Carry in Texas polling place? it depends

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ScottDLS
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Re: Carry in Texas polling place? it depends

#16

Post by ScottDLS » Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:57 pm

stevie_d_64 wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:54 pm
Well...Since you put it that way...

Lemme 'splain a few things to y'all in this forum...

Years ago I did ask this of the County Clerks office in Harris County, and the person giving the recertification of the Law Class wjich is required at each election cycle said this to mh question of our authority and how it relates to the protection and integrity of the election and the polling location...

Yes, we carry the same weight and authority of a State District Judge...But in regards to the actual function, all we are charged with is protectingnthe integrity of the election and its credible operation per election laws...

Our personal ability to carry a firearm within that polling location has always been prohibited, at least for me, because my polling location is in a elementary school withjng the boundaries of the Precinct I represent...

I never could get a straight answer from the County as they err'd on the side of "no"...And I did not feel like I needed to be, as you state, "test case"...

So this occurring long before Ken took office as AG, I had to adhere to the law, as schools are a "no go" zone...

So this is what I plan to do, since no one else here is a Presiding Election Judge, Inwill make a very rare personal call to my friend Charles Cotton, and see what he actually believes is the AG's intent here...

Prudence dictates you should not go blindly into this as the violation is too much to risk for others entertainment...

I shall post our findings soon, and if all goes well, this November, I will either conceal or betrer yet, open carry if its determined that I acting in that capacity as Judge, will carry my firearm...

Regards...
The AG opinion seems to address your situation along with the case law from Hook v. State. That's really about all you're going to get without being the proverbial "test case". You have previously asked the County Clerks office and got one answer and the AG seems to be saying something different, while also providing his legal reasoning. You can ask a private attorney (Mr. Cotton) or if you really want to know, you could show the AG opinion to your County Prosecutor and get his/her take. That would be the person prosecuting you, so probably the best place to start. If the DA says no, I wouldn't do it, because he/she could bring the charges, even if they ultimately lost.
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WildRose
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Re: Carry in Texas polling place? it depends

#17

Post by WildRose » Wed Aug 29, 2018 11:22 pm

ScottDLS wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:57 pm
stevie_d_64 wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:54 pm
Well...Since you put it that way...

Lemme 'splain a few things to y'all in this forum...

Years ago I did ask this of the County Clerks office in Harris County, and the person giving the recertification of the Law Class wjich is required at each election cycle said this to mh question of our authority and how it relates to the protection and integrity of the election and the polling location...

Yes, we carry the same weight and authority of a State District Judge...But in regards to the actual function, all we are charged with is protectingnthe integrity of the election and its credible operation per election laws...

Our personal ability to carry a firearm within that polling location has always been prohibited, at least for me, because my polling location is in a elementary school withjng the boundaries of the Precinct I represent...

I never could get a straight answer from the County as they err'd on the side of "no"...And I did not feel like I needed to be, as you state, "test case"...

So this occurring long before Ken took office as AG, I had to adhere to the law, as schools are a "no go" zone...

So this is what I plan to do, since no one else here is a Presiding Election Judge, Inwill make a very rare personal call to my friend Charles Cotton, and see what he actually believes is the AG's intent here...

Prudence dictates you should not go blindly into this as the violation is too much to risk for others entertainment...

I shall post our findings soon, and if all goes well, this November, I will either conceal or betrer yet, open carry if its determined that I acting in that capacity as Judge, will carry my firearm...

Regards...
The AG opinion seems to address your situation along with the case law from Hook v. State. That's really about all you're going to get without being the proverbial "test case". You have previously asked the County Clerks office and got one answer and the AG seems to be saying something different, while also providing his legal reasoning. You can ask a private attorney (Mr. Cotton) or if you really want to know, you could show the AG opinion to your County Prosecutor and get his/her take. That would be the person prosecuting you, so probably the best place to start. If the DA says no, I wouldn't do it, because he/she could bring the charges, even if they ultimately lost.
This is one of those places where those who are anti gun/anti carry who are in positions of power can and will abuse their authority to bully people into submission.

I really appreciate the lengths the current Governor and Adminstration are going to in order to force the subordinate jurisdictions in the state to comply with the law and respect the rights of the citizens but as you say, being that "test case" can put you in a lot of legal jeopardy.

To remedy this we need more people to be pro active in addressing these things before someone becomes a test case, but that requires the kind of grass roots activism "reasonable conservatives" usually wish to avoid. It is by our very nature we tend to mind our own business and not be confrontation wherever possible but that's also how we've allowed many of our rights to be infringed to the point of no longer existing as rights, only as heavily regulated and restricted privileges for the "special class" of folks favored by the political elite.

I simply don't know an easy answer and don't believe one exists.
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thatguyoverthere
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Re: Carry in Texas polling place? it depends

#18

Post by thatguyoverthere » Wed Aug 29, 2018 11:27 pm

I'll admit, I'm conflicted about this. Living in a rural area, with little or no or delayed police response, I understand the situation that brought about this action. So I'm glad that SOMEone MAY be able to carry a firearm in a polling place in case the need ever arises. That's the good news.

On the other hand, there may or may not be an armed LTC worker at all polling places - it depends on whether the local election judge has an LTC or not, and if so, whether they choose to carry or not. Even if they do have an LTC, and even if they do choose to carry it in the polling place, and if something does happen, will he/she be willing to risk their life to save mine if necessary? After all, they are not sworn LEO, but just another LTC'er who also happens to be an election judge. Nothing against them - it's just that if I'm having to depend on an LTC'er to protect my life, I'd much rather that LTC'er be ME!

Also, I've looked over the referenced statutes, and I don't see anything close to saying that an election judge fits the description of an "active judicial official" as defined by the statute. I will concede that maybe the AG knows more about the law, but I do know how to read, and I just don't see it there. But apparently he does, so good for him.

But I guess my main beef is that here is yet one more carve out for "special" people, in this case allowing them to be able to carry a handgun in an area where a "regular," even licensed, person can not. And especially in this case, where the only thing "special" thing about the person with the "special" privileges is their political connection. Yes, that does twist my shorts. :mad5

JMHO. Feel free to change my mind for me!

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Flightmare
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Re: Carry in Texas polling place? it depends

#19

Post by Flightmare » Wed Aug 29, 2018 11:39 pm

thatguyoverthere wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 11:27 pm
Also, I've looked over the referenced statutes, and I don't see anything close to saying that an election judge fits the description of an "active judicial official" as defined by the statute. I will concede that maybe the AG knows more about the law, but I do know how to read, and I just don't see it there. But apparently he does, so good for him.
Texas Election Code Sec. 32.075(c)
https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs ... /EL.32.htm
In performing duties under Subsection (a), a presiding judge has the power of a district judge to enforce order and preserve the peace, including the power to issue an arrest warrant. An appeal of an order or other action of the presiding judge under this section is made in the same manner as the appeal of an order or other action of a district court in the county in which the polling place is located.
While they are acting in their duties as an election judge, they have the same authority and power as a district judge. A district judge is able to carry in the court (assuming they have a LTC), even though it is off limits to the general population. The AG is saying that unless the area is prohibited by other means, an election judge can carry at a polling place that they preside over under the same law.

That being said, I agree that there should not be these special carve-outs for certain people. If one group of people is allowed to carry there by having LTC, then all LTCs should be allowed to carry there. Unfortunately, that is not how the law is written today. This is why we need to push for more 2A friendly legislature. I'm eagerly awaiting for Charles' review of bills to watch out for in the 2019 legislative session.
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O.F.Fascist
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Re: Carry in Texas polling place? it depends

#20

Post by O.F.Fascist » Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:16 am

Its a move in the right direction, but there really needs to be a push to legalize at the very least concealed carry in polling places.

If the logic is that guns shouldn't be allowed in polling places because people will be intimated into not voting, then concealed carry should be fine. Those professors who sued to stop campus carry got their lawsuits thrown out, concealed carry while voting should be a similar case.


WildRose
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Re: Carry in Texas polling place? it depends

#21

Post by WildRose » Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:01 am

thatguyoverthere wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 11:27 pm
I'll admit, I'm conflicted about this. Living in a rural area, with little or no or delayed police response, I understand the situation that brought about this action. So I'm glad that SOMEone MAY be able to carry a firearm in a polling place in case the need ever arises. That's the good news.

On the other hand, there may or may not be an armed LTC worker at all polling places - it depends on whether the local election judge has an LTC or not, and if so, whether they choose to carry or not. Even if they do have an LTC, and even if they do choose to carry it in the polling place, and if something does happen, will he/she be willing to risk their life to save mine if necessary? After all, they are not sworn LEO, but just another LTC'er who also happens to be an election judge. Nothing against them - it's just that if I'm having to depend on an LTC'er to protect my life, I'd much rather that LTC'er be ME!

Also, I've looked over the referenced statutes, and I don't see anything close to saying that an election judge fits the description of an "active judicial official" as defined by the statute. I will concede that maybe the AG knows more about the law, but I do know how to read, and I just don't see it there. But apparently he does, so good for him.

But I guess my main beef is that here is yet one more carve out for "special" people, in this case allowing them to be able to carry a handgun in an area where a "regular," even licensed, person can not. And especially in this case, where the only thing "special" thing about the person with the "special" privileges is their political connection. Yes, that does twist my shorts. :mad5

JMHO. Feel free to change my mind for me!
As I read it, the election judge may carry on the premises with our without a permit. Anyone else would be required to be permitted.

Judges, DA's etc were carrying in courthouses and courtrooms throughout the history of the state prior to licensed carry. Even our local JP's could legally carry in the courthouse or else they were getting a free pass from the DPS and Sheriff for decades.

Maybe Charles or one of our other atty's better versed on the history can chime back in.
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WildRose
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Re: Carry in Texas polling place? it depends

#22

Post by WildRose » Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:03 am

O.F.Fascist wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:16 am
Its a move in the right direction, but there really needs to be a push to legalize at the very least concealed carry in polling places.

If the logic is that guns shouldn't be allowed in polling places because people will be intimated into not voting, then concealed carry should be fine. Those professors who sued to stop campus carry got their lawsuits thrown out, concealed carry while voting should be a similar case.
Anyone who is intimidated merely by the presence of a law abiding citizen going about their business while armed needs to seriously reevaluate their own world view.
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TX LTC Instructor, Personal/Family Protection and Self Defense Instructor.
Without The First and Second Amendments the rest are meaningless.

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Re: Carry in Texas polling place? it depends

#23

Post by Liberty » Thu Aug 30, 2018 5:23 am

WildRose wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 11:22 pm
To remedy this we need more people to be pro active in addressing these things before someone becomes a test case, but that requires the kind of grass roots activism "reasonable conservatives" usually wish to avoid. It is by our very nature we tend to mind our own business and not be confrontation wherever possible but that's also how we've allowed many of our rights to be infringed to the point of no longer existing as rights, only as heavily regulated and restricted privileges for the "special class" of folks favored by the political elite.

I simply don't know an easy answer and don't believe one exists.
A remedy is in the works. Charles and the TSRA have a proposed fix for this. They offered a similar solution last year but the proposal died without explanation or fanfare. Maybe with Strauss gone, the Lege won't screw it up this time.
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Re: Carry in Texas polling place? it depends

#24

Post by spectre » Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:43 pm

It's all about voter intimidation. Back when the Democrats had a stranglehold on Texas politics from 1870 (Amendment XV) through the Civil Rights Era, one of the most important jobs of the local Sheriff was to suppress the Negro vote. If the people are not allowed to carry when they vote, not even carry concealed, it's much more difficult for the people to stand up to the local Sheriff intimidating voters and potential voters.

As it always has been, around the world and throughout the centuries, weapon control is all about controlling and oppressing a disarmed populace.
When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society,
over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it
and a moral code that glorifies it. - Frédéric Bastiat

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Re: Carry in Texas polling place? it depends

#25

Post by Vol Texan » Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:11 pm

I've been a bit busy here lately, and I've only had the opportunity to skim this thread.

Did I read correctly: the elected presiding judge for a precinct that votes in a public elementary school may indeed carry while conducting said election in that school?
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PriestTheRunner
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Re: Carry in Texas polling place? it depends

#26

Post by PriestTheRunner » Fri Aug 31, 2018 9:17 am

Vol Texan wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:11 pm
I've been a bit busy here lately, and I've only had the opportunity to skim this thread.

Did I read correctly: the elected presiding judge for a precinct that votes in a public elementary school may indeed carry while conducting said election in that school?
Technically, it appears so. Where the rubber meets the road... Who knows.
Also OC vs CC would likely have a big impact in the outcome of any such 'test'.

Who else is ready to see a test case? :cool:

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Re: Carry in Texas polling place? it depends

#27

Post by ELB » Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:23 pm

I just ran across the following guidance to Elections Officials from the Director of Elections for the Secretary of State on carry by Election Judges in the polling place:

Handguns in the Polling Place (KP-0212)
USAF 1982-2005
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