Notable Gun Legislation From The 84th Texas Session

Open Carry
House Bill 910
Effective: Jan. 1, 2016
Relating to the authority of a person who is licensed to carry a handgun to openly carry a holstered handgun; creating a criminal offense.

General Information:

  • Authorizes individuals to obtain a license to openly carry a handgun in the same places that allow the licensed carrying of a concealed handgun with some exceptions. (See “Exceptions” below for more information).
  • Unconcealed handguns, loaded or unloaded, must be carried in a shoulder or belt holster.
  • Individuals who hold a valid CHL may continue to carry with a valid existing license.
  • A separate license will not be required to openly carry. No additional fee will be required.
  • Individuals currently licensed will not be required to attend additional training. Training curriculum for new applicants will be updated to reflect the new training requirements related to the use of restraint holsters and methods to ensure the secure carrying of openly carried handguns. The new curriculum will be required for all classes beginning Jan. 1, 2016.
  • The eligibility criteria to obtain a license to carry do not change.
  • DPS will be updating website, forms and training materials to reference License to Carry (LTC) instead of CHL.
  • Changes to the laminated license are being developed and will be implemented at a later date.

Signage:

  • Private businesses may not post signs to indicate entry is forbidden on the property with a handgun by a license holder.
  • Texas Penal Code §30.06 provides the language to be included on signs to indicate license holders are forbidden to carry concealed.
  • Texas Penal Code §30.07 provides the language to be included on signs to indicate license holders are forbidden to open carry.
  • Posting of both signs is an indication by the business that license holders are forbidden to carry concealed or openly.

Exceptions:

  • Open carry is not permitted by a license holder, regardless of whether the handgun is holstered:
    • On the premises of an institution of higher education, or private, or independent institution of higher education.
    • On any public or private driveway, street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking garage or other parking area of an institution of higher education, or private, or independent institution of higher education.
    • By an individual who is acting as a personal protection officer under Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1702, and is not wearing a uniform.

Campus Carry
Senate Bill 11
Effective: Aug. 1, 2016
Relating to the carrying of handguns on the campuses of and certain other locations associated with institutions of higher education; providing a criminal penalty.

  • Authorizes a license holder to carry a concealed handgun on or about the license holder’s person, while the license holder is on the campus of an institution of higher education, or private, or independent institution of higher education in this state. Open carrying of handguns is still prohibited in these locations.
  • Authorizes an institution of higher education, or private, or independent institution of higher education in this state to establish rules, regulation or other provisions concerning the storage of handguns in dormitories or other residential facilities owned or leased and operated by the institution and located on the campus of the institution.
  • Requires the president or other chief executive officer of an institution of higher education in this state to establish reasonable rules, regulations or other provisions regarding the carrying of concealed handguns by license holders on the campus or on specific premises located on the campus.
  • Authorizes the posting of a sign under Texas Penal Code §30.06 with respect to any portion of premises which license holders may not carry.
  • The effective date of this law for a public junior college is Aug. 1, 2017.

Various Other Changes
House Bill 554
Effective: Sept. 1, 2015
Relating to a defense to prosecution for the offense of possessing or carrying a weapon in or into the secured area of an airport.

  • Amends Texas Penal Code to add a defense to prosecution, if the actor possessed a handgun that he or she is licensed to carry at the security checkpoint of an airport, and exited the screening checkpoint for the secured area immediately upon completion of the required screening process and notification of possession of the handgun.
  • Adds the actor cannot be arrested for the sole offense of possessing a handgun he or she is licensed to carry, unless a police officer gives the actor the opportunity to leave the area, and he or she does not immediately comply.

House Bill 1376
Effective; Sept. 1, 2015
Relating to the application of certain concealed handgun license laws to community supervision and corrections department officers and juvenile probation officers; reducing a fee.

  • Allows supervision officers and juvenile probation officers to establish proof of proficiency by a sworn statement that indicates the person demonstrated proficiency with a firearm instructor licensed by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) within the 12-month period preceding the application for the license to carry.
  • This provision applies to the supervision officers appointed or employed under Texas Government Code §76.004, to supervise defendants placed under community supervision.
  • Reduces the fee for a license to carry to $25 for these individuals.
  • Individuals applying under this special condition will be required to provide proof they are a supervision officer or juvenile probation officer.
  • A new fee schedule will be posted on the DPS website.

House Bill 2604
Effective: Sept. 1, 2015
Relating to a concealed handgun license application that is submitted by a peace officer or a member of the state military forces.

  • Exempts applicants who are active peace officers from the requirement to submit fingerprints.
  • Repeals the provisions requiring a sworn statement from the head of the employing law enforcement agency regarding the applicant’s conduct and proficiency.
  • DPS is updating the online application checklist. Until the online application is updated, peace officers may disregard the notations requiring fingerprints and the sworn statement from the head of their employing law enforcement agency.
  • Updated application instructions for peace officers will be posted on the DPS website upon the effective date of this law.

House Bill 2739
Effective: Sept. 1, 2015
Relating to the use of a concealed handgun license as a valid proof of personal identification.

  • Amends Texas Business & Commerce Code to require businesses to accept a CHL as a valid form of personal ID for access to good, services or facilities.
  • Does not affect laws requiring a DL to operate a motor vehicle.
  • Does not affect the existing requirement to present a DL when renting a car.
  • Does not affect the type of ID required under federal law to access airport premises or to pass through airport security.

House Bill 3710
Effective: Sept. 1, 2015
Relating to a voluntary contribution to the fund for veteran’s assistance when applying for a concealed handgun license.

  • Requires DPS to offer CHL applicants an opportunity to contribute money to the fund for veteran’s assistance when applying for an original or renewal CHL.
  • The applicant will determine the amount of contribution.
  • DPS is updating the online application to accept contributions. More information will be posted here when the option to contribute is available.

House Bill 3747
Effective: June 16, 2015
Relating to the issuance of a concealed handgun license to certain retired judicial officers.

  • Authorizes retired federal judges to receive a discounted CHL in the same manner as a retired state judge.
  • The reduced fee is $25. A new fee schedule will be posted on the DPS website.

Senate Bill 273
Effective Sept. 1, 2015
Relating to certain offenses relating to carrying concealed handguns on property owned or leased by a governmental entity; providing a civil penalty.

  • Prohibits a state agency or political subdivision from posting signs stating where CHL holders are prohibited from carrying a concealed handgun on the premises, unless specifically prohibited by Texas Penal Code §46.03 and §46.035.
  • Provides a civil penalty to a state agency or political subdivision if falsely notifying a CHL holder that entering or remaining on certain governmental premises, owned or leased, is illegal.
  • Limits the scope of the governmental meeting prohibition by restricting it to the specific room or rooms where the meeting is held, and to public meetings where the notice is required under the Open Meetings Act.
  • Provides an opportunity for the agency or subdivision to cure the violation within three business days of receipt of written notice from a citizen.
  • Complaints of a violation are reported to the Texas Office of the Attorney General.
  • Provides the Texas Attorney General must give notice to the agency or subdivision and provide an opportunity to cure the violation, before a civil penalty is imposed

H.R.376 – Home-Assembled Firearms Restriction Act of 2015

Home-Assembled Firearms Restriction Act of 2015

Considers as a banned hazardous product under the Consumer Product Safety Act: (1) any firearm receiver casting or firearm receiver blank (do-it-yourself assault weapon) that does not meet the definition of a firearm under the federal criminal code at the point of sale but that can be completed after purchase by the consumer to function as a firearm frame or receiver for a semiautomatic assault weapon or machine gun, or (2) an assault weapon parts kit or machine gun parts kit.

Makes it unlawful to market or advertise any of such weapons for sale on any medium of electronic communications, including over the Internet. Requires marketing or advertising violations to be treated as unfair or deceptive acts or practices under the Federal Trade Commission Act.

https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/376/all-info

Gov. Greg Abbott To Sign New Gun Laws At Red’s Indoor Range

Gov. Greg Abbott over the weekend will sign bills expanding gun rights. With his signature, legislation will allow people to carry guns on college campuses — and carry handguns out in the open.

The bill-signing is set to happen at Red’s Indoor Range in Pflugerville at 1908 West Pecan St. on Saturday at 12:30 p.m.

Read the rest of the article: http://kxan.com/2015/06/12/gov-greg-abbott-to-sign-new-gun-laws-at-reds-indoor-range/

2015 Texas Legislative Session – Passed Gun Bills

The following bills were passed this legislative session:

  • SB 273
    Relating to certain offenses relating to carrying concealed handguns on property owned or leased by a governmental entity; providing a civil penalty.
  • HB 554
    Relating to a defense to prosecution for the offense of possessing or carrying a weapon in or into the secured area of an airport.
  • HB 910
    Relating to the authority of a person who is licensed to carry a handgun to openly carry a holstered handgun; creating a criminal offense; providing penalties.
  • HB 905
    Relating to the regulation of knives and related supplies and the enforcement of regulations regarding certain weapons.
  • SB 11
    Relating to the carrying of concealed handguns on the campuses of and certain other locations associated with institutions of higher education.
  • SB 473
    Relating to defenses and exceptions to the prosecution of the criminal offense of the possession, manufacture, transport, repair, or sale of certain prohibited explosive weapons, firearms, and related items.
  • HB 1376
    Relating to the application of certain concealed handgun license laws to community supervision and corrections department officers and juvenile probation officers; reducing a fee.
  • HB 2739
    Relating to the use of a concealed handgun license as valid proof of personal identification.
  • HB 2604
    Relating to a concealed handgun license application that is submitted by a peace officer or a member of the state military forces.
  • HB 1855
    Relating to training, continuing education, and weapons proficiency standards for correctional officers employed by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

The full list of bills up for consideration can be found at http://www.weapon-blog.com/2015-texas-legislative-roundup/. The next opportunity to further gun rights legislation in Texas will not be until the 2017 legislative session.

BREAKING: Texas Passes Campus Carry

From the TSRA:

SB 11 sponsored by Representative Allen Fletcher (R-Tomball) and authored by Senator Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury) completed the legislative process when the conference committee report passed in the Texas House.    

Yesterday, May 30th, the conference committee report passed in the Texas Senate.

We’re done, Members!  It now goes to Governor Abbott who says he’ll sign Campus Protection, SB 11.

Thank you’s go to our hard-working, dedicated bill authors, Senator Birdwell and Representative Fletcher,  who never gave up.   

This personal protection project was brought to our attention by students from Texas State University after Virginia Tech in 2008.  This was the 4th session to work on the issue.    

The final version requires by law that colleges and universities comply but goes on to involve students, faculty and staff with a concealed handgun license to work together with administration.      

The bill decriminalizes possession of a handgun by licensees in college and university buildings but allows for certain sensitive areas such as a bio-containment lab to be posted off-limits with PC 30.06.   

Any off-limits posting must be reported to a standing committee of the Texas Legislature during even-numbered years.   The Legislature has oversight on implementation. 

More information in later alerts but for now, Thank you, TSRA members!  

After four legislative sessions and hundreds of witnesses testify for the issue, Texas college and university students, faculty and staff will have a tool in law for their personal protection.   
Again, SB 11 has passed!