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Old September 1, 2013, 01:00 PM   #1
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Long gun on motorcycle (Texas)

I live about 20 miles from the range where I am a member.

When I go to shoot my long guns, I always have to take my Jeep, because, well because I *believe* that I would have had to.

So all the open carry marches around here for long guns, loaded or not, led me to ask "Can I carry one openly on my back to the range, like if it were in my truck?"

Castle laws concerning concealed carry on a bike are the same as a car, that I confirmed with LEO and licensed CHL instructor already, licences or not you can carry on person concealed *ON THE BIKE*, it just gets into that grey area of *cannot leave it on the bike like in the car, so getting off of the bike without a CHL is tricky legally.*

Here nor there I have the CHL, but the long gun question intrigued me enough to call an office friend of mine and ask, he was not sure, and suggested I call the station, so I did call Tyler (Texas) PD and ask...

Here is where it got funny, the first person I spoke to did not know, who transferred me to another officer who was not sure, who took my name and number so a sergeant could call me back.

So on returning my call a few hours later, he says, "Well here is the deal, he cannot say for sure it is legal or not, but if someone saw it and phoned in a complaint, I *could* be pulled over, and I *could* even be potentially ticketed for public disturbance."

So if the Tyler PD will not give me a clear answer, I am left with what I understand to be my rights, vs what I may have to hire a lawyer to defend in that case, with no clear picture of *if* I could even defend or would have really broken the law...

To me it seems cut and dry, I can carry a loaded weapon in my 4 wheeled vehicle, in plain view, is the law different for 2 wheels. If so, does the officer have to have a valid reason for pulling me over if the act is not illegal, and could I really be ticket for it if not threatening anyone, just riding to the range?

Has anyone crossed this bridge, and LEO (TPD or TDPS comments would be +10!)

I have searched the internet and get mixed opinions, but I want actual black and white, not gun rights vs the man type arguments.

Ultimately there has to be an answer to this, and it should be a clear path of legal right, and as long as I am in those bounds, I should have a strong legal argument against LEO getting involved because THEY did not understand my rights?

So the question becomes do I not do something solely based on the fact I cannot get a clear answer to if I am legally entitled? I am not one to tempt fate in that regard just to make a point, but I think the point should be clear none the less... I am not fond of the "try it and see if you get arrested / ticketed / harassed." as a litmus of legality
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Old September 1, 2013, 01:37 PM   #2
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Long gun on motorcycle (Texas)

I can't answer for sure... But getting legal advice from police officers is a pretty bad idea. Actually, it is a really bad idea. If you want a legal answer, then you need to call a lawyer who handles these types of laws.

I wouldn't do something like that until I contacted my lawyer that I have available 24/7.
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Old September 1, 2013, 01:37 PM   #3
Glenn E. Meyer
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I ain't a lawyer but been told that open long guns are legal according to the state in TX. However, some cities have local ordinances against such. Whether they can pre-empt the state law has not been tested to my knowledge.

Local police are usually not a good source of legal truth. The San Antonio law was passed to bust gang members who were buying cheap SKS rifles way back when.

I have seen folks arrive at matches will a long arm slung over their shoulders.

It is a gray area between legalisms and police practice, I'm afraid.
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Old September 1, 2013, 03:11 PM   #4
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Wow, see that is the problem I have, is that I can understand that the officer in the cruiser may not be personally sure, but I would think he could at the very least radio in the question or call someone who would unquestionably know.

Otherwise I cannot see how they could even get involved for fear that they may violate a persons rights by *not* being sure. There has to be a protocol for that, they cannot just ticket you because they are not sure, and let the court determine if they even had a right to can they, They do have to at least have some basis for believing they are *enforcing* something do they not?

At the very least direct me to the law as they would cite it so I could evaluate it for compliance.

Do not get me wrong, I have nothing but respect for our boys in uniform, they have a tough and reasonably thankless job. So not trying to kick a hornets nest, but am I the only one that thinks that this should be in the drivers education handbooks, or hunters education booklets? Something to serve as a guide other than seeking legal counsel?

IMHO, Texas DPS should be able to tell me how it relates to the state law, and Tyler PD should be able to inform me on Tyler ordinance.

Ignorance of the law is no exception, however inability to verify has to be one at some point.
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Old September 1, 2013, 03:33 PM   #5
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Would a Kolpin gun boot mounted on the bike not be feasible? That way it is secured and doesn't have folks calling the cops
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Old September 1, 2013, 04:03 PM   #6
Dirty Dan
Join Date: May 11, 2013
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Long gun on a motorcycle(Texas)

Wow, what a great question, Sabre9mm! Yeah, got me to thinking about it, and I have never seen anything in black & white, that specifically covers it either. Called the county, in Central Texas where I live and broached the question to them. Their answer was, you are still covered under "castle" coverage, only difference is, you only have two wheels. I was strongly urged to carry it in a case, to lessen possible concerns, and, even though the State of Texas does not prohibit it, to carry it with the chamber empty, as some municipalities prohibit traveling with a "loaded: weapon. I personally don't think the municipal ordinance(s) could trump State Law, however, discretion dictates this only as common sense. I suspect you are a CHL holder, as am I, but your question has nothing to do with a short gun. Good luck going to the range, and I would seriously doubt you would have any problem with the local/State LEO's. I would go right now myself, but like to go with someone, as it always seems to be more enjoyable! Need a ride!
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Old September 1, 2013, 04:13 PM   #7
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I considered that as well, IF I found a long gun case I could toss over the shoulder, then they would have to play hell stopping me and asking me *what is in the bag*

As far as mounting it to the bike?
I do not see that happening.

I cannot think of anything I could mount to it that would not just, well, just be not...

Something like this, however where the rifle would sling to the side, this would not.

Still looking for one that would be a little easier to carry diagonal.
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Old September 1, 2013, 05:38 PM   #8
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Here's Johnny!

Cheaper than a ticket or a lawyer...

Needed a range bag anyway..
Still do want to know about just slinging it up though.
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Old September 1, 2013, 05:52 PM   #9
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Just for discussion as I am neither a lawyer, nor conversant in TX firearm law.

Most states firearm laws only affect handguns (concealable weapons), and most states do not have any regulation of long guns.

You might want to read TX firearm law and look for the key words "concealed" and "concealable". If the TX law only restricts concealed and concealable, long arms are not include.

Here in WA there is a specific fish and game (anti-poaching) law that addresses LOADED long gun carry "in or on" a vehicle, but other than that, Long guns are completely just not commented on in the law.

That which is not specifically prohibited, is permitted.
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Old September 1, 2013, 06:16 PM   #10
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I have considered the question too.
Tho' I have never done it. And probably never will.
Here the law is that the arm has to be in a 'locked container' not the glove box.
So, conceivably, it could be in a box, locked, and I suppose then the box should be locked onto the bike.
Now, getting stopped by a cop. As we all know, there are cops, and there are cops.
I suppose if the box did not suggest what was in it, no one would ever pay any attention to it.
But if it did suggest rifle, you may get stopped. What happens then depends on the cop.
He may inspect, and say, ok.
Or ...
I suppose I would get stopped on the way to the range, and there is a cop along that road, with a bike exactly like mine. Next time I will stop and ask him.
But again. Ask a lawyer, not a cop. And only a lawyer who knows, not a know-it-all lawyer, of which there are many.
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Old September 1, 2013, 07:43 PM   #11
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Back in the 60's we used to live in a small California town. We used to sit on the front porch and watch what seemed like hundreds of Hell's Angels drive past on their motorcycles. They carried their long guns on their bikes and the cops never stopped them but let them ride straight through.
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Old September 1, 2013, 07:59 PM   #12
Join Date: August 15, 2007
Location: Surprise, AZ
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I know nothing about the law on this issue, but having ridden motorcycles for 40 years, I would not consider carrying something like this fastened to my body. In the event I went down the long gun could do some severe damage to my body as I tumbled. Ride safety and damage control was always my priority consideration. Never went down, but I had some close ones over the years.
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Old September 1, 2013, 08:50 PM   #13
rotten mick
Join Date: August 28, 2013
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gun case across the handle bars....

Did it all the time going hunting. I worked 2nd shift so i worked then to my bike to the cabin to meet everyone later at night eary am. Got pulled over once by a trooper who saw me go by. He asked what was in the case, i told him my shot gun and i was going hunting in the am but had to work late and was last one out to the cabin. He asked if that was all i had? Nope im ccw too. Guy just chuckled and said good luck and let me go.
You can also saddle the gun on the side off the rear pegs and tie it down to the frame...
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The ones that learn by reading.
The few who learn by observation.
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Old September 1, 2013, 09:18 PM   #14
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I just searched through 46.10 in the TX penal code, and as suspected the only references are to concealed, or concealable weapons. (that is for rifles, the mention is for SBR and for shotguns, SBS).

Unless there is something in the Fish and Wildlife prohibiting loaded carry in or on a vehicle, I see nothing in TX penal Code that would make me believe the OC of a rifle or shotgun in a vehicle or on a motorcycle could be considered illegal.
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Old September 1, 2013, 10:11 PM   #15
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Even if DPS is cool, 1500 other agencies may not be...


The problem you're going to run into was alluded to above: How the State of Texas (through Department of Public Safety officers) administrates the open carry of unloaded rifles is likely different than the 1000+ other law enforcement jurisdictions in the state, any of which may stop and question you, or arrest you.
Even if Tyler Texas officers say OK, the Smith County Sheriff (or one of their deputies on his own) may not. I'd get a gun case, if I had to transport on a motorcycle, that didn't look so much like a gun case and move the weapon that way.
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Old September 1, 2013, 11:02 PM   #16
Dirty Dan
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Long gun on a motorcycle (Texas)

Hey David13; California: There are many law abiding people who carry guns in California. Got a nephew, who lives in the High Desert of California, that I had the pleasure of seeing at a family reunion. Jay Jay was very interested in handguns but knew very little about them, as the laws in California are so convoluted that even their administration, by LE varies from area to area. As I have a Texas CHL that Oklahoma honors, and had two handguns with me. Jay Jay was really interested in purchasing the Springfield XDS, single stack .45, but the luggage case is clearly labeled illegal in California. I asked him to find out why, and he could never get a straight answer, but he did not want to take the "chance" of getting caught with an illegal handgun by California LE. I saw your solution to Sabre9mm's delimma..A box...Hmm, rigid and lockable I would assume, with a mandatory Lojack tracking device, State of California shipping seal, and locked, the key forwarded to your destination, and that is not accounting for hazardous material highway routing, and mandatory call-in's. Naw, don't think the box idea will work!
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Old September 2, 2013, 08:39 AM   #17
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The Springfield XDS is not on California's list of allowed pistols, many of the XD models are, but not the XDS. The question of why is easy, Springfield has never submitted it for approval or it failed to get approved.

If the gun was legal in CA, you would have to have it shipped to a FFL in CA to have it transferred to you nephew.

Open carry of long guns is legal in Texas so I can see no issue with carry on a motorcycle if it is unloaded. I do not know the hunting laws in TX but in many states carry of loaded long guns in or on a vehicle is prohibited by the hunting laws and they can vary from city to city and county to county.
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Old September 3, 2013, 02:01 PM   #18
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Interesting update, I just spoke to a individual with some ties in one of the local gun rights organisations and he informed me of things I was not aware of.

Apparently in Texas it is NOT legal to carry long guns in the vehicle openly, at least not anymore (although I still see it all the time). After a little more research it seems as, though it is seldom enforced outside certain municipalities, that the practice is indeed not legal, that to open carry a long gun it has to be in your possession under your immediate control. Meaning even if you sit it down and take your hands of it in public you would could be in violation.

So by the same token of cannot expose it in your vehicle, becomes the bigger issue of *how do I not expose it* on my bike.

He was however as saddened as I in the department of LEO office not being able to answer that question clear and concise...

He said the theory has been tested, and a few times recently, the results have varied, some got ignored, some did indeed get pulled over and simply warned, but others have been cited and legally so.

The clear answer is conceal it, nothing prevents you from carrying a case that looks like a gun or anything else, and the question of "what is in the bag?" is ONLY valid if they have a good reason for asking AKA probable cause. Doing otherwise is an invitation for trouble and a sure loose under the letter of the law regardless of what I *may* get away with.

I think I can live with that, I sure would love to see the exact wording though, he is going to ask to get the exact statutes involved so I may pass them on.
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Old September 3, 2013, 02:22 PM   #19
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although I can not find one thing prohibiting gun racks in here...


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Old September 3, 2013, 03:28 PM   #20
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I just saw a bike yesterday that had me thinking about a possible solution. Side Car. My neighbors rigged up a side car with one of those beige two part kennels jury rigged into it for their dog, too.
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Old September 3, 2013, 04:36 PM   #21
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There are some peculiar Fish and Game laws that pop up concerning the transport of firearms in motor vehicles. Might as F&G about the transport. Solution may just be to case it.
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