Editor’s note: Answer Line was on assignment this week. Look for new questions and answers next week. In the meantime, enjoy this best-of column with Q&A from 2016:
QUESTION: What are Longview’s ordinances covering pellet rifles and BB guns within city limits?
ANSWER: Well this is an odd turn of the law.
City ordinance says it is illegal to discharge a rifle, gun, pistol or any firearm inside the city limits, with exceptions made for shooting ranges, police officers and any “citizen discharging a firearm while lawfully defending person or property.” While that might technically apply to BB or pellet guns, city spokesman Shawn Hara said that rule hasn’t been enforced as it pertains to BB or pellet guns.
A separate city ordinance prohibits using, carrying or possessing firearms of any type, including BB guns and pellet guns, in city parks because of the potential harm to wildlife and humans. However, Hara explained a person may carry a handgun in a park as permitted under state law if that person is licensed and carrying the gun in a legal manner. Pellet or BB guns, however, still would not be allowed, he said.
Q: If you sell or give a car to someone and do not change the title and that person gets a ticket for parking, an out-of-date inspection sticker or some other violation, are you responsible for payment of the ticket?
A: I can’t say for sure, but it’s possible.
A spokesman for the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles explained that vehicles must be titled in the buyer’s name within 30 days of the sale.
“Failing to properly transfer a vehicle into the buyer’s name could result in the seller being held responsible for tickets, toll violations or even crimes committed with the vehicle. To ensure this doesn’t happen, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles recommends that sellers accompany buyers to the county tax office at the time of the sale and make sure a vehicle title application is filed,” a spokesman for the state agency said.
Sellers also can protect themselves by filing a Vehicle Transfer Notification, which you can file online at txdmv.gov/. You also can print and mail a form from that website.
“When a Vehicle Transfer Notification is received, TxDMV will update the motor vehicle record to show the vehicle as sold. When you file the notification within 30 days from the date of sale, you cannot be held responsible for parking tickets and toll violations that have been committed by the person who purchased the vehicle,” the spokesman said.
Sellers who find themselves facing citations or criminal cases connected to a car they already sold would have to contact the agency or court involved to find out how to proceed.
Q: I’ve been looking for a phone number to the Aldi store in Longview and haven’t been able to find one. Can you provide that to me?
A: I reached out to a company representative to provide me a phone number, but I did not receive a response. I looked all over the Internet. I called information. Nothing.
Finally, I went online and submitted the question through Aldi’s website. I received a surprising response. In short, the company will not provide a phone number for the local store. Here’s what I received, in an email from Aldi customer service:
“At Aldi, we have an efficiency model that allows us to pass on significant savings to our customers. Included in this efficiency model are the cart rental system, the reusable bag program as well as our limited store staffing. Due to our limited store staffing, the phone numbers for our stores are unlisted as we do not have available staff to answer calls. For assistance, such as locating an item, please contact ALDI Customer Service by calling (800)325-7894. Our hours of operation are Monday — Friday, 8:00am — 4:30pm CST.”