No tickets in Texas with concealed carry permit?
January 21, 2007 8:00 PM   Subscribe

Today a friend adamantly claimed that drivers with concealed carry permits cannot be ticketed on state, county, or city roads in Texas. Is this so?

I called bullshit, but I can't find anything on the internet to say one way or the other. This suggests to me that no such provision exists. My friend says, "I don't care if you believe me—but it's on the application."

Can anyone confirm one way or the other?

On a related note: is it possible to somehow join the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) and thus become exempt from traffic tickets? [Source] If so, who is this open to? Mall cops? Security guards? Or is this yet another myth?
posted by bloggboy to Law & Government (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
IANAL, and I can't prove anything either, but the bullshit flag flies hard and high on this one. Is your friend claiming that somehow the authority to carry a concealed weapon exempts a person from the local and state laws that pertain to traffic? I fail to see the connection. Can he provide a copy of the application to support his assertion?

Frist psot.
posted by ZakDaddy at 8:13 PM on January 21, 2007

If your friend is saying that people with concealed carry permits can't get speeding tickets I'd call bullshit too.
posted by tresbizzare at 8:14 PM on January 21, 2007

Your friend is wrong, but that's because he's misunderstanding the law.

Texas Concealed Carry Laws

PC §46.02. UNLAWFUL CARRYING WEAPONS. (a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his person a handgun, illegal knife, or club.
(b) Except as provided by Subsection (c), an offense under this
section is a Class A misdemeanor.

"(b) Section 46.02 does not apply to a person who: ... (3) is traveling;

Don't get me wrong -- IANAL! But it looks like if you're traveling in your own vehicle you have the right in Texas to have a firearm on your person without the need of a CCW permit.
posted by barnacles at 8:16 PM on January 21, 2007

Of course it's bullshit. Even if the application said such a thing, it couldn't possibly be legal. The official FAQ makes no mention of this whatsoever.

IANAL, but it's gotta be crap.
posted by cerebus19 at 8:16 PM on January 21, 2007

is it possible to somehow join the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) and thus become exempt from traffic tickets

Since when does being a member of the Fraternal Order Of Police exempt you from traffic tickets?... My SO is a police officer, and there might be times when they cut other officers some slack in terms of very minor violations, but there is no "exemption" from getting tickets.
posted by amyms at 8:19 PM on January 21, 2007

P.S. Just wanted to clarify... My SO also cuts regular citizens slack all the time. Giving warnings instead of tickets is good for public relations.
posted by amyms at 8:22 PM on January 21, 2007

I realize I didn't make myself clear -- I think your friend is confusing the fact that it looks like he can't be arrested for concealed carry while driving with the idea that carrying concealed makes him impervious to arrest while driving. If it sounds like bullshit, it usually is bullshit. Call him on it!
posted by barnacles at 8:22 PM on January 21, 2007 is a good place to find summaries of laws related to concealed carry in the 50 states.

I think the burden of proof is on your friend for this one. What is true is that a concealed-carry permit holder who is armed must inform the officer that he is carrying if the car he is traveling in is stopped by police. The way that this is done is that you show your concealed-carry permit when the officer asks for your driver's license. Doesn't mean you're not getting a ticket.

State, city, and county laws are pretty homogenous on this topic in Texas owing to Texas statue 229.001, which pretty much forbids cities and counties to make laws that countermand the state law.
posted by ikkyu2 at 8:27 PM on January 21, 2007

I dunno about the FOP, but you can get one of those blue line stickers and if you're good enough at bullshitting you might get out of a ticket.

But if you're not good enough at bullshitting, you might get screwed.
posted by jckll at 8:37 PM on January 21, 2007

>>Don't get me wrong -- IANAL! But it looks like if you're traveling in your own vehicle you have the right in Texas to have a firearm on your person without the need of a CCW permit.

IAAlsoNAL, and I don't live in Texas, but this would make sense, since many states allow open carry (though I don't know if Texas is one of them).

Also, what your friend says sounds like complete and total bunk.
posted by !Jim at 9:36 PM on January 21, 2007

You absolutely can get a ticket in Texas if you're a CHL holder. I've seen it happen. However, sometimes DPS will be more lenient towards CHL people and be more likely to give you a warning. Conversely, some cops may disarm you and react unfavorably during the stop.

You are required to inform the officer who stops you that you are a CHL holder carrying a weapon. Usually people hand over their CHL with their driver's license. Not informing the officer is against the law.
posted by Addlepated at 9:38 PM on January 21, 2007

By the way, Texas law has allowed a person who is "traveling" to carry a loaded weapon in the car, but the word "traveling" was never defined. Recently the law has changed to define traveling:

A person is presumed to be traveling if the person is:
(1) in a private motor vehicle;
(2) not otherwise engaged in criminal activity, other than a Class C misdemeanor that is a violation of a law or ordinance regulating traffic;
(3) not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing a firearm;
(4) not a member of a criminal street gang, as defined by Section 71.01; and
(5) not carrying a handgun in plain view.

If you meet the above conditions, you may legally carry a weapon in your car.
posted by Addlepated at 9:43 PM on January 21, 2007

!Jim: Open carry's specifically prohibited in Texas. If you hold a CC permit, failure to conceal is a misdemeanor.
posted by ikkyu2 at 9:46 PM on January 21, 2007

ikkyu2: Actually, it's only illegal if you intentionally fail to conceal your handgun. See here. Although trying to prove intent is probably difficult. I imagine that if you were trying to conceal and accidentally flashed someone, this statute would cover you.
posted by Addlepated at 10:32 PM on January 21, 2007

Your friend must be on drugs. Or maybe needs to be. You'll get a ticket if you're caught driving poorly and they want to make a point or make a quota, though I suspect that Addlepated is on target in saying that you'll maybe get a break from some cops, as they'll sortof see you as another guy who fills out paperwork (ie lives by the rules) and isn't afraid to carry (and perhaps use) deadly weapons.

My understanding has always (always since I've lived in Texas) been that I can legally carry a pistol in Texas if I am traveling, which I have been told is defined by crossing two county lines. If Addlepated is correct, the law is even broader than that, though it seems the handgun must be hidden - where did you get your info?

I've only been stopped once when carrying, and I immediately told the cop (with both hands on the wheel, and interior lights on) that I had the pistol, and why, and he had no problems with it at all. And he pulled me over pretty angry, as he'd thought I'd been driving really badly, he couldn't see around my pickup to see that I couldn't move, could not give right of way.

I don't have a concealed carry license nor want one, but I like that Texas has provisions for me to be able to protect myself when traveling, especially if my travels take me to Houston, and if you know Houston you'll know why...
posted by dancestoblue at 10:54 PM on January 21, 2007

Dancestoblue - The definition of traveling as crossing two county lines was the old rule of thumb, although I don't think it was ever put into legal language in any statute. In 2005, the presumption of traveling was added to section 46 of the penal code (way down at the bottom there).

I know someone who was charged with illegal carry just a couple of months before the traveling presumption stuff was added, and he had been going hundreds of miles across the state. He had a difficult legal battle in order to prove that he was, indeed, traveling. This presumption dealie is very helpful in that regard.

And purely anecdotal evidence here, but it's my firm belief that having an absolutely adorable kitten in the car once got us out of a ticket in Texas. Might be worth a try, anyway.
posted by Addlepated at 11:17 PM on January 21, 2007

I've had a (Texas) concealed handgun license for several years, and yes, you can get a traffic ticket. While I certainly do not remember anything about this on the application, you can look at an application yourself. DPS offices, gun stores and sporting goods stores selling guns have the applications.
posted by luckyshirl at 11:08 AM on January 22, 2007

Your friend is 200% wrong and gives law abiding CCW holders a bad name. A CCW is *not* a "get out of jail free" card.

As far as cops giving you a break, that seems to be a regional thing. Some cops in Southern states will come down on you even harder if you try the "professional courtesy" bit with them.
posted by drstein at 11:09 AM on January 22, 2007

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