]

    [FONT=Courier New, monospace][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]1.05.[/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Civil Liability.[/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif] These Regulations shall not be construed to provide legal justification for, protection from, or defense to liability for death, injury, or property damage caused by the discharge of a firearm, regardless of whether said discharge is permitted under the Exceptions cited in Article 4 of these Regulations.[/FONT][/FONT]

    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Article 2: Definitions[/FONT]

    [FONT=Courier New, monospace][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]2.01.[/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif] The following capitalized terms shall, where they may be found throughout these Regulations, have the following meanings:[/FONT][/FONT]

    County” shall mean Hays County, Texas;

    Firearm(s)” shall mean any device(s) designated, made or adapted to expel (discharge) a projectile through a barrel by using the energy generated by an explosion or burning substance, or any device readily convertible to that use;

    Regulated Lot” means a tract of land or a lot that is in a subdivision for which Chapter 232 of the Local Government Code requires a plat to be prepared and filed, within the unincorporated areas of Hays County, and is less than ten (10) acres as reflected by the records of the Hays County Clerk or the Hays Central Appraisal District

    Article 3: Restrictions


    3.01.Prohibition for Lots Sized Two Acres or Smaller. The discharge of a Firearm on a lot that has a gross area of two (2) acres or less is hereby prohibited, subject to the Exceptions provided in Article 4 of these Regulations.

    3.02. Lots Larger than Two Acres. The discharge of a Firearm on a lot that has a gross area of more than two (2) acres shall not be prohibited by these Regulations; and shall not be otherwise restricted, except that no Firearms shall be discharged between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., Central Standard Time.

    Article 4: Exceptions

    4.01.Despite the Restrictions cited in Article 3, above, the discharge of a Firearm shall be permitted:

    a. if said discharge is reasonably necessary to protect self, property, or other person(s) from imminent harm by human or animal as is permitted by State and/or Federal law.;

    b. if said discharge is made by a peace officer certified by the State of Texas in the commission of his or her duties;

    c.
    if the ignition of a Firearm does not result in the discharge of a projectile due to the use of “blank” cartridges or “blank” ammunition;

    d. if said discharge occurs in an indoor firing range that is designed and constructed to completely contain the projectiles that are discharged from Firearms.

    e. if said discharge occurs during the regular commercial operation of 1) a person that is licensed or certified by the state to discharge Firearms in the regular course of his or her business, or 2) a business establishment that: i) operates an area for the discharge or other use of Firearms for silhouette, skeet, trap, black powder, target, self-defense, or similar recreational shooting; ii) complies with §756.042 of the Texas Health & Safety Code; and iii) was in existence prior to the adoption of these Regulations by the Commissioners Court.

    f. if said discharge is made as part of a ceremony or special event for which prior written approval has been granted by the Commissioners Court and the discharge also complies with exemption (c);

    g. if the person discharging the Firearm from his or her own property is able to present valid documentation that shows he or she had been granted prior written permission to discharge Firearms from an adjacent property owner or owners; and the gross area of the property on which the person discharging the Firearm equals more than two (2) acres when added to the gross area of the adjacent property or properties of the owner(s) who granted written permission. The person discharging a Firearm from his or her own property shall not be required to receive written permission under this Section if he or she is also the property owner of the adjacent property being used to establish a gross area of more than two (2) acres.
     


  2. SIG_Fiend

    SIG_Fiend Administrator TGT Supporter Admin

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    Austin, TX
    Article 5: Criminal Action


    [FONT=Courier New, monospace][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]5.01.[/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Offense.[/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif] A person commits a criminal offense if that person intentionally or knowingly engages in conduct that is a violation of these Regulations.[/FONT][/FONT]


    [FONT=Courier New, monospace][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]5.02.[/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Penalty.[/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif] An offense under these Regulations is a Class C Misdemeanor. However, if it is shown at trial on an offense that the Defendant has been previously convicted under these Regulations , any subsequent offense under these Regulations is a Class B Misdemeanor.[/FONT][/FONT]

    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Article 6: Civil Action[/FONT]


    [FONT=Courier New, monospace][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]6.01.[/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Injunction.[/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif] Any person may file civil suit seeking appropriate injunctive relief to prevent a continued violation or threatened violation of these Regulations.[/FONT][/FONT]


    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Article 7: Miscelleaneous[/FONT]​

    [FONT=Courier New, monospace][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]7.01.[/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Severability. [/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]If any provision of these Regulations or their application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of these Regulations that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of these Regulations are declared to be severable.[/FONT][/FONT]
     
  3. Texas1911

    Texas1911 TGT Addict

    May 29, 2017
    Austin, TX
    Sounds reasonable.
     
  4. SIG_Fiend

    SIG_Fiend Administrator TGT Supporter Admin

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    This to me is the main thing I care about, and I think it's nice that it mentions imminent harm by an animal and "reasonably necessary" so there is no liberal whining about anything. In my neighborhood we've actually seen a few bobcats, coyotes and a few of our neighbors have had some pretty vicious dogs. Though the neighborhood is developed enough that this isn't something I'd normally have to watch out for at least.
     
  5. Hobie Dog

    Hobie Dog Member

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    Feb 24, 2008
    San Marcos, Texas
    Living in Hays County I have tried to keep up with this issue with little success. If you saw the first draft you would have fallen out of your seat thinking you now live in a communist country where ANY guns were illegal. I will read this one more carefully when it's earlier in the day and I'm a little fresher.

    Having said that, I will tell a short story on Hays County law enforcement. A few months ago a friend and I were target practicing on a 30 acre ranch between San Marcos and Wimberley. Having a great time and ear protection on we didn't see the Hays County Sheriff deputies sneak up on us with AR-15's cocked and loaded. As we turned to our bench to reload they were standing about 10 feet away ready for action.

    The fact that they were sneaking up on us scared the #@$* out of us. Fortunately our guns were now empty. They took defensive posture and assured us that everything was OK and said we should lower our weapons (which were on the bench and empty).

    The "Police" were simply following up on a call from a private citizen about gun fire in the area. It took them over an hour to track us down following the noise. We were nearly 1/2 mile from any public road and over 2 miles from the location of the phone call.

    I asked if they understood that they were on private property. They said, "In Hays county we have the right to follow up on any complaint or question. We have been hiding in the bushes watching and feel no threat based on your handling of firearms."

    What if I had been practicing quick draw for cowboy action events? Would they consider that threatening?

    This happened BEFORE any discussions had occurred regarding new regulations in Hays County. (In case you are unaware, a child was accidentally killed by someone target shooting last year. That gave the anti-guns the opportunity to advance their agenda)

    So, before I will say "Sounds reasonable to me" I have to ask myself a few things. Does this give the government more control? Does this protect ME as a gun owner? Does this protect MY property and family? Who's responsibility is it to prove that I have 10 acres? If I am questioned and have legal fees who will pay for them, besides me?

    Have you ever had police stalk you with loaded automatic weapons to "investigate" an anonymous phone call? Think very carefully before you agree to "reasonable".

    Another night I may share the 50 year plan of liberals to change history. It has been very effective thanks to the NEA.
     
  6. SIG_Fiend

    SIG_Fiend Administrator TGT Supporter Admin

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    Austin, TX
    Well, the wording of the proposed changes sounds reasonable to me, however just because they sound that way doesn't dismiss the fact that LEO's might act differently or contrary to the technical meaning of the law and certainly doesn't mean idiot neighbors (speaking generally) won't still call the police and make baseless complaints. There simply is never any guarantees.

    As far as proving the acreage, a quick search of the http://www.hayscad.org/ or any other county appraisal district website (for anyone's respective counties they reside) will generally have lot sizes listed for larger tracts of a few acres and up. It's been my experience that smaller tracts of under an acre are sometimes not listed due to lazy county workers, however large acreage is almost always listed. That and a property tax receipt or old survey should be more than enough to prove it.
     
  7. mcmoyer

    mcmoyer New Member

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    Austin, TX
    Did I hear today that this got voted dowm 3-2 or something like that??
     
  8. Renegade

    Renegade TGT Addict

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    Texas
    follow up on any complaint or question is one thing, tresspassing is another. Now if it is not fenced or anything, that is one thing. But the idea they can go anywhere based on a complaint is nonsense.
     
  9. railkat1

    railkat1 New Member

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    Jul 3, 2016
    Hi everyone,
    I'm new here and am seeking information in regard to the proposed Hays county statutes discussed on this thread. I realize this is an old thread, however I would like to know if any proposals were actually passed to address shooting firearms outside cities and towns in our county. Thanks in advance for any new information.
     
  10. benenglish

    benenglish Lifetime Supporter Lifetime Member

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    New necropost contest winner?
     

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