Bedford Police Chief answers re: CHLer arrested at hospital

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txinvestigator
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Bedford Police Chief answers re: CHLer arrested at hospital

#1

Post by txinvestigator » Sat Jan 12, 2008 3:54 pm

Since the other thread is so long already; (highlights mine)
Dear Concerned Citizens:

Thank you for your interest and for taking the time to voice your opinions and concerns regarding the issue surrounding the arrest of a Concealed Handgun Licensee by members of the Bedford Police Department. We take your opinions and concern(s) seriously. Please let me take the opportunity to address our justification for the arrest and the circumstances surrounding it. Nothing that I am about to disclose is confidential and all information is subject to Texas Open Records Laws. I will address the issues in bullet points.

The "hospital" is Springwood Psychiatric Center. Affiliated and next
door to Harris H-E-B Hospital. Is houses patients being treated for a
variety of psychiatric disorders including drugs/alcohol addiction and
those that have attempted suicide (some with weapons)
It has a secure lockup area where some patients are being help under
emergency mental detention status therefore are not allowed to leave
under their own free will. In this secure lockup area, our own Bedford
Police Officers are not allowed to carry weapons; they must secure them
at the door even if we are responding to a disturbance.
The employee who was arrested had placed her handgun in her purse, had
put her purse in a room that was not secure and was within the look-down
area. Other employees and patients had access to the weapon.
The employee had been given prior written notice by her employer that
weapons are not allowed on the premises of the facility
. It is our
opinion that regardless of the wording of the sign that was posted on
both the front and rear doors of the facility that this written notice
suffices for purposes of "notice" as required by statute.
The Tarrant County District Attorney's Office has been consulted
regarding this case and agrees that the arrest was credible.

As we do in all cases, a thorough review of the facts will be conducted by our Criminal Investigations Division who will consult further with the D.A.'s Office on this arrest.

As your Police Chief I, and all members of the Bedford Police Department are committed to enforcing the law legally, ethically and with integrity. I have made what I believe to be an aggressive and thorough initial review of the facts surrounding this issue and feel certain that we acted appropriately and within the law. However, if we find that after further discussions with the D.A.'s office that somehow we misinterpreted the law, I assure each of you we will take appropriate action.

Thank you,

David Flory
Bedford Police Chief
*CHL Instructor*


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Re: Bedford Police Chief answers re: CHLer arrested at hospital

#2

Post by Russell » Sat Jan 12, 2008 3:56 pm

I'll post my reply here as well:



The question is, was this written notice applicable to Section 30.06?
PC §30.06. TRESPASS BY HOLDER OF LICENSE TO CARRY
CONCEALED HANDGUN. (a) A license holder commits an offense if
the license holder:
34 PC §38.01. TEXAS CONCEALED HANDGUN LAWS
(1) carries a handgun under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter
411, Government Code, on property of another without effective
consent; and
(2) received notice that:
(A) entry on the property by a license holder with a concealed
handgun was forbidden; or
(B) remaining on the property with a concealed handgun was
forbidden and failed to depart.
(b) For purposes of this section, a person receives notice if the
owner of the property or someone with apparent authority to act for the
owner provides notice to the person by oral or written communication.
(c) In this section:

(3) "Written communication" means:
(A) a card or other document on which is written language
identical to the following: "Pursuant to Section 30.06, Penal Code
(trespass by holder of license to carry a concealed handgun), a person
licensed under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code (concealed
handgun law), may not enter this property with a concealed
handgun";


I suppose if they consulted the county DA and the DA said go ahead with the case, it must have been, which is unfortunate for her
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Re: Bedford Police Chief answers re: CHLer arrested at hospital

#3

Post by txinvestigator » Sat Jan 12, 2008 4:53 pm

I emailed the Chief again asking about the content of the notice she received. He did not have exact facts today, but he did say that Monday he wold clarify and let me know.

Seems like a pretty fair guy.
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Re: Bedford Police Chief answers re: CHLer arrested at hospital

#4

Post by WildBill » Sat Jan 12, 2008 4:59 pm

Seems like a pretty fair guy.
Yes he does. Fair and open.

I am curious about the notice too, i.e. whether it was a specific notice after someone knew that she was carrying, or as part of an employee orientation or other training.
Last edited by WildBill on Sat Jan 12, 2008 6:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Bedford Police Chief answers re: CHLer arrested at hospital

#5

Post by Russell » Sat Jan 12, 2008 5:02 pm

txinvestigator wrote:I emailed the Chief again asking about the content of the notice she received. He did not have exact facts today, but he did say that Monday he wold clarify and let me know.

Seems like a pretty fair guy.

I will be waiting with eagerness to read the reply you receive
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Re: Bedford Police Chief answers re: CHLer arrested at hospital

#6

Post by KBCraig » Sun Jan 13, 2008 3:21 am

txinvestigator wrote:I emailed the Chief again asking about the content of the notice she received. He did not have exact facts today, but he did say that Monday he wold clarify and let me know.

Seems like a pretty fair guy.
I'm impressed that he replied. The "To concerned citizens" intro tells me it is a canned response (no doubt he's been hammered with inquiries), but it was well written.

That said, I'm curious how he was so confident that it was a legit arrest, but now he doesn't have the "exact facts" about the verbiage used in the notice. If it wasn't exact per 30.06, then it doesn't count as far as the law is concerned.

Brief aside: if this employee truly did leave a pistol in her (unattended) purse in an unsecured portion of a secure psychiatric facility, then she's an idiot. No offense, but... c'mon!

Second, Bedford PD officers might disarm when responding to "incidents" there (and those controlling the doors are not obliged to let them in until they disarm), but they're not prohibited by law from carrying there. Neither is a CHL holder, no matter how tight the security, unless the CHL is given valid 30.06 notice (sign, "written notice", or verbal).


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Re: Bedford Police Chief answers re: CHLer arrested at hospital

#7

Post by dac1842 » Sun Jan 13, 2008 2:35 pm

Bottom line, As an employer if I tell an employee that you are not to carry weapons on company property, it is in your best interest not to do so. At minimum you will be fired. Here is a case where the employee works in a psych ward. Common sense says you don't carry there. If they dont even allow the LEO's to carry there what the hell makes someone with a CHL think they can?
My employer doesnt even allow weapons anywhere on the property, not even in your car. If you are caught you had better have your resume ready because you will need it. I don't agree with it, but there is no law that says I am forced to work there, I work there and abide by their rules.
I have seen many posts where we get caught up on proper wording. Folks I don't want to be the test case, if the INTENT of the owner is to ban weapons either disarm or don't patronize the business, very simple. Personally I don't patronize the business and I tell whoever the manager or owner is that is why I am doing it. I actually had a guy tear down his sign after I made him understand the only people he was keeping out were law abiding people, the thugs will carry regardless of the signage.
As far as wording, and I am no attorney, the court could look at the letter of the law vs the spirit of the law. If the intent was to not allow weapons and a reasonable person could understand the intent regardless of the wording you might be in trouble.

I am an ex cop, I firmly believe in the right to keep an bear arms.


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Re: Bedford Police Chief answers re: CHLer arrested at hospital

#8

Post by Rokyudai » Sun Jan 13, 2008 5:50 pm

A hospital I once worked for tried that garbage about having the police disarm before entering the ER or Psych ward. Made no sense to me then or now. Sorry to bring up an unrelated rant.
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Re: Bedford Police Chief answers re: CHLer arrested at hospital

#9

Post by Liberty » Sun Jan 13, 2008 6:50 pm

dac1842 wrote:Bottom line, As an employer if I tell an employee that you are not to carry weapons on company property, it is in your best interest not to do so. At minimum you will be fired. Here is a case where the employee works in a psych ward. Common sense says you don't carry there. If they dont even allow the LEO's to carry there what the heck makes someone with a CHL think they can?
My employer doesnt even allow weapons anywhere on the property, not even in your car. If you are caught you had better have your resume ready because you will need it. I don't agree with it, but there is no law that says I am forced to work there, I work there and abide by their rules.
I have seen many posts where we get caught up on proper wording. Folks I don't want to be the test case, if the INTENT of the owner is to ban weapons either disarm or don't patronize the business, very simple. Personally I don't patronize the business and I tell whoever the manager or owner is that is why I am doing it. I actually had a guy tear down his sign after I made him understand the only people he was keeping out were law abiding people, the thugs will carry regardless of the signage.
As far as wording, and I am no attorney, the court could look at the letter of the law vs the spirit of the law. If the intent was to not allow weapons and a reasonable person could understand the intent regardless of the wording you might be in trouble.

I am an ex cop, I firmly believe in the right to keep an bear arms.
No one here has questioned the right of the employer to fire the nurse. An employer in Texas can fire anyone for almost any reason. The issue is whether the lady was legally carrying. This appears to hinge on whether or not she was given proper legal notice. If she was given legal notice per 30.06 or not. Right now the only one claiming she was given notice is the Bedford Chief of police. He wasn't there. There have been conflicting reports from other PD members on what notice was given.

You may have seen many postings but the specific wording and presentation for 30.06 written notification and signage is very specific and doesn't leave much room for interpretation. At this point signage doesn't seem to be an issue because there is no legal signage at the hospital. The Chief of police has pretty much admited this. and is now claiming she recieved written notice. It is clearly specified in PC 30.06.c.3
pc30.06.c.3 wrote: (3) "Written communication" means:
(A) a card or other document on which is written language
identical to the following: "Pursuant to Section 30.06, Penal Code
(trespass by holder of license to carry a concealed handgun), a person
licensed under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code (concealed
handgun law), may not enter this property with a concealed
handgun";
It is now in the DA's hands he is charged with either letting her go, or pressing forward and trying to prove that she did indeed receive proper notice. Unless she recieved notice in a prior discipline action I doubt she ever received proper written notification. An entry in the employee handbook that says there are no guns allowed isn't Written Communication" according to 30.06. I believe the claim of the nurse receiving written notification is all about putting the blanket on the donkey.

Now if the issue is about her carrying into a "secured ward" and turns out to be correct then she deserves to be fired. If She was given proper legal notice, she deserves to get charged. Eventually it should unfold. The line has been drawn in the sand.
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Re: Bedford Police Chief answers re: CHLer arrested at hospital

#10

Post by stevie_d_64 » Sun Jan 13, 2008 7:14 pm

For years the battle has raged to define where you can, and you cannot...Its had its ups and downs...

What amazes me that with all the efforts on both sides of the issue, why there has not been ANY effort I can see to bridge the gap in regards to providing areas in facilities and places you cannot go with your firearm to discretely and safely disarm and stow your firearm, and do the same on the way out...Regardless if you are an employee or a visitor...

Seems to me that would be a way to answer both sides concerns...

The money and time spent so far to fight the battle that never seems to have an end, would have been better spent to find a way to make this idea work...

It would end up that our side would have to accept businesses and facilities can restrict against our right to keep and bear arms, yet provide this system and liability for our security...

I just can't hold my breath that long... ;-)
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Re: Bedford Police Chief answers re: CHLer arrested at hospital

#11

Post by Russell » Mon Jan 14, 2008 1:35 am

Liberty wrote: It is now in the DA's hands he is charged with either letting her go, or pressing forward and trying to prove that she did indeed receive proper notice. Unless she recieved notice in a prior discipline action I doubt she ever received proper written notification.


I doubt she received proper written notification as well, however it would not surprise me if she did. Hospitals have hordes of lawyers, one may just have put the correct notification in her employee handbook.
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Re: Bedford Police Chief answers re: CHLer arrested at hospital

#12

Post by DoubleActionCHL » Mon Jan 14, 2008 2:41 am

Russell wrote:
Liberty wrote: It is now in the DA's hands he is charged with either letting her go, or pressing forward and trying to prove that she did indeed receive proper notice. Unless she recieved notice in a prior discipline action I doubt she ever received proper written notification.
I doubt she received proper written notification as well, however it would not surprise me if she did. Hospitals have hordes of lawyers, one may just have put the correct notification in her employee handbook.
It's certainly possible, but I doubt it.

Furthermore, the law isn't vague. It requires that the language be 'identical' to that included in PC 30.06; not close, not similar, not meaning the same thing. The hospital need only produce this language and prove she was notified, otherwise they have no case. I'll be interested to see what the Chief comes up with. I also find it interesting that he's going after a CHL holder so aggressively. Does anyone know anything about the police chief? Does he have a record of being anti-CHL or anti-gun for the private citizen?
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Re: Bedford Police Chief answers re: CHLer arrested at hospital

#13

Post by KBCraig » Mon Jan 14, 2008 4:14 am

Russell wrote:Hospitals have hordes of lawyers, one may just have put the correct notification in her employee handbook.
This hospital's horde didn't even make sure that they posted the signs required by Government Code § 411.204, so I doubt they are up to speed on the specifics of banning licensed carry.


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Re: Bedford Police Chief answers re: CHLer arrested at hospital

#14

Post by KD5NRH » Mon Jan 14, 2008 4:26 am

DoubleActionCHL wrote:Furthermore, the law isn't vague. It requires that the language be 'identical' to that included in PC 30.06; not close, not similar, not meaning the same thing.
This is something else I find awkward with 30.06; the language must be exact, but refers to "this property." What if I want to mail someone notice that they are not allowed to carry on my property? (Assume, for the sake of argument, that I only want to prohibit the recipient, and not everyone, so posting on the property would not achieve the desired result.)

What if I own a chain of businesses, and want to notify someone in writing that they can't carry at any of them? IMO, changing the wording to allow "this property" to be replaced with language particularly describing the property referenced, and requiring that the sign or other notice state specifically (i.e. not just "Management," but at least "[business name] Store Manager" or similar) under whose authority the notice is given (with contact information) would be a good thing. (and potentially useful in cases of leased properties, since it would let us know whether to complain to the landlord or the manager -- more importantly, it would eliminate the appearance conveyed by the wording that the property is somehow off-limits by default under state law, by clarifying that the prohibition is by the decision of the owner or owner's representative) Any thoughts from the legal team?


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Re: Bedford Police Chief answers re: CHLer arrested at hospital

#15

Post by Rex B » Mon Jan 14, 2008 10:31 am

If this woman's employer did all the right things under the law to prohibit carry, the charge should stick.
If not, she should walk and the people responsible for her public embarrassment should pay dearly. It's one thing to be fired. A nurse's aid can find work quickly. But an arrest is several orders of magnitude worse. Even if found not guilty, getting that arrest and trial expunged from public record is not as easy as it should be. Arrest records that do not end in conviction should disappear without a trace. Sadly, that is rarely the case.

Further, if she did indeed leave a loaded firearm unattended in an area secured from same because of mentally unstable people having access, then she is not the sort of CHLer we need to support.
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