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MateFrio
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Posted: 3/26/2013 11:56:35 AM
[Last Edit: 5/14/2013 6:43:43 PM by MateFrio]
Ok, folks here's the point where I put a chapter and verse out on the Internet with enough information for the curious to do a virtual anal probe of my life. Please use lube.

So Travis County, DPS were the arresting officers.

Proof this really happened is easy to obtain.

Thursday March 14th I road to the Texas State Capitol building on my motorcycle. In Austin I planed to testify in support of a handful of bills that would allow the carry of handguns on college campuses and open carry of handguns by a Concealed Handgun Licensee (CHL).

I was carrying my handgun, concealed, and pocket knife and a knife with a blade of 6.25 inches long in a sheath on my belt, open to the world.

In the Texas State Capitol building there are two lines to enter. The metal detector line and the Concealed Handgun Licensee line that lets anyone with a license bypass the metal detectors. I used the CHL line, no issues.

Texas law refers to a knife with a blade over 5.5 inches long as an "illegal knife" that you generally can't have on your person except for a few exceptions such as travelling, hunting, fishing, at my home or place of business.

The law also states it doesn't apply to a person who is carrying a concealed handgun and a valid concealed handgun license (CHL). The crux of that is that the majority LEOs don't know or, as I found out, don't choose to acknowledge the plainness of this exception. I thought I stood a good chance of successfully disputing an arrest by pointing out the law in the event I was stopped.

Once at the building I passed though security, with my CHL, and went around looking for the meeting room. I asked no fewer than 4 DPS officers around the capitol building where the room was located. My sense of direction sucks, it's easy to get turned around in that building as well.

I went into the meeting, passing a group of 3 DPS officers, found out I had to register outside the room, went out passing them again, registered, and went back in and listened to the folks testifying for and against the campus carry bills.

About an hr later, mother nature called. I found a polite time to leave, when others were also leaving and I left the room.

Outside there were several DPS officers waiting... For me.

As far as not talking to the police.

I kept my comments, as much as I could, to the point of pointing out the law. When they asked how long the knife is I said it was a good idea to measure it at that point they did.

I spent the next couple of hours showing them where the law stated I was OK, them scratching their heads and even had a lively debate among them with 2 out of 12 folks agreeing with me and the others wanting to book me and let the DA figure it out. They checked my CHL status, my DL took my knifes, gun and holsters and sheath.

They did allow me to pee. I was sweating it though for a bit.

The knife was measured and measured wrong at 7.25 inches on a paper cutter that started at one inch on the ruler.

They then printed out 46.15 (b) 1-8 that had been hand hightlited at the top

(b) Section 46.02 does not apply to a person who:

And then down to the bottom of the page was also highlited.

(6) is carrying a concealed handgun and a valid license issued under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, to carry a concealed handgun of the same category as the handgun the person is carrying;

I was then asked if this is what I was referring to. I said yes, that's it. May I leave now?

I was then told I was ignorant of the law, the section in question only is valid for handguns.

I got arrested, booked in jail, charged with Unlawfully Carrying a Weapon (For my knife not my gun) and spent the night there till I was approved for personal bail. I got some sleep at the jail (Don't ask me how), got out at about 3:30am and then found my motorcycle and drove home.

This was a Class A Misdemeanour charge. I have been notified under section 411.187 that I may no longer carry and have turned in my CHL.

I've hired a lawyer.

In selecting a lawyer I narrowed it down to five, then sent a brief description of the charges in an email. All either emailed or called back. Only one I think really understood.

First email from him:
"Mr. [Matefrio],

Are you saying you were: (1) carrying your concealed handgun license; and (2) carrying a concealed handgun; and (3) carrying a knife with a blade over five and one-half inches?

Thank you for contacting me."

My Response: "That is correct."

Second email:
Mr. [Matefrio],

In that case you have an interesting case of statutory interpretation, one that the authors of 46.15(b)(6) probably did not anticipate, but one that appears to have merit.

He also seems to be very familiar with guns personally.

In further conversations he's stated it's really not even statutory interpretation as to have a case of that the law would need to be vague, in this case he believes it's not vague at all.

The plan now is to file a motion to suppress the arrest with the judge. Most likely the DA will appeal the motion even if the judge grants my request. In that case I hire an appeals lawyer and we go though the process again.

I've communicated to my lawyer that the desired outcome of all this is that myself and others don't get caught up in this same situation.

There are no guarantees this will forge that path. But I think I've got an opportunity to make a trail head.

For now I'm not foing anywhere.
MateFrio
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Posted: 3/26/2013 11:58:33 AM
[Last Edit: 3/27/2013 12:39:50 PM by MateFrio]
Let me put some reality around timelines and expectations.

It's darn hard to make legal precedent. It's darn expensive to litigate a case that makes legal precedent.

JUST the first stage of this case may be pushed out easily to July 2013 and that's almost the earliest.

I've asked my lawyer to lead me down the best path with a primary and secondary goal in mind that by no means are exclusive of each other.

Not to have a criminal record.
To make it possible for myself and others to carry without fear under this exemption.
IF I successfully challenge the arrest my lawyer fully expects the DA to appeal the decision.

If that happens then I'll be looking at another lawyer with more fees to handle the appeal.

If I win the appeal there is a chance we can get the courts to voice an opinion.

It's going to be a long ride.

I appreciate the help and support I've received here.

I'll put this out there for everyone wanting to help. First off, thanks. I really appreciate the willingness to share my burden across many backs.

Taking in a resource, time, money etc to use for this isn't straight forward though and may take a bit of time. It will happen though.

I'd post my paypal account but it's not that easy and to be fair to everyone I am waiting for all the pieces to fall into place and that will include an entry, use and exit plan with clear checks and balances for every resource given.

MateFrio
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Posted: 3/26/2013 12:03:04 PM
Stock picture of the knife.


joemama74
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Posted: 3/26/2013 12:08:56 PM
Glad it's your wallet and not mine. Good luck.
RenegadeX
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Posted: 3/26/2013 12:14:07 PM
So the officers/security at the metal detectors had no issue with you bringing in the knife?

it is unfortunate that statutes a 5th grader could comprehend are not comprehendable by LEOs.
Curdmugeon45
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Posted: 3/26/2013 12:14:31 PM
Thank you for beng the test case.
brazos609
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Posted: 3/26/2013 12:25:24 PM
You played a stupid game and now you are paying the price. That chapter and verse only says that the handgun portion of 46.02 does not apply to a person carrying the correct category of handgun for which they are licensed. Even they lawyer you are consulting first said "you have an interesting case of statutory interpretation," not that what you think is right. A defense attorney is going to tell you he will argue something for you because that is how he gets paid. Just because some of the officers didn't notice the knife, didn't think it was over the maximum length at first glance, or didn't measure it doesn't mean they thought you were right. Expect your CHL to be suspended soon too,just being charged is grounds for suspension.
soowah
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Posted: 3/26/2013 12:35:15 PM
Good luck.

The law is written very clearly. The legislature has had many years to change it if they so wished.

To arrest you for an arbitrary length knife while you are carrying a substantially more powerful weapon is simply asinine. It would almost be like charging you for carrying 2 handguns under your CHL. "Oh, the law says handgun not handgun's" .
Sell crazy someplace else, we're all stocked up here!

Hindut Obama

MateFrio
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Posted: 3/26/2013 1:11:19 PM

Originally Posted By brazos609:
Just because some of the officers didn't notice the knife, didn't think it was over the maximum length at first glance, or didn't measure it doesn't mean they thought you were right. Expect your CHL to be suspended soon too,just being charged is grounds for suspension.

I included detail of walking around just to state they didn't notice the knife for a long time. Nothing more.

I have been notified under section 411.187 that I may no longer carry and have turned in my CHL.

72826
See you down in Arizona bay
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Posted: 3/26/2013 1:12:08 PM

Originally Posted By brazos609:
You played a stupid game and now you are paying the price. That chapter and verse only says that the handgun portion of 46.02 does not apply to a person carrying the correct category of handgun for which they are licensed. Even they lawyer you are consulting first said "you have an interesting case of statutory interpretation," not that what you think is right. A defense attorney is going to tell you he will argue something for you because that is how he gets paid. Just because some of the officers didn't notice the knife, didn't think it was over the maximum length at first glance, or didn't measure it doesn't mean they thought you were right. Expect your CHL to be suspended soon too,just being charged is grounds for suspension.

No, it says that 46.02 does not apply, not that only a specific portion does not apply.
The non-applicability section even has some instances where it mentions specific portions (such as clubs) of 46.02 that do not apply. In this case it just says the whole section.

As for the rest of your post, you need to re-read the OP again. Several times. Slowly.
Shall not be infringed = NO compromise
MateFrio
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Posted: 3/26/2013 1:12:13 PM
I believe they didn't notice the knife.
Originally Posted By RenegadeX:
So the officers/security at the metal detectors had no issue with you bringing in the knife?

it is unfortunate that statutes a 5th grader could comprehend are not comprehendable by LEOs.


TinLeg
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Posted: 3/26/2013 1:27:41 PM
[Last Edit: 3/26/2013 1:32:22 PM by TinLeg]
Good luck.


I'd like to buy you a beer sometime. And if there is a fund set up for you, I will donate.


ETA: Nice knife.
kanek

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Posted: 3/26/2013 1:34:55 PM
Originally Posted By TinLeg:
Good luck.


I'd like to buy you a beer sometime. And if there is a fund set up for you, I will donate.


ETA: Nice knife.


+1 will happily throw some cash towards a defense fund. Penal code is clear to me too... I would hope nothing more happens to you.
74novaman
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Posted: 3/26/2013 1:36:09 PM
Tagging for the results, since this has been debated on a couple of different forums. Will be interested to see the final outcome.

Good luck to you.
When they kick out your front door, How you gonna come?
With your hands on your head, Or on the trigger of your gun? -The Clash
MateFrio
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Posted: 3/26/2013 1:39:35 PM

Originally Posted By 74novaman:
Tagging for the results, since this has been debated on a couple of different forums. Will be interested to see the final outcome.

Good luck to you.

If you'd like to point the other forums here I think it'd be helpful for Texans to know what's going on and make their own judgement what to do.
74novaman
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Posted: 3/26/2013 1:40:24 PM
Originally Posted By MateFrio:

Originally Posted By 74novaman:
Tagging for the results, since this has been debated on a couple of different forums. Will be interested to see the final outcome.

Good luck to you.

If you'd like to point the other forums here I think it'd be helpful for Texans to know what's going on and make their own judgement what to do.


Will do.

When they kick out your front door, How you gonna come?
With your hands on your head, Or on the trigger of your gun? -The Clash
oulufinn
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Posted: 3/26/2013 2:13:38 PM
Only 2 of the 12 seemed to understand? That kinda shoots the whole "Vast majority of cops are good.." right in the ass. No surprise, though. Hope the scum haven't ruined your life.
dotcombust
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Posted: 3/26/2013 2:19:08 PM
Illegal knife is defined in 46.01 (6) (A)

First paragraph of 46.02 includes reference to definition of handgun, "illegal knife" and club from code 46.01 above

46.15 "Non Applicability"
(b) "Section 46.02 does not apply to a person who:"
(6) "is carrying a concealed handgun and a valid license"

Does the term "illegal" make it illegal regardless of how the law was written?



albatrossarmament
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Posted: 3/26/2013 2:23:47 PM
This will be a good case and I think you will prevail. You are definately going about it the right way. Thanks for being the test case, I will follow closely.
MateFrio
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Posted: 3/26/2013 2:26:37 PM
No, case in point they make it legal to carry an "illegal" knife while fishing, hunting, in your motor vehicle or watercraft.

The knives that are "prohibited", like switch blades, are another part of the law. Those have their own exceptions and do not fall under 46.02.
Originally Posted By dotcombust:
Illegal knife is defined in 46.01 (6) (A)

First paragraph of 46.02 includes reference to definition of handgun, "illegal knife" and club from code 46.01 above

46.15 "Non Applicability"
(b) "Section 46.02 does not apply to a person who:"
(6) "is carrying a concealed handgun and a valid license"

Does the term "illegal" make it illegal regardless of how the law was written?





Bartholomew_Roberts
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Posted: 3/26/2013 2:27:48 PM
[Last Edit: 3/26/2013 2:28:13 PM by Bartholomew_Roberts]
Mate Frio, I don't know that I would have come at that problem the same way you did; but thank you for putting your CHL on the line to be the test case and thanks for getting out there and making an effort to expand freedom a little bit for all of us instead of just complaining on the Internet.
Обезьяны всех стран, соединитесь!
MateFrio
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Posted: 3/26/2013 2:28:36 PM
[Last Edit: 3/26/2013 2:31:30 PM by MateFrio]
Ignorant doesn't equal mean or bad.

There seem to be a few here that would have thrown me in jail as well had they had the authority to do so.


Originally Posted By oulufinn:
Only 2 of the 12 seemed to understand? That kinda shoots the whole "Vast majority of cops are good.." right in the ass. No surprise, though. Hope the scum haven't ruined your life.


dotcombust
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Posted: 3/26/2013 2:38:36 PM
That was my understanding as well .. It seems to be clearly written to me

Originally Posted By MateFrio:
No, case in point they make it legal to carry an "illegal" knife while fishing, hunting, in your motor vehicle or watercraft.

The knives that are "prohibited", like switch blades, are another part of the law. Those have their own exceptions and do not fall under 46.02.
Originally Posted By dotcombust:
Illegal knife is defined in 46.01 (6) (A)

First paragraph of 46.02 includes reference to definition of handgun, "illegal knife" and club from code 46.01 above

46.15 "Non Applicability"
(b) "Section 46.02 does not apply to a person who:"
(6) "is carrying a concealed handgun and a valid license"

Does the term "illegal" make it illegal regardless of how the law was written?







DonKey153
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Posted: 3/26/2013 2:59:52 PM
Originally Posted By TinLeg:
Good luck.


I'd like to buy you a beer sometime. And if there is a fund set up for you, I will donate.


ETA: Nice knife.


+1
SF1058
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Posted: 3/26/2013 3:07:29 PM
Best of luck to you, Mate. Although I agree with your interpretation of the law, I don't believe the lawmakers had the intent of allowing for the carry of an illegal knife under the CHL statues, else it would have worded in a more concise fashion. But that's just my humble opinion and I hope your case prevails.
elucidate
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Posted: 3/26/2013 3:11:04 PM
I believe the law as written, is clear enough so that it illustrates that you were absolutely not infringing upon a law.

How a judge sees this is open to interpretation (although it shouldn't be, the law is written in plain English).

Very interested to see how this pans out.
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