School parking lots

The Legislative Session is over - here are the results?

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Postby fiftycal » Fri Jan 21, 2005 8:39 pm

[quote="Baytown"]fitftycal, I am a cop, and I work in Harris County. As any police officer in Harris County will tell you, there is TX law and then there is Harris County law.

The DA would not even take the 46.02 much less the felony stick. The ADA explained that she was not actually in the care, custody, or control of it at the time in which the handgun was found. (It was in her car)

Then what you have is not a problem with the "law", but a problem with "lawyers".

What makes you think that a law against having a gun on the school parking lot is going to cause your DA's to take that case when they would have had(in any other county) a clear case of UCW?

At the same time I would hate to have to jack-up a kid who has a hunting gun, even if it was a handgun in his or her truck or car, that forgot it was there. The schools like to talk about open mindedness and etc, but they sure seem to be closed minded when it comes to guns.

How would you know? Take their word for it? And the "zero-common-sense" laws now on the books need to be revoked. Kids are being put in "alternative" schools for giving a midol to a friend or having a butter knive in their car.

HUGE waste of time and energy. But the educrats want MORE of it.

Tell me, if a gun in the school parking lot is such a problem, why isn't a gun in the home an equally big problem? If a kid has a car, what is to prevent them from driving home (probably less than 10 minutes) and then returning with a gun?

Is the next step going to be banning guns from homes that have a "school age" kid in them?

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Postby Baytown » Sat Jan 22, 2005 5:57 am

Don't even get me started on when they wanted me to start asking some kids if thier parents had guns at home. :x

I was a full-time school resource officer at the HS and you knew which kids hunted and which kids were thugs. (Never hurts to know who has a hunting lease :) )

And good point about the DA's, if there is already a law and they don't enforce it, what good is another one going to be?

The school was only able to check the cars in the parking lot, but there were quite a few parked on the public roadway that they could not do anyting with. :roll:


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Postby Stephen A. Camp » Sun Jan 23, 2005 11:06 pm

Texas SB 173 Introduced: Bans Possession of Any Firearms In Vehicles In School Parking Lots -- Including CHLs
by Sen. Chris Harris (R-Arlington)

This bill would make it a felony for anyone -- including a CHL -- to have a firearm of any kind in their vehicle for any reason while parked in an area owned or leased by a public or private school or institution. Additionallly, the bill would make it a Class A misdemeanor for CHLs to leave their concealed handguns stored in their car while parked in a lot or garage routinely used by anyone attending a high school sporting event.

CHLs can lose their license if charged with a Class A misdemeanor. And because Texas law calls for penalty enhancements for offenses committed near schools, this could end up being a felony charge.

Current law restricts "premises" to "building or portion of a building." 'The bill expands the definition of "premises" where schools are concerned to include parking areas.

So under SB 173, if you're dropping your child off at school and you have your hunting rifle or shotgun in your car or truck, you could be a felon. It doesn't matter whether your firearm is loaded or unloaded, broken down, or locked in your trunk. If you're a CHL and you're attending your son or daughter's high school football game, you could no longer leave your handgun locked in your car if it's parked in a lot where other people attending the same event are parked.

SB 173 has far-reaching consequences. There are countless instances where law-abiding citizens could be impacted by this bill. So far no hearing has been scheduled on the bill, but people are encouraged to contact Sen. Harris' office and register their concerns. To view the bill, go to ... status.htm

This is how the bill was explained to me and we do need to see that it doesn't affect law-abiding citizens.

Using the link below you can contact your own state senator. You can also go to the "By City" and then go to "A" for Arlington and email Senator Harris on this matter. Again, be polite but state your opposition.


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Postby LarryArnold » Mon Jan 24, 2005 1:04 am

An interesting point, of course, is that schools can already prohibit students and employees from bringing a firearm onto campus, including parking areas, simply by writing policies to that end.

Conversely, any school that wanted to could write a policy permitting concealed carry, etc, on premises.

I used to have letters from the superintendents of a couple of local school districts allowing me to bring firearms into classrooms to teach Hunter Education, to rehearse for a play, etc.

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Postby dolanp » Tue Jan 25, 2005 8:55 pm

According to a poster on who called Sen. Harris' office, the senator 'made a mistake' and did not mean to include CHL holders and was working to 'fix' the issue. Sounds like some backpedalling garbage to me. His modifications specifically modified the concealed carry statute so I don't buy that it was an accident. I think the heat he's feeling is already taking the momentum from this bill. I have written my district Senator and I think most active packers in TX are as well.
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Postby ElGato » Thu Jan 27, 2005 7:12 am

If he REALLY doesn't want to include CHL holders there should be no need for a new law, what we have now should work just fine.
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Postby dws1117 » Thu Jan 27, 2005 8:57 am

If he REALLY doesn't want to include CHL holders there should be no need for a new law, what we have now should work just fine.

I agree. It sounds like a case of misguided good intentions. As the poster said, another law is a waste of time.

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Postby TraCoun » Sun Jan 30, 2005 6:44 pm

A short time ago a shooter posted comments on, responding to a letter he got from Texas State Senator Jon Lindsay. Sen. Lindsay's letter was an answer to an e-mail the shooter sent Sen. Lindsay about SB 173, which we have already seen discussed here.

Sen. Lindsay's coments are a bit odd, coming from someone who has long been a friend of gun owners. One sentence stands out: "I resolutely feel that the safety of school children must be ensured to the highest degree possible." Besides saying that we, CHL holders, fully agree, I wonder if Sen. Lindsay has some information the CHL holders have posed a problem in that regard? If he does I'd like to hear it. If not, it seems he may be attacking a group that has an impeccable ten-year record of compliance and safety. I hope Sen. Lindsay realizes that the safety of these school children might someday depend on a parent who is a CHL holder. This proposed limitation on CHL holders would effectively deny the parent that ability. It is also curious that Sen. Lindsay's comment that the bill is to limit CHL holders is in direct contradiction to Sen. Harris' office statement that inclusion of CHL holders under the bill was a mistake.
I am including Sen. Linday's full letter as it was posted on

"Thank you for your email asking for my opposition to Senate Bill 173. I appreciate you taking the time to share your viewpoint with me.

Senate Bill (SB) 173 is a measure that seeks to redefine the areas in which licensed concealed handgun ownders may carry their weapons. This proposed legislation would broaden the definition of a school to include driveways and parking lots. I resolutely feel that the safety of schoolchildren must be ensured to the highest degree possible. Whether SB 173 works toward that goal or not I do no know as I have yet to hear debate on the matter. In assessing that debate I will be certain to keep your viewpoint in mind.

Thank you for writing me with your concerns. Please feel free to contact my office in the future if there is anything with which I can be of assistance.

(actual original signature)
Jon Lindsay
State Senator



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Sen. Lindsay & SB 173 - Long

Postby Charles L. Cotton » Sun Jan 30, 2005 6:49 pm

I agree, it is surprising to see Senator Lindsay apparently supporting SB173. Sen. Lindsay has been a very good friend to gun-owners. He carried the Senate bill that prohibited governmental suits against gun manufacturers and took a good bit of heat for doing so. It was also surprising to see Sen. Harris introduce SB173, as he too has an excellent voting record since 1991.

I think a short discussion of how most bills get filed may be of help. The vast majority of bills filed are drafted by a Senator’s or Representative’s constituents, or by legislative counsel in response to constituents’ requests. With a legislature that meets for only five months every two years, there simply isn’t enough time for the elected representative to do all of the research and bill drafting. The serious work on a bill starts when it is assigned to a committee. It is quite common to see a bill’s author offer significant amendments to his or her own bills and sometimes even kill them. The research, drafting, evaluating, amending, additional research and cross-checking bills is an on-going process throughout the entire legislative session, or until a bill is passed, killed, or dies in committee. While in a perfect world we’d like to see all Senators and Representatives personally familiar with every word in, and the scope of, the bills they file, it does not and cannot work that way in the real world of time constraints. So much for the refresher course in Government 101. I apologize for boring those of you who knew this already, but it was a real learning experience for me when I first got involved 25 years ago.

SB173 is has the same goal as HB243 introduced by Rep. Ray Allen in the 2003 Session. That bill had been requested by a particular school district, allegedly to enable it to protect their schools by making certain on-campus arrests possible. No one can seriously argue that Representative Ray Allen is anything but one of CHL’s greatest friends and supporters. He is a CHL Instructor and has a perfect record of voting with CHL holders over the years. Nevertheless, the above-described procedures resulted in him introducing HB243, then when he turned his work efforts to that bill and came to understand its full impact, he let his own bill die in committee.

Is this what happened to Senator Harris? Is this how SB173 came to be introduced this Session? I don’t have the answers to these questions, but I find it quite interesting that Sen. Harris’ Senatorial District encompasses Rep. Allen’s House District. While not definitive, it sure looks to me like the same school district was up to their old tricks. Most of us will respond when someone talks about the safety of our children. When the dust settles, the bill is fully and fairly evaluated, and input from citizens is received, I trust the school district’s shenanigans will again be rebuffed.

Only time will tell if Sen. Harris will take the same action, or should I say inaction, as did Rep. Allen in 2003. Hopefully, the sentiment we are hearing from his staff is an indication of what we can expect.

I also suspect that Sen. Lindsay will take a closer look at SB173 and, based upon his past support of gun-owners and CHL holders, choose not to support the bill, even if Sen. Harris allows it to be reported out of committee.

I am not saying we should not contact these Senators and others. Indeed we should let them know this is a bad bill; one that cannot be fixed. Its impact is far broader than appears at first blush. When we voice our opposition, I would respectfully suggest that we do it in a manner that, when appropriate, acknowledges their long-standing support of gun-owners and CHL holders and requesting that their support continue by opposing this bill. If your Senator has a history of opposing gun rights, like Royce West, then there is no past history to praise!

Sorry for the length of this post and thanks for considering these points.

Last edited by Charles L. Cotton on Mon Jan 31, 2005 12:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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More on the scope of SB173 - a very bad bill!

Postby Charles L. Cotton » Sun Jan 30, 2005 6:56 pm

I wanted to follow up on my last post regarding SB173 to focus on some of the specific dangers of this bill.

Most of the attention directed toward SB173 deals with the detrimental effect on CHL holders, but the scope of this bill is far broader. Even with an “exemption� for CHL holders, SB173 is a bad bill.

As broadly written, SB173 applies not only to public primary and secondary schools, but to all public and private schools, colleges and universities. Since “schools� and “educational institutions� are not defined, SB173 will also apply to non-traditional schools like trade schools, real estate schools, “business� schools (as distinguished from colleges with business degrees), etc. Recall also that prohibited locations set forth in Texas Penal Code Section 46.03, including the additional locations created by SB173, do not require the posting of a 30.06 sign.

It should also be noted that the proposed new Section 46.03(a)(7) applies not only to parking areas “owned or leased by a public or private schools . . .� as set out in Subsection (7)(A), but also to any parking areas “routinely used by persons attending an activity that is sponsored by a public or private school . . .� Subsection (7)(B). [Note the “or� between Subsections (7)(A) and (7)(B).]

The combined effect of 1) applying the new provisions to all public and private schools; and 2) not limiting it to parking areas owned or leased by public schools creates a huge area of prohibited locations never envisioned. Further, since a 30.06 sign will not be required, citizens will unknowingly venture into these areas and be faced with arrest and felony prosecution.

A few examples show the absurdity of the effects of SB173. Assume a rather large strip center or mall has a private real estate or driving school as one of its many tenants. Due to the scope of SB173, the entire parking lot will be off limits, if it is “routinely used by persons attending an activity that is sponsored by [the] . . . school . . .� Section 46.03(7)(B). A person driving onto the parking lot to go shopping or have lunch would be subject to arrest and prosecution for a felony.

SB173 also amends Penal Code Section 30.06, making its provisions expressly applicable to CHL holders, as set forth above.

Even if SB173 is amended to exempt CHL holders and narrow its geographic scope, it will still be a bad bill. There are legitimate reasons for non-CHL holders to have a long gun in their car while in school parking areas. For example, why should a mother or father be subject to arrest and felony prosecution for merely dropping their child off at school with a rifle or shotgun in the car?

College students under 21 years of age should not be denied the means of protecting themselves when they are on the road between school and home. These distances can be significant for students attending school far from their homes. Often, these trips are made after dark and by females traveling alone. Surely, we have not forgotten the tragedy that befell a 19 year old college student in Tyler last week. (This one really hits home for me, as I have a niece attending a university over 200 miles from home and I do not want her totally defenseless driving to and from work at night, and home for holidays and Spring Break.) Since all firearms are prohibited in the students’ dorms and other school buildings, if their cars are also made off limits, then these students will be defenseless.

I have focused primarily on SB173's detrimental effect on the ability of law-abiding citizens to defend themselves, but there are also legitimate sporting reasons for having firearms in a car or truck in a school parking lot.

SB173 is a bad bill that cannot be fixed.


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Postby ElGato » Sun Jan 30, 2005 11:52 pm

Don't apologize for a long post Charles, it's what we need here, this is an important issue and the more knowledge we have the better.
My post would be longer if I could spell, type and were better with words.
I am glad to see that several who post here are capable and I enjoy reading them.
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