Proof that SB321 is not limited to CHL's

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Charles L. Cotton
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Proof that SB321 is not limited to CHL's

Postby Charles L. Cotton » Sun May 29, 2011 5:57 pm

The question as to whether SB321 (employer parking lots) applies only to CHL’s or to everyone who lawfully possesses a handgun is being discussed not only here on TexasCHLforum, but on at least one other gun board as well. Hopefully I can settle this issue once and for all by providing proof that SB321 does cover everyone, not just CHL’s.

As I have stated several times, the language of SB321 is absolutely clear and unequivocal. However, for the sake of argument, let’s say the bill is ambiguous on the issue of who is protected by this Bill. To answer the question, we look to the legislative history of SB321. The first two questions to ask when reviewing and evaluating the legislative history are 1) “was there an amendment addressing the issue in question[?]"; and 2) "was the issue in question discussed during floor debate?” The answer to both of these threshold questions is yes.

Rep. Harold Dutton (D - Houston) offered Amendment 6 that would have amended SB321 so that it would apply only to CHL’s. The Amendment attempted to do so by “striking lines 14 - 16, and substituting ‘from transporting or storing the firearm that the person is licensed to carry and ammunition for that firearm in a locked,’.” Lines 14 - 16 that Rep. Dutton wanted to delete read "who otherwise lawfully possesses a firearm, or who lawfully possesses ammunition from transporting or storing a firearm or ammunition the employee is authorized by law to possess in a locked," Amendment 6 failed when Rep. Kleinschmidt’s motion to table it prevailed. The failed attempt to amend SB321 to narrow it to cover only CHL's is conclusive proof that the Bill is not limited to CHL's and any/every court in the state would so hold.

The hearing in which all of this occurred took place on May 3rd, during the afternoon session. Rep. Dutton first brought up the issue of SB321 applying only to CHL’s at 4:25:03 on the video. He makes it clear that, to his dismay, SB321 applied to everyone who lawfully possesses a firearm, not merely CHL’s. An hour and a half later, Rep. Dutton offered Amendment 6 and discussions on his amendment appear at 6:03:10 until 6:16:35 when his Amendment was tabled.

Here are links to the documents and video proving that SB321 applies to everyone who lawfully possesses firearms, not merely CHL’s.

House Committee Report on SB321 that was up for floor debate on May 3rd;

Rep. Dutton Amendment 6 that would have narrowed SB321 to apply only to CHL’s (Pg. 2730 in the Journal; Pg. 48 in the link)

Here is a link to the House Chamber Video. Select the May 3rd afternoon session (1:00pm - 10:38pm) and you will find the discussions I cited at the times set out: 4:25:03 to 4:25:30; and 6:03:10 to 6:16:55.

The bottom line is this; SB321 is not limited to CHL’s. Even if the language of SB321 was ambiguous, which it is not, the legislative history of this Bill is abundantly clear on this issue.

Chas.
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Re: Proof that SB321 is not limited to CHL's

Postby WildBill » Mon May 30, 2011 12:56 pm

I had no doubts that SB321 was not limited to CHLs, but thanks for the historical perspective.
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Re: Proof that SB321 is not limited to CHL's

Postby b322da » Mon May 30, 2011 2:42 pm

Not having read the text carefully, much less having analyzed it, Chas, which of course restrains my substantive comment, before reading your post I was unaware of any serious allegation to the contrary of your analysis.

Could I ask who has raised the issue, where, and its context?

I must honestly say that I have often felt that arguing legislative history in favor of a particular interpretation of a statute at least comes close to recognizing an at least arguable ambiguity, else why do so? On the other hand, raising it at this point may sometimes be a wise step toward heading off the other side at the pass. I am compelled to admit having done the latter myself.

Tks much,

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Re: Proof that SB321 is not limited to CHL's

Postby WildBill » Mon May 30, 2011 3:27 pm

b322da wrote:Not having read the text carefully, much less having analyzed it, Chas, which of course restrains my substantive comment, before reading your post I was unaware of any serious allegation to the contrary of your analysis.
Could I ask who has raised the issue, where, and its context?
IMO, a wrong interpretation rather than a "serious allegation".
http://www.texaschlforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=94&t=45123&start=45
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Re: Proof that SB321 is not limited to CHL's

Postby b322da » Mon May 30, 2011 4:29 pm

Tks, Bill. I must admit that I did not follow the early debate here, nor the precise verbiage, as I do not enjoy trying to make sense of legislative actions before something finally comes out. Doing it for a living for a while in Washington burned me out. Chas. serves us well doing that for all of us.

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Re: Proof that SB321 is not limited to CHL's

Postby Charles L. Cotton » Mon May 30, 2011 5:22 pm

b322da wrote:Not having read the text carefully, much less having analyzed it, Chas, which of course restrains my substantive comment, before reading your post I was unaware of any serious allegation to the contrary of your analysis.

Could I ask who has raised the issue, where, and its context?

I must honestly say that I have often felt that arguing legislative history in favor of a particular interpretation of a statute at least comes close to recognizing an at least arguable ambiguity, else why do so? On the other hand, raising it at this point may sometimes be a wise step toward heading off the other side at the pass. I am compelled to admit having done the latter myself.

Tks much,

Elmo


I can't say for sure who was the first person to raise this issue, but based upon timing, it seems that it originated with Shane McCrary a/k/a MR REDNECK with this post on OpenCarry.org It was picked up by others on TexasGunTalk and perhaps other boards, including here on TexasCHLforum.

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Re: Proof that SB321 is not limited to CHL's

Postby b322da » Mon May 30, 2011 6:04 pm

Tks Chas. PM enroute.

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Re: Proof that SB321 is not limited to CHL's

Postby txsmokeater » Fri Jul 15, 2011 11:01 pm

First post here. Been reading around the site for while tonight and following links left and right. Great job on the site.
I have a question on the wording here:

In order to get the Bill out of committee, it was necessary to limit the application of SB321 to CHLs in chemical manufacturing plants and refineries. These companies wanted to be completely exempt from SB321 and, failing that, they wanted CHLs to be able to have only handguns in their cars. Fortunately, our friends in Austin stood firm and the only concession made was limiting SB321 to CHLs, but allowing them to have any type of firearm and ammunition they wish in their cars.

I work for one of those companies. I know in the past law if you passed through a gate access point or guarded enterance, I could not leave a gun in my vehicle. I do park in a lot at my site; we don't actually drive into the plant. Does SB321 allow me now to keep it in my vehicle? I'm not a lawyer by any means and I want to make sure I understand all the legal talk. :bigear:
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Re: Proof that SB321 is not limited to CHL's

Postby carlson1 » Fri Jul 15, 2011 11:09 pm

Great explanation. I am like Wild Bill I like the historical perspective of the bills.
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Re: Proof that SB321 is not limited to CHL's

Postby tacticool » Sat Jul 16, 2011 6:19 pm

txsmokeater wrote:I work for one of those companies. I know in the past law if you passed through a gate access point or guarded enterance, I could not leave a gun in my vehicle. I do park in a lot at my site; we don't actually drive into the plant. Does SB321 allow me now to keep it in my vehicle? I'm not a lawyer by any means and I want to make sure I understand all the legal talk. :bigear:

Is the parking lot open to the public? Is it inside of a secured and restricted area that's monitored?
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Re: Proof that SB321 is not limited to CHL's

Postby txsmokeater » Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:38 pm

It is in a restricted area. The current law prohibits me from keeping one in my car. But what does the new law allow?
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Re: Proof that SB321 is not limited to CHL's

Postby Keith B » Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:50 pm

Here is the text of the new law pertaining to chemical plants being exempt:
(F) property owned or leased by a chemical manufacturer or oil and gas refiner with an air authorization under Chapter 382, Health and Safety Code, and on which the primary business conducted is the manufacture, use, storage, or transportation of hazardous, combustible, or explosive materials, except in regard to an employee who holds a license to carry a concealed handgun under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, and who stores a firearm or ammunition the employee is authorized by law to possess in a locked, privately owned motor vehicle in a parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area the employer provides for employees that is outside of a secured and restricted area:
(i) that contains the physical plant;
(ii) that is not open to the public; and
(iii) the ingress into which is constantly monitored by security personnel.

So, if you have a CHL and where you park is not in the secured area that meets i, ii, and iii above, then you cannot have a firearm in your car. And, the way I read it, it has to meet all three of the requirements above to prevent it.

Remember, this does not go into effect for another month and a half (Sept. 1)
Keith
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Re: Proof that SB321 is not limited to CHL's

Postby speedsix » Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:08 pm

...by "contains the physical plant"...what do they mean???

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Re: Proof that SB321 is not limited to CHL's

Postby Keith B » Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:17 pm

speedsix wrote:...by "contains the physical plant"...what do they mean???


Means the actual chemical plant is inside the secured area.
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Re: Proof that SB321 is not limited to CHL's

Postby speedsix » Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:25 pm

...OK, thanks for that...now I read it that it is the "secured and restricted area" that must meet the three criteria...that's why the "contains the physical plant"...non-CHL do not have the right to have it on company property at all.....if the "secured and restricted area" doesn't meet the three criteria...then even a CHL can't leave his car in company-owned property with a gun in it...I thought it was the parking area that had to meet them...I only had to read it 4 times to get it chewed... ;-)
...the parking lot must be OUTSIDE the area that's secured and restricted and meets the three criteria...


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