TEXANS - New Laws Being Proposed

This is a discussion on TEXANS - New Laws Being Proposed within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Items currently under consideration: Contact your representative below to share your comments! Carrying on the premises of schools or institutes of higher education House Bills ...

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    Member Array CigarStix's Avatar
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    TEXANS - New Laws Being Proposed

    Items currently under consideration: Contact your representative below to share your comments!

    Carrying on the premises of schools or institutes of higher education


    House Bills 223, 1142, 1896, 1077, 1078, and 1313; Senate Bill 17
    Institutes of Higher Learning:The hot topic of "campus carry" is back after almost passing last legislative session. HB 1077 would not allow campuses of institutes of higher education to prohibit the storage or transportation of a firearm in a locked, privately owned vehicle in a street, driveway, parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area. Another bill, HB 1078, would allow the possession of a concealed handgun by CHL holders on the premises of the campus, or on the grounds on which an activity sponsored by the institution is being conducted. HB 1313 would prevent campuses from adopting rules or regulations that prohibit license holders from carrying on campus, though they could still regulate dormitories owned by the institution on campus. In our opinion, why should institutes of higher learning not be protected by good people who have a CHL? Why should our university and college students be more vulnerable than folks at the shopping mall?
    Schools:
    We at Texas Law Shield believe that the ancient philosophy that, "one sword keeps another in the sheath," still applies today; that even the mere presence of citizens who may be carrying concealed at schools could deter potential ne'er-do-wells.

    One bill, HB 223, would allow members of the school board or the superintendent to carry a handgun, with a CHL, on school premises during a school board meeting. Under the authority of HB 1142, schools could offer firearm safety or training, or history of firearms electives to students in 9th grade or above.


    In contrast, HB 1896 would allow some people to carry on school campuses, but would impose stricter requirements for school employees with a CHL, and permission from the school board to carry on the school premises.Approved school employees would also have to go through a firearms training program set forth by the DPS. Senate Bill 17 would also require a TxDPS created training program, with the class being free for two school district employees who work at a campus where there is no full time security, but requiring that the class fee be paid by the school itself for any additional school district employees. While this appears to be a positive thing, it could have the consequence of discouraging schools with tight budgets that wanted to allow teachers with CHLs to carry concealed on campus, but cannot because of the cost of the training.

    Proposed Modifications to Concealed Handgun License Requirements
    House Bills 47, 48, 2759; Senate Bills 858 and 864
    House Bill 47 and Senate Bills 858 and 864, look to reduce the length of concealed handgun license classes from ten hours to four hours. Another bill, House Bill 48, would eliminate classes entirely for those renewing their licenses, opting instead for a series of forms and a fee. HB 2759, would reduce the fee to obtain a license to $95 (currently $140), with a renewal fee of no more than $70.

    Recognition of Out-of-State Concealed Handgun Licenses
    House Bill 38; Senate Bill 481
    HB 383 would change the way Texas reciprocates concealed handgun licenses. Currently, Texas recognizes certain handgun licenses from other states. However, HB 383 would change the law; if an out-of-state license holder has a domicile in Texas, then their license is no longer recognized, and they must apply for and obtain a Texas CHL. Senate Bill 481 also follows this approach. To clarify, this would apply to any out-of-state handgun license holder who has a domicile in Texas whether they move into Texas or already live here; their license would no longer be valid and such people would have to apply for a Texas CHL.


    Hotels
    House Bill 333
    Currently, hotels may have TPC §30.06 notices hidden away in their policies in sections regarding carrying firearms on their premises. HB 333 would require hotels to tell its guests up-front of such policies prior to booking the room, and to receive an affirmative acknowledgement of their firearm policy. In other words, they couldn't hide a 30.06 notice in the second to last page of their impossible to find policy document without telling you about it.

    Definition of Intoxication
    House Bill 153
    House Bill 153 seeks to finally define what the ambiguous word
    "intoxicated" means in the weapons section of the penal code. It is an offense for a concealed handgun license holder to carry their weapon while they are intoxicated. Currently, the definition of intoxication for this section of the penal code is non-existent. In practice, District Attorneys have been applying the definition of intoxication from other sections of the penal code to make up for this lack of clarity (most commonly, they use the definition of intoxication from the DWI statute).

    This bill aligns the weapon statute with current practices, reforming the weapons section definition to reference the more commonly known .08 alcohol concentration level, or "not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body."

    New Firearm Related Offenses
    House Bills 452 and 508; Senate Bill 1677
    Enhancement To Punishment:HB 452 adds a crime of knowingly discharging a firearm at or in the direction of a habitation, building, or vehicle, with severity of the charge depending on whether you knew it was occupied (2nd degree felony) or were reckless as to whether or not it was occupied (3rd degree felony).

    Local Governments:
    HB 508 provides a punishable offense for any state or local government employee who with a reckless disregard for the truth provides notice to a CHL holder that entering or remaining on the governmental premises with a concealed handgun is prohibited, when it is actually not prohibited. We have actually seen a large number of local government employees attempting to do this exact thing. The punishment would discourage local governments from wantonly trying to kick CHL holders off of the property, requiring them to correctly adhere to the law before they ask you to leave.

    Punish The Victim of A Crime:
    Senate Bill 1677 would punish gun owners after they were a victim of a crime.


    This ill-conceived law would create an offense for failure to report a lost or stolen firearm. If you fail to report within 48 hours after you knew, or should have known it, that your firearm was lost or stolen, then you have committed a Class C Misdemeanor (unless you have been convicted of this before, in which case, it is a Class B). Frankly, this is an impractical solution to a rather common sense problem. The law seeks to punish you because someone stole your tool.

    Resistance by Texas to Federal Firearm Regulations
    House Bills 553, 1314, and 1076
    There was also a trend across a number of bills, as best illustrated by HB 553, to create an offense for any peace officer, state officer, public servant, or state employee who tries to enforce any laws of the U.S. Government relating to the confiscation of firearms, banning firearms, limiting the size of magazines, imposing ammunition purchasing limits, additional taxing of firearms or ammunition, or requiring registration of such. Likewise, HB 1314 prevents the seizure of firearms under federal law when such seizure would not be permitted under Texas law.

    It appears that Texas is trying to protect its own from any possible backlash from the federal government against a so called "assault weapons" ban, or other overly restrictive firearms laws. HB 1076 takes a similar tact, that no state agency or employee can enforce federal statutes that regulate a firearm, accessory, or ammunition that does not already exist under Texas law. Another similar bill states that firearms, firearm accessories (magazines, for instance), or ammunition manufactured in Texas that haven't traveled outside of Texas are not subject to federal law or regulation (including firearm registration). There are some exceptions for certain types of guns (such as guns that fire more than one bullet with a single pull of the trigger), but overall it looks to shield guns made in Texas from the federal government.

    While noteworthy that Texas representatives have taken a proactive stance in protecting our Second Amendment rights, these pieces of legislation are unfortunately symbolic or paper tigers. In other words, they would more likely than not be struck down by federal courts as conflicting with federal laws.

    Expanding Where You Can Carry and Open Carry
    House Bills 2381, 3218, 700, 1194, 1304, and 1030
    Some bills seek to expand the places you can carry as a CHL holder. HB 2381 would alter TPC §46.03 to allow the carrying of a handgun on the premises of a polling place on the day of an election or while early voting is in progress, and on the premises of a pari-mutuel race track. It would also let you carry on the premises of a school, provided that there was no class in session, no students present, or no activities sponsored by the school being conducted. Likewise, HB 3218 would eliminate every restriction from TPC §46.035 except the prohibition of failure to conceal and carrying while intoxicated, therefore allowing a CHL holder to carry on the property of 51% alcohol revenue establishment, premises where a high school, collegiate, or professional sporting event is taking place, and any meeting of a governmental entity. It would also lower the punishment for the crimes of intentional failure to conceal and carrying while intoxicated to a Class C misdemeanor from a Class A, and a repeat violator would be a Class B misdemeanor instead of a state jail felony. It also provides that the threat of the use of force is sufficient justification for unconcealing your handgun.

    Open Carry:

    Two proposals look to allow legal open carry for those with a concealed handgun license. House Bill 700, as well as HB 1194, specifically provides that open carry would be legal provided it is in a shoulder or belt holster with at least dual points of resistance. What constitutes a "dual point of resistance" holster is not defined. Other bills have differing requirements on the holster, but the message of open carry is the same. House Bill 1194 also would change the criminal offense of failure to conceal by a license holder to intentionally display the handgun in a manner that threatens another, places another in fear of immediate bodily injury, or is calculated to alarm.


    Display of a Handgun:
    House Bill 1304 does not create an open carry status, but it does change the nature of failure to conceal. The current phrase of "intentional failure to conceal" would be changed to an "intentional display of the handgun." However, the statute is unclear as to how this substantively changes the current law by failing to define what constitutes a "display." On a positive note, the proposed law reconciles the "display" of a handgun with the use of force statutes by stating that the justification of use of force, not just deadly force, would be a defense to this crime. Currently, the statute limits justifiable failure to conceal to situations where the use of deadly force is justified.



    ANTI-GUN PROPOSALS

    Not all of our legislators believe in your 2nd Amendment rights. There are some significant anti-gun legislative proposals.


    Anti-Gun Shows: House Bill 1030 would allow a county or municipality (or other political subdivision) to prohibit the sale of firearms on their property, thus having gun shows from your local civic center to a private revenue, which may or may not be available. Additional CHL Licensing Requirements
    House Bill 3288 would require a drug test, at your expense, to receive or renew your concealed handgun license. Failing the drug test would lead to a rejection of your CHL application or renewal, requiring follow up tests (again, your own expense) or a hearing on request. One is left to wonder if such a program solves any real problems or creates a massive potential for abuse by such a system. To our lawyers it seems like this could be a nightmare of more government, huge expenses, and a reduction of individual freedoms.

    Sale of Seized Weapons by Law Enforcement House Bill 1421; Senate Bill 343
    There is a bill that would allow law enforcement agencies to sell seized weapons at public auctions. Only licensed firearms dealers could purchase these seized firearms at such an auction. The proceeds of the sale would go directly to the law enforcement agency. On its face this does not seem anti-gun, however consider the potential for abuse of your property rights. One might be left to wonder if this will be abused by anti-gun police agencies and officers as police could start seizing firearms and charging individuals with crimes, and then offering to dismiss charges if they are allowed to keep the firearm, all for the sake of generating revenue for the agency. Just look at the history of traffic tickets. This is provided for under HB 1421, and SB 343.
    Assault Weapon and Large Capacity Magazine Regulation
    House Bill 3325; Senate Bill 1676
    These bills take ridiculously extreme measures, but rather than simply writing them off, we thought they should be discussed. In boxing it is the punch you don't see that knocks you out, and it is the bill you ignore that strips away your rights. So here are the proposed anti-gun laws which would regulate your previously legal firearms.House Bill 3325 would create a new series of laws based on the concept of "assault weapons." Assault weapons are defined in this bill as semi-automatic rifles that have the capacity to accept a detachable magazine that holds more than five rounds of ammunition, and has a pistol grip, folding or telescoping stock, thumbhole stock, or a grenade launcher (as you might expect, exploding grenades are already illegal as explosives). It also includes semi-automatic shotguns and semi-automatic pistols that have a folding or telescoping stock, a thumbhole stock, a second handgrip, an ammunition magazine that attaches to the pistol outside of the pistol grip, or a threaded barrel capable of accepting a flash suppressor, barrel extender, or silencer.Yes, you read that correctly: a previously unregulated semi-automatic pistol with a threaded barrel would be classified as an assault weapon. The bill goes on further to state that before you can purchase such a weapon, you need a license. Such a license would have a $200 license application fee, and would require a local law enforcement authority to indicate whether or not you could lawfully possess the weapon. It also requires that you would have to register with the local law enforcement authority. Finally, after you have completed all of those requirements, there would be a $200 tax for the purchase. Essentially, House Bill 3325 looks to treat "assault weapons" in a similar fashion to how the federal government treats machine guns. Similarly, large-capacity magazines came under fire with Senate Bill 1676. Any magazine that has a capacity to accept more than 20 rounds would have to be surrendered to state or federal law enforcement agencies, or you would face a Class A misdemeanor. Certain types of ammunition feeding devices, .22 caliber tubes and lever action firearm tubes, would be excepted from the prohibition. Changes to Justifications for Use of Deadly Force
    Senate Bill 1349 No More Deadly Force in Defense of Property: Senate Bill 1349 would change some elements regarding justification in using deadly force. If this bill passes, it is no longer a justification for the use of deadly force that you were defending a third person's property. Additionally, it removes the justification that you may use deadly force to stop someone who is fleeing with your property immediately after having committed burglary, robbery,aggravated robbery, or theft. It also would require that before using Deadly Force you must reasonably believe that the property can not be protected by other meansor that to use less than deadly force would subject you to the substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury. Finally, the bill stems that in case of self-defense involving deadly force, the finder of fact in a trial (i.e., the jury) can consider the following factors when determining justification: physical proximity, whether the other person exhibited or used a weapon, and whether they were fleeing at the time force was used. Unfortunately there is always going to be someone who opposes the rights of individuals to protect their property, and this bill is simply a reflection of that opinion.

    Contact your local representative

    If you feel strongly about any of these bills, either that they should be passed or thrown out, you can contact your Texas House Representative or State Senator to let them know how you feel. We at Texas Law Shield always encourage you to participate in State government; it is the only way to ensure your views are represented, and that your freedom is not left to the thoughts and musings of others.

    If you don't know who your representatives are, or you need the contact information of certain representatives, you can find out this information at the following link:Who Represents Me--Home As this legislative session progresses we will keep you apprised of the progress of these bills, and of course, provide you with a summary of all firearms bills taht actually pass at the end of the regualr session and become law.

    Here is the link to share your comments with your State Representative:


    http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx
    rigel42 likes this.
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    VIP Member Array pittypat21's Avatar
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    I've got a pretty serious web blocker on the computer I'm using right now. Can you or anyone give me a rundown of the 1st link?
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    Link doesn't work.

    Try this

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    pittypat I don't think it's you. I don't have one and I can't get to it either.
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    Well I would be for open carry, even if I do not intend to take advantage of it.

    All the anti-gun measures being proposed have a dangerous presumption of guilt at their core. Such legislators as would support these measures should be considered to be against American liberty and founding principles and ought to be tossed out of office by discerning voters.
    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

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    VIP Member Array pittypat21's Avatar
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    Thanks CigarStix!
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    Member Array CigarStix's Avatar
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    Sorry Gang. Reposted above.
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    Member Array LoneStarSooner's Avatar
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    Here is another excellent site for keeping up with the status of these bills. The site also gives some background info on each bill and in some cases the author of the bill. I check it every couple of days to see if there has been any movement on the bills.

    https://www.texasfirearmscoalition.c...-status-report
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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    I'm moving to Texas upon retirement in a few years. I'd be for open carry there, and might even take advantage of using it upon occasion.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

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    Member Array CigarStix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LoneStarSooner View Post
    Here is another excellent site for keeping up with the status of these bills. The site also gives some background info on each bill and in some cases the author of the bill. I check it every couple of days to see if there has been any movement on the bills.

    https://www.texasfirearmscoalition.c...-status-report
    Hadn't seen this. Thanks for sharing.
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    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    Here is a link to all the gun bills introduced so far this legislative session with short explanations of each.

    TexasCHLforum.com ? View topic - 2013 Texas Legislative Session Bill Status Report

    https://www.texasfirearmscoalition.c...-status-report
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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    I'm just going to comment that the hotel bill sort of surprised me. I don't recall any motels
    or hotels posting 30.06 signs, and had no clue that they could bury that in whatever policy
    book they may have that the guest doesn't see. I can't recall reading anything like that in the CHL
    handbook.

    It is good that someone wants to make them post 30.06 signs clearly as they should if that is their
    desire, but I'm left wondering how many times I've violated a hidden 30.06, having no idea of course
    about this obscure aspect of the hotel law.

    House Bill 153 on intoxication has some problematic aspects to it given that almost any medicine
    has the potential for some of the effects they list-- e.g., antihistamines which make you drowsy.

    The idea of drug testing applicants is also very problematic for a wide variety of reasons that have
    more to do with problems within the drug testing industry and its procedures and methodology, and
    legal matters of due process, than the idea of testing.

    This isn't the forum for discussing drug testing issues, so let me just
    say that I've been booed by 400 people attending a Drug and Alcohol testing Industry Association
    meeting. I've also had another attendee quietly turn to me and whisper, "you are right."

    Judging by the crime statistics TX compiles, this added test isn't needed. Moreover, since the
    license is good for 5 years, a single test accomplishes nothing. Employers have long known
    that people are capable of laying off their favorite stuff just long enough that the limits of
    detection won't pick the drug use up. (Hair testing instead of urine testing would solve that, but
    hair testing is like talking about nuclear radiation; again, a whole chapter for a blog or other forum.)

    Anyway, this topic is worth a 6 page essay and our legislators don't have the attention span
    to read or intellect to understand.
    If the Union is once severed, the line of separation will grow wider and wider, and the controversies which are now debated and settled in the halls of legislation will then be tried in fields of battle and determined by the sword.
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    Senior Member Array WannabeaCPA's Avatar
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    I am a college student about to graduate with my associates. And I plan to go to night classes to get my bachelor's degree. The school, Lamar, isn't in the best neighborhoods in my area. I hope it passes. Don't care too much about open carry seems to cause a lot more problems than helps.

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    Drug testing - a solution in search of a problem, in this case.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdprof View Post
    Drug testing - a solution in search of a problem, in this case.
    In almost all cases. It is about a multi-billion dollar testing industry and their profits, not
    about public safety.

    There are other and better ways. Again, I could write my blog or book chapter or whatever,
    but I won't go further on this forum. I'll happily entertain private messages if anyone is
    truly interested.
    If the Union is once severed, the line of separation will grow wider and wider, and the controversies which are now debated and settled in the halls of legislation will then be tried in fields of battle and determined by the sword.
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