DA Chuck Rosenthal anti-gun? Sure sounds like it, "taking the guns off the street BS" comes straight from HCI manuals.
HoustonChronicle.com -- http://www.HoustonChronicle.com | Section: Local & State
Aug. 30, 2005, 1:12AM
DA opposed to new handgun law
Pistol-toting drivers without a permit will still be prosecuted, Rosenthal warns
By CLAY ROBISON
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle Austin Bureau
AUSTIN - Motorists arrested for carrying pistols in their cars without a concealed handgun license will continue to be prosecuted in Houston, despite a new law that purports to give them a legal defense, Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal said Monday.
Although the sponsor said the law should reduce the number of arrests for unlawful handgun possession, Rosenthal said it won't change enforcement practices in Houston after it goes into effect on Thursday.
"It is still going to be against the law for (unlicensed) persons to carry handguns in autos," the district attorney said, adding that the new legal defense can still be challenged by prosecutors.
The new law, enacted during the regular legislative session last spring, seeks to clarify a longtime law that allowed Texans to carry handguns while traveling, a qualification that was subject to a number of inconsistent court interpretations over the years.
The new statute says a person is "presumed to be traveling" if he or she is in a private vehicle, is not engaged in criminal activity (except for a minor traffic offense), is not prohibited by any other law from possessing a firearm and is not a member of a criminal street gang.
It also requires the handgun to be concealed in the car, although weapons can be discovered by officers during routine traffic stops if a driver gives permission for a car to be searched or opens a glove compartment where a gun is secured to retrieve an insurance card or other documentation.
"The intent of the law is to keep innocent people from going to jail," said the sponsor, Rep. Terry Keel, R-Austin, a former prosecutor and former Travis County sheriff who now is a candidate for the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
The law, House Bill 823, was supported by the National Rifle Association and the American Civil Liberties Union and opposed by various law-enforcement groups.
More than 237,000 Texans have concealed handgun licenses. But many other law-abiding adults don't have licenses because they are disqualified by exceptions that have nothing to do with public safety, said Alice Tripp, a lobbyist for the Texas State Rifle Association, an NRA affiliate.
Tripp said people who have defaulted on student loans, who owe the state sales tax or franchise tax payments or are behind in child support payments are ineligible to receive a license.
Keel said he hoped the law will prompt police officers to think twice about arresting motorists who meet the new legal presumption and spare them the expense and "indignity" of arrest and prosecution.
Otherwise, he said, "They basically are going to arrest innocent people and make them prove their innocence."
Rosenthal and Rob Kepple, executive director of the Texas District and County Attorneys Association, disagreed.
Rosenthal said the new presumption about "traveling" doesn't define what constitutes traveling and can be challenged in court by prosecutors, leaving it to juries to decide verdicts "based upon the facts of the case."
A prosecutor could summon witnesses to successfully argue that a defendant wasn't traveling because he was simply "driving around the corner for a carton of milk," Kepple said.
"I really don't think (the law) should affect how police officers respond in arresting somebody," he added.
Houston Police Department spokeswoman Johanna Abad indicated Houston police were going to take their advice from Rosenthal's office.
Unlawful possession of a weapon is a class A misdemeanor punishable by as much as one year in county jail and a $4,000 fine. Rosenthal said most cases are resolved through plea bargains.
The prosecutor said he asked Gov. Rick Perry to veto the bill because "taking weapons off the street is a pretty good deal." He said his office handled about 5,000 weapons cases of varying degrees of severity last year.
Tripp called Rosenthal's opposition a case of "sour grapes ... and a threat to the general public."
HoustonChronicle.com -- http://www.HoustonChronicle.com | Section: Local & State
This article is: http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/metropolitan/3330553
just like when they said they will prosecute CHL holders who carry guns.
we don't care about the new LAW! you are still going to JAIL!
then the people come down on them like a ton of bricks and they loose their jobs or get a clue.
ed for spelling
This is a bit of a surprise. Rosenthal is a pretty cool "old school" guy so I don't get the stance here.
Is this perhaps lip service to the media?
I'm very curious to see some test cases.
And your right HK940, we better be ready to come down on them like a ton of bricks if they do try to prosecute good folks by ignoring this new law.
basically the typical "fuck your rights, they mean nothing. we rule this land not you" bullshit.....
Volder, I've met Chuck Rosenthal before. He really is a cool guy, that's why this articel surprises me. Harris County as always been a good supporter of the CHL laws.
So the law shouldn't affect how policer officer's respond in arresting people?
so what's next? immediate public execution for committing a crime then they handcuff your dead body and inform your corpse that you're under arrest?
this is going to get ugly.
well I haven't met him. so we'll see........ it's funny though how quickly people turn on you.
I'm going to get some conact info for Rosenthal's office and post it in another thread that requests ALL of you to wtote a short letter and remind him, politely, that he's an ELECTED official.
We need to respond to that article, and his position.
I really, really need to get my CHL.
another quick question, what are the laws about carrying a rifle/shotgun in your car on premises that serve alcohol? like a gas station?
just don't drive thru the front doors.
in the parking lot is fine.
You forgot the part about them billing your family for the bullets.
yeah, I learned that the hard way, but hey they put me on REAL TV!
rosenthal is a fag-get....im takin the kimber w me wherever i go Sept 1
new list of DPS laws.
New Traffic, Criminal Laws Set to go into Effect September 1
Notable traffic and criminal laws that go into effect on September 1 (unless noted otherwise) include the following:
SB 1257 prohibits use of wireless communications devices (including cell phones) for the first six months after teenagers get their driver licenses. The bill also prohibits passenger bus drivers transporting minors from using wireless communications devices, except in emergencies or when the bus is stopped.
HB 51 requires an ignition interlock device if a driver’s blood alcohol level is determined to be .15 or more (upon conviction).
HB 1357 creates a six-month driver license (DL) suspension for a person convicted of providing alcohol to a minor (one year for second offense), and increases the DL suspension to one year for minors who are convicted of a second alcohol offense.
HB 1481 makes it a Class B misdemeanor if a person drives around a barricade where a warning sign or barricade has been placed because water is over any portion of a road, street or highway. It also specifically creates a traffic violation for driving around a barricade put in the roadway because of dangerous conditions.
HB 183 states that all children younger than 5 years of age (old law was younger than 4) and less than 36 inches tall are required to be in a child safety seat system. It also classifies safety seat infractions as moving violations for the first time.
SB 1005 provides that if a driver younger than 25 years of age commits a traffic offense classified as a moving violation, the judge must require the driver to complete a driving safety course—and, if the driver holds a provisional driver license (under 18 years of age), submit to a DPS road test. Failure by the driver to meet this requirement will result in a final conviction for that traffic offense.
HB 1484 specifies that a person commits a traffic offense if they are involved in a crash on the main lane, ramp, shoulder, median or adjacent area of a freeway and don’t move their vehicle to an area that minimizes interference with freeway traffic (assuming the vehicle is drivable).
HB 1596 clarifies the definition of neighborhood electric vehicles and motor assisted scooters and allows municipalities to regulate the use of motor assisted scooters on roadways and sidewalks.
SB 1257 disqualifies a person from operating a commercial motor vehicle if the person’s driving is determined to constitute an imminent hazard.
HB 754 allows fines up to $500 for violating the laws for transporting loose material in commercial vehicles.
SB 1258 specifies that an original commercial driver license or commercial driver learner’s permit expires in five years instead of six years.
HB 87 allows cities to lower residential speed limits from 30 mph to 25 mph in certain instances. This bill took effect immediately.
HB 2257 allows the TxDOT commission to establish a daytime speed limit of 80 miles per hour on I-10 or I-20 in Crockett, Culberson, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Kerr, Kimble, Pecos, Reeves, Sutton or Ward counties. If established, this speed does not apply to truck tractors, trailers, semi trailers, or trucks, other than light trucks and light trucks pulling a trailer. This bill took effect immediately.
SB 1670 requires the Department of Insurance, in conjunction with TxDOT and other agencies, to establish a verification program for vehicle insurance in order to try and reduce the number of uninsured drivers.
HB 120 creates an organ donor education and registry program. Eventually, Texans will be able to indicate their wish to become an organ donor when they are issued or renew their driver license or ID card.
SB 122 requires peace officers to report notification of ID theft to their employing agency. It provides penalties for the unauthorized use of personal information.
HB 699 increases the penalty for using someone else’s DL or ID card to a Class A misdemeanor. It also clarifies that use of a false ID by someone under 21 for purchase of alcohol is a Class C misdemeanor.
HB 1239 makes DPS more involved with drug task forces operating in Texas, including any “multi-county” drug task forces. (Effective August 1.)
HB 164 places restrictions on the sale of pseudoephedrine products and allows children exposed to meth production to be removed from the home. (Effective August 1.)
HB 867 eliminates mandatory newspaper notification for sex offenders. Another provision deals with postcard notification for high-risk sex offenders. DPS is now required to send the postcards to all addresses within the distribution area, except post office boxes. Prior law specified residential addresses only.
HB 1068 creates an independent commission with investigational oversight involving complaints against DNA crime labs in the state. It also requires DNA sampling from some 60,000 current Texas prison inmates who do not have DNA profiles in the CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) database.
HB 823 describes the conditions under which a person will be presumed to be “traveling” for the first time. It applies to people who have a handgun in their vehicle but do not have a concealed handgun license (CHL). It also places the burden of proof on prosecutors to prove the driver was “not traveling.”
HB 225 extends the renewal time for a CHL from four to five years, which will reduce the average annual cost of a license.
HB 322 lowers the age requirement for active duty or retired members of the military applying for a CHL from 21 years of age to 18, and reduces the original license fee and any renewal fees for active duty members of the armed forces by 50 percent.
HB 1038 reduces CHL renewal fees by 50 percent for anyone over 60 years of age.
HB 1831 allows persons with certain felony deferred adjudications to apply for a concealed handgun license after 10 years. Persons with felony deferred adjudications for offenses under Title 5, Penal Code ("Offenses Against the Person") or Chapter 29, Penal Code ("Robbery") are still permanently barred from receiving a concealed handgun license. (To see Title 5 and Chapter 29 of the Penal Code, please see http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/statutes/pe.toc.htm.)
The texts of these bills can be found at www.capitol.state.tx.us. Select the enrolled version in the regular legislative session.
From the guy who wrote the law to the media ref; The Houston DA's comments.
FROM: Terry Keel, State Representative, Austin
RE: HB 823 by Keel, Effective 9/1/05
Clarifies Right to Carry Handgun in Vehicle While Traveling
DATE: August 30, 2005
It is well established in Texas that a person who is traveling has a right to possess a handgun for personal protection. The practical problem with this right has historically been that courts have disagreed on the definition of “traveling”. The legislature has likewise never defined “traveling” because a definition invariably has the unintended effect of unfairly limiting the term to a narrow set of circumstances.
HB 823 becomes effective September 1, 2005, shoring up the right of citizens to carry a concealed handgun while traveling. There have been many inquiries to my office from citizens and media regarding the upcoming change in the law and what it means.
HB 823 provides for a legal presumption in favor of citizens that they are travelers if they are in a private vehicle with a handgun that is not in plain view, they are not otherwise engaged in unlawful activity nor otherwise prohibited by law from possessing a firearm, and they are not a member of a criminal street gang.
In plain terms, a law-abiding person should not fear arrest if they are transporting a concealed pistol in a motor vehicle. There is no longer the need for a law enforcement officer to apply a subjective definition of what constitutes “traveling” where the citizen is cloaked with the presumption per the terms of the new statute. Under those circumstances the citizen should be allowed to proceed on their way.
HB 823 represents the first time a presumption has been crafted in favor of a defendant in the modern penal code of Texas. The presumption applies unless the prosecution proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the facts giving rise to the presumption do not exist. If the state fails to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the facts giving rise to the presumption do not exist, the jury must find that the presumed fact exists. By enacting this evidentiary standard in conjunction with the presumption, the legislation is intended to have the practical effect of preventing in the first place the arrest of citizens who meet the newly specified prerequisites of being a presumed traveler.
It should be noted that the very real problem of citizens having to prove their innocence after arrest by the assertion of their right to carry a firearm while traveling was the reason for a 1997 legislative change which replaced the “defense” of traveling with a classification of the statute of UCW as instead entirely “inapplicable” to a traveler. This change was well-intentioned but did not have the intended effect of protecting honest citizens from potential arrest because the term “traveling” was still left to individual police or judicial officials to define on a case-by-case basis. As a consequence, law-abiding citizens who availed themselves of their right to have a handgun while traveling continued to face arrest and often later prevailed only in a court of law after proving that they were indeed traveling.
In enacting HB 823, the 79th legislature, like all previous legislatures, declined to define traveling as a narrow set of particular circumstances. For example, to require someone to have an overnight stay in a journey in order to be classified as a traveler would be unfair to persons traveling great distances in one day. Likewise, a requirement that a citizen be “crossing county lines” may make no sense, such as in areas of Texas where travelers drive hundreds of miles without leaving a single county. Moreover, the ability of police to elicit such evidence and consistently apply its subjective terms on the street in a traffic stop has not proven practical, at all. The new statute instead focuses on a defined set of relevant, objective facts that are capable of being determined on the spot by law officers.
There are several additional important points that should be made in regard to the enactment of HB 823 and its interface with current law.
HB 823 does not give “everyone the right to carry a gun in a car”. State and federal laws applicable to firearms must be noted in conjunction with the new statute’s terms, particularly the limitation of the presumption to persons who are “not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing a firearm.” For example, persons subject to an active protective order are not covered by the presumption, nor are persons with any felony conviction or even some misdemeanor convictions for offenses, e.g., family violence. The presumption is likewise inapplicable to persons associated with a criminal street gang, even if they have no conviction for any offense. These as well as all other existing limitations on firearm ownership and/or possession make the new statute inapplicable to persons covered by such prohibitions.
Furthermore, as stated in the statute, the presumption will not apply to persons who are otherwise engaged in any criminal conduct. This would include persons who are driving while intoxicated, driving recklessly, committing criminal mischief, or committing any other criminal offense outside that of a minor traffic infraction.
The presumption also does not apply where the gun is openly displayed.
The enactment of HB 823 was the culmination of study, committee hearings and debate by the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence. I am confident that the new law will assist law enforcement in doing its job while at the same time protecting law-abiding citizens from the threat of arrest for merely exercising their right to arm themselves while traveling----a right to which they are already entitled.
For further information, contact State Representative Terry Keel, 512-463-0652.
Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal
1201 Franklin Street, Suite 600
Houston, TX 77002
Phone: (713) 755-5800
Fax: (713) 755-6865
FUCK you chuck rosenthal !!
the ACLU supported the new law
All they have to do is to ask you where you came from and where you are going. You are no longer "presumed to be traveling" and they know if you are or are not traveling. If you just say "I am traveling and do not wish to incriminate myself" you should be fine. Traveling still has a certain definition and if you dont fall under that definition you can no longer be presumed to be.
NO NO NO. Traveling does not, nor has it ever, had a definition. That has been the problem. Each court was free to decide what that meant.
Have you actually read any of the posts which list what the presumption is and what it means?
If I meet the 5 criteria, it does not matter if I am driving across the street or across the state, I AM presumed to be traveling.