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Old 04-15-2017, 09:52 AM
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Default An inadvertent felony in Texas

Recently spent a few days in Texas. While there we went to a nice looking seafood restaurant on the Gulf Coast, entered, found a table, ordered, had a nice meal, paid our check, and left through the same entry door. Fortunately, we made it through the meal without having to draw our handguns in self-defense.

While opening the door to leave I saw posted on the inside of the entry door was a "51%" sign, used in Texas to advise the public that carry or possession of a handgun on the premises, with or without license, is a felony offense.

I have no problem with the laws of the State of Texas. I would suggest, however, that requirements for posting those 51% signs be changed so that the signs are visible BEFORE someone is inside, thus already in the act of committing a felony. In this case I was inside the premises long enough to order lunch, consume a dozen oysters, half-a-dozen stuffed mushrooms, an order of onion rings, and a cold refreshing glass of beer, then visit the gents room and pay my check, all done BEFORE the sign became apparent.

I predict that a test case will be coming along. I hope I am not the defendant, although I think a strong defense could be made.
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Old 04-15-2017, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by LoboGunLeather View Post
Recently spent a few days in Texas. While there we went to a nice looking seafood restaurant on the Gulf Coast, entered, found a table, ordered, had a nice meal, paid our check, and left through the same entry door. Fortunately, we made it through the meal without having to draw our handguns in self-defense.

While opening the door to leave I saw posted on the inside of the entry door was a "51%" sign, used in Texas to advise the public that carry or possession of a handgun on the premises, with or without license, is a felony offense.

I have no problem with the laws of the State of Texas. I would suggest, however, that requirements for posting those 51% signs be changed so that the signs are visible BEFORE someone is inside, thus already in the act of committing a felony. In this case I was inside the premises long enough to order lunch, consume a dozen oysters, half-a-dozen stuffed mushrooms, an order of onion rings, and a cold refreshing glass of beer, then visit the gents room and pay my check, all done BEFORE the sign became apparent.

I predict that a test case will be coming along. I hope I am not the defendant, although I think a strong defense could be made.
Not seeing small remotely posted signs has probably happened to a lot of us. In NC you can carry with ccl in places that serve alcohol but you can not consume.
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Old 04-15-2017, 10:01 AM
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Odd that a sea food restaurant makes 51% of it's sales on alcohol. Maybe they have the wrong sign posted. It happens.
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Old 04-15-2017, 10:08 AM
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Odd that a sea food restaurant makes 51% of it's sales on alcohol. Maybe they have the wrong sign posted. It happens.


Gulf Coast. Seaside. Drinks happen.


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Old 04-15-2017, 10:15 AM
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I make it a point to inform the owners and managers of establishments with those anti gun/carry signs that they lost my business because of the policy.They usually stand there speechless with jaws hanging.

Last night I stopped at a Chinese take out in NW Austin to buy supper but noticed the sign in the window.The asian woman at the register was shock.
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Old 04-15-2017, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Bozz10mm View Post
Odd that a sea food restaurant makes 51% of it's sales on alcohol. Maybe they have the wrong sign posted. It happens.
I agree, they probably posted the wrong sign. I have never seen a 51% sign at an eatery that also served wine, beer or mixed drinks. Usually it is at an out and out bar.
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Old 04-15-2017, 10:37 AM
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Seeing as the sign was not viable from the outside or upon approach, I feel you would have had a viable defense if necessary. It may have, according to TX law, been improperly posted.
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Old 04-15-2017, 11:01 AM
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I have twice missed seeing posted signs. Off to the side or even obscured by a bush so they weren't that noticeable.
If I ever get busted for it then I will make sure I get a picture of the sign and where it was placed that I didn't see it.
I am surprised a restaurant makes over 51% of its business from alcohol sales.
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Old 04-15-2017, 12:15 PM
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.....
I am surprised a restaurant makes over 51% of its business from alcohol sales.
I don't know these restaurants and am not even from Texas, but I can almost guarantee you that these are purely cover-your-patootie signs for liability reasons. If anything ever happens involving a gun, the restaurant can claim that hey, guns aren't allowed, we can't strip-search customers, so you can't sue us. I doubt anyone there is going out of their way checking for bulges on customers' beltlines.

And as much as our friend Stakeout may believe the loss of his business shocks the owners, the sad reality is that at least in urban areas, those signs may draw more approval than upset.
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Old 04-15-2017, 12:31 PM
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I once walked in to a Jared jewelry store here in WA and they told me that I couldn't carry inside the store. They were polite about it so I didn't want to give them any grief, and on my way out I noticed the HUGE sign on the door. When I carry openly I really look for them too! Still missed it.

They've lost a lot of business from me over the years.
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Old 04-15-2017, 12:32 PM
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I have twice missed seeing posted signs. Off to the side or even obscured by a bush so they weren't that noticeable.
If I ever get busted for it then I will make sure I get a picture of the sign and where it was placed that I didn't see it.
I am surprised a restaurant makes over 51% of its business from alcohol sales.
Not sure regarding Texas, but here in Louisiana, ...

given the food you ate, what you're describing sounds like an "oyster bar". My non-scientific study of such places, is that you probably sell 1 beer (draft usually), for every 2-3 oysters; if you order a dozen oysters between 2 guys, you will likely see 4-6 beers sold on the ticket too.
The oysters run from 25 cents to a dollar depending, and the beers usu run $2 or so. So it isn't hard at all for 51% of the overall sales to be alcohol. Heck, most of these places need to sell po-boys and appetizers to have a food profit margin high enough to not be considered a regular bar.
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Old 04-15-2017, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by StakeOut View Post
I make it a point to inform the owners and managers of establishments with those anti gun/carry signs that they lost my business because of the policy.They usually stand there speechless with jaws hanging.

Last night I stopped at a Chinese take out in NW Austin to buy supper but noticed the sign in the window.The asian woman at the register was shock.
Unless a criminal penalty is involved (in Missouri, it's not, but I know states vary widely in this), I just ignore them . . .
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Old 04-15-2017, 12:46 PM
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The emphasis is mine:

"Sec. 411.204. NOTICE REQUIRED ON CERTAIN PREMISES. (a) A business that has a permit or license issued under Chapter 25, 28, 32, 69, or 74, Alcoholic Beverage Code, and that derives 51 percent or more of its income from the sale of alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption as determined by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission under Section 104.06, Alcoholic Beverage Code, shall prominently display at each entrance to the business premises a sign that complies with the requirements of Subsection (c)."

The laws states prominent display at each entrance, not exit.

There are also very specific requirements for the size of the sign and the size of the lettering.

Defensible, IMO. I am not a lawyer, but I do see their commercials all the time on daytime TV.

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Old 04-15-2017, 01:04 PM
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A few years back the local CHAMBER OF COMMERCE sent out stickers to all Chamber members. A LOT of them posted and when asked they thought it was required to be a member of the Chamber. Within a month they were all gone. Enough people pointed out the error of their ways before leaving. Always tell them why you are going.
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Old 04-15-2017, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Muss Muggins View Post
Unless a criminal penalty is involved (in Missouri, it's not, but I know states vary widely in this), I just ignore them . . .



Wells, I guess it would have to take in the particular circumstances,
if the DA was a by the book stickler, a feller could be charged with a felony.


Like Lobo sed, I wouldn't want to be the poster child or test case for this ill-conceived statute neither.




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Old 04-15-2017, 03:51 PM
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I would question being charged with a felony. Misdemeanor would be more like it.
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Old 04-15-2017, 04:36 PM
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I would question being charged with a felony. Misdemeanor would be more like it.


I personally hate these signs and those 30.06 & 30.07 too boot !!!!







.
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Old 04-15-2017, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by scoobysnacker View Post
Not sure regarding Texas, but here in Louisiana, ...

given the food you ate, what you're describing sounds like an "oyster bar". My non-scientific study of such places, is that you probably sell 1 beer (draft usually), for every 2-3 oysters; if you order a dozen oysters between 2 guys, you will likely see 4-6 beers sold on the ticket too.
The oysters run from 25 cents to a dollar depending, and the beers usu run $2 or so. So it isn't hard at all for 51% of the overall sales to be alcohol. Heck, most of these places need to sell po-boys and appetizers to have a food profit margin high enough to not be considered a regular bar.
Actually, the oysters were $19.95 per dozen (we each ordered a dozen). The appetizers were $9.95 each. The onion rings were extra, about $5.00. We each had a single glass of beer. Total tab was about $78.00. I tipped the server $10.00.

Probably one of the more expensive luncheons I have had lately, but it was a vacation visiting an old friend, so all is good.
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Old 04-15-2017, 08:09 PM
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Sounds to me like they didn't have the sign properly displayed.
Quote:
Businesses posting a compliant "51% sign" - It is a felony to carry a firearm while on the premises of a business that makes more than 51% of its revenue from the sale of alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption (colloquially "bars", "nightclubs", "taverns", "saloons", etc.). A person with a CHL that is in violation has a defense that the establishment did not post the proper signage, as required by the Government Code section 411.204. The proper signage contains similar language as is required of all liquor license holders, but with the addition of a couple of words to prohibit licensed as well as unlicensed carry, and a background containing a red "51%" to make it obvious at a glance that the sign applies to CHL holders.
Since it wasn't obvious, it doesn't apply.

It's entirely possible that the owners are proponents of concealed carry. Maybe they posted the sign incorrectly on purpose. The law requires they post it, but they're not looking for anyone and wouldn't turn you in if they did find out. Maybe not, but it could be...
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Old 04-16-2017, 12:07 AM
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I have been in restaurants in Texas that have a bar inside - with a door between the dining room and the bar. The sign may possibly have been only for the room with the bar.

I don't know if they are right to have separate signs for the bar and dining room, but I have seen it posted that way.
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Old 04-16-2017, 12:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CATI1835 View Post
The emphasis is mine:

"Sec. 411.204. NOTICE REQUIRED ON CERTAIN PREMISES. (a) A business that has a permit or license issued under Chapter 25, 28, 32, 69, or 74, Alcoholic Beverage Code, and that derives 51 percent or more of its income from the sale of alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption as determined by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission under Section 104.06, Alcoholic Beverage Code, shall prominently display at each entrance to the business premises a sign that complies with the requirements of Subsection (c)."

The laws states prominent display at each entrance, not exit.

There are also very specific requirements for the size of the sign and the size of the lettering.

Defensible, IMO. I am not a lawyer, but I do see their commercials all the time on daytime TV.
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I personally hate these signs and those 30.06 & 30.07 too boot !!!!



.

Texas has very specific requirements for the 51% signs as to their type size, overall size, and location. Since the restaurant/bar in the original post clearly violated these requirements, successful prosecution of those in possession of firearms appears unlikely. The Texas CHL Forum (TexasCHLforum.com - Index page) used to post examples of non-conforming signs, which basically could be ignored.
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Old 04-16-2017, 02:09 PM
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These 51 percent laws, just like all so-called 'gun free zones' are intellectually bankrupt. Here in PA, carry into bars is perfectly legal. We don't have any problems that are different from states with these pointless laws.
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Old 04-16-2017, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armadillo View Post
I have been in restaurants in Texas that have a bar inside - with a door between the dining room and the bar. The sign may possibly have been only for the room with the bar.

I don't know if they are right to have separate signs for the bar and dining room, but I have seen it posted that way.
^^^This

In my first week of concealed carry, I was in Galveston and went into a restaurant and was seated with my spouse and another couple. I looked up and saw a "51%" sign. I sort of freaked out. I saw that there was a restaurant area and more of a bar area, and it was sort of on the wall where it "transitioned" from restaurant to bar.

All of you probably remember how it was right when you first started carrying - convinced that you were printing all the time and a neon light was flashing over your head saying GUN HERE!

I was worried sick the whole time I was there, because I was so new to concealed carry. Now, I wouldn't think twice about it, and would realize that they had the signage wrong anyway.
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Old 04-16-2017, 02:31 PM
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Sign? What sign? I'm hard of seeing.

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Old 04-16-2017, 02:48 PM
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I'm the world's worst offender of not reading signs on doors or entrances. I have to admit, I have even missed a "No Turn on Red" sign a time or two. Looks like my move from Texas to Indiana was a good move!
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Old 04-17-2017, 12:20 AM
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I would think as a Colorado resident you are also be aware that while it is not illegal to carry into an establishment that sells liquor, it is illegal to have said gun in your possession while consuming alcohol. I would imagine Texas law would be similar to Colorado law in that consuming alcohol while carrying would also be illegal.
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Old 04-17-2017, 07:27 AM
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Don't worry about it. The sign was likely referring to the bar area of the establishment. There are a lot of 'mixed use' businesses around.

One example - Hotels - The bar is required to post the 51% sign, but it only applies to the bar area of the hotel, not the entire property. How well the proprietor segregates the bar area from the rest of the eating/dining areas is often poorly executed.

Disclosure - I am not a lawyer, and did not sleep at a Motel 6 last night

I hope that you enjoyed your time here in TX regardless of the silly signage issues.
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Old 04-17-2017, 08:28 AM
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. . . I would imagine Texas law would be similar to Colorado law in that consuming alcohol while carrying would also be illegal.
I wouldn't make that supposition. It's not illegal in Missouri . . .
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Old 04-17-2017, 09:05 AM
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I wouldn't make that supposition. It's not illegal in Missouri . . .
In Texas it is.....I am from Texas and license to carry training includes not to carry while consuming alcohol. Never a good idea to drink and carry no matter how little you drink......just my two cents.
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Old 04-17-2017, 09:59 AM
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In Texas it is.....I am from Texas and license to carry training includes not to carry while consuming alcohol. Never a good idea to drink and carry no matter how little you drink......just my two cents.
I wouldn't be opposed to a law for carrying, similar to those for driving.
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Old 04-17-2017, 07:03 PM
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I'm sure glad I live here in Massachusetts where we don't have any ridiculous gun laws.
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Old 04-17-2017, 07:38 PM
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Let me make three remarks.

1. Almost every bar I have ever walked into in Texas has their 51% sign posted incorrectly. Most of these bars serve food and while they make their 51% from the sale of alcohol the average person cannot tell that the place is a bar that serves food as opposed to a restaurant that serves alcohol. I routinely see the 51% sign posted prominently OVER THE BAR! I am already in the danged place by then.

2. This is a generalization but, amongst Texas gun owners, in my experience, the fact that a bar that derives 51% of its income from the sale of alcohol is a no-gun establishment is common knowledge. Long before there was a CHL or LTC this was a fact that Texans were aware of. Guns were off limits in bars. Folks just knew.......and they told their friends, so more folks just knew.....

3. I am uncertain of this but I do believe that before the CHL law was passed there was nothing in the Penal Code about drinking and handgun carrying for the simple reason that the Penal Code forbade handgun carrying (with exceptions). Period. Texans carried anyway. That's why they knew about the bars!

If I am incorrect I'd be delighted to know that............
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Old 04-17-2017, 08:18 PM
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In Texas it is.....I am from Texas and license to carry training includes not to carry while consuming alcohol. Never a good idea to drink and carry no matter how little you drink......just my two cents.
What happens when you're sitting peacefully at your home having a drink and you're forced to defend yourself against the local ne'er do wells? Baseball bat?
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Old 04-17-2017, 08:20 PM
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I wouldn't be opposed to a law for carrying, similar to those for driving.
You might not be opposed, until you're sitting at your home enjoying a beer and become subject to a home invasion . . .
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Old 04-17-2017, 08:24 PM
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What happens when you're sitting peacefully at your home having a drink and you're forced to defend yourself against the local ne'er do wells? Baseball bat?


That isn't necessarily considered concealed carry. I am talking about in public utilizing your license to carry publicly. In Texas you can carry concealed or openly without a license on your own property. Step off your property that is a different story. Alcohol and licensed carry, concealed or open, publicly in Texas is against the law. In your home or on your property, do as you please.


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Old 04-17-2017, 08:28 PM
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That isn't necessarily considered concealed carry. I am talking about in public utilizing your license to carry publicly. In Texas you can carry concealed or openly without a license on your own property. Step off your property that is a different story. Alcohol and licensed carry, concealed or open, publicly in Texas is against the law. In your home or on your property, do as you please.


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I fail to see a difference, as did the Missouri legislature . . .
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Old 04-17-2017, 08:31 PM
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The sign is a blatant discrimination against those who cannot read and cannot be enforced, should you be blind or illiterate. The burden of proof is on the prosecutor to prove a defendant can read. Wear dark glasses, have a seeing eye dog and carry a white cane to court ! Tell the Judge you lost your sight after getting your concealed carry permit!
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Old 04-17-2017, 08:39 PM
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I fail to see a difference, as did the Missouri legislature . . .


If you are going to carry concealed in Texas know the laws, regardless of what they may be in your state. I am not sure what your point is. Just because Missouri has no law like ours does not negate it.


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Old 04-17-2017, 08:45 PM
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Any law I've seen concerning signage has guidelines already. Sounds like they are making it really easy for you to commit a felony. If it's not clearly posted from an angle where you can see it on entering, that's not much to hang a felony offense on. Yeah, the law would be on your side but you shouldn't have to be put in a position to defend your actions.
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Old 04-17-2017, 08:47 PM
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If you are going to carry concealed in Texas know the laws, regardless of what they may be in your state. I am not sure what your point is. Just because Missouri has no law like ours does not negate it.


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I agree. But a thinking person wouldn't seek to justify it. Just because you have a beer or two shouldn't mean you lose the right to defend yourself . . .

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In Texas it is.....I am from Texas and license to carry training includes not to carry while consuming alcohol. Never a good idea to drink and carry no matter how little you drink......just my two cents.
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Old 04-17-2017, 08:47 PM
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If I recall my training class correctly, Texas law says you are intoxicated at .08 BAC. However, when carrying that number changes to zero tolerance. Which means you can be busted at .01. I would think it unlikely to actually be enforced that strictly except maybe in liberal Austin, but it is at least possible.
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Old 04-17-2017, 08:48 PM
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If I recall my training class correctly, Texas law says you are intoxicated at .08 BAC. However, when carrying that number changes to zero tolerance. Which means you can be busted at .01. I would think it unlikely to actually be enforced that strictly except maybe in liberal Austin, but it is at least possible.
Why would you think the police would decline to enforce a law?
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Old 04-17-2017, 08:58 PM
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I'm sure glad I live here in Massachusetts where we don't have any ridiculous gun laws.


I nearly spit out my drink.... good one!


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Old 04-18-2017, 09:29 AM
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Evidently it's such a wide spread problem.....That they even write
songs about guns in bars and shootin and all such as that.


Billy Joe Shaver shot Bryant Coker at/outside a joint in Lorena, TX.










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Old 04-18-2017, 09:50 AM
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Ever since Tennessee passed 'Guns in Bars' back in 2009 there's been two or three drunken brawl shootouts at most every bar across the state on the weekends.

Well... the above was nearly the level of hysteria when it passed. Curiously enough, gun owners have managed their freedom well. Who woulda thunk, right?
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Old 04-18-2017, 09:58 AM
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Recently spent a few days in Texas. While there we went to a nice looking seafood restaurant on the Gulf Coast, entered, found a table, ordered, had a nice meal, paid our check, and left through the same entry door. Fortunately, we made it through the meal without having to draw our handguns in self-defense.

While opening the door to leave I saw posted on the inside of the entry door was a "51%" sign, used in Texas to advise the public that carry or possession of a handgun on the premises, with or without license, is a felony offense.

I have no problem with the laws of the State of Texas. I would suggest, however, that requirements for posting those 51% signs be changed so that the signs are visible BEFORE someone is inside, thus already in the act of committing a felony. In this case I was inside the premises long enough to order lunch, consume a dozen oysters, half-a-dozen stuffed mushrooms, an order of onion rings, and a cold refreshing glass of beer, then visit the gents room and pay my check, all done BEFORE the sign became apparent.

I predict that a test case will be coming along. I hope I am not the defendant, although I think a strong defense could be made.

I suspect that no prosecution would ever take place. A states' arrorney is highly unlikely to prosecute when the premises owner does something as moronic as a premises entry restriction only on the exit door. The owner ought to be up for a Darwin Award.
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Old 04-18-2017, 06:05 PM
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I would think as a Colorado resident you are also be aware that while it is not illegal to carry into an establishment that sells liquor, it is illegal to have said gun in your possession while consuming alcohol. I would imagine Texas law would be similar to Colorado law in that consuming alcohol while carrying would also be illegal.
Your posted information is not accurate. In Colorado it is a violation to be in possession or control of a firearm while under the influence. There is no violation otherwise.
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Old 04-19-2017, 04:32 AM
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I suspect that no prosecution would ever take place. A states' arrorney is highly unlikely to prosecute when the premises owner does something as moronic as a premises entry restriction only on the exit door. The owner ought to be up for a Darwin Award.
Did you ever think it was a way for the owner to protest a law he was made to enforce but was against ??
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Old 04-19-2017, 09:08 AM
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You might not be opposed, until you're sitting at your home enjoying a beer and become subject to a home invasion . . .
I see your point, but carrying in public while buzzed and being in your residence, seem like comparing apples to oranges (I like both, by the way!). While not a good idea, having a few drinks and driving on your private property probably is legal in most states (I won't say all, because...well, you know why!).

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Old 04-19-2017, 09:59 AM
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Why would you think the police would decline to enforce a law?
Same reason they usually only stop speeders who are going 10mph or more over the speed limit. Cost/benefit, basically.
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