Action Items: HB823 & HB896

The Legislative Session is over - here are the results?

Moderator: Charles L. Cotton

Action Items: HB823 & HB896

Postby Charles L. Cotton » Thu Feb 17, 2005 10:01 am

From TSRA:

MEMBER ALERT - Please pass this on to your personal email networks.

IMPACT WITNESSES AND GRASSROOTS SUPPORT SOUGHT FOR TWO TSRA-BACKED BILLS

The following bills have been introduced in the Texas Legislature and are strongly supported by the Texas State Rifle Association. TSRA is seeking impact witnesses who could make themselves available to testify at a future public hearing in Austin before the committees listed below. If you fit the description and are interested in helping, please contact Alice Tripp, TSRA lobbyist, at AGTripp@aol.com or page her (512-505-9519) leave a brief message and a contact number.

HB 823 by Rep. Terry Keel (R-Austin) has been referred to the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee. This bill would create an exception to the Unlawful Carry Section of the Penal Code and make it legal to carry a handgun in your car or truck for protection without a CHL. Current law establishes a defense to prosecution to a charge of unlawful carry if you are "traveling". A “defense to prosecution� means that if you possess a handgun in your car, you can still be charged with unlawful carry and you will need to hire a lawyer to submit evidence on the charge to a judge and jury. The judge and jury will then decide whether you were “traveling� at the time of the offense -- and "traveling" is not defined anywhere in law.

We are looking for individuals who have been charged with a violation of this section of the Penal Code, hired an attorney and gone to court, and been acquitted because a judge and jury found that they were "traveling."

Even if you don't fit this description, you can still help. Please contact these committee members and urge them to support HB 823:

House Criminal Justice Committee:
Chairman Terry Keel
512-463-0652 (thank him for authoring the bill)
Vice-Chair Debbie Riddle
512-463-0572
Rep. Mary Denny
512-463-0688
Rep. Juan Escobar
512-463-0666
Rep. Aaron Pena (thank him for signing on as a joint author to the bill)
512-463-0426
Rep. Richard Raymond
512-463-0558
Rep. Elvira Reyna
512-463-0464

HB 896 by Rep. David Farabee (D-Wichita Falls) has been referred to the House Law Enforcement Committee. This bill would prohibit employers from banning the transport or possession of handguns by CHLs in locked vehicles parked on property controlled by the employer. It would not affect employer policies regarding "No Firearms In The Workplace" except to state, in law, that the ban could not extend to vehicles in employee parking lots, parking garages, or other parking areas.

We are looking for any CHLs who are negatively impacted by their employer's current policy prohibiting them from keeping their handgun in their car while at work -- especially employees who travel long distances to work, who work late hours, or who are forced to park in undesirable areas off company property so that they may keep their gun in their car and not risk violating that policy.

Even if you don't fit this description, you can still help. Please contact these committee members and urge them to support HB 896:

House Law Enforcement Committee
Chairman Joe Driver
512-463-0574
Vice Chair Jim Jackson
512-463-0468
Rep. Stephen Frost (thank him for signing on as a joint author to the bill)
512-463-0692
Rep. Glenn Hegar
512-463-0657
Rep. Suzanna Hupp
512-463-0684
Rep. Mark Veasey
512-463-0716
Last edited by Charles L. Cotton on Fri Apr 29, 2005 2:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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HB 896 Language Change?

Postby oilman » Fri Mar 25, 2005 10:55 am

Received this NRA alert:

Also, the House Law Enforcement Committee reported out the following NRA-supported bills this week: HB 896 by Rep. David Farabee (D-Wichita Falls), which now prohibits employers from enforcing "No Firearms" policies against CHLs who keep a handgun in their vehicle at work if the employer does not provide a secure parking area for employees;

The original version of this bill does NOT include the language if the employer does not provide a secure parking area for employees;

Was this language really added to the bill? What is a secure parking area?
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Postby Charles L. Cotton » Fri Mar 25, 2005 12:06 pm

Oilman:
I'm still waiting on the committee substitute, but it does include language regarding prohibition in secured parking areas. I believe a secured parking area will require a fenced area, available only to employees, with ingress and egress controlled by security guards. Very few parking areas will meet this requirement, but it addresses concerns raised by the petrochemical industry. It would not apply to employer-owned parking areas outside the secured area.

Regards,
Chas.
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Postby oilman » Fri Mar 25, 2005 1:17 pm

Charles,

Thanks for the info. Unfortunately this new langauage does apply to my situation. The parking lots at my office complex fulfill all of the requirements you describe (security guards, new fence etc). However, our security gaurds are unarmed and would provide very little deterrent to a BG.

This new language disarms me from the time I leave home until the time I return home.

Oilman
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Postby Charles L. Cotton » Fri Mar 25, 2005 7:00 pm

Oilman:
Does your employer let anyone in the parking lot, other than employees? I mean, ANYONE! Salesmen, service technicians, plumbers, soft drink delivery men, UPS trucks, FedEx trucks, U.S. Postal Service trucks? If not, they must have another area for these folks to park and if they do, can you park there as well?

Just controlled access alone won't get them there. I still hope to be able to post the exact language soon, but I start trial on Monday, so my updates will be a little late.

Regards,
Chas.
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Postby oilman » Sat Mar 26, 2005 1:04 pm

Charles,

We have two parking lots one for employees and one for visitors.

All of the various folks you mention (non employee) do enter the employee parking lot. Some pull up to the front door, others go around back to the loading docks and others even park under the building in a reserved employee parking lot depending on what their business is.

Non-employees who are not service or delivery people park in the visitors parking lot that is adjacent to the employee lot. Cars in the the visitors lot cannot go from the visitors lot into the employee lot due to metal post barriers. But vistors can walk from the visitors lot into the employee lot.

Oilman
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Postby Charles L. Cotton » Sat Mar 26, 2005 9:09 pm

Oilman:
I still haven't seen the committee substitute, but Scott posted the language. Scott's post was a little different than I expected, primarily with the language "not open to the public," rather than "accessible only to employees." It could be argued that vendors, salesmen, etc. are not "the public," i.e. parking for reasons other than business with the employer.

Can you park in the visitor's lot? Even if that lot meets the requirements of a secured parking area, one of the requirements is that it is not open to the public. As I noted above, I fear an argument will be made about what constitutes the "public," but this may be your only opportunity.

Regards,
Chas.
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Postby oilman » Sun Mar 27, 2005 12:01 pm

Charls,

Thanks. Looks like I am out of luck. The employee lot also has controlled access. It is behind a fence and last I checked a security guard monitors and records who enters the lot. This includes asking what the visitors business is. Thus the only people who are allowed to enter are those who have business with the company. Since I have an employee sticker on my car and in addition have a second sticker for the much coveted covered parking under the building it would look strange if I tried to park in the visitors lot.

Regards,

Oilman
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Postby fiftycal » Sun Mar 27, 2005 9:22 pm

oilman wrote:Charls,
Since I have an employee sticker on my car and in addition have a second sticker for the much coveted covered parking under the building it would look strange if I tried to park in the visitors lot.

Regards,

Oilman


Get a razor blade and remove the stickers. Besides, walking is good for you.
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