|As We Reported the Senate is Moving Pro-Gun Bills!|
This week, the Texas Senate passed two pro-gun measures: SB 299 by State Senator Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls), which protects Texas Concealed Handgun Licensees against charges of unlawful carrying of handgun if they accidentally or inadvertently display their firearms.
Accidental display is a most basic concern for all licensees. There have been arrests and charges have been filed in Texas.
SB 987 by State Senator Glenn Hegar (R-Katy), which allows the Texas Attorney General to seek a temporary or permanent injunction against a city or county that adopts a regulation in violation of the state firearms preemption law. Preemption protects law-abiding gun owners against a patchwork of confusing and conflicting local gun control ordinances across the state.
You'll recall that the City of Austin and Travis County both recently considered -- and pulled back from -- adopting restrictions on gun shows which would have likely been outside the scope of their authority to adopt, as pointed out by Attorney General Greg Abbott (R). SB 987 would give that office statutory authority to legally intervene in these situations in the future.
SB 299 & SB 987 both now move to the Texas House of Representatives for consideration.
Also, the Senate Criminal Justice Committee unanimously approved SB 864 by State Senator Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels), another TSRA-supported bill which reduces the number of classroom hours required for an initial Concealed Handgun License from 10-15 hours to 4-6 hours. This would make it far more convenient for CHL applicants to obtain a license to carry and exercise their right to self-defense. SB 864 has been placed on the Senate's Local & Uncontested calendar, and final action could be taken on the bill next week.
(Note: a committee substitute for HB 47 by State Rep. Dan Flynn (R-Van), the House companion bill to SB 864, was reported out of the House Committee on Homeland Security & Public Safety this week with a change to set the minimum number of classroom hours for an original CHL at six. This bill has been sent to the House Calendars Committee, which decides if and when measures are placed on the agenda for consideration by the full House.
Remember the Texas House has yet to vote on any pro-Second Amendment legislation this session.
We have been urging House members to co-author the comprehensive version of CHL on Campus, HB 972 by Rep. Fletcher. We were advised to do this to demonstrate House support for the measure. The goal is 76 co-authors as an indicator that the issue would pass if brought to the House floor for a vote. There are currently 58 authors, joint authors, and co-authors on HB 972.
House members contact information and email can be found at this link
"Who Represents Me?" and other research can be done at Texas Legislature on Line. You can watch committee hearings and floor debates from your computer.