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Texas Legislative Session Begins this Week

Monday, January 7, 2019

Texas Legislative Session Begins this Week

Dozens of Pro- & Anti-Second Amendment Bills Pre-Filed for 86th Regular Session

The Texas Legislature convenes in Austin for its 86th Regular Session on Tuesday, January 8.  Pre-filing of legislation began in mid-November.  Since then, several pro-Second Amendment measures have already been introduced and received bill numbers, including but not limited to:

Senate Bill 117 by Sen. Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe) clarifies the definition of “school-sponsored activity” in the Texas Penal Code to avoid the establishment of roving gun-free zones in buildings or areas that are not owned by or under the control of a school or postsecondary educational institution.

House Bill 302 by Rep. Dennis Paul (R-Houston) protects the rights of tenants to lawfully possess firearms in their residential or commercial rental properties and to transport their guns between their personal vehicles and those locations.

House Bill 357 by Rep. Jonathan Stickland (R-Bedford) allows individuals who are legally-eligible to possess a firearm to carry a handgun for personal protection without a state-issued license.

House Bill 516 by Rep. Drew Springer (R-Muenster) provides immunity to property or business owners who elect not to post their premises off-limits to License To Carry holders with 30.06 or 30.07 signs.

New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg and his national gun control groups Everytown for Gun Safety/Moms Demand Action, along with their policy partners at Texas Gun Sense, have been working with anti-gun lawmakers to introduce misguided proposals that restrict your Second Amendment rights.  Don’t be fooled by attempts to package these bills as “sensible public safety measures” or “common-sense solutions to gun violence” – they are part of Bloomberg’s radical agenda that targets law-abiding gun owners.  Those measures include, but are not limited to, the following:

House Bill 38 by Rep. Terry Canales (D-Edinburg) makes it illegal for an individual to manufacture and possess a firearm without obtaining an individualized serial number from, and registering the gun with, the Texas Department of Public Safety.  This bill is nothing more than a California-style solution in search of a problem: there are no reports of criminals using 3D printing to manufacture firearms, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) has never received a trace request for a 3D-printed gun, and there has never been a case of such a firearm being used in a crime.  Furthermore, the 1968 Gun Control Act, the 1988 Undetectable Firearms Act and other federal laws govern firearms produced by a 3D printing process, just as they do to guns manufactured through conventional processes.  

House Bill 131 by Rep. Joe Moody (D-El Paso) & Senate Bill 158 by Sen. Jose Rodriguez (D-El Paso) allow for the issuance of so-called “red flag” protective orders that could lead to suspension of an individual’s Second Amendment rights without due process and surrender of his or her firearms to law enforcement.

House Bill 172 by Rep. Diego Bernal (D-San Antonio) reduces the minimum size, lettering and the language specifications for 30.06 signs that have been in effect for more than two decades and requires them to be available for download on the Texas Department of Public Safety’s website – providing less effective notice for License To Carry holders and leading to more locations being posted off-limits to them.  (The same requirements would apply to 30.07 signs as well.)

House Bill 195 by Rep. Ron Reynolds (D-Missouri City) restricts the private transfer of firearms at gun shows – a favorite target of the gun control crowd – by requiring every transaction to be conducted through a licensed dealer involving extensive paperwork and payment of an undetermined fee.

House Bill 316 by Rep. Donna Howard (D-Austin)directs the Texas Department of Public Safety to create a firearms safety “public awareness” campaign, establishing a platform for gun control groups to attempt to deliver their slanted message to a broader audience.  Existing federal and state laws, current state agency efforts and private sector initiatives already address the topic and delivery of firearms safety programs. 

House Bill 349 by Rep. Cesar Blanco (D-El Paso) bans the manufacture, sale and possession of devices designed to increase the rate of fire of a semi-automatic rifle and includes common modifications done to firearms by law-abiding citizens to make them more suitable for self-defense, hunting or competition.  

The deadline for introduction of bills is March 8.  NRA-ILA will keep you posted as more legislation affecting gun owners and sportsmen is filed and as the measures listed above receive committee referrals and hearing schedules.  In the meantime, you can contact your state lawmakers and tell them where you stand on the aforementioned bills.

Find out who your State Representative and State Senator are by clicking here.

Contact information for House members can be found here.

Contact information for State Senators can be found here.

What can you do to help protect your Second Amendment rights in the Lone Star State?  Sign up as an NRA Frontlines volunteer to receive timely legislative alerts on firearm-related bills during this upcoming session. Make plans to attend committee hearings on these bills at the Capitol when NRA-ILA notifies you of the time, place and location. And contact your state lawmakers during the legislative session to let them know how you feel about measures that affect your rights.  

 

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NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.