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Do I have a civil rights case? Texas Constitution, gun laws, penal code

San Marcos, TX |

TX law prohibits the possession of weapons on the "premises" of an educational system - TX Penal Code Sec. 46.02 and goes on to define "premises" as:
"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.
Recently though, I was called out to my vehicle in the parking garage by the TX State University Police Department who had an issue with the rifles that were in the gun rack of my pickup truck. The UPD has said that while it is not a violation of state law, I'm not allowed to have the rifles in the parking garage because of University policy.
Am I right in believing that this is a violation of TX Constitution, Art.1, Sec. 32 Right to Keep & Bear Arms?

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Attorney answers 1


The university is not prohibited from having such a policy--you just can't be arrested for violating that particular rule. If your transcription and assessment of the TX penal code is correct. I am NOT a TX attorney. That said, in the wake of recent school shootings, and with Texas' history regarding shootings on college campuses an individual would have to be wanting to draw police attention by parking a car with a weapon clearly visible on a college campus. Maybe not such a good idea.......

NOT LEGAL ADVICE. FOR EDUCATION AND INFORMATION ONLY. Mr. Rafter is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the US Federal Courts in Virginia. There is no implied or actual attorney-client relationship arising from this education exchange. You should speak with an attorney licensed in your state, to whom you have provided all the facts before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. Mr. Rafter is under no obligation to answer subsequent emails or phone calls related to this matter.

David Merrill Walters

David Merrill Walters


The university can indeed do this as my colleague said. SB 1907 regarding this matter just went passed the Senate and is headed to the House. The language of the bill only refers to handguns and ammunition. Follow the legislative progress of the bill online to see how Texas firearms law changes this legislative session at Texas Legislature Online by typing in SB 1907. As an aside, my former Travis County Sheriff CHL instructor told us not to leave guns in our car unless we had a safe bolted to the floor to leave them in. He was, of course, referring to small pistol safes. Don't make your firearms an easy target for criminal activity.

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