Sunday, December 2, 2007

Texas laws

MattG reminds us about Texas Health and Safety Code Section 822.013, allowing for the killing of dogs and coyotes harassing livestock, domestic animals, or poultry, but he leaves off before getting to some of the other interesting points of Texas laws when it comes to rural life.

Penal Code Section 28.03 lays out the law on criminal mischief, which encompasses damaging or marking another person's property.  It's a misdemeanor if the damage is under $1,500, with the class determined by the monetary value of the loss, except that it's a felony if the property damaged is a habitation and the damage was caused by a firearm or explosive, or the property damaged is a fence that contains livestock or game animals.  At night, any of it can get you shot.

Penal Code Section 46.13 makes it illegal to make a loaded firearm accessible to a child, unless you're "engaged in an agricultural enterprise" at the time, among other exceptions.  No explanation is offered as to how weeding the beans makes it acceptable to be careless with your gun and child, but rushing your wife to the hospital doesn't.

Penal Code Section 31.03 defines theft, again a misdemeanor if the value of the property is under $1,500, unless you're stealing livestock, firearms, ballots, or 
anything taken directly from a person, living or dead.  Again, it can get you shot at night.

There are other interesting bits, so I may revisit this topic someday.

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