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GUN LAWS FOR TEXAS

update courtesy of: Chris Kilmer

Texas Castle Doctrine or Texas Castle Bill or Texas Castle Law


AN ACT

 

relating to the use of force or deadly force in defense of a person.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:

SECTION 1. Section 9.01, Penal Code, is amended by adding Subdivisions (4) and (5) to read as follows:

(4) “Habitation” has the meaning assigned by Section 30.01.

(5) “Vehicle” has the meaning assigned by Section 30.01.

SECTION 2. Section 9.31, Penal Code, is amended by amending Subsection (a) and adding Subsections (e) and (f) to read as follows:

(a) Except as provided in Subsection (b), a person is justified in using force against another when and to the degree the actor [he] reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect the actor [himself] against the other’s use or attempted use of unlawful force. The actor’s belief that the force was immediately necessary as described by this subsection is presumed to be reasonable if the actor:

(1) knew or had reason to believe that the person against whom the force was used:

(A) unlawfully and with force entered, or was attempting to enter unlawfully and with force, the actor’s occupied habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment;

(B) unlawfully and with force removed, or was attempting to remove unlawfully and with force, the actor from the actor’s habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment; or

(C) was committing or attempting to commit aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery;

(2) did not provoke the person against whom the force was used; and

(3) was not otherwise engaged in criminal activity, other than a Class C misdemeanor that is a violation of a law or ordinance regulating traffic at the time the force was used.

(e) A person who has a right to be present at the location where the force is used, who has not provoked the person against whom the force is used, and who is not engaged in criminal activity at the time the force is used is not required to retreat before using force as described by this section.

(f) For purposes of Subsection (a), in determining whether an actor described by Subsection (e) reasonably believed that the use of force was necessary, a finder of fact may not consider whether the actor failed to retreat.

SECTION 3. Section 9.32, Penal Code, is amended to read as follows:

Sec. 9.32. DEADLY FORCE IN DEFENSE OF PERSON. (a) A person is justified in using deadly force against another:

(1) if the actor [he] would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.31; and

(2) [if a reasonable person in the actor's situation would not have retreated; and

[(3)] when and to the degree the actor [he] reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:

(A) to protect the actor [himself] against the other’s use or attempted use of unlawful deadly force; or

(B) to prevent the other’s imminent commission of aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery.

(b) The actor’s belief under Subsection (a)(2) that the deadly force was immediately necessary as described by that subdivision is presumed to be reasonable if the actor:

(1) knew or had reason to believe that the person against whom the deadly force was used:

(A) unlawfully and with force entered, or was attempting to enter unlawfully and with force, the actor’s occupied habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment;

(B) unlawfully and with force removed, or was attempting to remove unlawfully and with force, the actor from the actor’s habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment; or

(C) was committing or attempting to commit an offense described by Subsection (a)(2)(B);

(2) did not provoke the person against whom the force was used; and

(3) was not otherwise engaged in criminal activity, other than a Class C misdemeanor that is a violation of a law or ordinance regulating traffic at the time the force was used [requirement imposed by Subsection (a)(2) does not apply to an actor who uses force against a person who is at the time of the use of force committing an offense of unlawful entry in the habitation of the actor].

(c) A person who has a right to be present at the location where the deadly force is used, who has not provoked the person against whom the deadly force is used, and who is not engaged in criminal activity at the time the deadly force is used is not required to retreat before using deadly force as described by this section.

(d) For purposes of Subsection (a)(2), in determining whether an actor described by Subsection (c) reasonably believed that the use of deadly force was necessary, a finder of fact may not consider whether the actor failed to retreat.

SECTION 4. Section 83.001, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, is amended to read as follows:

Sec. 83.001. CIVIL IMMUNITY [AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE]. A [It is an affirmative defense to a civil action for damages for personal injury or death that the] defendant who uses force or[, at the time the cause of action arose, was justified in using] deadly force that is justified under Chapter 9 [Section 9.32], Penal Code, is immune from civil liability for personal injury or death that results from the defendant’s [against a person who at the time of the] use of force or deadly force, as applicable [was committing an offense of unlawful entry in the habitation of the defendant].

SECTION 5. (a) Sections 9.31 and 9.32, Penal Code, as amended by this Act, apply only to an offense committed on or after the effective date of this Act. An offense committed before the effective date of this Act is covered by the law in effect when the offense was committed, and the former law is continued in effect for this purpose. For the purposes of this subsection, an offense is committed before the effective date of this Act if any element of the offense occurs before the effective date.

(b) Section 83.001, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, as amended by this Act, applies only to a cause of action that accrues on or after the effective date of this Act. An action that accrued before the effective date of this Act is governed by the law in effect at the time the action accrued, and that law is continued in effect for that purpose.

SECTION 6. This Act takes effect September 1, 2007.

Handgun ownership: unrestricted, no permit or license required

Rifle and Shotgun ownership: unrestricted, no permit or license required

Semi-automatic "assault weapon" ownership: unrestricted, no permit or license required

Machine Gun Ownership: no state restrictions, compliance with federal law only

Firearm law uniformity: preemption statute, firearm laws uniform throughout state

Concealed carry: licenses granted on a "shall issue" basis; reciprocity available for nonresidents with carry permits from certain other states

 

H.B. No. 1815
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
AN ACT
relating to the prosecution of certain offenses that involve
carrying weapons on a person's property or in a person's vehicle.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1. Section 46.02, Penal Code, is amended by
amending Subsection (a) and adding Subsections (a-1) and (a-2) to
read as follows:
(a) A person commits an offense if the person [he]
intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his or
her person a handgun, illegal knife, or club if the person is not:
(1) on the person's own premises or premises under the
person's control; or
(2) inside of or directly en route to a motor vehicle
that is owned by the person or under the person's control.
(a-1) A person commits an offense if the person
intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his or
her person a handgun in a motor vehicle that is owned by the person
or under the person's control at any time in which:
(1) the handgun is in plain view; or
(2) the person is:
(A) engaged in criminal activity, other than a
Class C misdemeanor that is a violation of a law or ordinance
regulating traffic;
(B) prohibited by law from possessing a firearm;
or
(C) a member of a criminal street gang, as
defined by Section 71.01.
(a-2) For purposes of this section, "premises" includes
real property and a recreational vehicle that is being used as
living quarters, regardless of whether that use is temporary or
permanent. In this subsection, "recreational vehicle" means a motor
vehicle primarily designed as temporary living quarters or a
vehicle that contains temporary living quarters and is designed to
be towed by a motor vehicle. The term includes a travel trailer,
camping trailer, truck camper, motor home, and horse trailer with
living quarters.
SECTION 2. Section 46.15(b), Penal Code, as amended by
Chapters 1221 and 1261, Acts of the 75th Legislature, Regular
Session, 1997, is reenacted and amended to read as follows:
(b) Section 46.02 does not apply to a person who:
(1) is in the actual discharge of official duties as a
member of the armed forces or state military forces as defined by
Section 431.001, Government Code, or as a guard employed by a penal
institution;
(2) [is on the person's own premises or premises under
the person's control unless the person is an employee or agent of
the owner of the premises and the person's primary responsibility
is to act in the capacity of a security guard to protect persons or
property, in which event the person must comply with Subdivision
(5);
[(3)] is traveling;
(3) [(4)] 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;
(4) [(5)] holds a security officer commission issued
by the Texas [Board of Private Investigators and] Private Security
Board [Agencies], if:
(A) the person is engaged in the performance of
the person's duties as a security officer or traveling to and from
the person's place of assignment;
(B) the person is wearing a distinctive uniform;
and
(C) the weapon is in plain view;
(5) [(6)] is carrying a concealed handgun and a valid
license issued under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code
[Article 4413(29ee), Revised Statutes], to carry a concealed
handgun of the same category as the handgun the person is carrying;
(6) [(7)] holds a security officer commission and a
personal protection officer authorization issued by the Texas
[Board of Private Investigators and] Private Security Board
[Agencies] and [who] is providing personal protection under Chapter
1702, Occupations Code [the Private Investigators and Private
Security Agencies Act (Article 4413(29bb), Vernon's Texas Civil
Statutes)]; or
(7) [(8)] holds an alcoholic beverage permit or
license or is an employee of a holder of an alcoholic beverage
permit or license if the person is supervising the operation of the
permitted or licensed premises.
SECTION 3. Section 46.15(h), Penal Code, is amended to read
as follows:
(h) For the purpose of Subsection (b)(2), "premises" has the
meaning assigned by Section 46.02(a-2) [includes a recreational
vehicle that is being used by the person carrying the handgun,
illegal knife, or club as living quarters, regardless of whether
that use is temporary or permanent. In this subsection,
"recreational vehicle" means a motor vehicle primarily designed as
temporary living quarters or a vehicle that contains temporary
living quarters and is designed to be towed by a motor vehicle. The
term includes a travel trailer, camping trailer, truck camper,
motor home, and horse trailer with living quarters].
SECTION 4. The change in law made by this Act applies only
to an offense committed on or after the effective date of this Act.
An offense committed before the effective date of this Act is
governed by the law in effect when the offense was committed, and
the former law is continued in effect for that purpose. For
purposes of this section, an offense was committed before the
effective date of this Act if any element of the offense was
committed before that date.
SECTION 5. This Act takes effect September 1, 2007.

 

Texas, like much of the Southwest, has adjusted its frontier laws to properly fit the demands of a modern society. Travelers should be aware of how these laws affect their ability to carry firearms while trekking through the Lone Star state.