Gun Rights

Published on August 15th, 2017 | by David "Double D" Devereaux

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MC Members Being Arrested For Unlawful Carry Without Cause

The MPP is issuing this Travel Advisory to all members and associates of motorcycle clubs traveling in or to the state of Texas.

 

WARNING- As a motorcycle club member, there is a legitimate risk of being arrested for Unlawful Carrying of a Weapon in the state of Texas solely because of membership or association with a motorcycle club, even if you posses a legitimate carry permit recognized by the state. The MPP believes that the risk is exponentially higher for members and associates of 1% motorcycle clubs.

 

ABC News in El Paso reported this last weekend that 5 members of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club were arrested for Unlawful Carrying of a Weapon (click to read article), even though every one could legally possess a weapon, solely because of their membership or association with the motorcycle club. They were initially stopped by the El Paso PD Gang Unit for an alleged failure to properly signal. All 5 men are from New Mexico and were traveling to El Paso to attend a funeral for a deceased member. (NOTE: The MPP has confirmed that only 3 of the 5 were members of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club)

 

This is not a isolated event. In November 2015, the MPP reported that “the trend to confiscate handguns and revoke legally obtained permits from motorcycle club members in America is on the rise.

 

From Houston to Long Island, and now back to Texas, law enforcement is aggressively targeting the gun rights of those in motorcycle clubs.” (See Revoking Gun Rights from Motorcycle Clubs is on the Rise, November 12, 2015). That trend, particularly in Texas, shows no signs of slowing down.

 

This assault on fundamental 1st and 2nd Amendment rights is based on a Texas statute that makes it illegal for a gang member to carry a weapon. Many motorcycle clubs are labeled gangs by law enforcement, so the implications are vast and impact thousands of US citizens.

 

According to the Texas Penal Code Sec. 46.02, UNLAWFUL CARRYING WEAPONS. 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 a member of a criminal street gang, as defined by Section 71.01. “Criminal street gang” means three or more persons having a common identifying sign or symbol or an identifiable leadership who continuously or regularly associate in the commission of criminal activities.

 

This statute is diametrically opposed to fundamental 1st Amendment liberties. To permit the government to impose restrictions on any person “who wears the insignia of [a motorcycle club], without regard to or knowledge of that individual’s specific intent to engage in the alleged violent activities committed by other members, is antithetical to the basic principles enshrined in the First Amendment and repugnant to the fundamental doctrine of personal guilt that is a hallmark of American jurisprudence.” see Coles v. Carlini 162 F.Supp.3d 380 (2015)

 

Every American should pay attention and be extremely concerned. “In a very real way, the fate of motorcyclists will serve as a blue print for other groups in the future. Disarming bikers, even those associated that have no criminal records of any kind, is a strategy to cripple the rights base of one of the most visible and active grassroots social and political movements in America.

 

Much of the movement’s efforts are to combat civil liberty abuses by law enforcement targeting motorcyclists. If bikers are successfully marginalized as criminals not worthy of baseline liberties, then the strength of our political movement exposing law enforcement abuses will be crippled as well. It’s a blueprint for social control in the 21st Century.” (See It’s illegal for Motorcycle Club Members to Own Guns? That’s What Authorities Say., August 25, 2015)

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About the Author

David

is the Spokesperson for the Washington State Council of Clubs, Founder of the Motorcycle Profiling Project, and works with motorcyclists at the national level. Contact: Send Email,



DISCLAIMER: Although comments are encouraged and appreciated, not all comments will be posted by Motorcycle Profiling Project LLC. The Motorcycle Profiling Project LLC appreciates oppositional viewpoints but will not post any comments that do not contribute to a respectful and meaningful discussion or are blatantly discriminatory or otherwise offensive. Resubmissions will be considered at the commenter's request.


20 Responses to MC Members Being Arrested For Unlawful Carry Without Cause

  1. James Hardy says:

    Bad Ass!
    This is front and center for me. I’ve been trying to make plans about traveling in Texas.

  2. That shall NOT be infriged apon, a Constitutional Attorney is needed. Law suit.

    • JD says:

      They invite lawsuits. The Feds and State will drain your pockets and bank accounts. The cops, judges… everyone KNOWS this is illegal. Just the classification alone as gangs is illegal. They don’t care. LE targets the Banditos because they have been politically active working within the system and that scares the govt. Time for all, MC’s and independents, to make a stand. If not, your rights are gone.

  3. HD Rider says:

    Is there a “list” of what MC’s texas has judged to be “criminal gangs” or that loosely defined by officer discretion as well?

  4. Korean Jesus says:

    So, when cops, who travel in packs of three or more, who wear the same uniform, have an identifiable leadership, and engage in criminal activity, they’re a gang then, right? RIGHT?

    FTP
    SYLB

  5. Terry says:

    Is anyone fighting this law in court?

  6. Anonymous says:

    We as bikers need to take a stand on this, it is illegal and motorcycle clubs are not gangs

  7. R.Clary says:

    Someone needs to be, because next they’ll go for car clubs, then any club out there!!

  8. Ken McAleer says:

    This what justifies a police state. Demand an investigation from attorney general sessions on Texas law enforcement. This is criminal.

  9. I do understand the law..but in a bikers defense I mean just ordinary people who ride together…should not be profiled..at all.period.
    2.anytime your on the road it’s my opinion you should travel with at least one other to be a witness of accidents. I know personally that when one of our riders was hit by a car at a stop light…the driver lied about who was at fault…but all of us were there and knew who was wrong…the driver was texting and made a right turn to wide hitting..the stopped motorcycle.
    3.when you travel distances when we do if you get separated and break down all alone…your at risk…WITH OUT the protection of a hand gun. I carry for that reason.

    So I’m for CARRY.

  10. Beamer says:

    I’ve lived in the Great state of Texas for 15 years. I ride with a 3 piece MC. This is mostly BS when it comes to carry of a concealed weapon which I do. The castle law here covers more people than a CC permit… neither myself or any of my club members have been a victim of such police behavior. If you get their attention for YOUR behaviour…. like anywhere else you’ll deal with the consequences. As a general statement…. this is BS.

    • Colt Colt says:

      Beamer, in this instance and with any of the other reported cases we have received at the MPP the individuals behavior had NOTHING to do with their arrest or confiscation of their weapon. It has been mere ASSOCIATION with a motorcycle club that has caused law enforcement to take the action they have with regards to infringing on the 2nd amendment rights of MANY patch holders.

      I would encourage less ignorance on your part, just because it hasn’t happened to you or your immediate circle does NOT mean it does not happen. I, personally, have never been raped, nor has any member of MY motorcycle club. It does not mean that people have not been raped. That’s just one example, and I can go on and on. Another STRONG example is that many bikers that showed up to support the anti-profiling bill in Maryland had not been profiled, but understood they COULD be if they did not take action.

      What we are telling you is that we take a CONSIDERABLE amount of our OWN time as VOLUNTEERS to verify this information. Maybe you can either trust as most do, or at minimum take more of your own time to verify the information more closely than just your immediate circle. I can promise you this, that if more people take the stance you appear to be taking this problem WILL become your own. BUT if we stand together and FIGHT those that are attacking our community than we will succeed and you can continue to enjoy your liberties. Whether you like it or not, or believe it or not, this problem gone unchecked will grow.

      Thanks for reading, hopefully you will see beyond your immediate circle and join the fight for ALL of our rights.

      Colt
      Legion MC
      Co-Founder Motorcycle Profiling Project.

  11. Rhett says:

    In Texas, the Bandidos are considered an Outlaw Motorcycle Gang and because of that status, members of the OMG are not allowed to carry a handgun. This is not the case with members of enthusiast or legitimate motorcycle clubs like the Patriot Guard Riders, etc… If a person applies for a License to Carry in Texas, one of the questions on the application is are you a member of a gang? if they answer no, and get the license then they have either done so illegality. If they get caught with a handgun and are identified as a member of a gang they can be arrested even though they had the license, because it was obtained under false pretenses, or they became a member of a gang after the fact and are now not allowed to carry and have to relinquish their license to carry. Just like if you were to be convicted of a felony.

    Here is a list of criminal gangs as identified by the Texas Department of Public Safety.
    https://www.dps.texas.gov/director_staff/media_and_communications/2015/txGangThreatAssessment.pdf

    They are listed as a tier 2 threat. They are involved in a considerable amount of crime compared to their membership numbers.

    Oh, and I have rode motorcycles for 20 years.

    USMC Retired

    • Colt Colt says:

      From Double D:

      Thank you for commenting. And, as the article states and you articulate, the gang designation and accompanying statute prohibiting gang members from carrying is the PC for arrest.

      We understand the argument well. Their are serious 1st Amendment considerations that have not yet been tested in Texas, however. The 1st Amendment is clear, as explained by federal courts specific to MC colors and 1% clubs:

      To permit [law enforcement officers] to impose restrictions on any person “who wears the insignia of [a 1% motorcycle club], without regard to or knowledge of that individual’s specific intent to engage in the alleged violent activities committed by other members, is antithetical to the basic principles enshrined in the First Amendment and repugnant to the fundamental doctrine of personal guilt that is a hallmark of American jurisprudence.”

      Mere association with an organization labeled a gang cannot be the basis to impose a restriction on an individual that has committed no crime or cannot be proven to have specifically engaged in the criminal behavior of other members.

      The theory of prosecution is so broad as to chill the exercise of First Amendment association rights by leveraging another fundamental liberty. That is called retaliation which nullifies any arrest and also provides a foundation for civil liability.

  12. Mary McNamara says:

    There s a difference between gang bull shit and MC clubs they just want to ride there bike s

  13. Buck-50 says:

    I don’t believe they were stopped because they belonged to an MC. I believe it was because they belonged to this particular one.

    • Colt Colt says:

      What difference does the club make? If anyone is stopped based on what they are wearing or who they associate with and not their actions (meaning in the act of a crime) then isn’t that profiling?

  14. Sergio Gonzalez says:

    There definitely was profiling in ElPaso during last weekends funeral procession. Having riden all my life and having represented bikers over the years I have successfully defended UCW in Texas. They are pretext stops and if challenged in Court are usually won. The castle law has helped immensely, since the court extended carrying a weapon to ones vehicle as an extension of ones home.

  15. Random dude says:

    If you think it’s just one club or just one percenters you’d be wrong. Especially in the Great State of Texas. By not caring about the civil rights of other clubs club members and associates you don’t care about yours. If they can take any another clubs colors or throw them on weapons charges for get back whips or wearing rings to include wedding bands or weapons charges as stated in this article they’ll do it to anyone with a patch on. 99% or otherwise. It’s in all our best interest to be proactive and aware and take action.

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