Concealed Carry

The Fast and the Furious: the Law on Road Rage in Texas

We get asked all the time, “How does the law in Texas apply to a Road Rage situation?” We asked Michele Byington, an attorney at the law firm of Walker & Byington, to give us her analysis based on a fact scenario to see how it would play out.

A membership in Texas Law Shield is like insurance against the worst that could happen.
A membership in Texas Law Shield is like insurance against the worst that could happen.

Facts

Matt is on his way home from work, and it’s been a typical Monday at the office. He’s exhausted and looking forward to relaxing for the remainder of the evening with his family.

While entering the on-ramp to the freeway, In the rear view mirror, Matt sees an erratic driver coming up from behind weaving in and out of traffic. The driver speeds up only to slam on his breaks to avoid hitting the car in front of him. The driver uses the shoulder to pass other motorists. In an effort to avoid the maniac, Matt slows down. The driver jerks into the left passing lane. Staying in the right-hand lane, Matt slows down even more.

The driver cuts off Matt almost hitting the front of his vehicle. The driver slams on his brakes coming nearly to a stop. To avoid rear ending him, Matt swerves onto the right shoulder. The driver swerves onto the right shoulder as well. Matt thinks, “Is he messin’ with me?

Matt slowly veers back into the right-hand lane of traffic, and sure enough, the driver jerks in front of him—again! Trying to escape the situation, Matt puts on his blinker, and pulls off into a gas station on the feeder road. The maniac quickly exits as well, and follows Matt to the gas station parking lot.

Matt grabs his cellphone and calls 911, reports the road rage and that he has been followed to the parking lot. There is movement in the other vehicle. Fearing for his safety, he grabs his concealed handgun from the center console and puts it on the windshield’s dash as a warning to the other driver. Matt’s purpose is to deter the driver from exiting his vehicle since the last thing he wants is any further confrontation. Neither party exists their vehicle as they sit and stare at each other.

When the police arrive, Matt quickly puts the handgun back into the center console so as not to pose any threat to a responding police officer. After all, Matt doesn’t want the police to think he was the aggressor. He exits the vehicle and locks the doors. The police notify Matt that once they finish speaking with the other driver, he will have the opportunity to tell his side of the story. After a few minutes, an officer approaches and states, “Ok bud, tell me what happened.”

Matt tells the story from start to finish leaving out no details including that he put his handgun on the dashboard because he “didn’t know what the other driver was going to do.” The officer responds with, “That’s what I needed to know. Please turn around and put your hands behind your back. You are being arrested for Aggravated Assault.”

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The Law

Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon – A person commits an offense if the person intentionally or knowingly threatens another with imminent bodily injury and uses or exhibits a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault. Texas Penal Code Section 22.02.

Legal Analysis Breakdown

Did Matt intentionally or knowingly act?

Yes. It is fair to say that Matt knew exactly what he was doing when he consciously took his handgun from the center console and placed it on the dash.

Did Matt threaten another with imminent bodily harm?

Yes. Since the other driver saw the handgun placed on Matt’s dash, he probably told the police officer that it put him in fear of being shot.

Did he exhibit a deadly weapon during the assault? 

Yes. Matt placed the handgun in plain view by setting it on the dashboard so that the other driver would see it.

Things don’t look so good for Matt, do they? Does he have a chance in court?

Maybe.

What is our argument?

TXLawShieldBear

If I were representing Matt, I would lean very heavily on Texas Penal Code section 9.04. That justification statute states “…a threat to cause death or serious injury by the production of a weapon or otherwise, as long as the actor’s purpose is limited to creating an apprehension that he will use deadly force if necessary, does not constitute the use of deadly force.”

What does that mean in plain English? A person who threatens another by the display of a handgun is considered to have used force as long as it was done to scare the other person to get them to stop their unlawful use of force. Further, Texas allows a person to use force to defend themselves anytime they reasonably believe it is immediately necessary due to the danger of bodily injury; i.e., the aggressive driver’s unlawful force. It is an act to deter and nothing else. Let’s put this law to the test with the facts at hand.

Matt was minding his own business trying to make it home after a long day at work. All of a sudden, an erratic driver comes upon him. In an effort to avoid the entire situation, he pulls over and is followed. My argument would be that Matt was in reasonable fear that this madman was going to get out of his car and either attempt to enter Matt’s vehicle or at a minimum hurt him. Therefore, when Matt put his handgun on the dash, it was in order to deter or create apprehension in the other driver to prevent him from exiting his vehicle. This is a guy who trouble came looking for him not vice versa.

What do you think? Do you buy this argument?

Unfortunately, a jury gets to hear from both the defense attorney, and a prosecutor. A prosecutor is going to hound that Matt absolutely committed an aggravated assault without any justification because the threat of force or potentially deadly force was not imminent. Remember, in order to be legally justified in using force or deadly force there must be an imminent threat. A prosecutor is going to attempt to capitalize on the other driver being in his own vehicle and Matt in a 2-ton metallic safety box of a vehicle, and thus there is no imminent threat.

Keep in mind that the aggressive driver is going to have a chance to tell his version of the story too; and since there was no cell phone video, surveillance video in the parking lot, or independent witnesses, it is Matt’s word versus his. We’ve seen cases go to trial on literally nothing more than “he-said-she-said” evidence, so don’t think that just because there are no other witnesses and it’s a battle of credibility that it’s an automatic get-out-of-jail free card.

Who decides whether Matt goes to jail or not?

A police officer may arrest and individual if they have probable cause that a crime has been committed. The crux of the issue is whether or not Matt acted “reasonably.” Reasonable minds can differ. I speak all over the state, and even Texas Law Shield members disagree on whether Matt acted reasonably. It is safe to say that most Texas Law Shield members are somewhat like-minded. Ultimately, the jurors (12 random people, with differing backgrounds and views on gun ownership) will decide whether Matt acted reasonably. Sometimes, taking a case to trial really is a coin flip with your life. With Matt’s case, I think a jury could go either way.

What would have made this a slam dunk of a case? In order for this to be an absolute slam dunk case for Matt, a few things would definitely help. For example, if the driver attempted to get into Matt’s vehicle—a castle doctrine scenario—a person is given the presumption of reasonableness. If that were to happen, Matt would walk into the courtroom already reasonable. Another thing that would make life easier is if the aggressive driver exited his vehicle and displayed a deadly weapon, which would cause Matt to pull his handgun in response. If one of these facts isn’t present, there is no clear win to this scenario.

Finally, it would have been helpful if he had called his attorney before talking to the police. We’ve seen people, while they’re trying to talk themselves out of an arrest, talk themselves into a felony charge. The police are at the scene to gather evidence, and are not judges who decide who was right or wrong. Since your freedom and rights are at risk depending on what you tell the officer, it may be a good idea to call your Texas Law Shield emergency hotline to get advice from an attorney!

Originally posted on the Texas Law Shield Blog

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (47)

  1. In my opinion there are 2 things that’s have helped to bring this once great nation to its present state of affairs … Stinking lawyers AND polititions , although you could call them the same kind of cockroaches . just cousins … what gives the out of control driver the right to ” play ” with you and you family’s life/wellbeing ? .you better believe a off duty lawdog or the mayor would surly have faired better than just a ” working slug-bug nobody citizen” ..… just my opinion…..????

    1. And that, my friend, is why we need to stand up firmly for our rights. Unfortunately, you are very probably absolutely right.

    2. No, it’s lack of education. Trailer parks full of people with a 9th grade education that can’t spell and don’t understand how anything really works.

      The demonization of education is a travesty. This has led the uneducated to distrust and dismiss the opinions of educated people.

    3. Which “educated” people should we trust? The Clintons or the Grubers of the world? “Trust me, I know what is best for you.”

      I don’t think so. Education = freedom.

  2. In Maine we have a 2nd amendment right to carry a firearm on our person whether it is open carry or concealed.

  3. Matt attempted to escape the situation, and was pursued. IMO, that alone should constitute a threat unless the aggressor simply got out of his car, and walked in the store to buy something. To follow someone to a parking lot and remain in your car, as if you are watching for him to get out of his car, should constitute a threat. Especially since he didn’t drive off when he saw the gun. You shouldn’t be able to say you felt threatened or assaulted when you had a way of escape that you chose not to use. Especially when you are the one that followed “Matt” into the parking lot.

  4. You are allowed to have a firearm, concealed or not, on your own property. You can therefore carry it back and forth to your car, in which you conceal it. If you have a license to carry, when you arrive at your destination, you can carry your firearm. If you don’t have an LTC, the firearm needs to remain in your car, concealed.

    1. You have got to be kidding me! Texas cannot be that naive about “conceal carry”! As a resident of Maine our concealed carry laws are WAY different. It is NOT just on your own property, but concealed on your person except for state buildings and state parks or property on which it is clearly posted “No Firearms”

    2. While we Texans enjoy a fair degree of freedom in where we carry of keep our weapons, we are NOT barred from carrying them in all state buildings. In fact, at the state capitol building, all licensed carriers are free to enter with their handguns, while unlicensed individuals must pass through metal detectors. As one who has been carrying for over 50 years, I marvel at the ludicrous idea that there really are places where we are not allowed to carry our weapons. It has never made any sense to me that hospitals, schools, courtrooms, and the like are off-limits to the carry of firearms, since by posting these venues as such literally turns them into killing fields for criminals who seek to attack an unarmed population. In these cases, many concealed carriers simply ignore the prohibition and, and as long as there is no metal detector, they carry their pieces anyway. If one does not act like they are carrying, one is not likely to be bothered by somebody who may be monitoring the situation. Now, if you want naivete, try this one…..Licensed carriers are prohibited from carrying their weapons inside the premises where a gun show is held. THAT one really does boggle the imagination.

    3. We here in Tennessee also enjoy open or concealed carry but only with a permission slip from the Big Brother.At east in Knoxville, one can not carry inside the city-county building as you must pass through a metal detector. I once left my EDC in my truck in the car parking lot, but forgot my extra magazine in my Harley jacket pocket. Picks up good on XRay!. Though, I was nicely told I couldn’t bring it in, which I just returned to car lot and left it there. I also once went through the scanner but left my leather holster on, which one mean Sheriff deputy woman confiscated it until I left which I didn’t see the reasoning behind it.i did tell the deputy that my 100 dollar Galco holster better be there on my return!
      But I do carry everywhere including hospitals, church, only other place that is posted that I do respect is the post office and some don’t realize that you are not LEGALLY allowed to have one in your auto in the parking lot ( Fed Property). Been to one hospital Emergency room entrance that was not posted, and a mall that IS posted at the main entrances, but if you enter through Sears, there is no posting, and none where you enter the interior doors to the mall from said store. Concealed means no one will know unless you use it, or must pass through a metal detector.

    4. You arevright! That one is a mind boggler! Here in Maine the reason for not carrying in our courtrooms is because the baliffs are trained, current law enforcement officers in suits not uniforms. They are armed and if an occasion transpired where deadly force was used they ( the baliffs ) would be the ones employing the firearms. That way, hopefully, no one gets caught in the cross fire. However, I am with you in the need for more people to be armed, not less. It isn’t safe anymore to go to Walmart, McDonald’s, a mall or any of hundreds of places where we used to go, not giving it a second thought. Life has changed drastically just in the 64 years that I have been alive.

    5. Texas is not that naïve. We can open or concealed carry with a License to Carry, when we are walking around. In a car, you may have a handgun, whether or not you have an LTC, but it must be concealed.

      On your own property, no LTC is required for either open or concealed carry. I was addressing the issue of how to legally get the firearm into your car to conceal it, assuming the car is parked on your property.

    6. @ Jim in Conroe

      I live in Georgia where my GA weapons license allows for open or concealed carry, so if I have a handgun on my dashboard it wouldnt be considered assault since it wouldnt need to be concealed.

    7. The same rules for open or concealed carry apply in Texas – either is allowed with a License to Carry – with exceptions for schools, court rooms, sporting stadiums, bars, and a couple of other places.

      However, even though you can have a handgun in a car with or without an LTC, it must be concealed, so putting it on your dash or the passenger seat is not an option.

  5. Where was the assault?
    There wasn’t any.

    He would have actually had to assaulted the rager for it to be aggevated assault?

  6. If Matt would have waited to see if the “jerk” exited his car and posed a threat before showing his gun, he would have saved himself a lot of trouble. If you’re going to carry, KNOW THE LAW!
    That being said, I call bullspit on Matt being arrested. The driver of the other car showed all the the aggression with a deadly weapon (his car).

  7. “I have a concealed carry license. I will not confirm or deny whether I havant or how many weapons I have. I can guarantee that you will have a much nicer day either by going somewhere else or staying here when I leave.”

    I wish I still had my car with the “Don’t mess with Texas” bumper sticker!

  8. I had a similar incident occur to me. I did not show a gun. The other party got out of there vehicle and was approaching my vehicle. I got out with
    my gun in my backpack and had my hand in my backpack on the gun. I never pulled the gun out at any time. I told the other party, that by law I was telling them I was armed with a gun. Again at no time did I show a gun. I just stated I was armed. The other party backed off and left the area in a hurry. I went home. No law enforcement came to my house to arrest me. By not showing the gun and only stating I was armed. Made everything legal in my state.

  9. My advice to anyone who carries a firearm or would like to, research the USCCA. They offer insurance, as well as, training tips, training DVDS AND valuable advice for situational happenings like these being portrayed in this discussion. Their second ammendment attorneys are second to none and deal with aspects that the layman is NOT equipped to deal with. Better to be educated and not make a foolish mistake than to need the lawyer to get your ass out of a sling. Just sayin’……..

    1. Yes, Beverly, the USCCA is a very worthwhile organization with which to be a member. The monthly Concealed Carry magazine is always loaded with interesting and timely information pertinent to all aspects of our armed lifestyle. I am a Lifetime Member of USCCA, and while the membership might be considered a bit pricey, I figure it is well worth what it costs.

    2. Absolutely right! Membership in the USCCA is worth every penny. My husband is retired, but after 20 years in the military and then 26 years in law enforcement he has seen the worst of the worst. We train together on our own gun range. I would never go back to not having the valuable insurance that the USCCA provides to their members. It is not a license to be stupid, but rather to protect me should I ever have to use a weapon to defend myself. That element of worry about being sued in a justifiable self defense action is aleviated knowing that a 2nd amendment atourny will have my back.

  10. So much depends on the prosecuting attorney. With elections coming on, finding out what an incumbent’s and challenger’s histories are on going after CCL owners is essential. When in doubt, never trust a “progressive” politician. The advice to shut up and ask for an attorney is always appropriate. Do NOT trust the officers involved if they tell you that asking for an attorney will cement the issue in their minds. Their minds are NOT what counts.

    For much more on these issues, join the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network (armedcitizens.org) and read their members-only monthly news letters. There are other worthwhile benefits to being a member – check them out.

  11. I’m gonna LEAP to the conclusion that your cryptic description illustrates an ACTUAL road rage incident and, if you don’t mind, I’ll use it to reinforce a point I tried to make below.
    Things are not always as cut-and-dried as we want to believe they’ll be when that life-altering moment grabs us by the ankles.
    You can train religiously for years, pay top dollar for premium ammo and name-brand instructors, enroll in those coveted week-long tactical urban combat shooters’ seminars out west and do everything you’re expected to do as a responsible gun owner. But the one event you can never prepare for, the one that no instructor can teach you to repel, is the one you cannot imagine ever taking place in reality.
    Call it what you want; a comedy of errors, a chain of events or the butterfly effect – when small, seemingly insignificant and unrelated random actions line up at exactly the wrong moment, we can find ourselves in a life-threatening situation, through no fault of our own, trying to figure out how we got there. Even if we think we’ve done the right and honorable thing, there are just too many random elements of life over which we have no control.
    Civilian gun owners who carry for defense purposes are held to a MUCH higher standard of law by the courts than police officers. I’m not a cop-hater; I’m simply stating a fact. Video logging aside, when a cop shoots a suspect, he’s given a pretty wide berth concerning his version of events. If there’s no obvious evidence to dispute what he says happened, it becomes a matter of record – case closed. But when one of us shoots anyone, the person who was shot is now “the victim.” The police are going to look for ways to find cracks in your account, largely because it’s their job to be suspicious. Even if you shoot an intruder in your own bedroom at 3am, you’ll probably spend the rest of the night in city or county lockup while they investigate.
    It may never happen to you but, if it does, you’d better have your ducks in a row, and you’d better be able to tell the jury you believed your life was in peril, and that you SAW the other guy’s weapon.
    Just some friendly advice from someone who’s been there, and survived the aftermath.

  12. Guy driving home from Dr. office is at light behind a guy in mini van, light is red. guy in mini van gets out, light turns green, mini van driver is checking his back door. guy leaving Dr. office backs up goes around. Guy in mini van chases guy for a mile. Guy that left Dr. office is wearing a neck brace, pulls into a parking lot and gets out, mini van driver follows suit. Guy coming from Dr. office tells mini van driver “Take one more step and I will fall to ground”. mini van driver backs away. Guy in neck brace tells him that what he (the mini van driver) was doing was “Attempted Assault with a Motor vehicle” and that if guy in neck brace had his pistol he could have shot minivan driver in self defense. Guy in neck brace calls mini van driver low life crack head and leaves. 6 hours later Police contact guy in neck brace. Mini van driver said guy in neck brace pulled gun and threatened him. Police run guy in neck brace plate, get name, check database find out he has 2 registered hand guns and is licensed for carry. Police raid guy in neck brace house and arrest him, take to station. guy in neck brace ask’s for Lawyer, refuses to talk to Police. Lawyer shows up, guy in neck brace goes home. Lawyer says police have pictures off internet of guns guy in neck brace owns, mini van driver picks out a auto that guy in neck brace keeps in a storage locker. Goes to trial, police say guy in neck brace confessed but audio & video was not working during interview. County offers probation. Guy in neck braces says “hell no, I did nothing”. Guy in neck brace gets 11-18 years. Wayne County Michigan 2015.

    1. I got lucky. I never showed a gun. But, I did say I was armed.
      I was under the impression I was following my state law by informing the other party I was armed. Again, I never showed a gun.

      Perhaps I was wrong in stating that.

  13. So, we’ve got a road rage incident.

    Rager is weaving in and out of traffic.

    Matt is minding his own business..

    Rager nearly clips Matts car and slams on the brakes.

    Matt swerves to avoid a collision.

    How would the rager not get charged with assault with a deadly weapon at this point? His car is a 2 ton brick wall.. To me, this is intent to do harm when Matt attempts to get away from the situation, but is followed. I’m not an attorney, but I’ve been driving since I was 16, I’m now 52. I’ve always been taught that a vehicle can be considered a weapon. Is this no longer the case?

    1. Yes, it is the case. A 2 ton brick wall definitely is a deadly threat.
      Shame on missing this in the scenario played. A show of force was displayed by that action first with no witness. That is key to the argument. “No witness”. Drive away after getting license number for identification, make and model of vehicle. While driving, keep CCW handy, not displayed. Call 911 and drive in circles waiting on police to arrive. When police arrive, tell the story. Police have then witnessed aggressive behavior of perp. End of story.

  14. I understand the reason Matt displayed his weapon but I don’t know why anyone would want to give an adversary/aggressor such a clear view of their defensive capabilities in this situation, much less showing it to the public at large. What bothers me more is the fact that his weapon is on the dash and not in his grip, ready for whatever that psycho might do next. If the whack job doesn’t see your weapon, he remains fearless and you get the chance to rid the Highways of a Dangerous waste of a Human Being. That would be a HUGE Public Service and a Justified shoot if you keep your Cool.

  15. Okay, all good points, but let’s throw in another variable and see if the equation proves a different result:
    What if Matt was an off-duty police officer? Would the other driver’s aggressive actions on the highway have been sufficient to effect an immediate arrest? Would Matt be justified in drawing and aiming his weapon while ordering the other driver to exit his vehicle? If the other driver then stood behind the door of his own vehicle, where his hands were not visible, or if he was reaching into his back pocket for his wallet, would Matt empty his magazine, or would he wait to see what the aggressive driver actually produced from his pocket before making the decision to fire? What if Matt was an off-duty police officer on vacation from another state? Would the rules and laws apply to him in the same manner as they would to a trained civilian?
    Aggressive prosecutors are always looking for ways to get their names in the papers, and a Bad-Man-With-A-Gun story will always make local headlines. Knowing this, civilians are forced into a much more stringent, more confined decision-making process. 99 times out of 100, if a civillian ccw cannot testify under oath that he or she actually SAW a weapon in the aggressor’s hand, well, he or she is likely going to prison if he or she is still alive following the encounter.

    1. You could be next.

      Being ruled by words and then the words being called laws.

      The written “Rule of Law”.

      Words that can be changed and are changed as needed by your fellow

      human kind w/ titles given to them by you.

      Titles: President, Congressman, Councilman, Mayor, Judge, AG, DA, Police etc. etc..

      To do as they want, say and wish for. AND not as you want, say and wish for.

      “Ain’t Freedom Grand”……………….Don’t EVER mess with the MAN.

  16. “Matt grabs his cellphone and calls 911, reports the road rage and that he has been followed to the parking lot. There is movement in the other vehicle. ”

    This was COMPLETELY left out of the analysis. Wouldn’t this illustrate that Matt had attempted to summon help from police BEFORE moving to the next level?

    And how is this whole scenario affected by the fact that “open carry” is now legal in TX. If this had occurred while both were walking down the road, the rager would have been shown Matt’s weapon automatically. Since a car is an enclosure, how else does one “open carry” and thus let possible perps know threats on their part won’t end well?

    All in all, this article exposes some gaps I would have expected an attorney I had hired to mention.

  17. Handguns are permitted in cars in Texas without having a license to carry. However, the firearm must be concealed.

  18. Thought that a car Is the same aa as home in Texas, because, believe it or not, in the state of Kalifornica, if you have a motor home, it is your ” castle” and you can have a gun in that aspect, without a problem as it s your castle with you still have a fight to defend.

  19. As I have commented before, I have been carrying a concealed handgun for over 50 years. In that time, I have revealed the presence of the weapon a couple of times in order to forestall further aggression from subjects who I deemed a threat to my well being. The revelation of my handgun was such that it did not leave it’s holster, thus I would not reasonably be accused of brandishing. Having said that, I can also recall some times when my handgun was in plain view in the car, and I figure it was pure luck that I had no legal difficulty with the gun being visible. My take on the scenario presented here, is that Matt should not have deliberately placed his handgun on the dash of the car in response to the aggression by the other driver, since that act could be construed as brandishing. In my own travels, I am always armed with a piece on my strong side belt, but I also always have a piece readily available in a Gum Creek covered carrier that is screwed to the console of the car well forward so it is next to my right leg. The weapon is not visible in the carrier, but it takes only a slight movement of my shooting hand to lift the cover (secured by a magnetic latch) so that the piece can be in my hand within a second. Thus it is, that I am fully armed and ready for action, without having to reveal, in plain view, the presence of the firearm.

    1. That’s my thought process. If I pull it out, then it’s going to be used. If I am NOT SURE if my life is ” legally” endangered YET, then my weapon stats holstered. That is my boundaries.

  20. I have a dash camera, could that be used (as long as the date time and GPS were recorded on the video) to help someone in Matt’s position. That he had reason to believe that the driver had singled him out and even though Matt exited the highway, deviating from his usual route home to avoid the driver, the driver exited and followed Matt. Thats a pretty aggresive manuever on the road rager’s behalf.

  21. If Matt had removed the weapon from the console, and merely left it on his lap without displaying it, which way would tjis go? That is exactly what I would have done, have it handy if the situation escalated.

  22. I would say that Matt faced no imminent threat, so displaying his handgun was unwarranted. Staging his gun, that is confirming its location and status (bullet in chamber or not) would appear to be things Matt could do, without revealing his handgun.

    Should the other driver exit his car, with or without some kind of weapon, and approach Matt’s car, there is time to access and use his firearm defensively, but only if the driver attempts to enter the car by breaking a window or pulling on the door handle.

    If the other driver exited his vehicle with a gun drawn and firing, then having the gun on the dashboard gives Matt no additional advantage. It may be a disadvantage, if he needs to take cover behind the dash with the firearm still on top.

    One question I have is what if the other driver approached Matt’s car with a tire iron and started breaking things, but did not attempt to enter the car? Could Matt use deadly force in that case.

    1. Well, Jim, one could likely construe the tire iron as a deadly weapon, especially if it is being used by it’s wielder in an aggressive, destructive manner. Still, however, the law may interpret this as a property crime, and property crimes usually do not rise to the test of whether one’s life or well being might be in imminent danger. Then again, if the occupant of the vehicle exited the car to ward off the attack on his property…..and the attacker came at him with the tire iron…..perhaps the car owner could be viewed as defending himself against a lethal threat. I figure that this would then be one of those cases in which even the most minor of details could play a part in a determination of justifiable or unjustifiable application of lethal force. In such a case, if I was sitting on the jury, I’d likely find in favor of justifiable lethal force.

    2. Texas law does allow people to use deadly force to protect property. It the person starts damaging Matts car then this would be criminal mischief. Under Texas law you can use deadly force to stop criminal mischief only in the night time (Texas Penal Code 9.42).

      In Texas to be prosecuted for a felony, a grand jury must indict (Texas Code of Criminal Procedure 1.05). So it is not up to the state, but rather it is up to the citizens in that county. Just look at the case of Henry McGee in Burleson County. Or the homeowner that shoot a man that was stealing his potted plants in San Antonio.

      Thinking the grand jury will find in someones favor even though they violated the law is not something we should use in deciding whether to use deadly force or not. This just goes to show that Texans do not play with these people that cause harm to us or our property.

    3. Road rage is THE main reason I carry a concealed weapon. I have to travel a short (5 mile) stretch of U.S. 30 in northern Indiana to get from my rural home to the supermarket, and I experience an incidence of road rage on that stretch about 4 or 5 times a year. I’ve had an Indiana LTC since the early 70’s, and one of the 3 times I’ve actually had to draw my weapon was a road rage incident in which a guy in a pickup thought I had cut him off. In reality all I had done was pull ahead of him, signal and change lanes, but he sped around me, cut me off and stopped right in front of me. Before I could even react he jumped out, grabbed a tire iron from the back of the pickup and started toward me. I rolled down the window and pointed my revolver at him and shook my head. He got the message without my saying a word; got back in his truck and drove away.

    4. Once Mr. Rager gets out of the car, it’s time for me to leave. By the time the guy gets back in his car to follow, you’re in Amarillo or wherever people go in Texas (Personally, I’d choose Corpus Christi or Galveston). Mr. Rager’s just standing there in the parking lot with a WTF? kook on his face. It seems the major problem here was the guy’s decision to stop his car and not immediately flee to a place of public safety. Even the most daft moron is unlikely to talk into a room full of people and start shooting people up. Although I would have driven to a police station, not a gas station.

      I sure as hell wouldn’t bring a firearm to Mr. Rager’s attention and provoke him to act more stupidly than he already has. Beside, showing off your pistol will just get you in trouble.

      If a firearm in a motor vehicle in Texas has to be concealed at all times, then how do you get it in and out of the car? It’s going to be in plain site when you are placing it in or removing it from the vehicle. It seems just act of putting it in or taking it out of a car makes you a criminal.

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