OK, I've been away from the forum for 3 or 4 years. Just haven't had the time but it's good to be back. Although I am a Texan, I do not live there now. I'm retired military, my last duty station was in Florida and I'm still stuck in Florida.As long as it is concealed. No duty to inform but it would probably be a good idea.
Thanks. That's what I was looking for. I was sure there was a requirement to inform. It's such a pain to read the 'Texas Concealed Handgun Laws'. It never has been reader friendly but it seems to just be getting worse and worse. I wish the state legislature would clean it up a bit to make it easier to comprehend.The duty to inform is part of the CHL law. I do not believe that it is specifically required under the Motorist Protection Act (which is the law that allows those without CHL's to conceal handguns on or about their person in their vehicle).
Here's an excerpt from 411.205 Requirement To Display License:
If a license holder is carrying a handgun on or about the license holder's person when a magistrate or a peace
officer demands that the license holder display identification, the license holder shall display both the license
holder's driver's license or identification certificate issued by the department and the license holder's handgun
Two things to bear in mind:
-There is no legal penalty specified for failure to display your CHL...but it's still required by law. You got your CHL (or made sure that you were legal undert the motorist protection act) before you carried, so why not continue to abide by the law?
-Even if you're not a CHL holder, it's a good idea to let them know. Understand that a traffic stop is stressful for any LEO...they have no idea who's in the vehicle, and what your intentions are. No matter how prepared they are, they are automatically at a disadvantage if someone is armed and bent on doing them harm - action is faster than reaction.I go out of my way to make it easy for them to see that I'm not going to be a difficult traffic stop - dome light on, window down, hands easily visible on the top of the steering wheel, and no rummaging around inside the car as they are walking up.
If you choose not to inform them and they subsequently determine that there is a handgun in the vehicle, they are likely to respond in a negative manner. Even if you are 100% legal to posess that handgun, the traffic stop will probably not be anywhere near as "quick & painless" as it otherwise would have been.
Treating a LEO that's stopped you for a traffic violation like a professional with a job to do is the one thing under your control that is most likely to get them to issue the least punitive citation that they are able to under the circumstances. Informing them plainly and politely of the fact that you are legally armed falls in this same category - you are doing them a courtesy. If you are calm, polite, and courteous, it will reduce the chances that a LEO will feel the urge to throw the proverbial book at you.