Concern over HB220 and HB511

Relevant bills filed and their status

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Concern over HB220 and HB511

#1

Post by Skiprr » Mon Jan 15, 2007 1:27 pm

First, am I going nuts or are HB220 and HB511 identical, word for word?

Second, I'm very concerned about them (both? either?). While on the one hand it's always a good thing to tighten down the wording and make things more explicit, on the other I know that for me, personally (and for a whole lot of other people who may not realize it yet), it's probably going to mean I'll have to stop carrying for well over 80% of the time I'm outside of my front door.

Why? It's the largest employers that are the ones with the wherewithal to meet the criteria for (b)(1) and (b)(2). For example, the company I work for has several different facilities in town that each house 2,000 or more employees. Today, all the buildings themselves are 30.06 posted. But the current statutes, I think, leave some interpretive room and, while all five of these facilities have parking lots that meet the new criteria and could be posted tomorrow (and, trust me; that posting will happen if the new bill passes), it isn't entirely clear if, today, an employee parking lot can be posted; so there are no signs at the entrances to the lots, only on the doors to the buildings. (Also keep in mind that employee parking lots of this size often mean there is no other parking option for employees within walking distance of the facility.)

The new bill(s) rewrite GC Section 411.203, which today simply reads:

RIGHTS OF EMPLOYERS. This subchapter does not prevent or otherwise limit the right of a public or private employer to prohibit persons who are licensed under this subchapter from carrying a concealed handgun on the premises of the business.

Penal Code Section 46.035 defines premises:

(3) "Premises" means a building or a portion of a building. The term does not include any public or private driveway, street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area.

So today, I do not consider myself in violation of the law if I have a handgun concealed and secured in my vehicle when I drive to work and park there.

The new bill introduces this:

(b) ... A private employer may prohibit an employee from transporting or storing a concealed handgun in a vehicle in a parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area the employer provides for employees if:

(1) the parking lot, garage, or other area is completely surrounded by a gate and is not open to the public; and

(2) ingress to and egress from the parking lot, garage, or other area are monitored by security personnel. [Note that I construe this to mean the personnel do not have to be physically present at the entrances and exits, that electronic monitoring is sufficient.]

I'll reiterate that it's the companies who employ tens of thousands who are the ones that already meet this "restricted" parking lot criteria, and if they already have the buildings 30.06 posted, I'm bettin' lunch money that the parking lots will have new signs within a few weeks of the September 1 enactment of HB220/511...if it passes. So this, I believe, has the potential to affect significant numbers of CHL holders.

The only parking option I have where I work is the employer-provided lot. If I am legally restricted from having my weapon concealed and secured in my vehicle, that means I can't even take it out of the house when I make the hour drive to work; and I won't have it with me if I run errands at lunchtime; and I won't have it if I go somewhere after work; and I won't have it on the hour drive back home. That'll sure blow my hopes of going to Top Gun on Mondays or Tuesdays after work...although maybe G.C. will let me just point my finger and yell "bang" in place of actual firearm training. ;-)

Am I the only person who works for a big company that's worried about this? I don't think I'm misreading the potential impact. It seems as if the proposed bill(s) do more to restrict CHL holders than enable them. I can't figure out why HB220 or HB511 are good things...
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#2

Post by casselthief » Mon Jan 15, 2007 2:07 pm

here's an idea: when you get to work, take out yer smoke wagon, unload it, and put it in yer trunk. well, you'll have to do that before you get to work, like at a gas station or something, but you get the idea.
just an idea, that way at least you'll still have it in yer car.
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Re: Concern over HB220 and HB511

#3

Post by txinvestigator » Mon Jan 15, 2007 2:32 pm

Skiprr wrote:First, am I going nuts or are HB220 and HB511 identical, word for word?

Second, I'm very concerned about them (both? either?). While on the one hand it's always a good thing to tighten down the wording and make things more explicit, on the other I know that for me, personally (and for a whole lot of other people who may not realize it yet), it's probably going to mean I'll have to stop carrying for well over 80% of the time I'm outside of my front door.

Why? It's the largest employers that are the ones with the wherewithal to meet the criteria for (b)(1) and (b)(2). For example, the company I work for has several different facilities in town that each house 2,000 or more employees. Today, all the buildings themselves are 30.06 posted. But the current statutes, I think, leave some interpretive room and, while all five of these facilities have parking lots that meet the new criteria and could be posted tomorrow (and, trust me; that posting will happen if the new bill passes), it isn't entirely clear if, today, an employee parking lot can be posted; so there are no signs at the entrances to the lots, only on the doors to the buildings. (Also keep in mind that employee parking lots of this size often mean there is no other parking option for employees within walking distance of the facility.)

The new bill(s) rewrite GC Section 411.203, which today simply reads:

RIGHTS OF EMPLOYERS. This subchapter does not prevent or otherwise limit the right of a public or private employer to prohibit persons who are licensed under this subchapter from carrying a concealed handgun on the premises of the business.

Penal Code Section 46.035 defines premises:

(3) "Premises" means a building or a portion of a building. The term does not include any public or private driveway, street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area.
That definition of premise ONLY applies to the sections off limits in sections 46.03 and 46.035 of the penal code. Currently there is NOTHING preventing a private employer or business from posting in parking lots and making parking lots off limits for holders of CHL's.

What the new law does is restrict that ability for private employers.

If your employer currently posts 30.06 in the parking lot you are in violation of 30.06. Under the new law, you would not be in violation unless the employer met the requirements about fences, security, etc.

It is a step in the right direction.
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#4

Post by Skiprr » Mon Jan 15, 2007 2:32 pm

casselthief wrote:here's an idea: when you get to work, take out yer smoke wagon, unload it, and put it in yer trunk. well, you'll have to do that before you get to work, like at a gas station or something, but you get the idea.
just an idea, that way at least you'll still have it in yer car.
I could live with that just fine, but under the new bill, that would still be a misdemeanor if the employer posts the parking lot as off limits. Wouldn't be able to transport or store a concealed handgun in a vehicle in the parking lot, garage, etc. Wouldn't matter if I had it soldered underneath the muffler.

That's the thing that's got me concerned. I wouldn't mind if the firearm had to be locked in a safe or stored away from ammo with a trigger lock. But to have the wording of the bill specifically state that it can't be transported or stored, period, means that people in my situation either stop carrying the vast majority of the time, or they break the law. Neither option is good for CHLers or the Second Amendment.
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#5

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Mon Jan 15, 2007 2:34 pm

The narrow definition of "premises" found in TPC §46.035(f)(3) does not apply to Tex. Gov't Code §411.203. Therefore, private parking lots can be posted with enforceable 30.06 signs under current law. (Edited to add: TX beat me to it.)

If either of these bills pass in their current form, the vast majority of CHL holders will be able to leave their guns in their cars. However, I agree that improvements can be made to help employees who park within parking areas described by the proposed new subsections (1)&(2). Let's see what the bill looks like when it comes out of committee.

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#6

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Mon Jan 15, 2007 2:38 pm

Skiprr wrote:I could live with that just fine, but under the new bill, that would still be a misdemeanor if the employer posts the parking lot as off limits. Wouldn't be able to transport or store a concealed handgun in a vehicle in the parking lot, garage, etc. Wouldn't matter if I had it soldered underneath the muffler.
If the gun is in a locked trunk, then you would not be in violation of 30.06. That statute requires you to be carrying your handgun under the authority of your CHL. You are doing so only when it is "on or about your person" and that doesn't include in your trunk.

Chas.


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#7

Post by txinvestigator » Mon Jan 15, 2007 2:49 pm

Charles L. Cotton wrote:
Skiprr wrote:I could live with that just fine, but under the new bill, that would still be a misdemeanor if the employer posts the parking lot as off limits. Wouldn't be able to transport or store a concealed handgun in a vehicle in the parking lot, garage, etc. Wouldn't matter if I had it soldered underneath the muffler.
If the gun is in a locked trunk, then you would not be in violation of 30.06. That statute requires you to be carrying your handgun under the authority of your CHL. You are doing so only when it is "on or about your person" and that doesn't include in your trunk.

Chas.
:iagree:
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Re: Concern over HB220 and HB511

#8

Post by Skiprr » Mon Jan 15, 2007 3:07 pm

txinvestigator wrote:That definition of premise ONLY applies to the sections off limits in sections 46.03 and 46.035 of the penal code. Currently there is NOTHING preventing a private employer or business from posting in parking lots and making parking lots off limits for holders of CHL's.
See; I knew someone could help lift the fog. It looks clearer now. It still seems, though, that the new wording might encourage employers whose parking facilities match the criteria to go ahead and post signs when they hadn't before. But nothing to be done about that.

And speaking of which, as I understand it now, shouldn't 30.06 logically undergo a change if GC 411.203 gets changed? Our access gates, for example, are triggered by our EZTag toll tags. So if there was a sign with one-inch letters I'm expected to read from a moving car, well, good luck with my less-than-youthful vision. ;-)
Under the new law, you would not be in violation unless the employer met the requirements about fences, security, etc.

It is a step in the right direction.
Okay. I'll bite. And if my parking lots get signed, they get signed. And I'll be unarmed. Que sera.

But at least tell me I wasn't mistaken that both these bills contain identical wording...
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#9

Post by Skiprr » Mon Jan 15, 2007 3:16 pm

Charles L. Cotton wrote:If the gun is in a locked trunk, then you would not be in violation of 30.06. That statute requires you to be carrying your handgun under the authority of your CHL. You are doing so only when it is "on or about your person" and that doesn't include in your trunk.
See? This Forum is absolutely great for quickly scrubbing clean those ignorant, stubborn neurons! :grin:

Thanks.
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#10

Post by Renegade » Mon Jan 15, 2007 10:32 pm

Consider this oddity.

You, your spouse and your brother all drive separate cars to the same place of work, which is posted 30.06 at the parking lot entrance. You have an CHL, your spouse does not and your brother is a Texas peace officer (reserve) with CHL. You all carry concealed handguns in your cars. As you each of you pass the 30.06 sign, is anyone breaking the law?

No. 30.06 only applies to people carrying under authority of CHL law (as Charles said above). So -

Spouse has no CHL, so she cannot be charged. She carries legally under new traveling definition.

Brother while he has a CHL, does not carry under CHL law, he carries under Texas Peace Officer law in 46.15.

You while you usually carry under CHL law, are also carrying under new traveling law (just like your wife) and thus have carry rights from two parts of Texas laws (and your brother has three). Thus when you reach 30.06 sign, you are legal too, provided you keep in compliance with new traveling law.

The new traveling law pretty much nullified 30.06 wherever you can take your vehicle and stay in compliance with it.

Discuss.


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#11

Post by gmckinl » Mon Jan 15, 2007 10:47 pm

I'm hopeful about these bills because they should remove the threat of termination for an employee found to have a firearm in his vehicle while in the company parking lot. My present company is very uptight about this; my previous company didn't care and in fact had a FFL. This is why I've resisted getting a CHL for so many years. I don't want to get a call from security because the dogs went nuts over my vehicle and the gun behind the seat. Not being able to carry to/from work pretty much kills benefit of CHL for me as I frequently never leave the house otherwise (shopping, banking, etc. is done on the way to/from work).
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#12

Post by stevie_d_64 » Mon Jan 15, 2007 10:57 pm

Renegade wrote:Consider this oddity.

You, your spouse and your brother all drive separate cars to the same place of work, which is posted 30.06 at the parking lot entrance. You have an CHL, your spouse does not and your brother is a Texas peace officer (reserve) with CHL. You all carry concealed handguns in your cars. As you each of you pass the 30.06 sign, is anyone breaking the law?

No. 30.06 only applies to people carrying under authority of CHL law (as Charles said above). So -

Spouse has no CHL, so she cannot be charged. She carries legally under new traveling definition.

Brother while he has a CHL, does not carry under CHL law, he carries under Texas Peace Officer law in 46.15.

You while you usually carry under CHL law, are also carrying under new traveling law (just like your wife) and thus have carry rights from two parts of Texas laws (and your brother has three). Thus when you reach 30.06 sign, you are legal too, provided you keep in compliance with new traveling law.

The new traveling law pretty much nullified 30.06 wherever you can take your vehicle and stay in compliance with it.

Discuss.
Interesting...Need to digest this some more...Charles will say you're thinking like a law student...And I believe he means that in a nice way...

I'm not sure the "traveling exemption law" as we know it, is that warm a blanket to get totally comfortable with...

If we didn't have such a cadre of big city and county DA's being horses patoots about it, we might not be having conversations about this issue...

I'm hoping some resolution comes out this session...We've been working and waiting for 2 years to clear the air about some of this stuff...
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#13

Post by Renegade » Mon Jan 15, 2007 11:01 pm

stevie_d_64 wrote:
Interesting...Need to digest this some more...Charles will say you're thinking like a law student...And I believe he means that in a nice way...

I'm not sure the "traveling exemption law" as we know it, is that warm a blanket to get totally comfortable with...
Yes, but you see the logic here. Same logic applies to gun shows that post 30.06. It does not really ban concealed carry of handguns by CHLs. I was carrying handguns into gun shows long before CHL law and it was legal under 46.15. Still is. We can save that oddity for another thread.

One of the things we could use is clarification that obtaining a CHL does not involve losing other firearms rights you may have, that are found elsewhere in the Code. It is silly if a non-CHL can lawfully carry where a CHL cannot. No way, no how was the intent of CHL law to cause you to lose carry rights you had before getting a CHL. The purpose of CHL was to increase your carry rights.


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#14

Post by txinvestigator » Tue Jan 16, 2007 7:52 am

Renegade wrote:
stevie_d_64 wrote:
Interesting...Need to digest this some more...Charles will say you're thinking like a law student...And I believe he means that in a nice way...

I'm not sure the "traveling exemption law" as we know it, is that warm a blanket to get totally comfortable with...
Yes, but you see the logic here. Same logic applies to gun shows that post 30.06. It does not really ban concealed carry of handguns by CHLs. I was carrying handguns into gun shows long before CHL law and it was legal under 46.15. Still is. We can save that oddity for another thread.
How is that under 46.15? I don't believe walking around show is a 'sporting activity where handguns are commonly used".
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#15

Post by Renegade » Tue Jan 16, 2007 9:34 am

txinvestigator wrote:
Renegade wrote:
stevie_d_64 wrote:
Interesting...Need to digest this some more...Charles will say you're thinking like a law student...And I believe he means that in a nice way...

I'm not sure the "traveling exemption law" as we know it, is that warm a blanket to get totally comfortable with...
Yes, but you see the logic here. Same logic applies to gun shows that post 30.06. It does not really ban concealed carry of handguns by CHLs. I was carrying handguns into gun shows long before CHL law and it was legal under 46.15. Still is. We can save that oddity for another thread.
How is that under 46.15? I don't believe walking around show is a 'sporting activity where handguns are commonly used".
If not 46.15, then whatever part of the law that prevents one from prosecuted under 46.02, as at any gun show, lots of folks are intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about their person a handgun, illegal knife, etc.

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