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Tafel v. State

Court of Appeals of Texas
2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 9703 (2016)


Facts

Mark Tafel (defendant) was a licensed gun owner and a county commissioner. Tafel carried a concealed handgun to commissioners court meetings. Sheriff Gregg Bewley confronted Tafel about his carrying of the gun, and County Judge Randy Mills put up a sign outside the room where the meetings were held relaying a state statute that prohibited licensed gun owners from carrying handguns into government meetings. It is unclear whether Tafel read this sign. However, Tafel subsequently wrote a letter to Bewley acknowledging that he was not permitted to carry a gun to the meetings. Subsequently, Judge Mills gave Tafel a letter stating that he was allowed to carry concealed handguns to the meetings. Judge Mills and Tafel never filed the letter with the court. The State of Texas (plaintiff) brought charges against Tafel for violating the state statute that prohibited licensed gun owners from carrying handguns into government meetings. A jury convicted Tafel, and Tafel appealed, arguing that the statute stated that the prohibition did not apply if a person was not given effective notice of the law. Tafel also asserted mistake of law as a defense.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Scoggins, J.)

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Dissent (Gray, C.J.)

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