“Must the State offer proof of the parameters of a licensed premises to secure a conviction for unlawful carrying of a weapon on a licensed premises?”
Baltimore was involved in a confrontation in the parking lot directly in front of a bar. It ended with his gun being taken from him and thrown on the roof. All of the testimony referred to the parking lot as the bar’s parking lot. Baltimore was convicted of unlawful possession of a weapon on a premises licensed to sell alcohol, a third-degree felony. Tex. Penal Code § 46.02(c). Although the statute defines “premises,” the charge used the following definition from the Alcoholic Beverage Code: “the grounds and all buildings, vehicles, and appurtenances pertaining to the grounds, including any adjacent premises if they are directly or indirectly under the control of the same person.” See Tex. Alco. Bev. Code § 11.49(a). This is common, and Baltimore did not complain at trial or on appeal. Instead, he argued the State failed to prove the parking lot was owned or controlled by the bar.
The court of appeals disagreed. “While certainly the State could have presented more precise evidence defining the legal standing between [the bar] and the parking lot,” Baltimore failed to show the uncontroverted evidence that the parking lot belonged to the bar was insufficient for a rational jury to so conclude.
Baltimore argues in his petition that the enhancement element cannot be proven without specific testimony about the boundaries of the premises controlled by the bar, or that the parking lot was “directly or indirectly under the control” of the bar.