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Old January 27, 2006, 12:57 PM   #12
Long Path
Senior Member
Join Date: May 31, 1999
Location: N. Texas
Posts: 5,896
Hoss, I would have agreed with you a few years ago.

Now, after having worked in law enforcement for several years, having studied the matter long enough to have obtained a BS in Criminal Justice, and having moderated on this forum since 2000, I'll tell you that I'm not so sure.

Do you have a CHL and carry legally? If so (here in Texas), and you accidentally step into your son's school while carrying, you're committing a felony. Say you have a CHL, and you go to dinner with friends at a little restaurant, also known as a Bar & Grill. If it's more "bar" than "grill"-- meaning that 51% of its profits come from on-premises-consumption alcoholic drink sales than from other sources, you're committing a felony ("Places Where Weapons Prohibited") to be carrying in there, while it would be as legal as Christmas if 49% or less of their sales were from hard drinks.

Here in Texas, you're criminally responsible as an adult at 17. If, on your 17th birthday (when I was a junior in high school), you and your buddies take a joy-ride in somebody's car without permission, you've committed UUMV, or Unauthorized Use Of A Motor Vehicle, which is a felony. You would have a grown man of 55 be disallowed from protecting his family for some stupid prank he pulled when he was a junior in high school?

Or (and here's a can of worms) then there's the ubiquitous drug issue. While I don't want to get into a legality/morality-of-drugs debate, I'll again put that dumb 17 year old kid in front of you. Out of total naivete, one night with his buddies, he experiments. He has a few beers (misdemeanor). He puffs a marijuana joint or two (midemeanor). He finally gives in to his "friends'" pressure, and tries a line of coke (FELONY!). Even if he never tries it again, he's committed a felony. Check this out-- even if he never tries the coke, but holds it in his possession for a while while he decides what to do with it, he's committing a felony, for the possession. 40 years later, he still doesn't have his gun rights. Crazy stuff.

Here's the funny thing, though-- disarming the dangerous felons is redundant, because we already have laws on the books disallowing you from possing a gun if you've been convicted of a violent crime or assault.
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