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  1. #1
    Devon is offline Junior Member Devon is on a distinguished road
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    question about cops carrying guns?

    ok, i have seen some police officers carrying their guns on their belt with their badge on their belt while in civilian clothes. can cops do that whenever they want? because i thought they all had conceled weapons permits, so wouldnt they have to conceal their guns. i live in california, so i was just curious because its something i've seen a few times. is there a law that says they have to display their badge if openly carrying a gun? or are they just supposed to conceal it

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    This will be more of an officer preference sort of thing, I believe.

    There are a few of the guys in my office who will wear their shield on their belt in civies. There are a few who wear it on the belt even though they are in BDUs with a cloth shield on the chest. Other than on the Class A uniforms I wore waiting for my BDUs I have never worn my shield. It is readily available on a neck chain if needed, but I have never worn it, even in plain clothes.

    In AZ you do not need a CCW or permit to carry a pistol on your belt. A CCW is needed only if you are concealing a loaded weapon, including in your vehicle depending on location.

    As a federal agent, I carry on my credentials, not on a permit of any kind. Most of the state policies that I have heard of allow the police officer to carry that way. I understand Texas has an issue with the federal creds however. I have never encountered it myself, but was told about it by others in my academy class. So far I have never left a TX airport, so I may never know.

    The only time I know I have to conceal my weapon is on an aircraft by airline policy. Concealing my weapon on a surveillance would be common sense, but I do not believe it is mandated.
    Last edited by Sierra; 06-27-09 at 06:15 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devon View Post
    ok, i have seen some police officers carrying their guns on their belt with their badge on their belt while in civilian clothes. can cops do that whenever they want?
    Typically this would be a detective/investigator, an officer who is in training or doing something other than patrol, or something else not requiring a uniform.

    Quote Originally Posted by Devon View Post
    because i thought they all had conceled weapons permits
    Cops don't need conceal carry permits. The law gives them authority to carry weapons (concealed or open). But no, cops do not have to conceal their weapons by law (though some agencies may require by policy that plainclothes investigators carry concealed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Devon View Post
    is there a law that says they have to display their badge if openly carrying a gun? or are they just supposed to conceal it
    I'm not familiar with CA laws, but in both VA and AL where I've lived, cops and regular citizens can carry a weapon open carry, with no badge next to it. Not always popular, but it's legal.

    As I said above, there's no law saying cops must carry firearms concealed if in plainclothes, but all that I know do wear their badge next to their weapon if in plain clothes so as to identify themselves as law enforcement (since they are not in a police uniform).


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    If we are working in civilian clothes with the weapon showing, our department wants to display the badge on the belt, near the holster.

    If we are working in civilian clothes, with weapon concealed, the badge does not have to be in plain view.

    If are off-duty, the agency does not require anything on carrying except encouraging range qual with the weapon being carried.

    If off-duty, I normally carry concealed. I do not need a concealed permit being a certified peace officer. Sometimes, such as riding my MC, or 4x4ing in the boonies, I carry it open, no badge showing.

    It all depends on what I am doing and where I am at.
    Last edited by Cat_Doc; 06-27-09 at 07:19 PM.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sierra View Post
    I understand Texas has an issue with the federal creds however. I have never encountered it myself, but was told about it by others in my academy class. So far I have never left a TX airport, so I may never know.

    Nope. In Texas Federal LEOs are termed "special investigators" and are exempt from our Handgun Carry prohibition laws and our "places weapons prohibited" laws.


    Texas Code of Criminal Procedure
    Art. 2.122. SPECIAL INVESTIGATORS. (a) The following named criminal investigators of the United States shall not be deemed peace officers, but shall have the powers of arrest, search and seizure as to felony offenses only under the laws of the State of Texas:

    (1) Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation;

    (2) Special Agents of the Secret Service;

    (3) Special Agents of the United States Customs Service;

    (4) Special Agents of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms;

    (5) Special Agents of Federal Drug Enforcement Agency;

    (6) Inspectors of the United States Postal Service;

    (7) Special Agents of the Criminal Investigation Division and Inspectors of the Internal Security Division of the Internal Revenue Service;

    (8) Civilian Special Agents of the United States Naval Investigative Service;

    (9) Marshals and Deputy Marshals of the United States Marshals Service;

    (10) Special Agents of the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service; and

    (11) Special Agents of the United States Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security.

    (b) A person designated as a special policeman by the Federal Protective Services division of the General Services Administration under 40 U.S.C. Section 318 or 318d is not a peace officer but has the powers of arrest and search and seizure as to any offense under the laws of this state.

    (c) A customs inspector of the United States Customs Service or a border patrolman or immigration officer of the United States Department of Justice is not a peace officer under the laws of this state but, on the premises of a port facility designated by the commissioner of the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service as a port of entry for arrival in the United States by land transportation from the United Mexican States into the State of Texas or at a permanent established border patrol traffic check point, has the authority to detain a person pending transfer without unnecessary delay to a peace officer if the inspector, patrolman, or officer has probable cause to believe that the person has engaged in conduct that is a violation of Section 49.02, 49.04, 49.07, or 49.08, Penal Code, regardless of whether the violation may be disposed of in a criminal proceeding or a juvenile justice proceeding.

    (d) A commissioned law enforcement officer of the National Park Service is not a peace officer under the laws of this state, except that the officer has the powers of arrest, search, and seizure as to any offense under the laws of this state committed within the boundaries of a national park or national recreation area. In this subsection, "national park or national recreation area" means a national park or national recreation area included in the National Park System as defined by 16 U.S.C. Section 1c(a).

    (e) A Special Agent or Law Enforcement Officer of the United States Forest Service is not a peace officer under the laws of this state, except that the agent or officer has the powers of arrest, search, and seizure as to any offense under the laws of this state committed within the National Forest System. In this subsection, "National Forest System" has the meaning assigned by 16 U.S.C. Section 1609.

    (f) Security personnel working at a commercial nuclear power plant, including contract security personnel, trained and qualified under a security plan approved by the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, are not peace officers under the laws of this state, except that such personnel have the powers of arrest, search, and seizure, including the powers under Section 9.51, Penal Code, while in the performance of their duties on the premises of a commercial nuclear power plant site or under agreements entered into with local law enforcement regarding areas surrounding the plant site.

    (g) In addition to the powers of arrest, search, and seizure under Subsection (a), a Special Agent of the Secret Service protecting a person described by 18 U.S.C. Section 3056(a) or investigating a threat against a person described by 18 U.S.C. Section 3056(a) has the powers of arrest, search, and seizure as to:

    (1) misdemeanor offenses under the laws of this state; and

    (2) any criminal offense under federal law.


    Hopefully you are in that list. :p

    Here are the relevent Weapons laws;

    Texas Penal Code
    Sec. 46.02. UNLAWFUL CARRYING WEAPONS. (a) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his or her person a handgun, illegal knife, or club if the person is not:

    (1) on the person's own premises or premises under the person's control; or

    (2) inside of or directly en route to a motor vehicle that is owned by the person or under the person's control.

    (a-1) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his or her person a handgun in a motor vehicle that is owned by the person or under the person's control at any time in which:

    (1) the handgun is in plain view; or

    (2) the person is:

    (A) engaged in criminal activity, other than a Class C misdemeanor that is a violation of a law or ordinance regulating traffic;

    (B) prohibited by law from possessing a firearm; or

    (C) a member of a criminal street gang, as defined by Section 71.01.







    Sec. 46.03. PLACES WEAPONS PROHIBITED. (a) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly possesses or goes with a firearm, illegal knife, club, or prohibited weapon listed in Section 46.05(a):

    (1) on the physical premises of a school or educational institution, any grounds or building on which an activity sponsored by a school or educational institution is being conducted, or a passenger transportation vehicle of a school or educational institution, whether the school or educational institution is public or private, unless pursuant to written regulations or written authorization of the institution;

    (2) on the premises of a polling place on the day of an election or while early voting is in progress;

    (3) on the premises of any government court or offices utilized by the court, unless pursuant to written regulations or written authorization of the court;

    (4) on the premises of a racetrack;

    (5) in or into a secured area of an airport; or

    (6) within 1,000 feet of premises the location of which is designated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice as a place of execution under Article 43.19, Code of Criminal Procedure, on a day that a sentence of death is set to be imposed on the designated premises and the person received notice that:

    (A) going within 1,000 feet of the premises with a weapon listed under this subsection was prohibited; or

    (B) possessing a weapon listed under this subsection within 1,000 feet of the premises was prohibited


    Here is the law that excepts you from those laws.....

    Texas Penal Code
    Sec. 46.15. NONAPPLICABILITY.

    (a) Sections 46.02 and 46.03 do not apply to:

    (1) peace officers or special investigators under Article 2.122, Code of Criminal Procedure, and neither section prohibits a peace officer or special investigator from carrying a weapon in this state, including in an establishment in this state serving the public, regardless of whether the peace officer or special investigator is engaged in the actual discharge of the officer's or investigator's duties while carrying the weapon;

    So carry away. :D
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devon View Post
    ok, i have seen some police officers carrying their guns on their belt with their badge on their belt while in civilian clothes. can cops do that whenever they want? because i thought they all had conceled weapons permits, so wouldnt they have to conceal their guns. i live in california, so i was just curious because its something i've seen a few times. is there a law that says they have to display their badge if openly carrying a gun? or are they just supposed to conceal it
    So they have their badge on their belt and you're asking if they have to display their badge???

    I'm not quite sure if your questioning if they can carry anywhere, or if they have to have a permit. So no, they don't have to have a permit. Being a sworn Police Officer is their permit. Police are exempt under HR218.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by txinvestigator1 View Post
    (c) A customs inspector of the United States Customs Service or a border patrolman or immigration officer of the United States Department of Justice is not a peace officer under the laws of this state
    Not all federal Agents are "special investigators". I've run into this problem before with a TX DPS Trooper. I've even heard that there are instructors at the DPS academy that teach new Troopers that USBP agents are not allowed to carry off duty. This came to a head one day during a traffic stop :mad:

    Trooper stated that since USBP agents were not considered peace officers in Texas we were not allowed to carry off duty. I guess here in Texas the whole federal law giving us the right to carry off duty dosen't count :rolleyes:

    It seems when this law was written they specifically excluded USBP Agents from the list. Something about the rich ranchers being P.O.'ed that we were taking all the cheep labor from their ranches.

    I'm not sure where IEA's would fall under Texas law as DHS, & ICE wern't around when the law was written.
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  8. #8
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    Texas Code of Criminal Procedure
    Art. 2.122. SPECIAL INVESTIGATORS. (a) The following named criminal investigators of the United States shall not be deemed peace officers, but shall have the powers of arrest, search and seizure as to felony offenses only under the laws of the State of Texas:

    (10) Special Agents of the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service; and

    If we go with INS becoming ICE, I could arguably fall in here. However:
    1) I don't ride the short bus with a bike helmet
    2) I don't take 2 hours to do a 15 minute report
    3) Can tie my own shoes without help
    so I am not a Special Agent. ;) So how does that affect me or the BP?



    (c) A customs inspector of the United States Customs Service or a border patrolman or immigration officer of the United States Department of Justice is not a peace officer under the laws of this state but, on the premises of a port facility designated by the commissioner of the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service as a port of entry for arrival in the United States by land transportation from the United Mexican States into the State of Texas or at a permanent established border patrol traffic check point, has the authority to detain a person pending transfer without unnecessary delay to a peace officer if the inspector, patrolman, or officer has probable cause to believe that the person has engaged in conduct that is a violation of Section 49.02, 49.04, 49.07, or 49.08, Penal Code, regardless of whether the violation may be disposed of in a criminal proceeding or a juvenile justice proceeding.

    As an IEA I am an immigration officer but I don't work either one of those. Most BP Agents will probably be in the field and not at a checkpoint. So what happens if an IEA or BPA make an arrest somewhere else? The guy who told me about the TX issues was a BPA in TX before becoming ICE who had been pulled over by a Trooper.
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    Damn, I would never mess with off-duty BP carrying concealed. I wouldn't mess with any US cops carrying concealed, Federal or State.

    Mexico police? Oh yeah, no slack there; but there is a good reason. :mad:

    British? I'd invite them to come out and shoot the AR-15 as long as they did not jizz all over the place and embarrass me. :eek:
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    Well here state law dictates I can carry anywhere at any time, with any weapon open or concealed. However policy dictates I can do all of that except if I am consuming alcohol. CCW not required.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BP348 View Post
    Not all federal Agents are "special investigators". I've run into this problem before with a TX DPS Trooper.
    Does not matter. If you are on the list you ARE a Special Investigator and can carry off duty under Texas law.
    I've even heard that there are instructors at the DPS academy that teach new Troopers that USBP agents are not allowed to carry off duty. This came to a head one day during a traffic stop :mad:
    Who does USBP agents work for?

    Trooper stated that since USBP agents were not considered peace officers in Texas we were not allowed to carry off duty.
    He was wrong. Special Investigators on that list are exempt from our cary laws. They do not NEED to be peace officers.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by txinvestigator1 View Post
    Does not matter. If you are on the list you ARE a Special Investigator and can carry off duty under Texas law. Who does USBP agents work for?

    He was wrong. Special Investigators on that list are exempt from our cary laws. They do not NEED to be peace officers.

    Neither BP348 or I fall into this area. We are not Special Agents, hence Special Investigators, of our respective agencies. Special Agents are Series 1811. I am 1801, I don't know what a BPA is. Big Sexy and ROS fall into this area of coverage.

    The closest I see is where BPAs and immigration officers (referring to specifically CBP Officers, not ICE, but the argument can be made) are authorized at a port or checkpoint.
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    Quote Originally Posted by txinvestigator1 View Post
    Does not matter. If you are on the list you ARE a Special Investigator and can carry off duty under Texas law.
    TX,

    I think he is saying that the list is only representative of some of the federal law enforcement agencies. There are still several dozens not listed, who are full Federal LEO's.

    For example, none of the OIG's are listed. There are 88 Federal LE Agencies. The Texas law applies to roughly 16 or 17 depending how you read it. What about the other 71-72?
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    BIG remembers this argument from his time as a BPA in Texas. Bottom line was, if your creds say you can carry & agency policys allow you to carry, you can carry.

    Federal trumps state. You don't need the states recognition to carry on duty nor preform your duties, same applies to off duty.

    Most of that verbage applies to if you've been given peace officer status, by the state. BIG heard one of the reasons BPA's weren't on the list, because at the time INS didn't want them on the list. When BIG was BPA, we routinely assisted with robberies, bar fights, domestics, drunk drivers, barricaded subject & suicides, whilst assisting the locals & counties. We even had a small community go to our chief & requested a full time BP presence in their community, instead of the state or county. The arguement for excluding BPA's that BIG heard, involved our getting involved with local LE calls. If we were granted peace officer status, we'd be more obligated to assist, instead of the discretion that we then exercised. That's what BIG heard. When BIG left the patrol, there were more BPA's between Del Rio & Brownsville, then city cops, county deputies & DPS troopers combined. Now even more so, since the patrol is now a bonafide monster when it comes to numbers of agents.

    We also had a Sgt. appear in our area from somewhere else in Texas, who was under the impression we could not carry off duty. By policy, INS & Customs Inspectors couldn't, but BPA's did not have that issue. The Sgt. was being a knucklehead & initially didn't want to listen to his Troops, who informed him we could. He told them to arrest us, if they came across us carrying off duty. Mind you, the Troopers depended on us for backup, more than anyone else. They knew all they had to do was ask & we'd be there. They even went so far as to have our freqs programed into their radios.

    Our bosses told us if you're arrested for it, don't resist & go along with the program. After it was said & done, the State of Texas would be financing our kids college educations & buying us those big homes we always dreamed about.

    In the end, someone put a bug in his ear & he quickly reveresed himself.
    Last edited by Big Sexy; 06-29-09 at 05:02 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BP348 View Post
    Not all federal Agents are "special investigators". I've run into this problem before with a TX DPS Trooper. I've even heard that there are instructors at the DPS academy that teach new Troopers that USBP agents are not allowed to carry off duty. This came to a head one day during a traffic stop :mad:

    Trooper stated that since USBP agents were not considered peace officers in Texas we were not allowed to carry off duty. I guess here in Texas the whole federal law giving us the right to carry off duty dosen't count :rolleyes:

    It seems when this law was written they specifically excluded USBP Agents from the list. Something about the rich ranchers being P.O.'ed that we were taking all the cheep labor from their ranches.

    I'm not sure where IEA's would fall under Texas law as DHS, & ICE wern't around when the law was written.
    None of this really matters anymore, as LEOSA was implemented to alleviate any confusion between states' rights versus federal regulations, with regards to LEOs carrying weapons.
    Chuck

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