Law Enforcement committee question

Relevant bills filed and their status

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mr fixit
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Law Enforcement committee question

#1

Post by mr fixit » Thu Feb 01, 2007 9:28 am

I see that HB220 has been refered to the LE committee. What are it's chances in this committee this session. Will we need to attend as Impact witnessess again as we did with Farabees bill last session?

What is the outlook for it?
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#2

Post by stevie_d_64 » Thu Feb 01, 2007 10:07 am

How much time are you given to address this committee???

I wouldn't mind attending either, but I have a concern that if I do, and anyone else who is not retired or in some other form or fashioned "employed"...That our comments will be public record, and our support for this bill would give our employers reason to scrutinize us closer because we wanna have a trunk full of guns in "their" parking lot...

Not that I really give a care what they think, I am wondering if our coming out publically in this could work against some of us in that regard...

Because the gun-control folks will be there...Writing down names and such...I wouldn't put it against them to publish and or inform our employers about our activities...

I dunno, maybe I'm blowing it out of proportion, but considering the nature of the bill, and those who would be against it passing, it just got me to thinking outside the box a little bit...
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#3

Post by mr fixit » Thu Feb 01, 2007 12:04 pm

I don't remember there being a time limit, but there may be one.

Last session when I spoke to the committee I saw nobody really taking names to be used against anybody. I, Alice Tripp, and Jerry Patterson spoke for the bill.

Those that spoke against it were (it seemed to me) lobbyist for business owner rights. They may have been in some association of businesses. Their basic argument was that it would infringe on a business owners rights to control his property.
I call nonsense, but that is the position they took.

When speaking before the committee, you have your say and then the members of the committee have the opportunity to ask you questions to clarify your position, although none asked any questions of me.

I found it interesting that one of the "antis�, as you called them, spoke before me and mentioned something about a gun being left in the seat of a car with the window down and easy access for kids or a thief.
When I spoke, I mentioned his comment and said that could be easily fixed by adding words to the effect that they had to be secured in the car. I mentioned locked glove boxes, or even portable locking gun safes/cases.

After the committee adjourned, he came up to me very cordially and said that my comment was a good idea, and that we could probably find some common ground on that.

It is my opinion, based on my very limited experience, that the folks at the top of the anti gun food chain (the Clintons, Shummers, folks that are in charge of lobbying) are not the shouting spewing name taking types. The local lady or man who hates guns and gun owners because he knew someone who got shot are the ones who rant and rave and yell when they talk about guns and gun issues. The folks that seem to go to the trouble of appearing before a legislative committee seem to be a bit more professional and business like. You can talk to them in a business like manner even though you are diametrically opposed in viewpoints.
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#4

Post by stevie_d_64 » Thu Feb 01, 2007 1:06 pm

Well I figured there would have to be some structure to the meeting, no problem with that...

I do like that if the committee members wish, is to interact and clarify the discussion...I've never really received that kind of interchange when I went to address the Houston City Counsel...Not that I really expected any... :lol:

You definitely gave light to how it really works in there...Thanks...

I'm sure I would not cause any real heartache if I put my 2 cents into public record...
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#5

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Thu Feb 01, 2007 1:59 pm

The House Law Enforcement Committee:

Chairman: Rep. Joe Driver A+
Vice-Chair: Rep. Thomas Latham A (new guy)
Rep. Alma Allen (Bad)
Rep. Stephen Frost A+
Rep. Soloman Ortiz, Jr. A (new guy)
Rep. Hubert Vo (CHL holder who wants to vote with us, but is a Houston Democrat
Rep. George "Buddy" West A

Chas.


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#6

Post by mr fixit » Thu Feb 01, 2007 2:49 pm

Chas.,
who was the guy from Houston that was on it last session?
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#7

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Thu Feb 01, 2007 4:03 pm

mr fixit wrote:Chas.,
who was the guy from Houston that was on it last session?
Glenn Hegar is from Katy and he was on the Law Enforcement Committee in 2005. He's now a Senator.

Chas.


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#8

Post by KBCraig » Fri Feb 02, 2007 3:46 pm

mr fixit wrote:Those that spoke against it were (it seemed to me) lobbyist for business owner rights. They may have been in some association of businesses. Their basic argument was that it would infringe on a business owners rights to control his property.
I call nonsense, but that is the position they took.
Just out of curiosity... would you think it "nonsense" if this was a bill which went the other way? Say, one that mandated banning guns in the workplace?

If a property owner doesn't want guns on his property, that's not "nonsense". That's his right.

It's no different from your right to tell people they can't (fill in the blank) on your property.

Kevin

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#9

Post by GlockenHammer » Fri Feb 02, 2007 4:04 pm

While it may not be the Texas way, I like what Kansas did with their 30.06 equivalent--if a business bans guns in their establishment, that means that no one, not even the owners, are not allowed to have guns on that property either.

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#10

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Fri Feb 02, 2007 7:13 pm

KBCraig wrote:
mr fixit wrote:Those that spoke against it were (it seemed to me) lobbyist for business owner rights. They may have been in some association of businesses. Their basic argument was that it would infringe on a business owners rights to control his property.
I call nonsense, but that is the position they took.
Just out of curiosity... would you think it "nonsense" if this was a bill which went the other way? Say, one that mandated banning guns in the workplace?

If a property owner doesn't want guns on his property, that's not "nonsense". That's his right.

It's no different from your right to tell people they can't (fill in the blank) on your property.

Kevin
Commercial property has never enjoyed the same level of private property rights as does non-commercial property. Commercial property is already regulated by federal, state and local ordinance. For example, a business owner must comply with the American With Disabilities Act, they must meet state and local fire codes, they must meet elevator inspection requirements, and the list goes on and on. A shop owner cannot bar potential customers based upon race or religion and numerous attributes.

When someone decides to open a business and invite in customers and employees, he does not enjoy near unfettered discretion with his property as he does with his home. Not allowing him to prohibit an employee from having a gun in his or her car is a very minor addition to the regulation commercial property owners already face.

Also, prohibiting an employee from storing a gun in their car deprives them of the ability to protect themselves the entire time they are driving to and from the employer's location and this drive is substantial for many people.

Chas.

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#11

Post by Liberty » Fri Feb 02, 2007 9:25 pm

Charles L. Cotton wrote: Commercial property has never enjoyed the same level of private property rights as does non-commercial property. Commercial property is already regulated by federal, state and local ordinance. For example, a business owner must comply with the American With Disabilities Act, they must meet state and local fire codes, they must meet elevator inspection requirements, and the list goes on and on. A shop owner cannot bar potential customers based upon race or religion and numerous attributes.
It could be argued that this isn't right either. I would, but I'm to tired and don't want to go to far off tangent.


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#12

Post by Rallyman » Mon Feb 05, 2007 12:04 pm

Charles L. Cotton wrote:
Commercial property has never enjoyed the same level of private property rights as does non-commercial property. ...<snip>...
IANAL

This makes sense to me, not sure how the courts would feel about it. I am not sure that we should offer the same rights to a business as we do to an individual, and it seems that we don't. I'm not in favor of forcing business to cowtow to the whims of government... just that they may not be entitled to the exact same rights as an individual. JMO.

That said, it seems that the biggest issue is liability. If the business can be protected I think that most of the opposition will fade away.

I have no desire to strip a business owner of rights they are entitled to. But my personal vehicle, even while on their lot, is never under their control. IMO. I keep the keys and if something needs to be addressed on the vehicle I get contacted. (lights are on, it's raining and your windows are down...) Issues like that are for me to address and as such I should be allowed to control the contents of my vehicle. IMO.

ETA: Many employee parking lots are also shared by the public as they come to patronize the business. How can you distinguish between the two?


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#13

Post by Thane » Mon Feb 05, 2007 3:57 pm

A person cannot be held responsible for things outside their control; it therefore follows that responsibility and control go hand-in-hand.

If business owners want the ability to control their employees' property over the employees' wishes, then they need to share a portion of responsibility equal to their control.

The ability to affirm/deny the right to a weapon in a car does not stop at guns or knives. Rather, it is the ability to exert control over someone else. If it is not a violation of an employee's rights to deny them self-defense within certain conditions, then it's also not a violation to deny them other things (drugs, alcohol, shoes, peanut butter, cats, books). You've already proclaimed your ability to control the car. What you choose to control is mere details, and what you choose to allow is now the choice of you, the employer, not the employees. In short, while that car is on company property, it is itself effectively company property.

Thus, if the employer has the right to affirm/deny the ability to possess certain things, it then becomes the obligation of the employer to enforce not only their own rules, but to ensure the legality of whatever is within their control. Employee has heroin in his car? Why didn't the employer catch it? After all, the car was on company property and therefore effectively also company property. Why didn't the employer do something about it?

For that matter, why did the employer allow the car that had a bad headlight out of the parking lot and back onto the street? Why didn't they tell the guy with the car that puts out massive quantities of smoke to get it fixed?

Because the employer doesn't own those cars and has no control over them.

Put the burden back on the employers in this argument. Once they realize that control over employees' cars entails certain possible legal liabilities... A great many will drop it like a hot potato.

---

One man does not have the right to control another man's property in such a manner. If you don't want guns in your employees' cars on company property, then shut down your company parking lot and don't allow those cars on said company property. It's as simple as that.
And if you lose business 'cause your customers have to walk six blocks for lack of parking... oh well.
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