Texas HAMS Alert - SB 43 Pending in Texas Senate

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KA5ETX, Jan 11, 2019.

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  1. KK4VRE

    KK4VRE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Since you are specifically pointing out Texas, when you get vehicle tags specifically for this hobby (which I do) with your call sign embossed on it, it also has printed in red letters on it "RADIO OPERATOR".
    Since there is no additional charge for these 'vanity' plates, one of the stipulations to getting the plates is that you agree to have Amateur Radio gear in the vehicle. Why?
    Because in an emergency, if all other communications systems are down, the police can spot you and ask you to become a relay point for emergency communications.
    This law, if passed does not impinge our vehicular use of said gear, only that we must obey all other relevant laws to said operation.
    KF5JOT is correct.
    N5QBX, W2NPR and K0PV like this.
  2. KV6O

    KV6O Ham Member QRZ Page

    Same thing with cell phones - they operate under Federal (FCC) licenses. But the States can (and do) regulate HOW you drive. Distracted driving can come from texting with a cell phones, eating a cheeseburger, putting on makeup, reading a book, etc., while driving. States CAN and DO pass laws to address this.

    Now, posting on Facebook with your cell is a bit different than holding a simplex conversation on the radio, and most states recognise this. Not all.

    If you doubt the authority of the States in this matter, try going to court and using your HT in the middle of session. Tell the Judge your use of the radio is federally protected. See how that works out for you. Your license grants you access to spectrum. That's it.
  3. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    That's okay everyone can argue the loop holes and legalities until they are blue in the face, but when the next tornado or hurricane wipes out another town in Texas such as the real life reality of recent history demonstrates, hams at this point in time can start explaining to those in charge how they are unable to volunteer, help or otherwise communicate information to the NWS, FEMA, Red Cross, Homeland Security and / or other government agencies hams have had a long relationship with, because of some cell phone law making it illegal for hams to use their radio equipment like they have been doing for so many decades without incident in the past.

    I am sure all the various government agencies will be sympathetic and understanding of their loss but more importantly, I am glad to see this proposed law helping to protect the interests and lives of so many people. ...Not.
    K5DRT, KD5INM and KD8DWO like this.
  4. WA0HHX

    WA0HHX Ham Member QRZ Page

    One lawyers observation (from KS):

    Based on the definition cited in the comments it does not include Federally Licensed Amateur Radio operations. That's not to say some law enforcement officer might not get it wrong
    but I would probably carry my ham license with me just in case. If brought to court I think any prosecutor that looked at the citation and then the definition (assuming the law is passed) would quickly decline to prosecute the claim. Moreover, a reading that this bars mobile amateur communications, besides being contrary to the definitions cited in the comments, also raises the issue of the FCC's preemptive control over amateur communications. That said, if I were to argue this I would tell the Court that the principle purpose of Amateur Radio under the Federal Communications Act (1933 and many court decisions later) is to provide a network of national emergency communications. Baring mobile use would defeat that purpose. States issue ham tags in part for that emergency ID purpose. So, seems to me that even if TX sought to ban mobile amateur communications it would very likely die a quick legal death in Federal Court. I've litigated PRB cases and know that Federal Preemption is not total. States can impose "reasonable" limits for public safety (limiting tower locations/height) for example. However, they cannot regulate to the point where operations are not reasonably possible. Banning mobile operations would be about the same as banning home operation. The result is the same. So, very likely no worry. BUT: express you concern to your state reps anyway. You can't be too careful!!! PS: I don't practice in TX but I have eaten BBQ there so that counts. Oh, this is not a legal opinion. Just my observation.
    N5MJ, W5BT, K0PV and 1 other person like this.
  5. K2DFC

    K2DFC Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    KI5X, K4XJ and VA3GET like this.
  6. KB2PNN

    KB2PNN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Re NJ - Thanks! That was in the original 2003 law. :) KB2PNN, former NJ Assemblyman. Was already a NJ federal case on the topic re FCC preemption including over efforts to ticket a mobile licensed amateur on a local ordinance, it was an easy lift in NJ. The language in the Texas version excludes us, looks pretty close to the 2014? ARRL proposed language as I remember it. There are enough old preemption cases on this issue around the states that most LEOs know about it, and no prosecutor is going to push it if you get a ticket. It's going to be that speeding ticket that you also got -- before they noticed your radio- that's gonna bite yer pocketbook, folks. lol
  7. K2DFC

    K2DFC Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I know a few hams that were stopped just because they were talking with a mic up to their mouth. That's why we all keep a copy of the law in the glove box at all times.
    K7ART likes this.
  8. KM4KGN

    KM4KGN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Where is the mighty ARRL in all of this?

    The HAMs down in Texas pay their annual dues just like everyone else...so, why isn't the league stepping up to help fight this/?
    KD0WGB likes this.
  9. ND5Y

    ND5Y Ham Member QRZ Page

    Maybe they don't know about it because nobody told them yet.
  10. KM4KGN

    KM4KGN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Not likely....but ok, sure.
    K4XJ likes this.

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