Author Topic: Obligation, if any, to disclose possession of firearms in vehicle.  (Read 3117 times)

BK

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I am not licensed to carry a handgun in any state, including Texas.

I often legally possess a concealed, loaded handgun in my vehicle as I travel Texas public roadways. (I typically keep the handgun in a zipped-up, padded gun bag located within extended reach of my right hand on the rear floorboard of my vehicle, behind the console that separates my front bucket seats. As I am driving, I can easily reach the bag with my right hand, unzip it without moving it, and retrieve the handgun from the bag.)

In the event of an encounter with LEOs, what, if any, are the requirements under either the penal code, the government code or other codes for me to disclose such firearm possession to such LEOs, either with or without the LEOs' inquiry regarding such possession?

For example, say that I am stopped by a LEO for a routine traffic stop. I roll down my window, turn on my dome light, and keep my hands in plain view on the steering wheel. The LEO approaches my vehicle and asks for my TDL, insurance and registration.  Am I legally required to inform the LEO of my possession of a firearm in my vehicle, even if the LEO does not in any way inquire regarding any firearm possession?

My inclination is not to volunteer any information that I am not required to give, as doing so can often lead only to unnecessary questions and intrusions by the LEOs.

What if the LEO actually asks if I possess any firearms in my vehicle, particularly with no apparent provocation to ask such a question? Am I legally required to answer?

If I am required to answer, I will certainly do so. But if I am not so legally required, my inclination is not to answer, though I would want to be as courteous and respectful as possible in my silence.

Thank you for your anticipated answers. I can provide more details if needed.

TexasLawShield

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Re: Obligation, if any, to disclose possession of firearms in vehicle.
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2016, 10:43:35 AM »
BK,

You cannot lie to the officer. If they ask if you have any weapons in the vehicle, you should answer truthfully. If you do not have your license to carry, then you are not under an obligation to volunteer information about legally possessing a weapon in the vehicle.

switch

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Re: Obligation, if any, to disclose possession of firearms in vehicle.
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2016, 07:30:59 PM »
However, you are NOT required to answer his question.
Suppose he asks if you have a gun.  You could legally ask him "Do you think everybody in TX has a gun?"  Or "Wouldn't it be illegal for me to have a gun?" Or "I'd like to talk to my attorney before I answer any questions." :)

MIO

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Re: Obligation, if any, to disclose possession of firearms in vehicle.
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2016, 08:03:58 AM »
However, you are NOT required to answer his question.
Suppose he asks if you have a gun.  You could legally ask him "Do you think everybody in TX has a gun?"  Or "Wouldn't it be illegal for me to have a gun?" Or "I'd like to talk to my attorney before I answer any questions." :)
Yeah those are gonna lead to issues. Officers spend all day everyday playing the avoidance game. Thinking your smarter and trying to outwit them isn't a good idea. Does this work when your kids play it with you?
"Did you take the cookie?"
"Well dad wouldn't if have been bad for me to take the cookie?" "I wanna talk to mom before answering you"
Yeah that's gonna work

BK

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Re: Obligation, if any, to disclose possession of firearms in vehicle.
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2016, 07:26:42 PM »
TexasLawShield,

Thank you for your reply.

I would never lie to LEO. I would also never be disrespectful to LEO.

When I get my LTC, I will immediately answer or volunteer to LEO that I have a firearm in the vehicle. I would expect that to be required by law.

I am still wondering, however, before I get my LTC, what questions I am legally required to answer regarding possession of any firearms in my vehicle, and then both before and after I get my LTC what questions I am legally free to ignore or remain silent on as to other contents of my vehicle and other matters.

My vehicle is my castle, just like my home is my castle, correct? Any innocent, legal contents of my vehicle, including without limitation my firearms before I get my LTC, along with the destination to which I am driving and other matters, are private, just as are the innocent, legal contents of my home, along with any innocent, legal activities in my home, correct?

Take this hypothetical for example. BK driving, wife in front passenger seat, grown daughter in rear passenger seat, come to drivers license checkpoint ---

LEO:  “Hello, folks. Driver’s license and proof of insurance, please sir.” (Sees small ice chest sitting on floorboard between wife’s feet.) “What’s in this ice chest sitting on the front floorboard between the lady’s feet? You folks been drinkin’? Are there any firearms in your vehicle? Where are you folks headed to? What’s in that suspicious-looking black box sitting on the back seat next to the young lady? You have any prescription drugs with you?”

BK:  What he would say *IF* he agreed to answer all of those questions and did so truthfully:

   To LEO:  “The lady in the front passenger seat is my wife. The younger lady in the back seat is our daughter.

   “Canned soft drinks in the ice chest. No ice. Hidden under the soft drinks is a brown paper bag containing a wrapped gift. Until this very moment, the gift was to be a surprise to be given to our daughter and her now-present boyfriend who, unknownst to our daughter, is this very evening to become her fiancé at a private event that until this very moment was to be a surprise for her.”

   “Until this very moment, we had told our daughter here that we were headed to grandma’s house for a visit. But in reality, we and her boyfriend had a plan that was until this very moment a secret. Our plan was to stop for dinner at a certain fancy hotel restaurant along the way to grandma’s house. When we get to the restaurant, the hostess is to lead us into a banquet room where a surprise party is to be waiting for our daughter. Our close family, including grandma, and our daughter’s boyfriend’s close family are to be there. And then, just as we all planned to be a surprise of a lifetime for our daughter, right there in front of and in the center of everyone, her boyfriend is to call us all to quietness, and then he is to get down on his knee and propose marriage to her. We know she will say ‘Yes’ because they have been talking about getting married, and she has confided to my wife and me that she would say ‘Yes” if and when her boyfriend ever proposed to her.”

   “About the black box, that contains some documents that my attorney asked me to look over regarding a lawsuit we’ve filed against the City of ___ and two of its LEOs. Here is what the documents say:  ‘... _____ ...’”

   “The black box also contains my heart medication that my doctor prescribed for me two days ago, which until this very moment my wife and daughter knew nothing about. I was going to wait and tell my wife about it next week so that she wouldn’t be worried about me overdoing it at this no-longer-a-surprise party this evening.”

   “Oh, and the ice pick in the grocery bag with the canned goods is something I picked up at the grocery store this morning to take to the deer lease next weekend. Sorry, but no, I don’t still have a receipt for it. And no, I’m not planning to attack you with it.”

   To daughter:  “Sorry, sweetheart. I know that this is something you’ve waited for your whole life. Sorry to have to ruin it for you. But I wanted to be sure to answer all of LEO’s questions.”


Wife to LEO:  “Oh, and here is a surprise. I have a pistol in my purse. I haven’t yet told BK that I bought it. He wanted me to wait another week so that we could pay for it with the bonus from his job. He didn’t want me to put any more charges on our credit card to pay for it, but I went ahead and did so, anyway. He will be mad because they will charge us an over-limit fee.”

Wife to BK:  “Sorry, Honey. Please don’t be mad.”


BK to LEO:  “Anything else you need to know?”
« Last Edit: January 10, 2016, 08:22:45 PM by BK »