I wanted to clarify an aspect of this discussion that came up on another forum. In my original post, I stated:
The second way you can carry concealed in Texas is without a CHL. The wording of Section 46.02 of the Texas Penal Code actually REQUIRES an unlicensed person to conceal a handgun when relying on the travelling law to carry a handgun in a vehicle (or from your premises to the vehicle). I have bolded the relevant sections of the law.
This is bad wording on my part. Texas common law has what is called "travelling". Under this case law, you could carry a handgun or some other prohibited weapons if you met the definition of a traveler under Texas law. However, since "traveller" has never been defined by statute, you must rely on the definitions from existing case law, which are convuluted and sometimes contradictory - so much so that a 2005 Baylor Law Review devoted an article to the subject.
In 2007, the legislature attempted to clarify travelling exemptions for firearms; but still did not define travelling. As a result, some jurisdictions (former Prosecutor Chuck Rosenthal in Harris County being one example) stated they would continue to arrest and prosecute citizens travelling with a handgun and allow the jury to sort it out. In response, the Texas legislature drafted the language in Section 46.02 (a-1)(1) that I discussed above. Because this was an effort to clarify the travelling exception, I mistakenly referred to it as "travelling law."
Texas still has the additional common law travelling rule in addition to Section 46.02. In fact, Section 46.15 of the Texas Penal Code provides that if you meet the definition of traveller (which is still convoluted and varies from court to court), you are excepted from the requirements of Section 46.02.
For the purposes of this post, the quoted language should have read:
The second way you can carry concealed in Texas is without a CHL. The wording of Section 46.02 of the Texas Penal Code actually REQUIRES an unlicensed person to conceal a handgun when relying on Section 46.02 (a-1) to carry a handgun in a vehicle (or from your premises to the vehicle). I have bolded the relevant sections of the law.
If you would like to better educate yourself on the convoluted subject of Texas travelling exceptions to weapons laws, I recommend reading Ayesh v. State
, 734 SW 2d 106, 108 (Tex: Court of Appeals, 3rd Dist. 1987), or Jack E. Skaggs article in the 2005 Baylor Law Review. Both are available online, though only the Ayesh case is available for free.
As a practical matter, I still recommend concealing the handgun from plain view if you are carrying under Section 46.02(a-1). While travelling may offer an additional defense to you, a definition that Texas courts cannot agree on doesn't offer a great deal of protection to a motorist who is dealing with an individual officer who may not be an avid reader of Baylor Law Review.