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Posted: 2/22/2006 10:25:31 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/22/2006 10:25:31 AM EDT by Aimless]
From the San Antonio Express-News, Columnist Roddy Stinson, February 5. The columnist is not -- apparently -- in favor of the new carry law. However, the ACLU is and helped get it passed. For those interested, I have pasted excerpts of the article below:

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The Texas chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is unhappy about last Thursday's column concerning the state's new gun-toting law.

I know this because of an e-mail exchange I had with chapter spokesman Scott Henson, who chided:

—"Your interpretation of House Bill 823 relies on an analysis by a handful of prosecutors who opposed the law, but not the bill language itself."

—"It's true that some prosecutors are telling police to keep arresting people ... but they are raising a red herring. The law is really not unclear."

—"The lawmakers wanted drivers to be able to have a stowed gun driving to the bank or the grocery store."

And the real shocker:

—"I was closely involved in the legislative process that created the new law."

Somebody check the weather in Hades. Snowflakes must be falling on Beelzebub's head.

Whether this conservative turn is an ACLU aberration or a step in the right-wing direction won't be known for a while. But news of the organization's loose-gun-control stance will surely cause a few spluttering Sunday morning readers to lose their coffee.

Incidentally, if you missed Thursday's column ...

House Bill 823, which was passed by Texas legislators during the 2005 regular session, states that a person "is presumed to be traveling" and is legally permitted to carry a handgun in his car or truck if he is (1) in a private motor vehicle, (2) not engaged in criminal activity, (3) not prohibited by law from possessing a firearm, (4) not a member of a "criminal street gang" and (5) not carrying the handgun "in plain view."

The bill was vigorously opposed by prosecutors and law enforcement officials who believed it would increase the number of guns on the state's streets and highways and do more harm than good.

In the column, I quoted Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal, who said that in his jurisdiction, "It is still going to be against the law for (unlicensed) persons to carry handguns in autos." And I suggested that Texans should probably think twice before stashing pistols in their glove boxes or under their bucket seats.

That warning prompted the Henson-initiated e-mail exchange.

"The new statute says juries MUST presume a driver is traveling and therefore legally carrying a gun unless the state disproves one of the five elements," the ACLUer insisted. "State Rep. Terry Keel, who authored the bill, says: 'In plain terms, a law-abiding person should not fear arrest if they are transporting a concealed weapon in a motor vehicle.' ...

"The story here isn't that the law was poorly written. The story here is that some prosecutors are so arrogant they think they don't have to follow the law."

Still, Henson cautioned: "I agree that drivers should be wary. Until this is settled (in the courts), they risk arrest."

Toward the end of the e-mail exchange, I wondered about the potential ramifications of the new law and shared my concern with Henson:

"As I understand the intent of the original 'traveling' law, it was written so bona fide travelers could have a weapon (for protection) as they drove down the open road.

"It seems to me that HB 823 turned that intent on its head, allowing an individual to be armed going to the corner grocery store."

Unfazed, Henson responded with his "driving to the bank or grocery store" remark.

And that's pretty much the up-to-date story of the new gun law and the controversy surrounding it.

Henson said the ACLU has filed open records requests with prosecutors across the state to determine which ones are telling officers to continue making arrests, and he believes if state courts don't "slap them down," the House and Senate will spank them during the next legislative session.


Link Posted: 2/22/2006 9:26:02 AM EDT



...sputtering some coffee here...


Link Posted: 2/22/2006 9:29:37 AM EDT
I might be wrong here but would this be in the wrong forum by chance?
Link Posted: 2/22/2006 9:32:40 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/22/2006 9:33:15 AM EDT by cheaptrickfan]

"I was closely involved in the legislative process that created the new law."


yea, but in what capacity?? involved as in trying to gut the law? involved as in trying to add in oppressive rules? involved in trying to prevent it from being passed? involved in bringing coffee and donuts to the committee? how exactly was he involved?
Link Posted: 2/22/2006 9:38:40 AM EDT
Many cops wouldn't arrest someone for having a firearm before the new law. They would just tell folks to keep it out of sight. The lawmakers intent was very clear, so unless the 'prosecutors' want the rath of the TSRA down on them, they will desist. On a related note, the Houston Metro system for years after the CHL bill passed insisted that they could enforce their silly little stickers of a pistol with a slash through it by arresting anyone found on a metro bus with a firearm. It was only recently (after a victim of their sued) that they admitted they didn't have the authority to deny CHL holders to ride without a 20 inch (or so) 30-06 no-trespassing sign. Chuck Rosenthal had better watch his butt come election day.
Link Posted: 2/22/2006 9:42:04 AM EDT
My hunch is that since the ACLU is pro-privacy rights, they helped craft this law to protect driver's privacy. They probably don't see it as a "Gun Issue" but rather a privacy issue.

good for them.

Mike
Link Posted: 2/22/2006 9:55:21 AM EDT

Originally Posted By xmikex:
My hunch is that since the ACLU is pro-privacy rights, they helped craft this law to protect driver's privacy. They probably don't see it as a "Gun Issue" but rather a privacy issue.

good for them.

Mike



Hell yeah! Take what we can get and work for more!
Link Posted: 2/22/2006 10:19:29 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DM1975:
I might be wrong here but would this be in the wrong forum by chance?



+1
Link Posted: 2/22/2006 10:23:12 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DM1975:
I might be wrong here but would this be in the wrong forum by chance?



It was just too interesting to keep to only those south of the Red.
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 9:46:34 AM EDT
Isn't it nice how some of these people simply assume that more firearms in the hands of law abiding citizens is a bad thing in and of itself. Idiots.
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 10:11:31 AM EDT
This is interesting.

I say good for the ACLU in this instance, as well.

I wonder if this means that the ACLU will come to the aid of anyone wrongly prosecuted for this?

Link Posted: 2/24/2006 10:16:54 AM EDT


Hell hath frozen over, and I'm not talking about Hell, MI.

We need a shivering satan smiley/animation for occassions such as these...
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 10:29:00 AM EDT
You folks are missing an important tidbit here:






The Texas chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union




Link Posted: 2/24/2006 2:57:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By napalm:
You folks are missing an important tidbit here:






The Texas chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union







An excellent point. I may send them some money.
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 3:04:02 PM EDT
cool. It's good to see some of the more liberal crowd do the right thing.
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 3:06:22 PM EDT
Yeah, the ACLU doing any good is one hell of a shock.
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 5:29:30 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 5:47:25 PM EDT



Sheep
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