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HB 3257 - Imitation firearm = firearm for criminal cases

Posted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:01 pm
by Papa_Tiger
https://capitol.texas.gov/BillLookup/Hi ... ill=HB3257

Equates imitation firearms (think realistic airsoft) with firearms when used in conjunction with a crime.

Re: HB 3257 - Imitation firearm = firearm for criminal cases

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 10:59 am
by SQLGeek
Meanwhile California is trying to prosecute cops for shooting people pointing fake guns at them.

Re: HB 3257 - Imitation firearm = firearm for criminal cases

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:44 am
by KLB
I can understand enhancing penalties for brandishing an imitation firearm, but I have misgivings for making the penalties the same as for a real one. That it's an imitation indicates there's no intention to harm anyone, so it seems a less serious offense to me.

Of course, brandishing an imitation firearm is stupid in that LEOs will reasonably perceive it as real.

Re: HB 3257 - Imitation firearm = firearm for criminal cases

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:02 pm
by Flightmare
KLB wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:44 am
I can understand enhancing penalties for brandishing an imitation firearm, but I have misgivings for making the penalties the same as for a real one. That it's an imitation indicates there's no intention to harm anyone, so it seems a less serious offense to me.

Of course, brandishing an imitation firearm is stupid in that LEOs will reasonably perceive it as real.
I think the point of the legislation is that absent an orange tip or other obvious indicator, one would not be able to tell the difference between an imitation firearm and a real one.
If someone were to attempt to rob you on the street using an imitation firearm, would you feel justified in discharging your weapon?
Would you be able to tell the difference?

Until it is proven to be an otherwise, I am going to operate under the assumption that it is a loaded and REAL firearm.

Re: HB 3257 - Imitation firearm = firearm for criminal cases

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:03 pm
by Papa_Tiger
KLB wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:44 am
I can understand enhancing penalties for brandishing an imitation firearm, but I have misgivings for making the penalties the same as for a real one. That it's an imitation indicates there's no intention to harm anyone, so it seems a less serious offense to me.

Of course, brandishing an imitation firearm is stupid in that LEOs will reasonably perceive it as real.
The intent of the criminal using an imitation firearm is to cause the FEAR of bodily harm. They don't want to kill anyone, but they want to make it look like they are willing to kill someone to force the compliance. I see this change as legitimate especially since this only comes into play when the person is already committing a crime such as robbery.

This also gives LTC holders a bit more leeway since we might not know that it was an imitation firearm. If we respond and shoot the person committing the crime, then we can legitimately state that we were in fear for our lives because it looked like a real firearm and we took action to stop a felony.

Re: HB 3257 - Imitation firearm = firearm for criminal cases

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:17 pm
by OldCurlyWolf
Papa_Tiger wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:03 pm
KLB wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:44 am
I can understand enhancing penalties for brandishing an imitation firearm, but I have misgivings for making the penalties the same as for a real one. That it's an imitation indicates there's no intention to harm anyone, so it seems a less serious offense to me.

Of course, brandishing an imitation firearm is stupid in that LEOs will reasonably perceive it as real.
The intent of the criminal using an imitation firearm is to cause the FEAR of bodily harm. They don't want to kill anyone, but they want to make it look like they are willing to kill someone to force the compliance. I see this change as legitimate especially since this only comes into play when the person is already committing a crime such as robbery.

This also gives LTC holders a bit more leeway since we might not know that it was an imitation firearm. If we respond and shoot the person committing the crime, then we can legitimately state that we were in fear for our lives because it looked like a real firearm and we took action to stop a felony.
Aggravated Robbery in Texas at one time and probably still is defined as "Robbery committed using a weapon or the threat of a weapon". As I was taught a weapon doesn't have to be present, just saying "I have a weapon (Knife, Gun, etc.) or flashing a fake is enough.

Re: HB 3257 - Imitation firearm = firearm for criminal cases

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:11 pm
by Skooter
Although the person may not have an intention to harm anyone; the escalation of fear (aka. “Pucker-Factor” is still the REAL. A person or LEO might respond with deadly force which could inadvertently cause harm to a bystander or victim. Using a “fake” weapon SHOULD carry the same penalty as if they used a real weapon.

Try screaming that you have a “bomb” next time you’re on an airplane. You might not have a real bomb; however, you are endangering the lives of others by doing so.

Re: HB 3257 - Imitation firearm = firearm for criminal cases

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:20 pm
by montgomery
Papa_Tiger wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:03 pm


... then we can legitimately state that we were in fear for our lives
I am not an attorney and this is not legal advice: Fear is not a legal requirement for justifiable use of deadly force in Texas. Completely irrelevant. What is relevant is did the mere appearance of the object cause a reasonable and prudent person to believe the item was real to pose immediate and imminent risk of grave bodily harm or death.

Re: HB 3257 - Imitation firearm = firearm for criminal cases

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:47 pm
by Skooter
montgomery wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:20 pm
Papa_Tiger wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:03 pm


... then we can legitimately state that we were in fear for our lives
I am not an attorney and this is not legal advice: Fear is not a legal requirement for justifiable use of deadly force in Texas. Completely irrelevant. What is relevant is did the mere appearance of the object cause a reasonable and prudent person to believe the item was real to pose immediate and imminent risk of grave bodily harm or death.
To-may-toe … To-mah-toe ..... We’re talking about the same thing…

Re: HB 3257 - Imitation firearm = firearm for criminal cases

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 4:14 pm
by montgomery
Skooter wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:47 pm
montgomery wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:20 pm
Papa_Tiger wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:03 pm


... then we can legitimately state that we were in fear for our lives
I am not an attorney and this is not legal advice: Fear is not a legal requirement for justifiable use of deadly force in Texas. Completely irrelevant. What is relevant is did the mere appearance of the object cause a reasonable and prudent person to believe the item was real to pose immediate and imminent risk of grave bodily harm or death.
To-may-toe … To-mah-toe ..... We’re talking about the same thing…
No we are not. It is fear of grave bodily harm or death versus immediate and imminent grave bodily harm or death.

Re: HB 3257 - Imitation firearm = firearm for criminal cases

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 4:50 pm
by Papa_Tiger
montgomery wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 4:14 pm
Skooter wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:47 pm
montgomery wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:20 pm
Papa_Tiger wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:03 pm


... then we can legitimately state that we were in fear for our lives
I am not an attorney and this is not legal advice: Fear is not a legal requirement for justifiable use of deadly force in Texas. Completely irrelevant. What is relevant is did the mere appearance of the object cause a reasonable and prudent person to believe the item was real to pose immediate and imminent risk of grave bodily harm or death.
To-may-toe … To-mah-toe ..... We’re talking about the same thing…
No we are not. It is fear of grave bodily harm or death versus immediate and imminent grave bodily harm or death.
And then a prosecutor brings up, "A toy gun. He had a toy gun in his hand and Mr. Montgomery shot him to death." A lot easier to justify on multiple fronts for you and your defense if the law treats the toy gun used in the commission of a crime the same way it treats an actual firearm.

Re: HB 3257 - Imitation firearm = firearm for criminal cases

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:02 pm
by montgomery
Papa_Tiger wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 4:50 pm
montgomery wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 4:14 pm
Skooter wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:47 pm
montgomery wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:20 pm
Papa_Tiger wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:03 pm


... then we can legitimately state that we were in fear for our lives
I am not an attorney and this is not legal advice: Fear is not a legal requirement for justifiable use of deadly force in Texas. Completely irrelevant. What is relevant is did the mere appearance of the object cause a reasonable and prudent person to believe the item was real to pose immediate and imminent risk of grave bodily harm or death.
To-may-toe … To-mah-toe ..... We’re talking about the same thing…
No we are not. It is fear of grave bodily harm or death versus immediate and imminent grave bodily harm or death.
And then a prosecutor brings up, "A toy gun. He had a toy gun in his hand and Mr. Montgomery shot him to death." A lot easier to justify on multiple fronts for you and your defense if the law treats the toy gun used in the commission of a crime the same way it treats an actual firearm.
Agreed. Point is fear is not a legal factor to satisfied justified deadly force in Texas, despite what many instructors falsely claim.

Re: HB 3257 - Imitation firearm = firearm for criminal cases

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:21 pm
by surprise_i'm_armed
Well, I guess this is a good law to codify that a fake firearm is equivalent to a real firearm.

I had always thought that a fake firearm WAS considered a firearm, since LEO's who shoot people with fake guns do so with the assumption that the gun is real.

If LEO's or legally armed citizens shoot someone with a replica gun, they should be shielded from any adverse legal or civil actions.

SIA