How They Do It in Texas

Anywhere else they would have hung this guy out to dry. The money quote in this is “Criado said the concerned citizen did not have a concealed handgun license but ‘we don’t see any reason to charge the citizen who fired at the suspects believing they had killed the officer.'”

I often joke with Texans that in PA, for the most part, you can open carry without a license (which you can’t do in Texas with a license except on private property), and for concealed carry only have to worry about court houses (Texas has a number of off limits places, including some establishments that serve primarily alcohol). You can legally have a few beers at a bar and not run afoul of the law in Pennsylvania. But if you actually have to use your gun there’s no better jurisdiction than Texas. I think it’s the only jurisdiction left in the country that actually comes close to “because he needed a shootin'” being an affirmative defense.

6 thoughts on “How They Do It in Texas”

  1. I found it interesting that having to bust a cap in someone in legitimate self-defense was an affirmative defense to the charge of toting a heater without a permission slip in Tennessee.

  2. All shootings in Texas , including police shootings, are reviewed by a grand jury. The DAs will not push for anything they can not get a conviction on. While we don’t have open carry, we do have 400,000 Concealed Handgun License holders. You don’t need a CHL to carry in your vehicle.

  3. I believe that Texas is the only state where you can justifiably use deadly force to protect property, ie shooting a thief running away.

  4. As a Texan I like to think of my state’s prohibition on any carry, without a license, of handguns, illegal knives, and clubs as endorsement of long guns for self defense, which can be open carried with less restriction than concealed carry handguns.

    Firearms are prohibited at anything relating to schools (without written rules or permission), polling places, courts, racetracks, airports (except as baggage), penal institutions, and executions.

    CC license holders may not carry in those places plus 51 percent income from alcoholic beverages businesses, sporting events (unless a competitor in a handgun competition), correctional facilities, hospitals (without written authorization), amusement parks, places of religious worship, meetings of a governmental entity, or anywhere while while intoxicated.

    Though open carrying a non handgun firearm you would have to worry about refusal of service and “displays a firearm or other deadly weapon in a public place in a manner calculated to alarm” Disorderly Conduct charges. It would depend pretty much on the area and people as their reaction to open carry and how the laws get interpreted.

  5. While I am looking at the Texas Penal Code, which has been oddly fun, lets look at the issue of the use of deadly force on a fleeing thief.
    § 9.32. DEADLY FORCE IN DEFENSE OF PERSON.(a)(3)(B) to prevent the other’s imminent commission of aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery.

    § 29.01. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:
    (1) “In the course of committing theft” means conduct
    that occurs in an attempt to commit, during the commission, or in immediate flight after the attempt or commission of theft.

    So it looks to me that if robbery or aggravated robbery occurs, which requires bodily injury, the threat of bodily injury, or use or exhibition of a deadly weapon during a theft, you may be able employ deadly force to to stop the commission of the crime including the immediate flight.

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