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i live in texas and i am 18. i was wondering if i could legally take a pistol to my hunting lease or to a range. i read signs at gun stores that say you must be 21 to buy handguns and handgun ammunition and i was wondering if you had to be 21 to posses a handgun too. i stopped and asked a police officer today and he made it sound like i could posses one as long as im headed to a hunting ground or to a range. my grandpa has a smith and wesson .38 special and i wanted to buy it from him to take with me hunting for coyotes and bobcats. any information would be greatly appreciated. i know this doesnt really have anything to do with benelli and im sorry for posting here but i would really like to know if its legal for me to do.

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I was born bred & concieved in Texas...& have worn a side arm hunting even before & since I was 10 years old...

But still....AR-B has good advice....It could save ya a lot of grief to make sure what the laws are in your area/sector...& be careful listening to any hear say advice from some street officer...because otherwise..it's not probable that the Officer that told you that info will be tesifying in a court of law for you if & when you are being prosecuted...:)

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Beyond the matter of whether it's legal with the police, make sure that it's legal with the DNR, Game Commission, or whatever it's called in TX.

Some states may not allow a hunter to carry and sidearm while hunting waterfowl, for instance.


Also, clearly understand that carrying a pistol or revolver on your side and keeping one out of sight either on your person or in your vehicle are two very different things.

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the main reason i would like to take one is just to practice with. when i go with my dad he always take is 357 colt python and shoots coyotes or if one of shoots a deer and its just wounded then he just shoots it again with it. i do more deer hunting than anything. it just seems like everywhere i go to find information on the internet seems to hint around. in a matter like this a want to make 100% sure that its legal because i really respect the laws and i really dont want to go to jail.

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Originally posted by duckhunt:

it just seems like everywhere i go to find information on the internet seems to hint around. in a matter like this a want to make 100% sure that its legal because i really respect the laws and i really dont want to go to jail.

Then take the advice that was given to you... go to the police station. I doubt they are going to "hint around." They will probably be pretty darn happy to see a younger fellow taking interest in being lawful with his firearm. Get off the internet, drive to the cop shop, and get some answers.
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From personal experience ...


Be sure to talk to multiple sources when it comes to things you "can and can't" do with your gun.


I've been lied to, harrassed, threatened, delayed, searched and questioned by so many cops it's ridiculous. I live in a pretty nice area right outside of a city, so I have a bit of a drive to get into an area where people don't automatically call police when they hear gunshots.


Even so, I've had 2 helicopters circle overhead, had numerous guns drawn on me as I was searched, had my serial numbers taken down probably 100 times, been asked 100's of times whether my AR is fully auto, and in general have just been harrassed whenever I go shooting.


It used to be every time I went shooting, state and local police would come with a half hour. We used to leave someone out at our cars to talk to the police, in order that they didn't come out after us with guns drawn. That happened once too.


The point is, each time I have gone shooting, it has been on land that more than meets the legal requirements ... ie, I know the owner and have permission, required distance from the road, safe backstop, etc. This has not meant anything to 99% of the police I have dealt with, as they seem to think they can bully us around and threaten us with legal trouble, since we are "only" college kids.


As such, my advice is to talk to a good, reliable, gun related lawyer in addition to talking to state/local authorities. Preferably, talk to one before going to see them, as then you will be armed with the true laws and interpretations and you can call police out on their crap if they try and give it to you.


And of course, this is not to say that all police will hassle you or lie to you, I'm just saying to double check your sources. In my experience, what a cop tells me I "can't do" often times is nothing more than what he doesn't want me to do.

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"Even so, I've had 2 helicopters circle overhead, had numerous guns drawn on me as I was searched, had my serial numbers taken down probably 100 times, been asked 100's of times whether my AR is fully auto, and in general have just been harrassed whenever I go shooting."


DANG Bro, assuming that you go shooting EVERY weekend (something I WISH I could do), that's a contact and serial number run EVERY week for almost 2 years straight!! If that's the case, I SERIOUSLY suggest looking for a new shooting spot!


"It used to be every time I went shooting, state and local police would come with a half hour. We used to leave someone out at our cars to talk to the police, in order that they didn't come out after us with guns drawn. That happened once too."


Dude, in all honesty, would you want to walk up to someone armed with and shooting an AR WITHOUT having a weapon drawn--just in case they aren't nice folks and happy to see you??? (that NEVER happens, does it?). I'd be willing to bet that you could probably turn aroung in the middle of a shot string, and get a good sight picture LONG before the approaching Officers could even clear leather, if you were so inclined. Now thinking rationally, if it was your job to contact these persons, and you had no choice as to whether or not you actually felt like responding to this type of call today, would YOU want to risk you ability to go home to your family that night, by walking up to the scene with your gun in the holster, and HOPING that these are just nice folks who can't seem to pick a spot to shoot at which isn't so close to neighbors/residents/businesses, that they are called on immediately every weekend for 2 years straight?


Me personally, I would (and have) HAPPILY thrown my weapons down when being contacted by Law Enforcement. You will always have time to explain yourself and your actions later, but the time of first contact is not the time to argue, hesitate, or be a smartass--keep in mind, these people do not know who you are or your intentions. For all they know, you could be out shooting stolen weapons, getting ready to knock over a circle K. Or you could be an Al Qiada cell preparing for jihad. Or it could simply be an ambush by someone who just dont like the Police.


Having muzzles pointed at me is not a feeling that I personally enjoy, so I would be VERY compliant when given orders. I want the Police to know that I am NOT a threat to them, and if it means lying down in the dirt and getting handcuffed until they can sort things out, then I'm dirtying up my clothes, cause the last thing I want is a Police Officer to walk up to the scene, realize he is grossly out--gunned, then have to question whether or not I'm going to try and hurt him.


As for being questioned as to wheter or not your AR is "fully auto" and running your serial numbers, think about this logically. Who do you think is calling the Police on you every weekend for 2 years straight? Knowlegable gun owners? Based on the frequency of contacts you have had, I would speculate that you are shooting in an area which is at least close enough to population centers where the average citizenery can clearly hear you and the report of your weapons. Do you think that the AVERAGE citizen can tell the difference between rapid fire (which I'm sure you NEVER do with your AR :), multiple persons shooting semi-automatics, and full-auto fire? The extent of a large percentage of the population's experience with firearms is what they see on TV and the movies. These are likely the same types of people that think that the Police can just pull up a realtime image from a satellite feed and read the serial numbers off the side of your receiver enroute to the scene---just like on CSI!!


If they were responding to a call of an armed nazi militia group shooting full--autos near an residential area, the quickest way for Officers to clear this call would be to be able to call the reporting party back up and tell them that they showed up, contacted the subjects, checked their weapons, and found that they were not stolen, there was no crime, etc, etc, etc, next call please.


One point to keep in mind is that 90% of rank and file Law Enforcement is staunchly PRO-GUN. In fact, the vast majority (including those who don't consider themselves "Gun nuts") have an appreciation for fine weapons, and the responsible use thereof. Most will even admit a secret fondness for the smell of gun oil :).


Sorry to go off topic here--I'm not trying to trash you or anything, I just think that all too many times, people react to the Police adversarily, rather than taking the time to look at the situation from an objective standpoint, or the respondingn Officer's point of view.


Duckhunt--if you are able to, one of the best resources can be found in your local library. They should have current copies of your jurisdiction's Penal Code, Criminal Statutes, or whatever they call it in you neck of the woods. Often you can even find Peace Officer's Sourcebooks and other guides which break down the Legalese into soemwhat more palatable language (kinda like "Criminal law for dummies"). Keep in mind that although there may be no federal or state law regarding a particular topic, local municipalities may have laws regarding specific topics, so my advice would be to read up, then contact your local Law Enforcment agency and explain that you are a "law abinding citizen, want to do right, and would like clarification on......................"



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To clarify.


I know that police like guns. I beleive most of them recognize what weapons I have and what they are capable of, and respect them as quality instruments. However, police around here do not seem to like these types of weapons being in the hands of "kids".


As far as how often I went shooting, it used to be just about every day last summer. I once went through 1000 rounds of 223 in under a week. Not cheap dirty wolf rounds either.


I fully understand police doing their duty and checking to make sure the weapons are not stolen/wanted/etc. However, being hassled about shooting in legal spots repeatedly, time and time again, really starts to get on your nerves.


Case in point: At one point we had permission to use this huge open field in the middle of nowhere. It was a cornfield right after harvest, a bunch of empty rolling hills and woods surrounding it. 200+ acres I beleive.


The first few times we shot there police came, giving various reasons ... someone driving by saw us/heard shots, neighbors heard shots, police saw us on patrol, etc. Not a big deal, as it was a new location and we expected this.


So we started calling ahead before we went here, leaving a message with the operator of the police station, telling them where we would be at what time and leaving a number we could be reached at. The operater was very friendly, and said she'd relay the message to officers in the field in order that they wouldn't be surprised by our activities.


After doing this, I was quite surprised/annoyed when 4, yes, 4 police cars arrived on the scene and both state and local police came out toward us. The exact words of the local cop as soon as we came into hearing distance:


"You guys are done here. We just got a bunch of noise complaints, you guys are done."


The local cops said they never heard a word from the operator ... they said that she certainly didn't know the law, and that "that's what we're here for son". They said that since they had gotten a noise complaint, we were no longer allowed to shoot here, and had to leave. This one cop examined my AR for a good 10 minutes, and kept asking if it was full auto or "just" 3 round burst. I couldn't beleive it.


This is just one spot out of a dozen or so locations where I have been needlessly and pointlessly harrassed by police that have no legal legs to stand on. We were shooting on private property, a good distance from the road, with a good backstop, with permission of the owner, with clean weapons obtained legally. We were still kicked off and treated like criminals just the same.


That being said, I never have argued with a police officer while holding a gun. That's just begging for something to go wrong.


As soon as I see police cars roll up, my weapon is cleared, set down or even cased. We then walk over to talk to the police, in order that they don't have to come out into what they could consider a potentially hostile area.


I've had my fair share of disagreements on location with police over our right to shoot, but very rarely do they concede any points to me, and I normally end up leaving in order to avoid further escalation. It is ridiculously annoying to have every legal right to shoot somewhere and still have to obey a cop and leave for the sake of peace.


Various friends have put in formal complaints when situations like this happen, but I never have. Little good has ever come of them, as the same type of thing kept happening over and over. I almost gave up shooting at one point, as the sheer enjoyment of shooting was constantly being trampled by police probing.


Either way, it's a much safer route to argue your points as a civilian in a police station rather than as an armed potential threat in a remote field.


As far as automatic gunfire goes, just about every noise complaint we have ever had has included this. I've been followed out into the woods before by a police Explorer, and when the cops heard a single AK dumping a 40 round clip at an empty keg, they flanked us. They told us that machineguns were illegal in the US, and that we were all under arrest. How ridiculous. My friend ended up handed his weapon to the cop, telling him it was not full auto, and telling him to see for himself. The cop emptied to rest of the clip, beleive it or not. They left shortly after. Come to think of it, we probably could have gotten them in trouble, as I don't think police officers are supposed to be discharging weapons as tests of legality.


Oh, all this aside, I almost got arrested the first day I had my benelli. My friend bought it at 8pm, decided he didn't want it by midnight, and sold it to me by 1. I couldn't wait till morning to try it out, so I went out to one of our "safest" spots to try it out. Apparently the sound of 00 buck being dumped at 3 AM carries a ways, as 4 police officers with spotlights come out after me. Ooops. I told them I just couldn't wait for morning, and that I was just testing it out. They didn't seem very amused.



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Thats pretty tough, :mad: I am glad to say that I have never had an experance like that. Where I am at, you have to drive 20 miles just to get a jug of milk. ALL of my neaghbors have a 223 or shotgun in their pickup and this is normal :D One thing that people in Texas should know about is this, It is criminal Trespassing if you walk onto some ones land with a firearm, AND you DON"T have permission to be there. You will lose your firearm in the end. Other than that, the law enforcement is pretty easy to get along with if you obey the rules.



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Not to beat a dead Horse, but again, if you want to shoot regularly and the Police keep getting called on you, I'd say that you're probably shooting too close to inhabited areas/nosey neighbors. I don't know what jurisdiction you live in or what the law on disturbing the peace is there, but in most areas, there is usually some sort of blanket "Disturbing the peace" law which states that it is unlawful for any person to disturb the peace of another at any time, day or night. Where I come from, that law is broken down into three catagories: public fighting, loud or unreasonable noise , or words likely to incite an immediate and violent reaction--also known as 'Fightin words!' ("Your Benelli is ugly!" works for me :). Now if the responding Officers told you that they had received a noise complaint, and that you must now stop, I would speculate that you probably have some sort of similar "Disturbing the Peace" law in your area. If so, they probably chose to tell you to leave rather than arresting you, or issuing you a citation.


As for discharging a shotgun at 3:00am, DUDE--if that didn't draw Police attention, I would be WORRIED WHAT WOULD. Sufficient to say, we live in somewhat anti-gun times right now, and until the public's perception about firearms and personal responsibilty changes, certain people will likely continue to call Police when they hear or see people shooting. Remember--Police don't get a choice of which calls they respond to, and what laws they have to enforce. They are paid to enforce all the laws--not just the popular ones. Even so, Police are given a great deal of discretion, and it sounds to me like they have used that discretion with you on probably more than one occasion.


No one like to be shut down when they go shooting, and it sucks that there are increasingly fewer and fewer places nearby to shoot, but common sense should prevail--shooting shotgun at 3:00am=Cops will likely show up. Shooting at same location that Cops have previously told you not to shoot at due to noise complaints=Cops will likely show up. Shooting at range=Cops not likely to show up. Shooting on designated public lands, or private land with few/far away neighbors=Cops not likely to show up.




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