Sunday, August 11, 2013

TX:McAllen Police Refuse Request for Open Carry Picture, Arrest Man for Trespass

  I do not believe that Texas law allowing weapons to be prohibited from courthouses includes the parking lot, but a court may decide differently.  Here is the relevant statute:

Texas Penal Code Section 46.03

(3) on the premises of any government court or offices utilized by the court, unless pursuant to written regulations or written authorization of the court;
I doubt that a public parking lot serving multiple public offices would qualify, but it may take a fair amount of lawyering to show that in court.

Update, from a poster on
c) In this section:
(1) "Premises" has the meaning assigned by Section 46.035.
And in PC 46.035:
(3) "Premises" means a building or a portion of a building. The term does not include any public or private driveway, street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area.

As this is a political activist with an organization behind him, I suspect that a settlement, complete with pictures of him, armed, in the parking lot, is next on the plate.

McALLEN — Organizers expect more than 100 gun owners to gather Saturday at the McAllen police station to protest the arrest of a gun rights activist who sought to photograph himself outside the Police Department with a rifle slung across his back.

Zach William Horton, 37, had been traveling for work throughout the Rio Grande Valley, stopping at various police departments along the way and taking photographs outside them with his rifle.

In McAllen, the effort landed him in jail.

It’s a legal practice in Texas, which is an open carry state for rifles but not for handguns, said Robert Sneed, executive director for Open Carry Texas. Handguns must be carried concealed and with a permit.


Horton was told to step away from the vehicle, and after he didn’t, police pointed their guns at him and arrested him on the charges of trespassing and carrying a weapon in places where weapons are prohibited because the police station also houses the city’s municipal court, the release shows.

On Thursday the trespassing charge was dismissed and Horton was formally charged with one count of carrying a weapon in places where weapons are prohibited; his bond was set at $25,000. Horton was sent to the Hidalgo County Jail. Members of Open Carry Texas were working to get him released on bond Thursday evening.

McAllen police Chief Victor Rodriguez said police officers had warned Horton that because the courthouse is in the building, it is considered a prohibited place, and because Horton had expressed his intent to bring a loaded firearm to the station, Rodriguez’s officers prevented him from doing so and stopped him in the parking lot.

More here

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