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Thread: Definition of concealed in Texas

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    Hi Texans. I may have to go to El Paso in the next few weeks, driving from Arizona. I have an Arizona CCW permit which is by reciprocity recognized by Texas for concealed carry.

    I find Texas's gun laws to be a bit odd. In Arizona, open carry is legal for just about anyone who can legally possess a gun, with concealed carry as an "escalated" privilege, which requires the permit.

    My question is what qualifies as concealed. In Arizona, I carry what might be called "mostly concealed," meaning, the end of my holster may occasionally become visible in high wind or if I am reaching over my head. I wear an unbuttoned shirt over a t-shirt most of the time. However, none of the actual pistol is ever visible.

    Does the display of a part of a holster qualify as open carry, and is therefore proscribed in Texas? I suspect it does, and will probably carry the pistol in a satchel of some sort to be safe.

    Thanks.

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    It means COMPLETELY out of sight, not even 1% of the gun or holster -- which suggests a gun -- showing. You don't even want a concealed gun PRINTING!

    So keep it WELLCONCEALEDhere in TX where Johnny Law don't cotton to seeing guns on citizens in this here state!

    -- John D.

    P.S. Enjoy your visit to Mexico...
    (formerly of Colorado Springs, CO)

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    I've held a TX CHL since 1995, and worn a concealed handgununder golf shirts, jackets, sweaters, and even T-shirts all over Texas in the subsequent years. Never had an issue related to "printing", or bulging. Pre-CHL I routinely & publicly OC'ed in rural areas of West Texas without raising any eyebrows - although that exercise was associate-sensitive,and acceptable within the community norms and the particular context involved.

    The legal hair-splitting over concealment of recent yearshas risen directly from administering the CHL program. "Failure to conceal" addressesthe prospect of menacing conduct potentially & specifically engaged in by CHL holders displaying a weapon from concealment.

    A "reasonable" definition of concealment with support from Messers Webster, Funk, Wagnall, and others - EVEN in Texas- to paraphrase the concisecoalesced English lexicon - is........ TO HIDE FROMOBSERVATION - period.

    TO CONCEAL from detection via observation- by definition implies that another person who is not aware of the handgun in questionis ABLE to determine the presence of same soley by observation.

    The operative and determining factor therefore:


    Is the HANDGUN in question DISPLAYED in a manner that is OBSERVABLE AND IDENTIFIABLE - AS A HANDGUN ?

    Not whether or nota "mysteriousbulge" , or some other "clue" to the POSSIBLE presence of a handgunis observable. This is why Law enforcement HANDS-ON "frisk" subjects - to DETECT the presence of weapons concealed.

    The intent of Texas CHL law was to prescribe a criminal penalty for the DISPLAY of a handgunwith intent &purpose to cause public alarm. Unfortunately this simple intent of the lawhas spawned a perceived need to search out the deeper meanings and nuances of"concealed" to the point that the term has mutated intoan illusive phantom.


    All the discussion about bulging, printing, or exposed portionsofaccessory holders is amental stress-test.

    My point is - don't get all frizzeled over terminology that just ain't that complicated.







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    ...as long as theCOPS don't get all "frizzeled" over it...

    -- John D.


    (formerly of Colorado Springs, CO)

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    All of this preoccupation in Texas with the concept of concealment- when a weapon is either DISPLAYED or it is not - is probably one reason the open carry effort floundered down there.

    If Texans would spend 1/2 as much time communicating by phone,letter, and in person with their State legislators, Governor, and Attorney Generalinsisting on passage of some form of an open carry bill - as they spendtrying to read something into existing law that doesn't exist - well........What do you think isat the source of this excessive paranoia that LEO's have X-ray vision ?[As if they have nothing better to do than engage in CHL surveilance ?]

    Have you considered the anti-RTKBA crowd...just maybe ???

    The CHLlaw was enacted under the condition that the licensed carry exception provided for CONCEALED carry. OK - Texas - you got it. Now on to the next step - licensed CARRY. That is the only way to get around societal opposition to OC in your State. The LEO is going to exercise the "community caretaking function" and check-out the OC'er ........

    So why not carry "credentials" [TX HL, DL or photo ID indorsement]that evidences a background check ?[ No restrictions regarding child support, student loans, or behind on taxes]. If you want OC in Texas, I am convinced that you are going to have to compromise on this one. You can't buy a firearm from a dealer without the NICS anyway. You can't "legally" possess a firearm if you are a "defined" offender - so what's the problem withconceding that the 2A RIGHT "is not absolute" ?

    We had a "visitor"this week -recently released from the Texas D.O.C.- here in Colorado Springs menacing people in a restuarant parking lot with a Glock 23. [Probably a clumsy robbery attempt] Prohibited possession in Texas, Colorado, and throughout the U.S. He's in our jail now on a BATFE hold.This is WHY society wants some kind of assurance that the armed person in their midst has beenchecked-out and determined not to be a habitual violent criminal.


    I appreciate my option to CC- but it simply does not accord the deterrent value that OC does. I OC everyday here in Colorado when I walk out the front door . There are naturally some limitations on where you can OC here - hospitals, courts, public buildings if so posted by the City/County. I don't OC everywhere I go - depending upon my judgement calls. When OC is legalized in Texas, you won't OC everywhere/all the time either, butit sure is nice to BE ABLE TO make the call yourself - especially in parking lot situations.

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    Sounds like you're dong more than most of us Texans here on that...please continue. Maybe OC will come here faster with you help.

    -- John D.


    (formerly of Colorado Springs, CO)

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    I apologize for my apparent low tolerance for the spinning of wheels - when some traction is in order.

    My viewpoint is influenced by my 45 years as a Texan - followed by the last 3 years as a Coloradoan - where the people seem to enjoy alot more freedoms.

    Texas is a BIG State - but it's not so big that the carpet-baggers down there can'thave their tail-feathers clipped by thepeople that elect them taking "front row seats" in the public arena.

    The best "seat" right now is the one in the same room & facing directly across the desk or counter from your State legislator.

    My daughter lives in Hitchcock - my son lives in Houston.In all likelyhood I'll be relocating to Arlington in the near future. I'm retired - and I promise MY legislators will be seeing alot of me. This effort needs toget traction and take off.


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    SANDCREEK,

    "Spinning of wheels" is what's mostly done in this forum -- and just about every other forum on the Internet -- as it's preaching to the choir since most members pretty much agree. That's one reason I stopped posting in almost every forumI used to and only sometimes post here (but not as much as I once did).We can vent to each other but that's pretty much all that's accomplished.I'm not saying the OpenCarry.Org forum owners and "heavyweight" regulars here don't get things done -- they sure have, and Texas is getting close to OC MAINLY because of them -- but that does not describe MOST of us here.

    Another reason I post less isI do not share ANY of the liberal social/cultural views most postershere share (outside of the gun issue) but I don't post in disagreement in order to maintain"peace and harmony"within the forum. There are not as many conservatives here as one might think since most posters, disappointingly, are VERY liberal in other areas and IMO, they are the enemy now and in any upcoming Culture War or Civil War II (and they sure are NOT my "brothers and sisters" in arms even if they ARE pro-gun).

    But despite your cirticism of some Texans fussing over this or that, I'm sure some of usDO help "the cause" in our own way, even if it's not enough to satisfy some other people such as yourself. But I must tell you that I do not consider myself a Texan even though I've lived in this state since 1964 -- I don't have that backwards/microscopic Colonial America mentality -- I'm an American.

    Anyway, as I also encouragedanother poster here (a Texan), I seriously think you should consider running for politcal office instead of taking people to task here. Politics is where the power is; not much will get done here.

    Whatever, I wish you good results in getting things changed as it sounds like you are a "mover" and not a spectator, whereas in my case I think it's too late to "work within the system" (Claire Wolfe)-- especially since Obama got elected by over half of the votes of so-called "Americans" -- and am merely waiting for Culture War or Civil War II to happen (and as I continue to search for Amerca so I can find a more pleasant place to live with others of like mind).Such hostilities probably willnever happen, of course, as the "American" people seem to have no limitto how muchinfringement, Big Brother and other assorted crap they will take and condone, but if it ever does happen, that's when I think REAL "change" can take place. Freely and withextreme prejudice. It's kind of like a dirty oven left so long, only a REAL thorough cleaning will do the job...then there is a second chance to KEEP it clean via regular "maintenance." This country needs serious cleansing.

    In the meantime here in Galveston, TX, as another hurricane season approcahes, I just continue my work (a high priority item) on my emergency preparations (mainly my solar panel emergency power backup system -- my few guns are always good to go) and speak in support of the RKBA and 2nd Amendment -- and far beyond that, the unalienable right of self-defense -- when the opportunity arises in conversations.On a small scale of one person at a time, I have had some success. I wish I could do more, but with my "colorful" personal history, I can not take my own advice andrun for office.

    But I hope some others -- such as yourself -- will.

    Regards,

    -- John D.
    (formerly of Colorado Springs, CO)

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    cloudcroft wrote:
    It means COMPLETELY out of sight, not even 1% of the gun or holster -- which suggests a gun -- showing. You don't even want a concealed gun PRINTING!
    My sarcasm meter is out of calibration. Were you being serious, or facetious?

    From the Texas Government Code:

    SUBCHAPTER H. LICENSE TO CARRY A CONCEALED HANDGUN

    Sec.411.171.DEFINITIONS.In this subchapter:

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


    That's the basic definition of "concealed" when it comes to issuing a Concealed Handgun License.

    What's more important is the law that would apply for someone who didn't conceal:

    Sec.46.035.UNLAWFUL CARRYING OF HANDGUN BY LICENSE HOLDER.

    (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.


    Bulging, printing, poor concealment, jacket blowing open, etc., don't count. The only thing that counts is whether someone intentionally fails to conceal their handgun. Anything else anyone tells you is simply incorrect. And yes, I know that includes many CHL instructors and LEOs.


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    KBCraig,

    No,I was not attempting humor: I was repeating what I have heard many other people say about Texas CC in assorted guns forums,but I have no first-person experience to support it. If this is wrong, then I stand corrected, but still, cops make most people nervous even when said people are doing nothing illegal.

    I do suppose, however, thatthe people I know in Texas who are carrying illegally -- in civil disobedience to a bad law infringing upon the RKBA -- would more likely be concerned about printing!

    As for what "the law" says, cops often violate the law either through ignorance or not, by hassling/arresting you. Too many stories all over the country show this, and I'm sure Texas has its share. Even if you get off later because they were WRONG, often you don't even get an apology for the "inconvenience" -- or worse.So I can understand why people are more worried about "the authorities" than they are of criminals. I know I am.

    In short, what the lawSAYS and what copsDO often are two different things entirely.

    Thank you for your legal citations...I'm sure they will work in front of the judge if not with an overzealous DA and/or on the street with the thin blue line.

    Now, with everyone's permission, I am done with this topic as my error about the law has been corrected, even if my "concern" about cops honoring it has not.

    -- John D.

    (formerly of Colorado Springs, CO)

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    I'm trying to get a "handle" on what the problema is down there in the Lone Star Republic.

    I spent the first 18 years of my life in SO California. I still recall the myoptic mentalityout there. It wasn't at all unusual to meet native Californians who had NEVER been OUT OF California ! The usual response when asked WHY they had never visited another state ?......" WHY would I WANT TO ???"

    I think Texans may share in some of thismind-set. Texas is so big that a person could easily spend there life there without leaving the State. Maybe they are so "proud" of Texas that they feel like Texas could never be on the wrong track.

    Well.... I just returned from the convenience store down the street where I get my Sunday morning Mc D breakfast and pick up the "Gazette". BTW - the S&W .357 is holstered- displayed at 3 o'clock on the belt.No one bats an eye - not because so many folks wear their weapons displayed - but because WE CAN. I transact my business at the counter politely and I'm out the door. The clerk is relatively new - and she took notice of my armed condition, but quickly profiled me and greeted me as not being a criminal threat. Why is that ???

    Well, maybe that's because I'm not wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt, the seat of my trousers isn't mopping the floor, I don't have a rag tied to my head, and I'm not trying to resemble a Jamaican drug lord. I don't have a full-body tatoo ensemble starting at my chin-line, not wearing a "wife-beater" T-shirt.....in short - I don't look like a gang-banging punk ??? Do you suppose people FEAR that not everyone who would OC in public in Texas would present themselves publicly in a respectable manner ? And rather than deal with a situation where "some " people would not be so well received open carrying - they prefer to not deal with the "RIGHTS issue".

    On the contrary - I'm 66 years old, silver-headed, dressed in casual slacks & golf shirt , clean - shaven, got a hair-cut last week- probably look like a school teacher, or at least a productive , law-abiding member of society.

    If some people prefer to look like gang-bangin' punks [ or they actually are] that's their problem. If they want their children to follow in their foot-steps that everyone's problem. In the mean time folks who care about the future of this nation are fed-up withplaying childish games - and aim to put a stop to it because such behavior is bringing the country down to its knees.

    The point is - this illustration highlights the reason there is resistance to open carry in Texas- and even Colorado -because the law makers realize that they can't dictate manner of dress or appearances. As I have mentioned - in the States where open carry is legal - it is only a very small "cadre" of residents that exercise the option. You know what though - that small "cadre" contributes to the lower crime rate where they live, and most merchants realize that , and welcome the patronage of the OC'er.

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    The main problem in Texas is that the main gun organization is scared of political correctness. They're certain that if OC became legal, there would be such an uproar that the list of places posted "no guns" or statutorily off limits (which would apply to concealed carry too) would skyrocket.

    I believe they're wrong.

    They also believe that making OC a political issue harms their efforts to get legal campus carry, and employee protection from parking lot bans. Those were their big issues this year. There was never a serious attempt to legalize OC, but their efforts still failed.

    Gee, maybe they oughta try swinging for the fences in 2011, instead of more creeping incrementalism.

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    I live in Houston and I carry everywhere EXCEPT at my job at a Large University.
    Concealed means just that. If you show and a person see's it and becomes alarmed, your in trouble.
    That being said, IF is a very big IF! Most people will not even notice or if your dressed nice like me, may think your a cop. Conduct yourself as a professional, be neat and clean and polite, you won't have a problem. I had young ladies at Academy see the clips holding my IWB holster and ask me what I carry. All I have to do is set down 20 boxes of 9mm on the register to answer that.
    Texans have had many years to get use to the fact that many of us carry. Visitors from NY still freek, but who cares.
    Just do your best, follow the rules and you'll have a nice life.:celebrate
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    KBCraig wrote:
    The main problem in Texas is that the main gun organization is scared of political correctness. They're certain that if OC became legal, there would be such an uproar that the list of places posted "no guns" or statutorily off limits (which would apply to concealed carry too) would skyrocket.
    I guess I just don't understand Texas well. I find Texas's resistance to this uncomprehensible. I can see these attitudes in the northeast states, where I'm from originally, but Texas? It just seems so "out of character," given my impression not only of Texas but Texans in general.

    If Texas did suddenly legalize open carry, there probably would be a short-lived uproar, and sign posting, because you flick on that switch, and yeah, some segment of the population is going to get agitated.

    But then time will pass and things will not materially change in terms of violence and crime and people will relax and forget about it.

    I've been across Texas a few times and it is more similar to Arizona (where open carry is allowed by anyone who can legally possess a firearm) than it is different - the rural parts in particular.

    Anyway didn't mean to cause a cascade of posts here. "Concealed" may well have a simple meaning in the dictionary, but I don't trust governments, and I don't trust laws. That's why I asked for more specifics.

    I'm debating at this point whether to bother bringing a gun with me at all, until I can figure out some system which allows deep concealment because the last thing I need is some kind of out-of-state legal case to deal with.

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    As an old retired soldier and new Texan (since 1990), a great part of it is in your body language and attitude...I wear a ponytail, have a long beard with tail of its own and generally wear overalls, boots, hat, etc. I have never had a hard time from any peace officer. I have not had to present my weapon but have had a few close calls. I am high drag, low speed and cannot run. I will beg the wife for money or a cuddle, but otherwise only if it will give me a tactical advantage. In all cases, a phone call or a quick visit to the local police department allowed them to take care of a burglar, a potential group fight, and a dog ring. I believe it's the old credo: treat others as you would wish to be treated...and never treat anyone else as if they were stupid. Having a good life and living Free in Texas.

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    OldTexSoldier wrote:
    As an old retired soldier and new Texan (since 1990), a great part of it is in your body language and attitude...I wear a ponytail, have a long beard with tail of its own and generally wear overalls, boots, hat, etc. I have never had a hard time from any peace officer. I have not had to present my weapon but have had a few close calls. I am high drag, low speed and cannot run. I will beg the wife for money or a cuddle, but otherwise only if it will give me a tactical advantage. In all cases, a phone call or a quick visit to the local police department allowed them to take care of a burglar, a potential group fight, and a dog ring. I believe it's the old credo: treat others as you would wish to be treated...and never treat anyone else as if they were stupid. Having a good life and living Free in Texas.
    AMEN to that!
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    Craig,

    Please enjoy your visit to the Great State of Texas and please don't worry about bringing your gun. The only time you'll get in trouble is for intentional failure to conceal. Even if you accidentally unconceal, realize that most people here won't bat an eye if they see you carrying IF YOU HAVE THE RIGHT ATTITUDE ABOUT IT.

    Example: a friend of mine was walking out of Wal-Mart when the wind caught his shirt and concealed his firearm. A lady walking next to him stopped and yelled "Oh my God, he has a gun!"

    Several people stopped and looked at the two of them when she yelled that.

    My friend casually re-concealed his weapon, looked at the woman, and said "Lady, you're in Texas. Get over it." He then calmy walked back to his car.

    That said, if you're concerned about your holster becoming partly visible, you may want to look at http://www.comp-tac.com/product_info.php?products_id=95. This is my daily carry holster and I've never had a problem with it either printing or unconcealing my weapon.

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    I highly recommend looking into a CrossBreed IWB holster. I bought one for my Kel-Tec P32 and man this thing is comfortable, EASILY concealable, and very secure. I've been wearing mine everyday, everywhere, since I got it a few weeks ago. I'm waitin on my XD compact 45 to come in, thenI'll beordering my next CrossBreed.

    http://www.crossbreedholsters.com/

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    I hate IWB holsters and the way they feel so I always carry OWB pancake style whether OC or CC. Obviously, in gold star OC state of VA, accidental unconcealing orprinting is a non-issue so I'm not worried about any legal problems in regard to this.

    However, I find it important to make sure it's actuallyconcealed whenever I conceal. I feel that semi-concealing is not very smart because accidental unconcealing is NOT the sameis OC. When you OC, you are nottrying to conceal andyou are showingeveryone thatyou have agun and have nothing to hide. When you CC and uncover,youwere HIDINGa gun and made it visible by accident - that would be more scary to others.

    So in summer I either wear a really long and lose shirt/t-shirt untucked or if I find a shirt which is not long enough and/or I want to be really careful about concealing, I throw a vest on top of it.

    While wearing jacket might be just too painful in summer, a vest really doesn't make it that much hotter and it conceals extremely well. In fact, even if you have a vest over a tucked in shirt, it still conceals an OWB gun.

    What I use is one of these 5.11 tactical vests (NRA store sells them along with many local stores). They are heavy enough to conceal well but light enough to be worn in summer. The also have a @#$%load of different pockets of all forms and sizes that help me hold all my crap - car keys, vallet, spare mag(s), flashlight, pepper spray, you name it. And it doesn't look tacticool enough to alarm anyone (including LEO) by it's sheer appearance

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    Can't understand why Bass Pro at Pearland,Texas has the 30.06 tag outside the front door. They even sell guns and accessories. Seems like a conflict of interest.

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    flyfisher64 wrote:
    Can't understand why Bass Pro at Pearland,Texas has the 30.06 tag outside the front door. They even sell guns and accessories. Seems like a conflict of interest.
    Are you sure it's a 30.06 notice? Proper size and wording? Can you provide a picture?

    I'm not trying to bust your chops, but this is your first post, and I've seen cases where someone reports a location as being 30.06 posted, and it turns out there's either a simple "no guns" sticker, or they misread a notice that guns carried in for sale or repair have to be checked with the customer service desk.


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    Yes, I'll try to get a pic the next time I'm over there. My friend first told me about it and he was right.

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    I'll be goin' into Van Horn, TX for a couple days in February. I have an AZ CWP 'n a vertical shoulder holster for my 1911. I suppose I'll have to wear a jacket... but enforced CC will be 'new' experience. Anything peculiar 'bout the Van Horn LEO's I should be concerned with... (small town cops)?

    I dunno what a 30.06 sign is. CanI CC into a place that sells alcohol for consumption on premises (restaurants) armed? Can you (I) consume while armed?

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    Sonora Rebel wrote:
    I dunno what a 30.06 sign is. CanI CC into a place that sells alcohol for consumption on premises (restaurants) armed? Can you (I) consume while armed?
    A 30.06 sign refers to Texas Penal Code section 30.06 (Criminal trespass by a concealed handgun licensee).

    There is not a specific sign, but there is specific wording that must be exact, in both English and Spanish, in block letters 1" high or larger, in contrasting colors, and placed so that it is "conspicuous to the public".

    Here's what a proper 30.06 notice looks like:



    You may carry in restaurants that serve alcohol, but not a "51%" establishment that derives more than half its income from alcohol. There are actually very very few of those in Texas, and they will have big red "51" notices at the entrance. If it's a restaurant, you're good.

    It is legal to drink while carrying, but not to be "intoxicated". There is no BAC requirement to establish "intoxicated" when not driving. Neither is there any requirement to submit to Breathalyzer or field sobriety tests when not driving, so don't. An officer would have to prove by his testimony that you had been drinking, and were a danger to yourself or others, to win a charge of Public Intoxication.



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    crisisweasel wrote:
    Hi Texans. I may have to go to El Paso in the next few weeks...
    Texas Penal code 46.02 prohibits carrying unless you are on your own property, enroute to your vehicle, or in your vehicle. If in your vehicle the weapon must be concealed.

    UNLESS you are "traveling".

    See new thread
    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/view_to...mp;forum_id=51

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