1) There is a small Foot-Court type area (named "La Placita") located on the main floor hallway that leads to the second story secured portion of the Airport. It’s across the way from the restaurant and houses a Starbucks coffee on one side, and a small bar on the other. They are separated by a mid-sized common area populated with tables in and chairs for folks to sit at. The Starbucks physically has its own room/shop while the small bar seemingly occupies the same space as the common food-court/seating area. There was no visible sign naming the bar, nor allowing a visitor to determine when you were in the premises of the bar. Why is this important you say?
Being a bar, it had a posted 51% sign on the wall directly next to the side of the wall/room the bar occupied. Oddly, it also had the blue TABC “Unlicensed Possession” signs. My wife and I stopped in at the Starbucks to get something to drink whilst waiting for my family members’ flight to show up, and in order to get into the Starbucks you have to walk through the common seating/food-court area (Only a few feet at its shortest point). As far as I could tell, the patrons of the bar were physically sitting at the bar, and everyone else (Starbucks customers and what not) were at the tables in the area. My questions are:
There were no clearly marked signs or entrances for the bar. In fact, I didn’t even notice there was a bar in the area until I was already inside the common area. In this case, what would qualify as the premises of the bar? There was absolutely no doorway you had to go through to access the bar, you only had to cross the threshold into the food-court area that it shares with the Starbucks to see it. Looking at Texas Penal Code 46.035 we know that “Premises” is defined as the following:
I suppose it is possible that the common seating/food-court area could possibly be considered a Walkway, as there is an outdoor patio that can only be accessed by use of this area. Admittedly though, I wouldn’t rely on this. There is a very real possibility that the Common seating area actually could be the premises of the bar. It was not a problem for me as I was not carrying at the time, however I feel this is an excellent example of how the barriers of “You cannot carry here” can be muddled and made anything other than cut and dry. What is your take on this, my fellow CHL’ers?"Premises" means a building or a portion of a
Building. The term does not include any public or private driveway,
street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking garage, or other
2) There is a small EPPD (El Paso Police Department) office that the public can access near the 1st story passenger reception area behind the escalators (again, still not the Secured Portion of the airport). There was actually a very large clearly worded sign that mentioned PC 411.207 (Authority of a Peace Officer to Disarm) right outside of the door. I thought it was pretty neat to see a sign of this type prominently displayed, as I’ve only be inside one other Police Station since I’ve had my license and I did not see a sign like this there. I know the question has come up a few times regarding lawful carry at a PD, so it’s cool to see a sign like this, ESPECIALLY at an Airport. While I’m sure the fact that they need to prominently display a sign of this nature has something to do with it, I can’t help but wonder if it’s a small concession of local law enforcement supporting the Average citizens’ right to carry – probably wishful thinking on my part! Thats not to say that local El Paso LEO's don't support us: I know for a fact Sheriff Wyles supports the citizens right to be armed.
Also: The last time I flew out of the American Airlines terminal, there was a 51% sign on the Bar in that area as well – Pretty funny considering it was in the secured portion of the airport!