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Old December 16, 2019, 08:14 PM   #1
Sabre9mm
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NFA *Possession*

I routinely have in my vehicle various firearms/accessories which classify as NFA items.
When in my vehicle, they are ALWAYS in a locking case, unloaded, and in the trunk not cabin area.

IN each of those cases I always carry a copy of the stamp and paperwork, just in case I ever come across any LEO questions under some other routine reasoning.

Well... My son just turned 16, just got a license, and when I got home from work today on my scoot, my son had been granted permission by my wife to take my vehicle to the gym.


So it occurred to me, "What would happen if *he* got pulled over under some routine condition?"

As I understand it, vehicles are legally an extension of the home, and under lock in my home or car *should* be "prevention of access" no different than if the gun safe in the house. (Does access to a lockbox imply access to the contents?)

But I know there are some grey areas as to "who is in control of the vehicle" or "I have a BAL > 0 and a carry license + there is a handgun in the car" etc...


Can anyone point me in the correct direction of some legal definitions and or or clarification of this situation?

Yes: I know the best solution is just do not let it happen. And that will be the course I strive for because I value my rights/items and simply want them to remain where they should. So opinions probably stay close to what I would agree with, which is DON'T, but I am curious what the law would actually be. And would it be based on the firearm in general or would NFA be a different concern?

A locked case, in a locked vehicle, in a locked garage hardly implies negligent storage or accessibility. And my son has a key to the door of my house, making the accessibility of car/home ambiguous at best (Concerning me being in home/in vehicle or not at time he is)

A good analog would be I invite a friend to house sit, who may have a record. I have a gun safe that contains inside locked guns. I have not made a firearm accessible to a felon in any more capacity than a felon walks into a Walmart.

It would seem that 46.13 https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/D.../htm/PE.46.htm woudl cover this, but *reasonable* is a legal weasel word (no clear TL-xxx or anythign productive). That is as close as I could come to defining the scenario. It makes no distinction of home/auto/other, and seems to imply taking reasonable measures constitutes reasonable defense. And of course reasonable is the opinion of a jury, not a definition...

Last edited by Sabre9mm; December 16, 2019 at 08:51 PM.
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Old December 16, 2019, 08:46 PM   #2
American Man
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Technically he is going to be responsible for whatever is in the vehicle when he is the driver. That would be setting him up for failure and I know you are not ok with that.

In the case of a suppressor, in my state it is considered a firearm, but our CCW regulations specify that a suppressor is not to be covered by the CCW permit. So it has to either be on a pistol in plain sight or in the back out of reach. If it's an SBR, it has to be in the back and unloaded.

I would not want him riding around with a 22 rifle in the back, secured, till he was 18. Too much is at risk... meaning Freedom and Gun Rights... you never know these days... best not to risk being involved with the justice system period. Plus if someone breaks in and rips the case out or cuts the lock and commits a crime with it... best not to have your son involved in any way in the investigation regardless of him not having control over someone stealing something. Your judgment would be in question by almost everyone involved in investigating the case. Not worth it... so you will have to deal with the hassle of taking stuff in and out.
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Old December 16, 2019, 09:01 PM   #3
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Personally, I think you should buy an hour of time with a Texas attorney knowledgeable about firearms law. Beyond the simple "Don't let it happen" (and the same would apply to your wife, I think, since the NFA items are in your name), you're asking for some very specific advice on very technical legal points.
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Old December 16, 2019, 09:03 PM   #4
Sabre9mm
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Yeah, I have already told my son if he takes my vehicle, make sure any cases are back in the house before he leaves JUST IN CASE. I would say no law could prevent him handling the cases under my roof, but alas, this country is not what it used to be.

All about teaching common sense and responsibility to my kids, when I sent my oldest to college, the shotgun in his trunk has the state and campus code on "firearms in vehicle", printed and stored in the case as well :-)

Much agreed the hassle is not worth it in the end, and the legality could vary greatly from the inconvenience and burden of proving innocence.

I just find the question intriguing because it involves a secured weapon. I would surmise the outer security would legally vary none from something such as a cable lock through the chamber. All can be defeated, but it is the act of defeat that seems the crime according to the penal code.

Last edited by Sabre9mm; December 16, 2019 at 09:11 PM.
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Old December 17, 2019, 05:47 AM   #5
Spats McGee
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Yes, an hour with an attorney (licensed in TX and versed in NFA) would be worth your while.

Son absolutely needs to be making sure that the trunk is empty before he leaves the house with your car. No, technically, he shouldn't even be handling the items outside your presence, as that is 'possessing' them. That said, his moving them from the trunk into the house strikes me as a much better option than having him risk getting pulled over 45 minutes from the house with a couple of buddies in the car. (Young men have a knack for doing dumb things. We're lucky to survive to adulthood.) Under AR law (and I'll bet TX law is the same), the driver is responsible for everything in the car, except that which is on someone else's person. So if his knucklehead buddy has a little bag of weed in his pocket, that could easily lead to a search that rapidly goes downhill for him.
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Old December 17, 2019, 11:03 AM   #6
L2R
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Until to get legal advice,
I would suggest you empty the car yourself and remember to load it before you leave.
The risk of you forgetting to load it is probably a lot less severe than them being stopped with it.

Even for you, I would suggest making copies of any documents and placing them in each glove box of every vehicle. I may not be official but someone might cut you some slack if it gives them something to reference
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Old December 17, 2019, 12:37 PM   #7
Sabre9mm
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Cool, and thanks all

It was a special set of circumstances, I will certainly be more aware of in the future.
Put the onus on my son as well, as a pre-flight checklist type ritual.

Asked my wife to do the same (please ensure vehicle is clear before handing off keys!)
First time for everything. I do keep documentation with each item *just n case*, in the case, not in the car, because the car may change from day to day. The cases move about.


I have attorney friends, and most ambiguous questions I have presented them with have ended the same, "Depends on how people feel about it at trial", "What is not illegal is legal, within reason:" and "Intent goes a long way, but ignorance is no defense", etc...

I do wish some of those antis would stop and read how well some of us really do try to follow the law to its utmost, but we all know the headline would read "Man sends son on date with *black pew pew assault doom machine and spare clips* in trunk! Story at 5..."

Much appreciated to those who took time to read and have opinion.

Oh, and +1 to spats for the hilarious reminder that yes, why I am still alive still baffles me and my mother...
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