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by Charles L. Cotton
Wed Jul 19, 2006 10:28 am
Forum: Goals for 2007
Topic: No Off Limit Places
Replies: 20
Views: 6822

As Kevin noted, 30.06 was enacted to make it more difficult to post a location as off-limits to armed CHL's. I also agree that homeowners should be able to prohibit anyone they wish from entering their property, including armed CHL's.

When it comes to commercial/business property however, I feel differently. When I go to someone’s home or other non-commercial property I do so for my benefit, whether that be for fellowship with a friend or for some other reason. When I go to a business, I do so because the business owner has asked me to come and hopefully spend money. I do not believe the business owner should be allowed to require me to disarm thus increasing the risk of me becoming a crime victim. Yes, I could choose to go to another store, but I should not have to do so.

Business/commercial property is heavily controlled now and the private property argument isn’t even raised. We have fire codes that require the property owner to install certain equipment and limits the number of people you can have in the building at one time. The owner of commercial property must allow city inspectors to enter the property at any time during business hours, without a warrant. There are restrictions on locking doors during business hours. A business owner cannot post a sign saying “No Jews, Catholics, blacks or women,� while a homeowner can. Commercial property is treated differently because its purpose is to attract customers and government has an interest in requiring a certain level of protection for those customers. I believe there is a legitimate interest in protecting customers who have CHLs by not requiring them to cross parking lots or traverse dark parking garages unarmed, simply because a business owner doesn’t want them armed in his store. By passing the CHL statute, the State of Texas has determined that it is the public policy of this State the law-abiding people should be able to protect themselves from violent attack by the carrying of handguns. The State set requirements for obtaining the CHL and business/commercial property owners should not be able to thwart this State’s public policy.

As for equating the CHL with a LEO as it relates to off-limits locations, I agree with one exception. I think court buildings should remain off-limits to CHL’s, but I’ll go one further. I think they should also be off-limits to LEO’s who are not there in their official capacity. I’ve seen wonderful people go crazy over trial or rulings from the bench. I saw a deputy constable go ballistic over a ruling in his divorce case and even the bailiff was getting ready for what he thought was coming.

Here is something you may not be aware of; LEO’s cannot be prosecuted for trespass under TPC §30.05 if the reason for their exclusion was that they were armed. This is true whether or not they are on official business! So, you can’t prohibit a LEO from entering your home simply because he has a gun.

Here is the operative language from TPC §30.05:

(g) This section does not apply if:

(1) the basis on which entry on the property or land or
in the building was forbidden is that entry with a handgun or other
weapon was forbidden; and

(2) the actor at the time of the offense was a peace
officer, including a commissioned peace officer of a recognized
state, or a special investigator under Article 2.122, Code of
Criminal Procedure, regardless of whether the peace officer or
special investigator was engaged in the actual discharge of an
official duty while carrying the weapon.

Regards,
Chas.

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