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Old April 26, 2012, 11:32 PM   #1
SWglockmagnum
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Texas CHL v NO CHL

so i'm on the way to getting my chl officially.. paid the money, started the paperwork, will be taking the class on cinco de mayo. should have it in a month give or take...

so... given that, i have a few questions.

I am buying a house in the city. i know i can walk around my house wearing an arsenal of guns any way and anywhere i can possibly fit them if i wanted to without any sort of permit....

but...

the question is, in TEXAS, Can you wear an outside the belt gun holster in your garage if it is open, or on your lawn prior to the sidewalk which is typically city property?

that's assuming you have no sort of licensing such as a CHL, which stands for CONCEALED.

i'm going to assume YES, you are legally allowed to do so within your own property, front or back yard, or garage or porch or roof or wherever you can possibly go on your own property, but would be breaking the law without a CHL if you have not concealed it by the time you left your property / say the sidewalk or street...

but... my other question is..........

lets say you are allowed to wear an outside the pants holster with your favorite weapon all throughout your property (again... within city limits)...

does that right get revoked if you have a CHL ???

i.e. i'm standing on my front lawn with a gun hanging off my belt, and a cop drives by, do i get in trouble for not having my weapon concealed in public?


in other words i'm trying to figure out if you revoke one right to gain another, or if it is always a right...

now, that's not really taking into consideration that it's just....... not really a good idea to walk around your property with a gun hanging off your belt in a neighborhood like mine.. you're LOOKING for a challenge if you do. and believe me.. they'll take the challenge.

the reason i ask this specifically though is that, i do motorcycle repair out of my garage for customers... and sometimes i have the garage door open, sometimes i have it cracked open, and ghetto hood rats walk by constantly and shout at me or ask stupid questions.. most of the time they are drunk, stoned, on crack or something, sometimes they'll walk right into my garage while i'm welding and stand 3 feet behind me and start trying to get my attention.... then ask me for money or a cigarette or whatever else....

there's one dude in particular who every time he walks by with his girlfriend he starts screaming all sorts of stuff.

I seriously think he's schizophrenic. or just has serious anger issues. i really don't know, but, i see him maybe once a week, and fortunately they usually walk in the middle of the street (making cars go around them because they're so important)....

anyway.... for that reason specifically, i don't think it's a good idea for me to be walking around with a gun hanging off my hip..... he'd go get his and there would be a duel. guaranteed....

but... it is because of him specifically that i finally decided to get my CHL along with the other benefits that have made me want to get one for a year now.

i refuse to be in my garage without a weapon handy if the door is going to be open, and i may as well be legal to carry it outside of my property.

thank god for the castle doctrine though.
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Old April 26, 2012, 11:44 PM   #2
JohnKSa
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You can open carry anywhere on your own property or on another person's private property with their permission. That's about it as far as legal open carry goes in TX.

A CHL has no effect whatsoever on when you can or can't carry openly.

About half of your 10 hour CHL class will be devoted to the legalities of carrying a handgun in TX. The other half will be devoted to the legal use of deadly force in TX.
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Old April 27, 2012, 06:59 AM   #3
Double Naught Spy
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Quote:
the question is, in TEXAS, Can you wear an outside the belt gun holster in your garage if it is open, or on your lawn prior to the sidewalk which is typically city property?
I believe if you check into it more closely, the sidewalk on your property does not belong to the city (in most cases). The sidewalk (and often the grass parkway between the sidewalk and street) are part of a right-of-way or easement which is owned by the city. You still own it and pay taxes on it, so it isn't city property in the sense that you are talking about.
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Old April 27, 2012, 07:27 AM   #4
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DNS
I believe if you check into it more closely, the sidewalk on your property does not belong to the city (in most cases). The sidewalk (and often the grass parkway between the sidewalk and street) are part of a right-of-way or easement which is owned by the city. You still own it and pay taxes on it, so it isn't city property in the sense that you are talking about.
While there may be some subdivisions that are deeded that way, I think it's a HUGE stretch to say it's that way "in most cases." I've been in architecture, construction and land use for over 40 years and, while I have heard of some streets that are deeded that way, I have never actually encountered one and I have never worked on or reviewed a subdivision that was deeded that way.
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Old April 27, 2012, 07:41 AM   #5
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Sounds like you are in a tough neighborhood. Remember there are no winners in a fight only losers. The one that loses less we call the winner, but that's a lie. George Zimmerman is learning that lesson now. The easiest way to win a confrontation is not to have one.

Given your environment, I certainly wouldn't let anyone come up from behind me. I'd want to keep any potential threat in clear view but avoid eye contact.

If I were you, the last thing I would want any of the guys in the hood to know, is that you got a gun. They may hit over the head with a hammer/pipe just to get a gun. It could be used as an income generating tool at the public's expense.

You should realize that the element of surprise is worth more than any gun. By letting a potential aggressor know that you have a weapon you've already made a big tactical mistake. Personally, I don't want any enemy to see my gun until he sees the flash from the barrel or hears the discharge. The other thing you need to understand is that within a 10 foot distance (without barriers) any reasonably fit person with a knife has the advantage against a pistol.

You also should understand that if an aggressor already has a gun on you and you pull out your pistol chances are you both are going to get shot. Anyone you shoot, even if mortally wounded, will have many seconds of time to shoot you. People don't die like in the movies. Instantaneous death is by far the exception.

In summary, keep people in clear sight, at a distance and avoid eye contact. If someone you perceive as hostile begins to approach you kindly but firmly ask him to keep away. If person continues aggressively coming towards you should be in fear for your life and should defend yourself.

Afterwards, assuming you are the sole survivor, you should be concerned for reprisal by the assailants "boys" and you're going to have to move. So, if you can, move before bad things happen and you'll be a real winner.
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Last edited by Eppie; April 27, 2012 at 08:25 AM.
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Old April 27, 2012, 08:17 AM   #6
Bartholomew Roberts
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Quote:
I believe if you check into it more closely, the sidewalk on your property does not belong to the city (in most cases). The sidewalk (and often the grass parkway between the sidewalk and street) are part of a right-of-way or easement which is owned by the city. You still own it and pay taxes on it, so it isn't city property in the sense that you are talking about.
While there may be some subdivisions that are deeded that way, I think it's a HUGE stretch to say it's that way "in most cases." I've been in architecture, construction and land use for over 40 years and, while I have heard of some streets that are deeded that way, I have never actually encountered one and I have never worked on or reviewed a subdivision that was deeded that way.
Under Texas law, an easement or right of way is a right to use your property. You still own the underlying property, subject to the easement and are free to use that property in any way that does not conflict with the easement. In many subdivisions, not only is the sidewalk an easement; but so is the street and your actual property line may extend all the way to the center of the adjacent road (or even to the other side of the road) depending on how the easement was created.

Not sure where you are working; but this is very common in Texas... though not so common I'd bet my freedom on it.
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Old April 27, 2012, 11:15 AM   #7
Don H
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Ownership of sidewalks and parking strips was a subject of an extensive discussion on a construction forum to which I belong. Practices vary greatly from state to state and even city to city within a state and may also vary according to time period in which the property was platted. Some property lines extend to the center of the road/street. Some don't. The city clearly owns the sidewalk and parking strip in front of my home; indeed, a survey of my property shows the city owns 15"-18" to the house-side of the sidewalk.

Technically, if our state laws were different, mowing my lawn alongside the sidewalk could result in a weapons violation if I were carrying since this is public property. Since you seem to have a neighbor with issues regarding open carry, I suggest you be darn sure that where you happen to be standing is your property and not the city's.

By the way, according to the discussion on the other forum, even if your property line extends to the center of the street, the city may be able to regulate maintenance, use of or conduct on the sidewalk since it is a public easement (or whatever the correct legal term may be); an example would be the requirement for the homeowner to keep the sidewalk clear of snow and ice in those climates where snowfall occurs.
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Old April 27, 2012, 11:35 AM   #8
carguychris
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Bartholomew, at the risk of needlessly continuing a sidetrack about TX real estate law, I'm with Aguila on this one. I am not an attorney but my work history closely parallels his (hers?) in addition to some surveying. I like to say that I know enough about real estate law to get myself into trouble, so here goes.

I have seen and worked on a handful of rural subdivisions where the lot lines extended to the center of a road and there was an overlapping "street easement" or "right-of-way easement" shown on either side. I've also seen many cases where a street has been widened by taking additional easements on either side of a narrow original ROW dedication. In this case, IMHO the original property owner clearly has rights to that land, although it's often unclear how he/she can really use it for anything after the area is completely paved over (but I digress).

However, in my experience, the vast, vast majority of TX residential subdivisions in a municipality are NOT done this way. The lot lines abut the street ROW lines but do NOT graphically extend into them. When the buyer purchases land by a lot-and-block-style legal description rather than by metes and bounds, which is standard procedure in most cities, it seems to me that the person has purchased the graphically outlined area designated on the subdivision plat. That area does NOT usually extend into the street (or alley) ROW and it's highly debatable what rights, if any, the lot owner has to the area graphically shown as ROW.

If anyone other than the municipality has rights to that area, I would think it would be the original owner of the land underlying the subdivision plat (and his/her heirs, assigns, successors, etc.) prior to subdivision, and NOT the owners of the abutting lots. FWIW I've been told that this is the underlying reason why many TX cities have specific ordinances saying that lot owners are responsible for maintaining landscaping within the street ROW adjacent to their lot; if the lot owner clearly owned that land, such a law would be unnecessary, as this maintenance would be covered in the ordinance requiring the landowner to keep his/her own landscaping maintained.

However, let me cut to the chase.

If I were the OP, I would NOT be willing to bet my personal freedom and my right to own firearms on legal minutiae about what rights I may or may not have on street ROW adjacent to my property. IMHO it's fair to say that this is a very muddy grey area in the law. There is NO guarantee that a judge and jury will agree with the contention that your right to legally OC a handgun on "your own" property extends into this area. I would get a CHL and conceal it.
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Last edited by carguychris; April 27, 2012 at 11:37 AM. Reason: minor reword...
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Old April 27, 2012, 07:09 PM   #9
Bartholomew Roberts
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Carguychris, it comes down to the strip and gore doctrine and the greatest grant theory. Typically, what happens is the Plat dedicator lays out the lots and blocks and the easements. If the Plat dedicator conveys by lot and block without an EXPRESS reservation in the actual deed, then the strip and gore doctrine operates to convey any small adjacent strips of land. The idea is not to have tiny isolated strips of land with mixed ownership due to easements, surveying errors, etc.

I do a lot of oil and gas work and a big factor that comes up often in that is who owns the minerals underneath a street or easement. Having said that, the doctrine of strip and gore and who owns the property relating to an easement is a confusing area for courts and lawyers and there are exceptions to just about every rule out there.

Given that the chance the police officer who answers your call is going to be well-versed in the esoteric aspects of Texas property law, I would be especially careful to stay in an area where there was no dispute it was my property if I was going to try open carry on my premises.
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Old April 27, 2012, 10:46 PM   #10
SWglockmagnum
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i knew you guys wouldn't let me down on this one. thanks for the responses!
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Old April 28, 2012, 11:01 AM   #11
Uncle Buck
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I remember one guy who had a motorcycle repair shop and when his garage door was opened he pulled a chain link fence across the opening. It looked like it was actually panels from a dog kennel. He could fold them back out of the way to bring bikes in or out.

I am not trying to talk you out of your CHL class/permit. But additional security would help slow down people walking into your place.
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Old April 28, 2012, 11:44 AM   #12
SWglockmagnum
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yeah i've been thinking about doing that as well, or at minimum a chain across the garage door that makes it to where they have to physically cross the barrier to get in, which makes it a little easier to prove that i was threatened and that they were invading my privacy / property with some sort of mal-intent, which at minimum gives me the right to call the police for them trespassing.

When i moved here, I had lived here for about 2 weeks and was working in my garage on one of my personal bikes, it was a few days before christmas. I had the garage door open about 8". i was out there until about 3am working on stuff, and went back inside for about 10 minutes to get a drink of water and what not, opened my main door to the garage and closed the door turned off the lights and went to sleep.

the next morning my girlfriend came into the room yelling at me that her car stereo had been stolen!

in that 10 minutes, some skinny person (i'm being polite) crawled under the door, opened her car door, jacked her stereo, opened the door to my camaro, rustled around, slithered back under the door and were gone.

i didn't notice because nothing appeared to have changed in the 10 minutes i was inside.

literally.. 10 minutes..

Scary part is, if i had timed it just wrong, he would have been IN the garage when i went out there, and would have had to come through my house to leave, provided that i for some reason FORGOT to lock the door to the garage as i usually do. my garage door has a code on it inside and out. the auto opener button is hidden, and we don't leave the key fobs in our vehicles for reasons like that. and if he managed to figure out how to use the electric opener, i'd have heard it.

scarier even yet is if he was stuck in the garage and my girlfriend had come in screaming that there was someone IN it sleeping in her car or something. he'd have only been in there 3 hours, that's enough to still have enough "Fight" in his "fight of flight"

At that time, i didn't own any firearms. so.. i saved up and by the next christmas had a few. and aside from leaving my house, im never very far from one. i often put one in my toolbox while i'm out there, and have 2 by my bed, or wherever i am, and as much as i hate to say it, anytime someone knocks on my door, i always have one in my waste band - if i answer it at all.

usually when people knock on my door, they tend to pound on it and go crazy with the door bell impatiently. i don't understand why they do it, but... it seems threatening to me... "open the door before i break it down". so it's fairly justified to me given past experience.

i really want my girlfriend to have her own with CHL, but the problem is, 90% of the time she's traveling to and from work - which is still a good time to have one, but.... she works for a federal agency and isn't one of the ones who's issued / allowed to carry a firearm. (well they do for field agents, but she's not a field agent) so, as far as i know, she'd be committing a felony by taking it to work, or even having it IN her car if they decide to do a random search of vehicles - which happens from time to time if there is a bomb threat or something similar. lol she's not even allowed to take a metal butter knife to work. she brought a steak knife one time for her lunch and got written up. lol - the irony is, the place she works is a heavy target potential for the "George Hennard, Charles Whitman" type people. there was an attempt to blow it up a year or two ago, but..... the person was an idiot and targeted the completely wrong building, and fortunately no one was hurt because that building largely housed field agents - who..... are obviously out in the field doing their jobs. if i said how he did it, you'd know where it was, but.. i will say, the people in the building didn't get hurt because they saw it coming.. i take that back though, i think there were 2 or 3 people unaccounted for.

Long story short, i wish she had a gun of her own as well. i'm not always there, and she's not very scrappy.
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Old April 28, 2012, 11:46 AM   #13
Baylorattorney
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Outside your doorway you lose a lot of rights. I'd foresee the trouble not in your open garage so much as the sidewalk or trail getting from your house to it. If there is a doorway connecting your house and garage I don't see a problem, but a cop can arrest you for all sorts of things a prosecutor won't prosecute or judge or jury find you guilty of. I'd just keep it concealed.
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Old April 28, 2012, 11:51 AM   #14
SWglockmagnum
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but a cop can arrest you for all sorts of things a prosecutor won't prosecute or judge or jury find you guilty of.
lol yeah.... another example of guilty until proven innocent. kind of sucks.
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