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Old 03-24-2010, 10:12 PM   #1
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Texas CHL

If you've read my posts, you know me to be very cynical about anything that government related, at any level. For example, I think the way that the non-CDL Class A and B that are needed for larger RVs in Texas makes no sense. It isn't that there isn't some value in it but that the structure is wrong (based on the CDL and no real RV information) and that it does little to determine whether you can really handle the RV in question.

I just started studying the requirements for the Texas Concealed Handgun License. (CHL) I have to say that they way that they go about it makes a lot of sense. The information that you are required to learn, the topics that the mandatory class covers and the proficiency test all seem to come together in a very reasonable, straightforward package. I would be hard pressed to come up with something different and better. That is claim that I almost never make about any governmental program. It seems so much like common sense, that I think that I could pass the written test with just the little that I've studied so far. Most statutory language is much more difficult for me to digest.

Am I missing something? Is it harder or different than it seems? It sure seems to be working. According to statistical reports, there are several 100K CHL holders in Texas. While I do understand that some of them may be LEOs too, the rates of problems associated with CHL holders seems very low. To a novice in this area, they seem to be doing something right.

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Old 03-25-2010, 07:40 AM   #2
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First let me touch on the comment as to the Texas requirement for a Non-CDL license for operators of larger RV's. I don't think Texas is out of bounds here. There are a number of states that now require such a license. It does require the operator to become more aware of state laws, and knowledge of basic rules of the road that an operator of a large vehicle may not be aware of. Look at is as kind of a forced refresher course. Most drivers who would need such a required license are older..at least age wise. How many of these drivers have even looked at or re-read the basic drivers test manual since having receiving their first license at the age of 16? Is it a hassle, sure. Is it the law, yeap. Does it hold you to a higher level of responsability, you bet.
AS for the Texas CHL. I agree, Texas has a good program. Good background search. Applicant must complete both the basic CHL in class program and pass a proficiency test in firing and knowledge of their firearm.
The only down sides I have found is the time it takes to process the paperwork at state level. With the number of applications being so high, the paperwork process slows down. So when it is time to renew, you may want to do so 4 to 6 months in advance of your current expiration date.
I also feel that Texas should push for more states to honor our CHL, rather than accept the agreement that Texas will honor the CHL of other states, even if they won't honor the Texas CHL. There are too many states that have unilateral reciprocity allowing the right to carry in Texas.
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Old 03-25-2010, 08:54 AM   #3
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I guess we'll agree to disagree about the non-CDL Class A and B. As I said, I'm sure that there is some value in going through the process and appreciate your point about older drivers. The traffic statistics don't bear out that this age group is the anywhere near the worst group of drivers. I'll take my chances with a Baby Boomer aged RVer, even a new one behind the wheel versus a car full of teenaged girls texting while they are driving. I generally abhor governments devising testing that isn't specific the the situation that they are dealing with and doesn't address the underlying problems. If every RV driver in the US was perfect tomorrow, we would still have massive and often unnecessary traffic fatalities. Those are the places that our tax dollars need to be spent. How about re-testing every driver who causes a major accident?

Again, if I'm reading the website correctly, the Texas government only has 60 days to grant or deny a concealed license application. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that they don't abide by those timeframes but at least the intent is correct.

If I read the website correctly, Gov. Perry has reached out to many of the States that won't honor the Texas CHL. Some, like IL, NY and CA are likely never to do so. There are many more, however, where Texas recognizes their concealed licenses and they don't reciprocate. I wonder if one of the reasons is that they are so restrictive in granting CHLs to their citizens and don't like the numbers of CHLs in Texas.
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:30 AM   #4
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You are correct as to the 60 days to grant or deny the application. However, it can take longer to actually receive and have in hand your actual CHL card. And with out the CHL Card in your possession you are not allowed to conceal carry.
However, under the new state law you can carry your weapon in your vehicle as long as it is concealed in your vehicle, not on your body without a CHL.

On the Texas Non-CDL, I agree to disagree. Taking the test does not make for a better driver, but does force increased knowledge. However, Knowledge not used is of no value.
I do wish there was a way to instill things like common sense and courtesy across the entire spectrum of drivers. Even if it only meant little things, like to stop and a Stop Sign. Give the right a way as is intended and taught or at least it was back in my days of learning to drive. Obey traffic laws, as a law, not a guide line.
When I learned to drive, we were told that driving is a privilege given by the state. Driving is not a right, but a privilege.
Now days I feel that there are too many drivers who feel they have the right to drive with a given privilege over others on the road.
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:36 AM   #5
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The main difference in reciprocity are the licensing requirements of the state. Not all states have the same level of training and therefore deny reciprocity.

Having spent 23+ years in the Marine Corps, I found the Texas CHL testing and training very good. I don't know what the other states have. besides the written and live training, I think it really depends on the instructor. They can make or break a class.

I have one problem with the Texas CHL. If you are familiar with it you know that there are areas that are restricted from carrying a CH, such as churches, hospitals, doctor's office, post office, etc., I just think it is unrealistic as the person that does enter those premises' with the intent of doing harm with a weapon, typically do not have a CHL. Someone with a CHL, and carrying, could prevent carnage.

I urge every owner of an RV to read the Texas CDL Handbook, even though you do not need a CDL, but just a straight class license. My reasoning is that you will, (emphasis on "will") get some very good knowledge for driving a large vehicle.

As I have stated before, and I do not have a "schedule," I periodically read the Texas CDL just to refresh myself.

The same for the CHL.
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Old 03-25-2010, 10:16 AM   #6
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I don't want to see this thread get too far into the non-CDL licensing and testing. I'd be happy to participate on another thread with that as a subject. Again, I understand the intent and don't deny that there is some value in the materials. The debate for me is whether that value is worth the price we are paying. Let's take that up separately.

Wayne, I appreciate your point about the class instructor being able to make or break a class. It is difficult for me to make that assessment in advance. I've asked several gun shop owners which of the instructors they prefer. The only strong recommendation that I have is about one in East Plano, taught by a Dallas police officer. While it is a bit further for me to drive and costs a bit more than other more local classes, I may take that choice.

The overriding theme of all of the instructor's websites is that the licensing process is not the place to become familiar with a new gun. I already understood that. Unless and until I have confidence that I can reproduce the desired proficiency results consistently, I'm not going to think about scheduling the class. I've shot in competition in rimfire guns and shotguns but larger caliber pistols are a different animal. I suspect that I'll have quite a few dollars in ammo between where I am and then.
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Old 03-25-2010, 12:15 PM   #7
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Odds are if the training and the proficiency materials make sense and are well presented, then they likely weren't developed by the government, but by a number of firearms groups within the state.

Just touch briefly on the whole Big MoHo license thing. Personally, I'm of the opinion that if you're going to drive something that's as big as a Coach Bus, that you should be required to undergo and pay the expense of a full CDL and training for the operation of a Bus, and be required to abide by all the the operating rules pertaining to a CDL.
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Old 03-25-2010, 01:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne M View Post
The main difference in reciprocity are the licensing requirements of the state. Not all states have the same level of training and therefore deny reciprocity.

Having spent 23+ years in the Marine Corps, I found the Texas CHL testing and training very good. I don't know what the other states have. besides the written and live training, I think it really depends on the instructor. They can make or break a class.

I have one problem with the Texas CHL. If you are familiar with it you know that there are areas that are restricted from carrying a CH, such as churches, hospitals, doctor's office, post office, etc., I just think it is unrealistic as the person that does enter those premises' with the intent of doing harm with a weapon, typically do not have a CHL. Someone with a CHL, and carrying, could prevent carnage.


The same for the CHL.
ooops you can carry at church unless the church posts a 30.06 sign stating otherwise, it was changed in the last edition of the book, page 70 question 2 explains it pretty good.
same goes for doctors office and hospitals, they are PRIVATE not gov run, so its up to the facility to post no carry if that is what they want, granted i have never seen a hospital not posted, but i imagine there is one. My doctors office is not posted and he has no issue with carrying on his property.
as a chl carrier, i found the process to be smooth for a gov run program
great training, and only 6 weeks to get my package back approved, but that was a few years back

as a chl I always have my update booklet with me or near by,
ignorance of the law is no excuse, so its best to be safer than sorry
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Old 03-25-2010, 04:29 PM   #9
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Thanks for the update. Time for me to read again.
========
30.06. TRESPASS BY HOLDER OF LICENSE TO CARRY CONCEALED HANDGUN.
(a) A license holder commits an offense if the license holder:
(1) carries a handgun under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, on property of another without effective consent; and
(2) received notice that:
(A) entry on the property by a license holder with a concealed handgun was forbidden; or
(B) remaining on the property with a concealed handgun was forbidden and failed to depart.
(b) For purposes of this section, a person receives notice if the owner of the property or someone with apparent authority to act for the owner provides notice to the person by oral or written communication.
(c) In this section:
(1) "Entry" has the meaning assigned by Section 30.05(b).
(2) "License holder" has the meaning assigned by Section 46.035(f).
(3) "Written communication" means:
(A) a card or other document on which is written language identical to the following: "Pursuant to Section 30.06, Penal Code (trespass by holder of license to carry a concealed handgun), a person licensed under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code (concealed handgun law), may not enter this property with a concealed handgun"; or
(B) a sign posted on the property that:
(i) includes the language described by Paragraph (A) in both English and Spanish;
(ii) appears in contrasting colors with block letters at least one inch in height; and
(iii) is displayed in a conspicuous manner clearly visible to the public.
(d) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.
(e) It is an exception to the application of this section that the property on which the license holder carries a handgun is owned or leased by a governmental entity and is not a premises or other place on which the license holder is prohibited from carrying the handgun under Section 46.03 or 46.035
===============
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Old 03-25-2010, 06:37 PM   #10
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chasfm11,
If you are looking for a great location in the DFW area to take your course, I highly recommend Bullseye Range and Guns over in Duncanville.
Bullseye Range & Guns
Excellent instructors, great indoor range, they make the course worth your time and money. It is not a dry out of the book class. Both instructors have a long background in law inforcement and military training of arms.
They handle all the needed photos and fingerprinting cards, when you leave all you need to add to your package is your payment to the state pretty much. One day course, not a short day, but a full day.
If you don't have a fire arm one an be obtained from the range for the needed range fire test.
They also offer the option of taking your range test ahead of the class training if you are more comfortable not being in a large group while on the range. It give you more one on one time with the instructor, which can equate into some great imput.
I have taken their course twice now, no I didn't fail, one was a renewal course....LOL.
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Old 03-25-2010, 07:45 PM   #11
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Thanks to everyone for staying on the CHL topic.

I appreciate the tip about Bullseye. Unfortunately their range is more than 70 miles from me. I know the Glen Rose areas because we like going to Dinosaur Valley SP. If it was just for one day, I might be tempted but I'd like to get familiar with where I would be taking the test before I actually do it. They offer instruction as part of their fee but it is Thursday evening and would another nearly 150 mile round trip. I'm hoping that I can find something just a little closer.

I do understand (and appreciate) that not all legislative language is written by our elected representatives. I'm just happy that the Penal Code that I need to know and the rules for the CHL are clearly written. I've read some of the Motor Vehicle statues (mostly the stuff related to RVs) and consider much of it to be in some foreign dialect.
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Old 03-25-2010, 08:37 PM   #12
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Charles: Florida also has a good CCP (Concealed Carry Permit) process. Good training and review of the meaning of the law. A lot of states are reciprical. But you have to look at each state to be sure you are complying with their laws.
My last trip to Michigan, and then on to Iowa, there was no conflict until Illinois, but the only way to be legal in that state, was to comply with the Federal Interstate firearm regs and lock everything in a box going through that state. Interstate Firearms Transport

Florida is strict on a firearm being "concealed" and very critical of "brandishing" a weapon. We do have some good laws on use of force. Florida Individual Protection Laws

This lady has a fairly comprehensive view of the many aspects of the carry process, including legal concerns. Cornered Cat

Our renewal here is simple, go to a Dept of Agriculture regional office, get fingerprinted, photographed, provide proof of training and residence, get the permit in about 1 week.
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Old 03-25-2010, 08:54 PM   #13
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Thanks for the links, Hooligan. I hadn't seen the Interstate Firearms Transport information before and I should have. We've carried a shotgun for as long as we've owned the RV and have been through IL a couple of times. Oops! I guess the answer to that question is to get a carrying case and lock that. I wonder if a locked compartment underneath would comply with that restriction? I've always kept it unloaded while traveling and the ammo separated. I learn something new every day.

A locked box for a handgun is much easier. I was wondering about how I was going to handle that. Now I know.

As always, you are a fountain of information.

Charlie
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:19 PM   #14
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Charlie, I got my CHL last year and the instructors will make or break the class. We had good instructors that keep things moving along at a good pace, presented the material and keep it from getting too boring.
Taking the class and learning to shoot a pistol is not the right way to do this. You need to go to a local range and get an hour of one on one instruction with an instructor on a rented range pistol. Let him show you the safety rules, how to load and unload the pistol, etc. if you don't know how. The CHL instructors are not there to instruct you on how to operate your pistol.

I would also suggest that you take a defensive shoot class as well when you get the CHL. It really gives you some insight into what can happen and what you should do.

One big problem I see in Houston is the number of places that do not have the proper signage (section 30.06). So you have to decide if you want to carry, which you can legally do and take a chance or leave the weapon behind.

Next issue is to understand the CHL or CCP requirements in other states that are in reciprocity with Texas. You do have to abide by there laws...not Texas' laws.

Texas does have the Castle Doctrine which you can use.

Then you have to decide what you want to carry, how you will carry and how big,,,380, 9mm, 10mm or 45 acp. I don't care for the 380, 9mm is OK as is the 45 acp. Problem is the 45acp is a bit large, even in a compact 1911 style pistol. I carry a Colt Defender in the 45 acp with 185 grain hollow point for personal protection.

There are several good carry and defensive forums...one is USA Carry.

Ken
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