As I stated in my other thread here, I will be visiting your fair state on business week after next. I am driving, not flying - this means I will drive from Alabama, through Mississippi, through Louisiana, into Texas (Richardson, to be precise).
I have an Alabama-issued concealment permit and Alabama has reciprocity with Mississippi, so I'm okay that far.
Louisiana has a "peaceable journey" statute, so I should be okay travelling through that state.
I know that Alabama does NOT have reciprocity with Texas (your requirements are more stringent than ours) and my permit is not valid/recognized there.
I have 3 questions:
1. Does Texas have a "peaceable journey" statute?
2. Will my loaded handgun be okay in my vehicle (I know I can't carry on my person there) until I get to my hotel (and from my hotel the day I leave), or do I need to stop before entering Texas, unload it, and lock it in the trunk?
3. I have read quite a bit about Texas allowing loaded long guns in vehicles without any permit system - does that apply to non-residents as well?
I hope this is pretty straight-forward stuff and won't turn into a meeting the Texas-Gun-Law-Debating-Society.
I'll appreciate any information y'all can provide on this. Thanks!
2) A loaded handgun in the vehicle is permissable if you are "traveling (crossing 2 county lines) with the intent to stay overnight". That means you can have it in the car, loaded, but only whie you are TRAVELING. Once yo arrive to your hotel or wherever, then you canont carry on your person.
3) Yes, you can walk down the street with a fully loaded long gun in Texas. This of course also includes your car.
For more inforamtion you could look at the TSRA web site WWW.TSRA.COM
Enjoy your visit!
1. Texas has a "peaceable journey" statute. You can have your gun in the car as long as oyu're "travelling." Once you get to your destination in Texas, you can't carry it around in your car and claim to be traveling -- at least not until you head out on your return trip home.
2. As long as you're on your peaceable journey, you don't have to unload.
3. You're fine with long guns. It's the same for Texas residents and non-residents alike.
Note, though, that although long guns aren't prohibited, some municipalities have enacted local regulations. They're preempted by state law, but that might not stop them from trying to enforce them
John, luckily that little potential problem will be corrected on September 1st when the new laws go into effect.
Thanks for the quick replies, guys! (Boy, you Texans are friendly! Can't wait to visit!)
You are confirming my thoughts on the subject, from what I'd read.
I will carry in the car as I would any other day until I get to my hotel. My pistol will go into the hotel with me and stay there until I check out (I assume they'll have a safe for storage - most do). I don't know if I'll keep a long gun in the car while I'm there or not - I usually keep one or two in the trunk, but not in the car & accessible. I'll have to give that some more thought...
FOLLOW-UP QUESTION: Would the long gun have to be in plain view, or could it be in a zippered case - say backseat floorboard?
That long gun can be anywhere you want it to be.
Welcome to Texas!
If you are travelling it is okay.
Here is a definition, since the law does not specify what travelling means.
Travelling: Going from one place to another.
So, if you step outside and walk down the street to the store, you are traveling.
Also, there are NO restrictions on long guns. Carrying long guns in the open or even concealed should be okay. Look up Texas Statutes on their web site.
But as some of the cops on this board have said, if they see you walking peacably down the street with a long gun, they will take you in even if you were not threatening someone in a manner calculated to alarm. They often say, "You can beat the rap, but you can't beat the ride."
Negative on your definition of "traveling".
The definition I listed "crossing 2 county lines with the intent to stay overnight" comes right out of the mouth of the Harris County District Attorney himself, Chuck Rosenthal. He's a great guy and definitely on "our" side. I also spoke to one of the State Attorneys in Austin and got the same interpretation.
Think about it, if your definition were correct, anyone could carry a handgun anytime becasue they were "traveling" - to the store, to the movies, to dinner, etc.
CMOS is correct. Unfortunately "traveling" has only been defined by case law and not by legislature.
I am correct.
CMOS is not.
He said it was law, and it is not. It is case law. It has been found that the SAME judge has applied different meaning of travel in various cases. In fact, the 2 county line definition has yielded convictions and dismissals FROM THE SAME JUDGE!
Another fact - late 1800's the Circuit Court of Apeals recommended that Texas rewrite the law to define travelling, or remove it altogether since even the same judge has gone both ways on the same definition!
Before you quote "law" you might want to look it up first.
(refer to red)
It is case law and has had MANY MANY MANY MANY MANY definitions that even contradict each other.
(refer to green)
YES, that is what I am saying.
Texas State Constitution says:
Now we have CHL (a "permit") and all handguns must be concealed.
And don't forget the RIGHT that supercedes these laws: The Second Amendment of the United States' Constitution!
CMOS / SuperAlpha,
I have the Texas Penal Code right here and there is nothing in there that defines traveling by any number of counties. This is a very general mis-understanding that "some" police officers use to determine whether or not you are "traveling". However, it is not a legal standard to measure or define traveling. Here is the law specifically: (see section B, number 3) Enjoy reading this sleept stuff...
(a) Sections 46.02 and 46.03 do not apply to:
(1) peace officers and neither section prohibits a peace officer from carrying a
weapon in this state, regardless of whether the officer is engaged in the actual
discharge of the officer's duties while carrying the weapon;
(2) parole officers and neither section prohibits an officer from carrying a
weapon in this state if the officer is:
(A) engaged in the actual discharge of the officer's duties while carrying the
(B) in compliance with policies and procedures adopted by the Texas Department
of Criminal Justice regarding the possession of a weapon by an officer while on duty;
(3) community supervision and corrections department officers appointed or
employed under Section 76.004, Government Code, and neither section prohibits an officer
from carrying a weapon in this state if the officer is:
(A) engaged in the actual discharge of the officer's duties while carrying the
(B) authorized to carry a weapon under Section 76.0051, Government Code; or
(4) a judge or justice of the supreme court, the court of criminal appeals, a
court of appeals, a district court, a criminal district court, a constitutional county
court, a statutory county court, a justice court, or a municipal court who is licensed to
carry a concealed handgun under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code.
(b) Section 46.02 does not apply to a person who:
(1) (As added by L.1997, chap. 1261(28), eff. 9/1/97. See other paragraph (1)
below.) is in the actual discharge of official duties as a member of the armed forces or
state military forces as defined by Section 431.001, Government Code, or as a guard
employed by a penal institution;
(1) (As added by L.1997, chap. 1221(4), eff. 6/20/97. See other paragraph (1)
above.) is in the actual discharge of official duties as a member of the armed forces or
state military forces as defined by Section 431.001, Government Code, or as an employee
of a penal institution who is performing a security function;
(2) is on the person's own premises or premises under the person's control
unless the person is an employee or agent of the owner of the premises and the person's
primary responsibility is to act in the capacity of a security guard to protect persons
or property, in which event the person must comply with Subdivision (5);
(3) is traveling;
(4) is engaging in lawful hunting, fishing, or other sporting activity on the
immediate premises where the activity is conducted, or is directly en route between the
premises and the actor's residence, if the weapon is a type commonly used in the
(5) holds a security officer commission issued by the Texas Board of Private
Investigators and Private Security Agencies, if:
(A) the person is engaged in the performance of the person's duties as a
security officer or traveling to and from the person's place of assignment;
(B) the person is wearing a distinctive uniform; and
(C) the weapon is in plain view;
(6) is carrying a concealed handgun and a valid license issued under Article
4413(29ee), Revised Statutes, to carry a concealed handgun of the same category as the
handgun the person is carrying;
(7) holds a security officer commission and a personal protection authorization
issued by the Texas Board of Private Investigators and Private Security Agencies and
who is providing personal protection under the Private Investigators and Private
Security Agencies Act (Article 4413(29bb), Texas Civil Statutes); or
(8) holds an alcoholic beverage permit or license or is an employee of a holder
of an alcoholic beverage permit or license if the person is supervising the operation of
the permitted or licensed premises.
(c) The provision of Section 46.02 prohibiting the carrying of a club does not
apply to a noncommissioned security guard at an institution of higher education who
carries a nightstick or similar club, and who has undergone 15 hours of training in the
proper use of the club, including at least seven hours of training in the use of the club
for nonviolent restraint. For the purposes of this subsection, "nonviolent restraint"
means the use of reasonable force, not intended and not likely to inflict bodily injury.
(d) The provisions of Section 46.02 prohibiting the carrying of a firearm or
carrying of a club do not apply to a public security officer employed by the adjutant
general under Section 431.029, Government Code, in performance of official duties or
while traveling to or from a place of duty.
(e) The provisions of Section 46.02 prohibiting the carrying of an illegal
knife do not apply to an individual carrying a bowie knife or a sword used in a
historical demonstration or in a ceremony in which the knife or sword is significant to
the performance of the ceremony.
(f) Section 46.03(a)(6) does not apply to a person who possesses a firearm or
club while in the actual discharge of official duties as:
(1) a member of the armed forces or state military forces, as defined by Section
431.001, Government Code; or
(2) an employee of a penal institution.
(Added by L.1995, chap. 318(18); chgd. by L.1997, chaps. 1221(4),1261(28); L.1999,
chaps. 62(9.25), 1445(2); L.2001, chap. 1060(3), eff. 9/1/2001.)
Thans RK - I was just about to post it here as well.
JohnTheTexican has the most sound definition on this post. Mine is just the "legal" definition of "carrying while traveling" His sums it up into general terms. WOW, I wish I could interpret the law like that... Also, pay attention to his advise about arrive from traveling and the long gun info. Totally correct
This is case law too. But is a commonly accepted definition, much like the 2 county definition.
I suggest DO IT, it is your RIGHT, and be discrete!
Guys, I agree that there is nothing concrete in the Texas Penal Code that defines "traveling". My statement are based on interpretations by a few different state officials (H.C. District Attorney, State Atty.)
And yes, it does indeed leave the word "traveling" up to interpretation depending on where you are in the state of Texas. I am merely pointing out the most common interpretation of that definition.
My personal opinion is to say "F**k you" to any government offical and just carry anywhere, anytime - just like the 2nd Amendment enumerates.
Hi Gents! New to the board.
Enjoy your trip and Welcome to Texas!!
The "two county lines" rule is a rule of thumb. That is all. Courts have said that defendants who never crossed a county line were travelling, and they'd have no trouble saying that someone who crosses two or three county lines on a commute to work is not "travelling."
It is also a rule of thumb that an overnight stay is required.
However, neither is a hard-and-fast rule. In fact, the Court of Criminal Appeals has said that there is no inflexible rule. (The Court of Criminal Appeals is the highest court in Texas on criminal matters and it's decisions are binding on all lower courts.)
Courts have generally considered distance, time, and mode of travel, but it's a is a fact-driven determination that is not dependent upon any one particular situation.
That said, it is true that most Texas LEOs and prosecutors and probably most everyone else in Texas who has any interest in these things has heard the "two county lines" rule and THINK that's the law. So even though it isn't really the law, it can effect whether you get arrested and/or charged. Like SuperAlpha said, you can beat the rap, but you can't beat the ride.
As a side note-- In 1898 (Bain v. State, 38 Tex. Crim. 635 (1898)), when the Court of Criminal Appeals was grappling with this very issue, it said "We would suggest, in this state of uncertainty, that the Legislature define what is meant by a 'traveler.'" More than a hundred years later, they still haven't gotten around to it. Too busy with redistricting and tort "reform" to deal with the the REAL business of the State, it seems.
One other thing-- The lack of clearly defined standards doesn't mean they can't arrest you unless you've done such-and-such. It maens that if you're carrying and you don't have a license, they can arrest you and there's probably nothing you can do about it. You may be a legitimate "traveller" and you might be able to convince the prosecutor to drop the charges or the judge to throw them out or the jury to acquit. But because there are no clearly defined standards, you're not going to be able to sue the cop for violating your civil rights.
If you're going to carry as a traveller (1) make sure you haven't been drinking and (2) don't "say 'F**k you'" to the cop and insist on your Second Amendment rights unless you want to go to jail.
Yes - Cardiff software training. Thanks!
I've been away for a couple of days and just got back to this thread. I am sorry for (re-)starting the above debate. I don't drink & I don't plan to speed or do anything else to get myself pulled over, so this really should be a non-issue for me. But, as a "law-abiding gun owner" I believe it is incumbent upon me to know and obey gun laws wherever I travel, whether or not it ever becomes police-interaction issue. I look forward to a day when we have a national carry law, or at least nationwide reciprocity. Thanks again for all of your help!
I like John's input and would add that whether or not you can (might) beat a charge, you'd still be in jail, and from there hiring an attorney and staring down the wrong end of a gavel.
In my view, no way would you want to risk tangling with a legal system that can be entirely unpredictable; it's just not worth the (heavy) expense; heaven forbid you get caught up in the courts and corrections system. I would suggest that more than one guy is behind bars who probably shouldn't be there (then lost job, family, reputation, gained record etc, etc).
Bottom line- err to the side of conservatism when obeying the law, retain a low profile and be cool. Way too much to lose, and you'll do more for the cause as a law abiding citizen.
Just my .0000000002 cents worth. Maybe I'm just getting old, I dunno...
RISK? Risk losing our rights? Or risk fighting for our rights?
With this attitude, our rights are effectively GONE already!
Backing down is exactly why we have lost our rights. No one is willing to step up to the plate and stand up for their rights.
If everyone started carrying weapons and flooding the courts and jails, I think that we could restore all of our rights.
Right on bro. I have taken shit from local PD's going out hunting or traveling up to the gun ranges more times than I care to think about. When I head out I strap my AR to the front passanger seat of my jeep and keep the rest of my equipment in the back of my truck. The shits in PLAIN SIGHT. Until I can get the proper gun rack made, that's the best and safest place for me to transport long guns and form as long as it's legal, that's where I'll continue to carry them.
Pulled over, hasseled and shookdown for FOLLOWING THE LAW!! Bullshit, I say.
I've got nothing to hide from or be ashamed of for enjoying my sports!! Personally, I'd rather have to suffer some of the moronic encounters I've had with some unnamed PD's around the state than to feel like I need to be sneaking around.
No need to be confrontational, but you have to stand up.
If I may be so bold as to make an humble suggestion from a native, please allow me to do so.
Leave your handgun at home and carry a 12 ga. shotgun with a folding stock. Loaded. It's completely legal in Texas to do so and while I carry a pistol, and have a CHL in this state, I usually have Mr. Winchester under the seat of the pickup.
Birdshot should be fine for short distance stuff and you don't want the liability on the long distance 00 buckshot. Besides, a simple short gun-rug should keep the thing out of sight and clean, can be zipped up for transport into and out of the hotel. You won't raise an eyebrow here, and in Texas, your hotel room is considered your domicile, your residence, so you have the same laws protecting you while in this state that I have protecting me while I'm in the house having a beer and watching baseball.
Bring your shortsleeved shirts, it's hotter than bloody blazes here, especially in Richardson.
Thanks again to everyone for your input!
I had a GREAT time in your fair state - I would not hesitate to move there if my career ever took me that way! Not just pretty country, but some of the nicest people I have ever met away from home. I thought we had a corner on the Southern-hospitality market here in Alabama, but I learned better last week.
I had three days of somewhat boring but necessary (for my job) software training, and my Dad & I got a nice mini-vacation out of the deal. We saw a movie at the Cinemark (gee whiz, that's a big, fancy theater!), we ate at Texas Land & Cattle, Humperdink's, and Pappasito's, and - best of all, in my opinion - Dad plunked down a deposit on a beautiful 1956 Thunderbird at Amos Minter's shop in Dallas. (I can't wait for him to take delivery so I can borrow it...)
On the way home we stopped at the Sixth Floor Museum and saw Oswald's "perch," then went through Burleson. My last name is Burleson - Dad & I are direct descendants of the Burlesons for whom the city & county are named. The folks at Burleson City Hall were nice enough to take our picture together out front and even gave us some pins, can huggers, pencils, etc. with the city name & seal. Yes, we were a couple of "typical tourists" but we had a great time.
GOD BLESS TEXAS - I hope to visit again soon!
I'm glad you and your Dad enjoyed the trip, HardShell. Come again anytime, and live here if you want to.
GOD BLESS TEXAS...