An Engineered Solution To The Problem Of Gun Safe Weight On Floor Joists

Herschel Smith · 28 Sep 2015 · 4 Comments

There is a plethora of articles, discussion threads and other resources that presume to give advice on the issue of floor loading with heavy gun safes.  Some of them even provide professional engineering counsel, even if they don’t say so.  For instance, some articles I have seen mention the typical and customary floor design loading limit of 40 pounds per square foot (PSF) and then opine something like “but even though the load for a safe is concentrated in a small space, since the total…… [read more]

Texas Police Chiefs On Open Carry

BY Herschel Smith
5 months, 3 weeks ago

The title is a little bit of a misnomer (since the article focuses on one chief) but follows the title at

CEDAR PARK, Texas (KXAN) — At McBride’s Guns in Central Austin, gun sales are up in advance of an open carry law potentially being passed at the state Capitol. But Cedar Park Police Chief Sean Mannix says there are several unanswered questions attached to the law.

“What are the requirements of open carry, what about proof of eligibility?” he said. “Will people have to carry it with them?”

All 84 of his officers attend training on a daily basis for a variety of reasons, and even more training will be required if the bill passes.

“I will say that’s just a reality,” said Mannix. “It is going to be difficult for the beat cop to know who should have a gun, who shouldn’t have a gun, and frankly there are people out there who shouldn’t own guns.”

Mannix also serves as the chair of the Texas Association of Police Chiefs. He worries open carry could make situations, like ones involving an active shooter, more dangerous.

“The last thing you want to see is somebody with a gun who’s not a police officer at an active shooter situation not immediately responding to commands to drop their weapon and get on the ground,” the chief said.

The Chief has raised two different issues in the same breath.  The first issue has to do with proof of eligibility, and I told you this would be a problem.

… licensed open carry in a state with no stop and identify statute for enforcement is a shooting-by-cop waiting to happen.  And I certainly don’t support empowering the police state any more by giving them a stop and identify statute.  That would be making something bad even worse.

Gun rights advocates are better off to hold out for constitutional carry rather than begging for scraps that fall from the master’s table.

I didn’t say give Texas LEOs a stop and identify statute.  I said give the citizens of Texas recognition of their constitutional rights with un-permitted open carry.

The second issue the Chief raises has to do with situations of responses.  He said, “The last thing you want to see is somebody with a gun who’s not a police officer at an active shooter situation not immediately responding to commands to drop their weapon and get on the ground.”

Why does he think this is going to be a problem?  First of all, the situation is likely to be mitigated by the time LEOs get there if there are carriers in the area, and whether they are open carriers or concealed carriers isn’t relevant to the question (there are concealed carriers all over Texas and always have been).  So what problems has the Chief seen that he thinks will get worse because of some unstated characteristic of open carriers?  My suspicion is that there are no problems the Chief can cite because he is using boogey-man arguments.  Boo!  Boo!  Be askeerd!

In the end we all know the truth, and it is that constitutional carry, concealed or open, is the best option because it comports with the rights God has granted to men and women.  The politicians and LEOs in Texas have apparently yet to learn (or acknowledge) that.

Houston Police Officer Open Carry Stop

BY Herschel Smith
7 months, 1 week ago

The video below is being bandied about over various internet forums, as well as via Bob Owens.  Bob’s commenters are all confused and basically don’t know what they are talking about.  Similarly, the comments over the YouTube video – some of which are supportive and some of which aren’t – point to a problem of understanding and confusion.  Watch the video and then I’ll clear up that confusion for you.

He was just trying to tell if the person was a felon, or so the comment[s] at YouTube go.  The cop clearly is in favor of gun rights, claiming (falsely) that he is a three percenter.  “I’m sympathetic to the cop here,” says Uncle.

Now, take a deep breath, calm down and let’s clear up the confusion.  The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a legendary body slam to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department for stopping a man for openly carrying a weapon in an open carry state (North Carolina), even when it was later determined that the man was a criminal.  See Fourth Circuit Finds That Carrying A Firearm In An Open Carry State Does Not Create Reasonable Suspicion And Provides Thorough Analysis Of The “Free To Leave” Standard.

This was clearly not a so-called “Terry Stop” (the cop didn’t believe a law had been broken) and the LEO had no need or right to know whether the man was a felon.  According to the court, it was none of his business.  No demurral, case closed, end of discussion.  Period.  That’s all.  You don’t need to know any more than that.

But since the bed wetters (who may be reading this) might need to know more, we’re going to help you.

OK, it is fairly simple.  If you are under arrest refuse to provide your name, date of birth, or residence address, you commit a Class C misdemeanor unless you have warrants outstanding, when it is a Class B misdemeanor.  If you are either under arrest or lawfully detained, it is an offense to provide a false name, date of birth or address.  The later is a Class B or A misdemeanor, dependent on whether you have outstanding warrants.

What is not an offense is refusing to provide your name, date of birth, or residence address when you are lawfully detained. See Dutton v. Hayes-Pupko, No. 03-06-00438-CV, 2008 Tex. App. LEXIS 6030, 2008 WL 3166324 (Tex. App.–Austin 2008, no pet.).  The court held that Deputy Derrick Dutton had arrested Sheryl Hayes-Pupko without probable cause since the law did not require her to identify herself while she was only being detained..  Dutton’s mistake of law did not provide a defense for the false arrest claim.

Unfortunately, this is not unusual for Texas.  Police officers in this state have an idea that they have the right to identify anyone at anytime for any or no reason.  The courts have repeatedly slapped them down on this.

  • “The application of Tex. Penal Code Ann., Tit. 8, § 38.02 (1974), to detain appellant and require him to identify himself violated the Fourth Amendment because the officers lacked any reasonable suspicion to believe appellant was engaged or had engaged in criminal conduct.  Accordingly, appellant may not be punished for refusing to identify himself, and the conviction is Reversed.”  Brown v. Texas, 443 U.S. 47 (1979).
  • “It is clear petitioner was arrested and convicted for his refusal to answer Officer Jennings’ question requesting that petitioner identify himself. This is impermissible even in the context of a lawful investigatory stop.” Spring v. Caldwell, 516 F. Supp. 1223 (S.D. Tex. 1981), reversed on other grounds 692 F.2d 994 (5th Cir. 1982).
  • “First, Officer Lowe obtained identification from each occupant of the automobile though he had no legal basis whatever for demanding them.”  Lewis v. State, 664 S.W.2d 345 (Tex. Crim. App. 1984).
  • “Moreover, the Supreme Court has previously dealt with a case in which Texas police officers demanded that an individual identify himself even though they had no reasonable suspicion that he had committed a crime. In Brown v. Texas, the Court [11]  ruled that Texas Penal Code Ann. § 38.02 (a), as enacted by the Texas legislature in 1974, was unconstitutional because it allowed an officer to stop and demand identification of an individual without any specific basis or belief that he was involved in criminal activity.” Weddle v. Ferrell, No. 3:99-CV-0453-G, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2659, 2000 WL 256891 (N.D. Tex. 2000).
  • “Officers have the right to conduct an investigation of a driver following a traffic violation, but do not have authority to investigate a passenger without reasonable suspicion.”  St. George v. State, 237 S.W.3d 720 (Tex. Crim. App. 2007) (holding that arrest of passenger for failure to identify not valid absent legal detention).

Yet we still see police officers demand identification in Texas and threaten arrest (or actually make arrest) on Failure to Identify when in fact, no offense has occurred.

Although oriented towards Texas law, this is true even in states that have stop and identify statutes if the stop isn’t a so-called “Terry Stop.”  The officer has no need or right to know who the person is.  Period.  Do you understand now?

The officer was a jackass, but worse than that, he was wrong as to the details and application of the law, like many LEOs today are.  Before the bed-wetters blow their bladders, they need to study the law a little bit.  And Bob Owens needs to educate his readers rather than allowing the pooling of ignorance in comments over his web site.  That is unseemly and undignified.

Cornyn Endorsed By NRA

BY Herschel Smith
1 year ago

On Monday, the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) endorsed Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) for re-election. The NRA-PVF, the political wing of the national gun rights organization, was enthusiastic in their support for Cornyn, noting that he had earned their “A+” rating, their “highest possible rating,” which they noted was used to designate legislators who not only have “an excellent voting record on critical NRA issues,” but also those “who have also made a vigorous effort to promote and defend the Second Amendment.”

In a press release, Chris W. Cox, the NRA-PVF Chairman, called Cornyn “a leader in the U.S. Senate on self-defense laws,” and praised him for his tenure as Texas Attorney General, being the lead sponsor for the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, opposition to what Cox calls the “Obama-Bloomberg gun control agenda,” including expansion of background checks that “would criminalize the private transfer of a firearm between life-long friends and many family members.”

Of course, there is no mention of Cornyn’s coupling with Lindsey Graham to formulate the so-called Graham-Cornyn Mental Health and Criminal Justice Reform Act.  I still cannot locate good intelligence on this abomination, but it greatly expands the ability to place flags on people in the NICS based on having sought treatment for mental health issues, leaving them flagged for life.

Readers know my position on mental health issues and guns.  There is no need to rehearse it again in this context, but I did learn something else about Cornyn tonight.  He is nonplussed about open carry.

BDS: Gun rights and the Second Amendment are a big part of the March primary in Texas, as you know, and several weeks ago there was a rally at the Alamo where people were encouraged to bring their loaded weapons and display them openly. I’m a gun owner, and I enjoy shooting. But I have to say that that type of display gives me pause. Would you support an expansion of open carry laws, which have been part of some Republican candidates’ message?

JC: I support concealed carry, and the training that people have to go through to get those things is a good thing. I’m not sure what the point is about open carry. I say that as an avid gun owner, but I’m not sure what the attraction is for that.

Nonplussed is a gracious way to put it.  Very well, then I’ll expect Cornyn’s national concealed carry act for all LEOs forcing them to conceal their weapons.  And that won’t happen, of course, because Cornyn doesn’t really believe what he says.

We are where we are today in part because the NRA grants high ratings to politicians who sell out gun owners.  We are expected to vote for the politician who is a little less bad than the alternative, an expectation I simply won’t abide.

Open Carry In Texas

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 10 months ago

My second son Joseph was visiting from Texas over the Thanksgiving holidays, and we went backpacking on the foothills trail in South Carolina.  Pictures to come soon.  At any rate, Joseph is a gun owner in Texas, and I remarked how strange it is that I live in North Carolina, a traditional open carry state, while Texas prohibits open carry.

Chance Ballew with Say Uncle gives us an update to this fascinating question.

A bill for that.  I often forget that Texas has some goofy carry laws. You wouldn’t think that since it’s Texas.

The report goes as follows:

According to the Dallas Morning News, Representative George Lavender plans on introducing an open carry bill in 2014.

Of course the TSRA is against it, as usual: “Alice Tripp, a lobbyist for the Texas State Rifle Association, said her organization backs open carry in principle, but she acknowledged that gun owners aren’t exactly clamoring for a return to the days of Gunsmoke.”

That “in principle” part is weasel speak for “we don’t support it.

The most interesting explanation comes from Say Uncle’s commenters.

If it helps, most of Texas gun laws were remnants from the carpetbagger government imposed on the state following the War of Northern Aggression.

Well, that explains it.  It makes more sense than anything I’ve ever heard about why Texas wouldn’t be an open carry state.  It’s about time for a change.

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