Regarding HB1815 in TX Metro Areas

eriadoc

Active Member
Nov 11, 2008
204
16
As we all know, HB1815 makes it legal to carry a firearm in one's vehicle while traveling. Chuck Rosenthal, then DA of Harris Co., dictated to local law enforcement that they would continue to make arrests in these situations and then let the judicial system handle it. It is my understanding that the district attorneys in San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas (those respective counties) all did the same thing. With the recent election, Rosenthal's out in Harris Co., and Pat Lykos is in. Does anyone know her stance on this particular issue? I haven't been able to find it anywhere yet.
 

Texan2

TGT Addict
Nov 8, 2008
7,947
36
South of San Antonio
1.) the DA can dicatate whatever he wants...he is not in charge of LE in his district. I have heard variations of this story about the DA n Houston, but could never find any Houston LE to confirm it was true. He can opt to prosecute or not prosecute cases, but cannot give orders to LE, nor can he prosecute for breaking a law that doesn't exist.
2.) San Antonio DA, Susan Reed, has no interest in charging people carrying in their cars who are otherwise not breaking the law.

It is my belief that these rumors are simply fear mongering during an election year.
 

nalioth

Active Member
Oct 13, 2008
866
36
Houston Metro
Yes, it is fear mongering.

Ol' Chuck isn't even the DA any more.

A little research (this is the internet, you know) goes a long way.
 

JKTex

Well-Known
Mar 11, 2008
2,018
38
DFW, North Texas
AH hell, I'll bite.....

Under HB1815, obviously a person without a CHL, how will an LEO know you have a gun properly concealed in your car? Unless of course you've done something that gives them the right to search, but then you've likely already done something that makes possessing it illegal anyway.
 

Texan2

TGT Addict
Nov 8, 2008
7,947
36
South of San Antonio
AH hell, I'll bite.....

Under HB1815, obviously a person without a CHL, how will an LEO know you have a gun properly concealed in your car? Unless of course you've done something that gives them the right to search, but then you've likely already done something that makes possessing it illegal anyway.
This law is pretty eay to understand...I think we are making it more difficult than it is.
 

txinvestigator

TGT Addict
May 28, 2008
14,119
113
Ft Worth, TX
As we all know, HB1815 makes it legal to carry a firearm in one's vehicle while traveling.
That is incorrect. 1815 made changes to the Texas Unlawful Carrying Weapon law (section 46.02 of the penal code). It says nothing about traveling, and traveling matters not. It makes it CLEAR that it is not illegal to carry in a motor vehicle as long as 4 requirements are met.

Chuck Rosenthal, then DA of Harris Co., dictated to local law enforcement that they would continue to make arrests in these situations and then let the judicial system handle it. It is my understanding that the district attorneys in San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas (those respective counties) all did the same thing. With the recent election, Rosenthal's out in Harris Co., and Pat Lykos is in. Does anyone know her stance on this particular issue? I haven't been able to find it anywhere yet.
The DAs in those counties have said nothing of the sort.

Link to the law PENAL CODEÂ*Â* CHAPTER 46. WEAPONS
 

eriadoc

Active Member
Nov 11, 2008
204
16
1.) the DA can dicatate whatever he wants...he is not in charge of LE in his district. I have heard variations of this story about the DA n Houston, but could never find any Houston LE to confirm it was true. He can opt to prosecute or not prosecute cases, but cannot give orders to LE, nor can he prosecute for breaking a law that doesn't exist.
2.) San Antonio DA, Susan Reed, has no interest in charging people carrying in their cars who are otherwise not breaking the law.

It is my belief that these rumors are simply fear mongering during an election year.
It's not election year fear mongering. It's based on a Houston Chronicle article that came out in 2005. I'll paste it below for everyone.

Yes, it is fear mongering.

Ol' Chuck isn't even the DA any more.

A little research (this is the internet, you know) goes a long way.
Yeah, it does. Like you could have looked up the article I'll post below, or just posted in a somewhat less sanctimonious manner (and not been wrong). Also, if you read my first post, I stated that Rosenthal was no longer the DA, and my question was whether anyone knew what the NEW Da's stance on it (Pat Lykos). Jeez.

That is incorrect. 1815 made changes to the Texas Unlawful Carrying Weapon law (section 46.02 of the penal code. It says notghing about traveling, and traveling is matters not. It makes it CLEAR that it is not illegal to carry in a motor vehicle as long as 4 requirements are met.
From the link on these forums, the law states it's legal to carry in one's vehicle if you're "traveling", no? I'm not a lawyer, and reading legalese is not my forte, but I thought that was pretty clear. Please clear me up on that. Regardless, I think we're generally on the same page.

The DAs in those counties have said nothing of the sort.
As I stated in my first post, it was my understanding they had, but unlike the Rosenthal thing, I don't know for sure. I received my info from a federal agent who teaches CHL here in Houston, at Top Gun. So, you know, grain of salt and all that.

Here's the Chronicle article:

DA opposed to new handgun law
Pistol-toting drivers without a permit will still be prosecuted, Rosenthal warns
By CLAY ROBISON
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle Austin Bureau

AUSTIN - Motorists arrested for carrying pistols in their cars without a concealed handgun license will continue to be prosecuted in Houston, despite a new law that purports to give them a legal defense, Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal said Monday.

Although the sponsor said the law should reduce the number of arrests for unlawful handgun possession, Rosenthal said it won't change enforcement practices in Houston after it goes into effect on Thursday.

"It is still going to be against the law for (unlicensed) persons to carry handguns in autos," the district attorney said, adding that the new legal defense can still be challenged by prosecutors.

The new law, enacted during the regular legislative session last spring, seeks to clarify a longtime law that allowed Texans to carry handguns while traveling, a qualification that was subject to a number of inconsistent court interpretations over the years.

The new statute says a person is "presumed to be traveling" if he or she is in a private vehicle, is not engaged in criminal activity (except for a minor traffic offense), is not prohibited by any other law from possessing a firearm and is not a member of a criminal street gang.

It also requires the handgun to be concealed in the car, although weapons can be discovered by officers during routine traffic stops if a driver gives permission for a car to be searched or opens a glove compartment where a gun is secured to retrieve an insurance card or other documentation.

"The intent of the law is to keep innocent people from going to jail," said the sponsor, Rep. Terry Keel, R-Austin, a former prosecutor and former Travis County sheriff who now is a candidate for the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

The law, House Bill 823, was supported by the National Rifle Association and the American Civil Liberties Union and opposed by various law-enforcement groups.

More than 237,000 Texans have concealed handgun licenses. But many other law-abiding adults don't have licenses because they are disqualified by exceptions that have nothing to do with public safety, said Alice Tripp, a lobbyist for the Texas State Rifle Association, an NRA affiliate.

Tripp said people who have defaulted on student loans, who owe the state sales tax or franchise tax payments or are behind in child support payments are ineligible to receive a license.

Keel said he hoped the law will prompt police officers to think twice about arresting motorists who meet the new legal presumption and spare them the expense and "indignity" of arrest and prosecution.

Otherwise, he said, "They basically are going to arrest innocent people and make them prove their innocence."

Rosenthal and Rob Kepple, executive director of the Texas District and County Attorneys Association, disagreed.

Rosenthal said the new presumption about "traveling" doesn't define what constitutes traveling and can be challenged in court by prosecutors, leaving it to juries to decide verdicts "based upon the facts of the case."

A prosecutor could summon witnesses to successfully argue that a defendant wasn't traveling because he was simply "driving around the corner for a carton of milk," Kepple said.

"I really don't think (the law) should affect how police officers respond in arresting somebody," he added.

Houston Police Department spokeswoman Johanna Abad indicated Houston police were going to take their advice from Rosenthal's office.

Unlawful possession of a weapon is a class A misdemeanor punishable by as much as one year in county jail and a $4,000 fine. Rosenthal said most cases are resolved through plea bargains.

The prosecutor said he asked Gov. Rick Perry to veto the bill because "taking weapons off the street is a pretty good deal." He said his office handled about 5,000 weapons cases of varying degrees of severity last year.

Tripp called Rosenthal's opposition a case of "sour grapes ... and a threat to the general public."

clay.robison@chron.com
The second bolded statement is my favorite of all.

So at the end of all this, my question still stands - does anyone know Pat Lykos' position on this?
 

txinvestigator

TGT Addict
May 28, 2008
14,119
113
Ft Worth, TX
It's not election year fear mongering. It's based on a Houston Chronicle article that came out in 2005. I'll paste it below for everyone.
In 2005 the law was different and Rosenthal said that. However, in 2007 the law changed.






From the link on these forums, the law states it's legal to carry in one's vehicle if you're "traveling", no?
No, it does not. Look up the bill you posted and read it carefully, or look at the penal code in the Texas Legislature website under section 46.02. Traveling is no longer an issue.


So at the end of all this, my question still stands - does anyone know Pat Lykos' position on this?
The position of DAs is to prosecute violations of the law. Read the law and see if you think there is ANY ambiguity or room for a "position".
 

eriadoc

Active Member
Nov 11, 2008
204
16
In 2005 the law was different and Rosenthal said that. However, in 2007 the law changed.
He specifically responded to questioning about the proposed law that eventually went into effect in '07.

The position of DAs is to prosecute violations of the law. Read the law and see if you think there is ANY ambiguity or room for a "position".
Yes, I know that. I'm fairly certain that Rosenthal did not know that, or rather, chose to circumvent that, based on things from the article, such as:

Rosenthal said the new presumption about "traveling" doesn't define what constitutes traveling and can be challenged in court by prosecutors, leaving it to juries to decide verdicts "based upon the facts of the case."
"I really don't think (the law) should affect how police officers respond in arresting somebody," he added.
And finally,

The prosecutor said he asked Gov. Rick Perry to veto the bill because "taking weapons off the street is a pretty good deal."
So to me, it's pretty clear that Rosenthal had an agenda that he was pushing, despite what the prescribed role of the DA is. What I want to know is if anyone has any clue if Pat Lykos buys into this nonsense as well.

Also re: someone's earlier comment about the police personnel following the DA's lead, from the article:

Houston Police Department spokeswoman Johanna Abad indicated Houston police were going to take their advice from Rosenthal's office.
 

Sponsors

Greeneye Tactical
Texas Gun Forum Ad
silencers
third coast
Ranier
Tyrant Designs
DK Firearms

Forum statistics

Threads
95,328
Messages
2,116,726
Members
30,374
Latest member
Hamster1
Top Bottom