Papa_Tiger wrote: ↑Fri Apr 30, 2021 8:35 am
- Create an offense for carrying a handgun while intoxicated
- Remove the $40 fee to receive a license to carry
- Enhance penalties for people convicted of felonies who are caught carrying handguns
- Strike a provision that forbade law enforcement officers from profiling a person based on whether or not they’re carrying a handgun
- Remove a provision that had said that gun-free zone laws don’t apply unless a person is asked to leave
- Require the Texas Department of Public Safety to create a free, online gun safety course
I could get behind most of them, but I really think that law enforcement is dead wrong on the Dutton amendment (bullet point 4 above) which states:
Sec. 411.2049. CERTAIN INVESTIGATORY STOPS AND INQUIRIES PROHIBITED. A peace officer may not make an investigatory stop or other temporary detention to inquire as to a person’s possession of a handgun solely because the person is carrying a partially or wholly visible handgun in a holster.
I would love to get Mr. Rothstein's perspective on this. In my view, if HB 1927 passes, it would be legal for anyone who is not a prohibited person over the age of 21 to carry a handgun openly or concealed in public. That means that if a person is walking down the street with a handgun, the ONLY way they would be breaking the law is if they are under 21 or a prohibited person. We do not allow random driver's license checks, there has to be some other offense or reasonable suspicion to precipitate a stop. The same sort of rule would apply here.
Why is law enforcement so opposed to the legislature codifying this to prevent harassment and abuse by LEOs of honest, law abiding citizens?
Law enforcement says that it will make their jobs harder by taking way a tool, but this is a tool that they already shouldn't have since after this passes, no law would be broken by the mere possession of a handgun in public.
Do all LEOs assume that every person they encounter is a felon? Seems like a negative way to start any encounter with the public.
I oppose some of these and support some. I do not support making ti an offense to carry while intoxicated unless they specifically define intoxicated to be levels of certain drugs (including alcohol) as revealed by a blood or breath test. The problem with the law now is that it is too general on allowing an officer to say the person appeared intoxicated and not show any evidence of it. I like laws that make it a clear sharp line on what is illegal or not. It is easier for the cops to enforce properly and seems more fair to the citizens to know what is illegal.
I generally support removing the fee for the LTC, but I don't have a lot of heartburn about leaving it there also. Since the license is now optional and really would be used to speed up the purchase of weapons (with some people using it for travel), I don't mind paying an appropriate fee for it.
I cannot argue against enhanced penalties for felons committing felonies. It just seems reasonable to me.
I like the provision requiring a verbal request to leave. I am not opposed too strongly to removing it, but it seems like most cops are going to employ that option first. Cops are generally lazy and will not arrest a person who is trying to be reasonable and wants to just leave and not come back.
I support requiring someone to develop an on-line safety class, and strongly support requiring it to be taught periodically in elementary, middle, and high schools. Having something for the responsible adults who are interested in a little basic training in firearms makes sense. I am not sure if I would require DPS to do it, but they "should" know this subject. I think they have a history that is questionable at best on their support for firearms though, so I think I would prefer the experts at training, TEEX, to do it. They do teach police courses too, so it is not too big a stretch for them.
And now for the big one, the Dutton Amendment. In theory, this is an unnecessary bill. I was taught that a person doing something that has as much chance of being legal as illegal is not grounds for a stop. The odds have to favor it being illegal for it to be probable cause. Obviously, if anyone can carry, the odds are way in favor of it not being illegal. But then we run into the Terry v. Ohio case, where the SCOTUS made a big exception to the Fourth Amendment by allowing stops and frisks for suspicious behavior. This is a case where the facts were just played just right and a good cop did his job right and stopped a crime. But it led to what I think of as bad precedent and weakened the Fourth Amendment. One way it weakened the right is by allowing the frisk. Most people do not know all the rules that the case requires, even most cops, and it is abused (ask any young Black man in New York about this) a lot. I have a lot of faith in most cops, but as a result of the misconceptions about frisks and searches, I think we do need this clause still in the law and probably will for the foreseeable future.