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      Did Perry break the law by shooting a coyote?

      Gov. Rick Perry

      E arlier this week, Gov. Rick Perry admitted to shooting and killing a coyote.

      Now, according to the Houston Chronicle Perry's coyote hunt may have violated city and state laws.

      Perry said the coyote was threatening his daughter's labrador puppy.

      Perry spokesman Mark Miner said the governor's staff is researching various ordinances and laws and will respond later.

      The only real issue is whether Perry's rental home and the area he was jogging in is within Austin city limits or in unincorporated Travis County.

      The subdivision where the Perry's rental home is located is within city limits according to Austin's zoning records. City ordinances specifically forbid the discharge of a firearm in city limits, with some exceptions. A violation of this law is a misdemeanor punishable by a $500 fine.

      The governor's shooting of the coyote may also have violated his concealed handgun permit.

      The state law says "concealed" means a handgun must be kept in a way where it is "not openly discernible to the ordinary observation of a reasonable person." Hard to imagine how one goes jogging and conceals a handgun, even in a secluded neighborhood.

      State law also indicates that the discharge should have been reported to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

      Mark Miner defended the governor's coyote killing and cited a section of the Health and Safety Code that says a coyote that is about to attack domestic animals may be killed by a person witnessing the attack.

      He also cited a section of the penal code on "justification excluding criminal responsibility" that says conduct is justified if "immediately necessary to avoid imminent harm."

      Miner went on to cite Section 822.101 of the Health and Safety Code that says, the person who discharged the firearm "had a reasonable fear of bodily injury to the person or to another by a dangerous wild animal."

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      Houston Chronicle