It’s not only an offense to be intoxicated while driving. If you are drunk and carry a handgun in public, you can be charged with a misdemeanor. A new intoxi-carry bill introduced this year intends to close a loophole relating to larger guns.
Under existing law, it’s a misdemeanor in Texas to be intoxicated and carry a handgun in public. However, it’s legal to be drunk and to carry a long gun.
Recently, State Rep. Gina Hinojosa’s filled an “Intoxi-carry” bill. She argues the current law contains a dangerous loophole that needs to be addressed so law enforcement can keep Texas residents safe.
A report on NewsFix, suggested some Texas residents believe the bill doesn’t go far enough.
Donna Howard from Crosby described how her daughter Shelby was allegedly shot by her boyfriend after he had been drinking alcohol and playing cards. He was also playing with his gun, she said.
Her daughter Shelby was allegedly shot by her boyfriend who had been drinking and playing with his gun.
Howard wants the carrying of guns while drunk to be dealt with as seriously as drunk driving by the Texas authorities.
She said people who possess guns while they are drunk should be charged with felonies rather than misdemeanors. Shelby’s boyfriend was charged with aggravated assault on a family member.
Hinojosa, (D) Austin, told the TV station KHOU, her bill would make the carrying of any type of firearm while intoxicated illegal. The present law only regulates handguns. She said:
“While we do have a strong culture of gun ownership in the state, we also have a strong culture of responsible gun ownership and that’s something that needs to be reflected in our laws.”
The present law in Texas is less restrictive than in some neighboring states. In Oklahoma and New Mexico, it’s illegal to carry any firearm under the influence of alcohol or drugs. However, Louisiana’s law only applies to handguns. There is no law in Arkansas.
Reporters from the TV station KCEN spoke to a hunter who said he was aware of a lot of hunters who would go out hunting after drinking beer. He said he’s never seen anyone carrying a rifle in the streets.
At the Medlin Law Firm, we help people who have been charged with firearms offenses. Texas has a bewildering array of firearms laws, even though it has a more liberal gun culture than many other states.