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Old April 2, 2012, 07:46 PM   #1
Bernau
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Unregistered Gun, open cary law, and a multi-state road trip

Hey all,

I'm going on a random road trip in about a month. This trip will most likely head down through southern Arizona and Texas, and well I'd like to be prepared while backpacking alone in some of those hills. Last I checked, Arizona doesn't require a concealed weapon permit, not sure about Texas, so I think it'd be okay to carry a gun down there.

I did look up info on getting a concealed weapon permit, but discovered that there is no way I can get one in time for my trip.

So I can either buy a new gun now...which I might anyway, or I can buy a friend's gun. The friend's gun was purchases at a yard sale back sometime in the 70's and is a pretty basic .22 revolver. He tells me its not registered and prefers it that way. I don't blame him. How big a deal is it to carry an unregistered gun around?


Second question....I don't suppose anyone has a recommendation for a hand gun if I were to buy a new gun?
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Old April 2, 2012, 08:19 PM   #2
Spats McGee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bernau
. . . . How big a deal is it to carry an unregistered gun around?
Well, it depends on where you carry it and how. It's one thing to carry an "unregistered" gun in Arkansas, where we have no registration, and an entirely different thing to carry one in Washington, D.C. I haven't specifically looked, but I doubt that either AZ or TX have registration. Here's a good place to start: http://www.handgunlaw.us/. I'd suggest calling the State Police in each state to confirm. It will also depend on where you reside. If you are neither an AZ or TX resident, you may not be able to carry concealed in either state.

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Old April 2, 2012, 08:38 PM   #3
Frank Ettin
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Arizona offers concealed weapons permits to non-residents. I've had one since 2002.

As far as I know, Texas does not allow open carry. Concealed carry is allowed, but only with a recognized permit. Texas does recognize the Arizona permit.
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Old April 2, 2012, 08:43 PM   #4
ScottRiqui
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Texas allows concealed carry with a permit, but as far as I know, doesn't allow open-carry at all.
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Old April 2, 2012, 09:05 PM   #5
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Registration is a state issue, so we would need to know your state. In many states person to person sales only require both parties be state residents and not prohibited from owning firearms. Many states have more restrictions especially on handguns.

Carry in Arizona is OK but you would need to check the laws on where you can carry. Texas is a no go for carry without a permit, and no open carry. You do not want to get caught with a conceal weapon without a permit. If you are worried about smaller animals carry pepper spray. A .22 ain't going to help against larger animals.
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Old April 2, 2012, 09:10 PM   #6
Bernau
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Thanks for all the info. I've actually learned a ton.

It's looking like I am completely misinformed and rather ignorant of the whole gun carry culture. I didn't realize that I could open carry in many states without a permit and that most states don't care about gun registration. For some reason I thought that all states required gun registration.

I suppose I should ask a silly question. How concealed can a gun be and still be considered open carry? I have a hip holster that tends to get slightly covered by my coat. I never really considered it before, but then I've never considered the whole open carry option.
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Old April 2, 2012, 09:30 PM   #7
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bernau
...How concealed can a gun be and still be considered open carry? I have a hip holster that tends to get slightly covered by my coat. I never really considered it before, but then I've never considered the whole open carry option.
[1] It depends on the State. In some States open carry means that the gun can not be concealed or covered to any extent or in any way by one's clothing. The laws of other States might not be a strict. There's on substitute for thoroughly researching the question on a State by State basis, other than to default to wearing the gun fully and completely exposed.

[2] In Arizona, it's probably less of an issue because both open and concealed carry is allowed without a permit.

[3] And remember that in Texas, open carry is not an option.
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Old April 2, 2012, 09:34 PM   #8
psyfly
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Texas. Some basics. (IANAL, but I have been through the training course plus twice to renew).

You cannot carry on your person in Texas without a CHL (Concealed Handgun License) either from Texas or from one of the states TX has reciprocity with. See link in Post #2 above.

Texas does not allow open carry. You will be arrested.

You may carry your gun from your place of residence (including your hotel room) to your car/truck as long as it is concealed; no license necessary.

You may carry your gun from your car/truck to your residence (including your hotel room) as long as it is concealed; no license necessary.

You may carry your loaded gun in your car/truck as long as it is concealed; no license necessary.

Since you say you don't have a permit/license from any other state, you won't be carrying it except to and from hotel room so you don't have to worry about where carry is or is not allowed.

Texas has no registration requirement.

Welcome to Texas. Have a good time.

Best,

Will
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Old April 2, 2012, 10:25 PM   #9
csmsss
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(b) Section 46.02 does not apply to a person who:
(3) is engaging in lawful hunting, fishing, or other sporting activity on the immediate premises where the activity is conducted, or is en route between the premises and the actor's residence or motor vehicle, if the weapon is a type commonly used in the activity;
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Old April 2, 2012, 10:51 PM   #10
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csmsss
(b) Section 46.02 does not apply to a person who:
(3) is engaging in lawful hunting, fishing, or other sporting activity on the immediate premises where the activity is conducted, or is en route between the premises and the actor's residence or motor vehicle, if the weapon is a type commonly used in the activity;
So what type of weapon does Texas consider to be commonly used in backpacking?
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Old April 2, 2012, 11:44 PM   #11
armoredman
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Arizona does not register firearms in any way.
Any US citizen who is not a prohibited possessor qualifies for Constitutional Carry. Non resident permits are available, pass a quick course and pay the $65 with your fingerprints while in state. We'll mail it to your home of record.
See if you can find the latest copy of Arizona Gun Owners Guide, and read up on various laws, or in our case, non laws. No carrying in a place that serves open alcohol unless A) they is NO sign up and B) you have a valid state issued CCW permit. That limits your dining on the way through.
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Old April 3, 2012, 12:16 AM   #12
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Quote:
How concealed can a gun be and still be considered open carry?
Depends upon the state ......Nebraska left that determination up to the LEO and prosecutor in question. This was the reason I got my permit.

Were I in your shoes, I'd look into getting a permit that was valid in all the states I was going to. Utah is a popular one for non resident permits ...... get that and one from your home state (if you can).....
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Old April 3, 2012, 05:21 AM   #13
csmsss
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Quote:
So what type of weapon does Texas consider to be commonly used in backpacking?
Dunno. I also don't know what type of weapon Texas considers to be commonly used in fishing, yet fishing is specifically mentioned in the law.

My point was only to demonstrate that there are circumstances in Texas in which open carry is permissible.
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Old April 3, 2012, 10:07 AM   #14
Aguila Blanca
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But Section 46.02 of the Texas Penal Code is about "Unlawful Carrying Weapons." It opens by saying:

Quote:
(a) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his or her person a handgun, illegal knife, or club if the person is not:
The portion of the Texas Penal Code you purport to cite (without telling us where it is) refers to "weapon," not to "handgun" or "firearm." For fishing, then, the type of weapon commonly carried would probably be a knife rather than a firearm. For other sporting activities, it might be a club. (In fact, a club is sometimes used in fishing.)

Here's a link to Section 46.02. It does not contain the exception you quoted. Where does that appear, and what's the context?
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Old April 3, 2012, 10:58 AM   #15
Frank Ettin
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And in the Texas situation, what is considered a "sporting activity"? Is backpacking a sporting activity? Is there any case law in Texas clarifying the question, or is one simply at risk? When there's an open question like this, especially without solid guidance from a court, you could really ruin your day, or the rest of your life, if you guess wrong.

One more reason why one or more concealed weapons permits good in multiple States can come in handy.
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Old April 3, 2012, 01:15 PM   #16
Aguila Blanca
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I forgot the link. Here's the whole enchilada: http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.u.../htm/PE.46.htm
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Old April 3, 2012, 03:01 PM   #17
Daugherty16
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Stay in AZ this time around?

First, welcome to TFL. Hope this trip you're planning is a blast.

Second, i don't know what you expected to find, or what you think of what you have found, but i think TFL harbors the best collection of sincere, informed, and helpful moderators and members of any firearms-related forum. People here will genuinely try to help you.

Third, please understand that's what i'm doing when i say: don't carry a gun until you know (KNOW!) the laws pertaining to use of lethal force and have had some firearms training. It's a very different thing to have one in the nightstand, and shoot it once a year, and to have one on your hip constantly. I applaud your wanting to have a means of self-defense available, and you can certainly achieve it, but could also land yourself in some trouble. Ignorance of the law is never a valid defense.

Reference to the Trayvon case is enough. You can completely ruin your life and the life of others in an instant by reacting improperly to a situation, unable to react to training you didn't take. And, involvement in the defense of a criminal prosecution for murder or related charges, will almost certainly exceed $ 100,000 even with a country bumpkin lawyer and the cost can go way up from there for a competent attorney.

I don't mean to scare you off, just suggesting that you approach this with a no-nonsense, intelligent manner. The laws of every state are easily located on the web, including permitting requirements, hunting regulations, homicide, and criminal and civil liability.
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Old April 3, 2012, 04:23 PM   #18
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I'd like to add a few notes to psyfly's post and the TX statute re: unlicensed carry and "sporting" activities.

IMHO it's critical to emphasize a few specific words in the statute:
Quote:
Section 46.02 does not apply to a person who... is engaging in lawful hunting, fishing, or other sporting activity on the immediate premises where the activity is conducted, or is en route between the premises and the actor's residence, motor vehicle, or watercraft, if the weapon is a type commonly used in the activity...
(emphasis mine)

My thoughts...
  • The word "lawful" in conjunction with "hunting" and "fishing" implies that the carrier must have the requisite TX Parks & Wildlife license and legal permission to engage in said activity, TX CHL notwithstanding. IOW if you're caught carrying a handgun in the woods without a CHL on property that isn't yours, saying "I'm Hunting!" is not a Get Out Of Jail Free card unless you have the TPW license and can demonstrate that you have permission to be there.
  • What kind of weapon is commonly used while backpacking? The only weapon I've ever used while backpacking is a knife (re: Aguila's post). Handguns are seldom carried in TX for critter defense because of a relative dearth of predators big enough and common enough to threaten humans.
I think it will be a tall order to convince a judge or grand jury (a) that backpacking is a "sporting" activity within the intent of the statute, and (b) that a handgun is "commonly used" while backpacking in TX.
Quote:
You may carry your gun from your place of residence (including your hotel room) to your car/truck as long as it is concealed; no license necessary.

You may carry your gun from your car/truck to your residence (including your hotel room) as long as it is concealed; no license necessary.

You may carry your loaded gun in your car/truck as long as it is concealed; no license necessary.
This is basically correct, but IMHO it is important to emphasize the exact wording of the statute. A person may CCW when...
Quote:
...inside of or directly en route to a motor vehicle or watercraft that is owned by the person or under the person's control.
[Penal Code 46.02(a)(2)]
  1. I would treat "directly en route" as just that; no stops at the gas station, no side trip to the drink machine in the hotel lobby, etc. If you decide to take the gun anywhere that's not in a direct path between the room and the vehicle, you must ask yourself "Do I Want To Be The Test Case." (This statute is recent and AFAIK has not been tested in court.)
  2. If you strictly follow the wording of the statute, you may CCW if you're driving the vehicle, you own it, and/or you have legal control of it, i.e. you have rented or leased it. You may NOT, however, CCW as a passenger in a vehicle you do not own or legally control.
  3. Although TX law defines motorcycles, scooters, farm tractors, and even golf carts (under certain circumstances) as "motor vehicles", the "...inside of..." wording implies that it's not legal to CCW while riding on a vehicle that lacks an enclosed cabin, such as a motorcycle. (The previous disclaimers apply.)
  4. The statute does not address how the handgun may be concealed; this implies that carrying it on your person is legal, but keep point #1 above in mind.
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Old April 4, 2012, 09:08 AM   #19
Spats McGee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bernau
. . . .It's looking like I am completely misinformed and rather ignorant of the whole gun carry culture. . . . .I suppose I should ask a silly question.
Ask away, Bernau. I think that you'll find that most of the denizens of TFL would rather answer a few silly questions than have you (perhaps inadvertently) commit a crime with rather serious consequences.
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Old April 5, 2012, 03:04 PM   #20
hermannr
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Carguychris...you forgot wild pigs...plentyful in certain areas of TX, and Very Dangerous in the "wrong" circumstances...and at least my SIL hunts them with a pistol.

What there is a "dearth" of in TX is Public land.

Not saying you should carry because of the pigs, unless you are actually hunting them...but just wanted to point out...those pigs can be dangerous.

Simple solution, get a CPL...TX does not like OC (might upset the poor people in Austin.)
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