Houston Police To Enforce Unlawful Carrying of
September 1, 2005 -- Generally,
Texas law prohibits a person from carrying a weapon in a motor
vehicle unless that person is "traveling," complying
with another defense under the law, or is a concealed handgun
While the penal code does not specifically define
"traveling," Texas case law provides guidance regarding
this matter. House Bill 823 creates a presumption in Section 2.05
of the Texas Penal Code that a person is "traveling"
in certain circumstances. A person is presumed to be traveling
if he or she is:
* In a private vehicle
* Not otherwise engaged in criminal activity other than a traffic
* Not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing a firearm, being
* Not a member of a criminal street gang
* Not carrying a handgun in plain view
This change does not prevent law enforcement
officers from arresting a person who is in a motor vehicle for
carrying a handgun under Section 46.02 of the Texas Penal Code
if the person is not "traveling."
A Houston police officer will speak with a motorist
and conduct a thorough investigation to determine if the motorist
was in the course of "traveling," should a weapon be
located in a vehicle. Officers will then contact the Harris County
District Attorney's office to determine if the charge of unlawfully
carrying a weapon is appropriate.
For additional information, please
contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at 713-308-3200.