Legal age for having a handgun in your vehicle

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Micky
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Legal age for having a handgun in your vehicle

Postby Micky » Sun Jul 27, 2008 8:47 am

Is an 18 year old legally allowed to have a loaded handgun in his vehicle?

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seamusTX
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Re: Legal age for having a handgun in your vehicle

Postby seamusTX » Sun Jul 27, 2008 9:20 am

Yes, but I am not confident that every police officer in Texas has received the memo.

- Jim


KBCraig
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Re: Legal age for having a handgun in your vehicle

Postby KBCraig » Sun Jul 27, 2008 9:46 am

There is no age limit by Texas law. Even a 16 year old driver would be legal.


BigBlueDodge
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Re: Legal age for having a handgun in your vehicle

Postby BigBlueDodge » Sun Jul 27, 2008 1:48 pm

KBCraig wrote:There is no age limit by Texas law. Even a 16 year old driver would be legal.


I don't know if that is true. Texas law says that a child may not have access to a loaded weapon unless in the supervision of an adult. The law defines child as anyone under 17 years old. I'll have to go look up the statues. In that case, a 16year old would not be legal to have a gun in the car without an adult.

I would suggest, that anyone 17 or 18 year old that has a handgun in the car and gets pulled over by a cop will probably face some serious paranoia by the LEO. I wouldn't expect a very rosy/cheery experience in that encounter, especially if it is in the evening.


Update... Here is the law, section 46.13

§ 46.13. MAKING A FIREARM ACCESSIBLE TO A CHILD.
(a) In this section:
(1) "Child" means a person younger than 17 years of
age.
(2) "Readily dischargeable firearm" means a firearm
that is loaded with ammunition, whether or not a round is in the
chamber.
(3) "Secure" means to take steps that a reasonable
person would take to prevent the access to a readily dischargeable
firearm by a child, including but not limited to placing a firearm
in a locked container or temporarily rendering the firearm
inoperable by a trigger lock or other means.
(b) A person commits an offense if a child gains access to a
readily dischargeable firearm and the person with criminal
negligence:
(1) failed to secure the firearm; or
(2) left the firearm in a place to which the person
knew or should have known the child would gain access.
(c) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this
section that the child's access to the firearm:
(1) was supervised by a person older than 18 years of
age and was for hunting, sporting, or other lawful purposes;
(2) consisted of lawful defense by the child of people
or property;
(3) was gained by entering property in violation of
this code; or
(4) occurred during a time when the actor was engaged
in an agricultural enterprise.
(d) Except as provided by Subsection (e), an offense under
this section is a Class C misdemeanor.
(e) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor
if the child discharges the firearm and causes death or serious
bodily injury to himself or another person.
...


So it appears as though the parent's would get hit with a class C or class A misdemeanour if they let their 16 year old or younger kid drive a vehicle with a loaded weapon.

I don't think it is well known in Texas that a 17 year old can legally carry a gun in their car in Texas. I'm not even sure how man LEO know that. Quite honestly I would almost prefer that it stay that way. Keep it on a need to know basis. I think if more people realized this, then we would surely see more opposition to it, and a push to get the laws changed.


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Re: Legal age for having a handgun in your vehicle

Postby txmatt » Sun Jul 27, 2008 5:48 pm

Not this again...

http://www.texasshooting.com/TexasCHL_Forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=16941&start=0&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

Short summary: It is not illegal for the child to possess the firearm, it is illegal (and a class C mis.) for the adult to make it available. These are two different things, and on a practical level the only time an officer is going to find out about the gun is if the kid uses it in defense (and then there is a defense to prosecution for having provided it) or if the kid does something illegal which is why the law was written, to keep guns out of irresponsible youthful hands.

I guess if an officer found out about it during a routine traffic stop the officer could launch an investigation into the possibility that a class C misdemeanor was committed, but I don't see that as being very likely if there were no other crime committed.


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Micky
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Re: Legal age for having a handgun in your vehicle

Postby Micky » Sun Jul 27, 2008 7:37 pm

Thanks for the replys. Sorry if I brought up a sore subject. :tiphat:

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seamusTX
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Re: Legal age for having a handgun in your vehicle

Postby seamusTX » Sun Jul 27, 2008 7:48 pm

Don't feel bad. You asked about an 18-year-old. There's no question that an 18-year-old can legally carry a concealed handgun in a vehicle.

He needs to be aware that if he commits any offense other than a class C traffic offense, he is then open to a charge of unlawful carry. That would include DWI and disorderly conduct (for example, swearing at another driver).

- Jim


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Re: Legal age for having a handgun in your vehicle

Postby KBCraig » Sun Jul 27, 2008 11:41 pm

txmatt wrote:Not this again...

http://www.texasshooting.com/TexasCHL_Forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=16941&start=0&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

Short summary: It is not illegal for the child to possess the firearm, it is illegal (and a class C mis.) for the adult to make it available.

And only if it is "readily dischargeable", meaning loaded with ammunition (even if a round is not chambered). It's perfectly legal to leave an unloaded pistol readily available to someone under 18.

I don't know about your teenagers, but mine know how to load their own magazines. ;-)


Mike1951
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Re: Legal age for having a handgun in your vehicle

Postby Mike1951 » Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:20 am

(b) A person commits an offense if a child gains access to a
readily dischargeable firearm and the person with criminal
negligence:


Could this be the only instance in Texas law where it makes a difference whether the gun is loaded or unloaded?
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seamusTX
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Re: Legal age for having a handgun in your vehicle

Postby seamusTX » Mon Jul 28, 2008 7:18 am

Yes. For every other purpose, it doesn't matter if it is loaded or unloaded or whether it is capable of functioning.

- Jim


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Re: Legal age for having a handgun in your vehicle

Postby kitty » Tue Jul 29, 2008 8:38 am

This is a very interesting thread.

We have a 17 year old daughter, and I have often wondered if it would be legal for her to carry a pistol in her car when she drives to work, or goes out with her friends. So, the general consensus here is that it is legal because she's 17. Is it still legal if she has a friend in the car who is younger than 17? What if she gets pulled over, is she obligated to let the officer know there is a gun in the vehicle?

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seamusTX
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Re: Legal age for having a handgun in your vehicle

Postby seamusTX » Tue Jul 29, 2008 9:09 am

I think it's legal, but I am not a lawyer and not qualified to give legal advice.

If I had a child that age, I would be nervous about the situation. It is an untested area of law. Some police officers don't know that the law has changed.

I also think that anyone carrying a weapon has to be trained both in how to use it and the legal principles of the use of deadly force.

Having teenage passengers in the vehicle adds another factor of potential irresponsibility. I remember when I was that age. The "friend of a friend" could be a load of trouble.

No one is required to inform an officer that they are armed. The officer can ask, in which case the person can say Yes, or "I decline to answer that question," or nothing at all.

- Jim

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AJSully421
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Re: Legal age for having a handgun in your vehicle

Postby AJSully421 » Wed Jul 30, 2008 7:20 am

seamusTX wrote:
No one is required to inform an officer that they are armed. The officer can ask, in which case the person can say Yes, or "I decline to answer that question," or nothing at all.

- Jim



"Am I under arrest?"
"No"
"Then I decline to answer that question"
"Well then you're under arrest"
"Then now I exercise my Miranda Right to remain silent"
:smash: :smash: :smash: :smash: :smash: :smash: :smash:
"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant, it's just that they know so much that isn't so." - Ronald Reagan, 1964

30.06 signs only make criminals and terrorists safer.

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seamusTX
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Re: Legal age for having a handgun in your vehicle

Postby seamusTX » Wed Jul 30, 2008 7:59 am

You can take that approach. You will probably get the charges dropped. But yer going to jail, and yer gonna make a couple of boat payments for a lawyer.

- JIm

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DoubleJ
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Re: Legal age for having a handgun in your vehicle

Postby DoubleJ » Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:14 pm

somebody's gotta pay for that boat, thang don't pay for it's self!
FWIW, IIRC, AFAIK, FTMP, IANAL. YMMV.


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