Texas Pro Gun Legislation

Two pro-gun bills have been introduced in the second special session called by Governor Rick Perry.

But there’s very little time for lawmakers to act — the session only lasts until the end of the month.

Unless they hear from you, the legislative leadership is certain to let these pro-gun bills die again.

The first is the “Criminal Safezone” Repeal Act — SB-21.

Proposed by Senator Donna Campbell (R-25), this bill takes a big step in the right direction by removing government-imposed criminal safezones… otherwise known as “gun-free zones”.

If passed, it would no longer be illegal to carry in the following places with your CHL:

*** At the polls, race tracks or on a picnic at a park.

*** In your church or synagogue.

*** At the hospital when visiting a loved one.

Also before lawmakers is the Second Amendment Protection Act — HB-19.

*** This bill prohibits any state official from enforcing a federal gun law that doesn’t exist in state law.

*** It also denies funding to any state or local agency that enforces such federal gun laws.

These bills represent a step in the right direction for gun owners in the Lone Star State.

But so far, these bills have been given the cold shoulder by legislative leadership.

The very same leaders who’ve been conspiring and scheming to kill meaningful pro-gun bills all year long.

Thanks to lawmakers like House Speaker Joe Strauss and Lt. Governor (Senate President) David Dewhurst, repealing criminal safezones and passing the Second Amendment Protection Act were both put on the back burner this year.

They even watered-down, weakened, and ultimately killed open carry and campus carry for the fourth regular session in a row.

I’m afraid that if you don’t act, they’ll do the same thing again during this special session.

Please take a moment to do these TWO things:

1.) Contact legislative leaders and insist they apologize for ignoring gun owners and add HB-19 and SB-21 to the agenda right away.

Speaker of the House
Joe Strauss

Phone: 512-463-1000
E-mail: Click Here

Lieutenant Governor
David Dewhurst

Phone: 512-463-0001
E-mail: Click Here

2.) Call Governor Rick Perry at 512-463-2000.

URGE him to get off the sidelines and start leading the charge for true pro-gun bills.

INSIST they push their so-called “leaders” to take up and pass the Second Amendment Freedom Act (HB-19), and the Criminal Safezone Repeal Act (SB-21) right away. 

 

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Op-Ed: The revealing British newspaper poll nobody will hear about

By Alan GottliebWhen the British daily newspaper The Telegraph asked readers which of six suggested measures they would like to see introduced in the House of Commons, reader response was surprisingly tilted toward one significant proposal, but you probably won’t hear about it from the U.S. media.

Of the six suggestions that included setting a flat tax and placing a term limit on the office of Prime Minister, what drew more than 86 percent of the reader support was a proposal to repeal the handgun ban of 1997. Because this is an unscientific poll, the results will be doomed to a media black hole, but it should send a clear signal to gun prohibitionists in the United States that their habitual use of the United Kingdom as an example of domestic tranquility where guns are concerned just took a direct hit in the credibility department.

At last check, more than 20,400 people had responded to the on-line poll. Support for ending the handgun ban was at 86.4 percent, leaving all other proposals in the political dust.

The next highest vote getter is a suggested measure on the “greening of public spaces” followed by a proposal to ban spitting. The flat tax comes in fourth on the priority scale with a scant 6.4 percent of the votes, and limiting the Prime Minister’s terms could not even muster two percent support among respondents.

Parliament adopted the handgun ban following the tragic 1997 Dunblane massacre of school children; an incident that created an aftermath of emotion not unlike our own Sandy Hook tragedy. Law-abiding British citizens were forced to surrender their handguns as some sort of panacea, but violent crime in the United Kingdom has actually gone up, and self-defense with a firearm has gotten people in considerable trouble.

Americans learned from the British mistake, save for the anti-gun lobbyists who are determined to destroy the Second Amendment. Now it appears the good citizens of that island nation have also realized that banning gun ownership by lawful people does nothing to discourage criminals or crazy people from committing heinous crimes. In this country, we have been able to derail efforts to ban entire classes of firearms, realizing that the unilateral disarmament of good people only makes bad ones bolder.

There could be a strong connection between the Telegraph reader response and the recent brutal murder of a British soldier in broad daylight by a couple of extremist knife-wielding Muslim nut jobs. That incident reminded people that one must be able to fight back, and to defend oneself against a knife attack, it’s best to have a gun. Millions of law-abiding Americans understand that principle and have obtained concealed carry licenses and permits, and soon the residents of Illinois will join fellow citizens in the other 49 states in that regard.

The right of self-defense is the oldest human right, and the British experiment at public disarmament failed as miserably as our own gun bans in Chicago and Washington, D.C. The ten year Clinton ban on so-called “assault weapons” was just as ineffective against crime.

While the poll results for the Telegraph are not scientific, they are a red flag to Parliament that many of their constituents have realized the gun ban was a terrible mistake. Getting their firearms rights restored is not likely to be easy for British citizens, and here on this side of the Atlantic, gun owners are determined to prevent Congress from doing the same thing.

Alan Gottlieb is chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and founder of the Second Amendment Foundation.

With more than 650,000 members and supporters nationwide, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is one of the nation’s premier gun rights organizations. As a non-profit organization, the Citizens Committee is dedicated to preserving firearms freedoms through active lobbying of elected officials and facilitating grass-roots organization of gun rights activists in local communities throughout the United States. The Citizens Committee can be reached by phone at (425) 454-4911, on the Internet at www.ccrkba.org or by email to InformationRequest@ccrkba.org.
 

CCRKBA LAUDS GOV. PERRY’S REPEAL OF ONEROUS KNIFE RESTRICTIONS

BELLEVUE, WA – The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is applauding Texas Gov. Rick Perry for signing a repeal of the Lone Star State’s ban on so-called “switchblade” knives, thanks largely to efforts by Knife Rights, a group CCRKBA has supported from its inception.

“While other knife restrictions in Texas remain in effect,” noted CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, “this looks like a good first step toward more rational laws regulating knives, which must be protected under the Second Amendment, same as firearms. The right to keep and bear arms is not limited simply to guns.”The legislation was passed 141-1 by the House of Representatives, and 31-0 by the State Senate last month. Now that Gov. Perry has signed the measure, it takes effect on Sept. 1.

Passage of the Texas legislation brought the number of pro-knife bills passed by state legislatures this year to five. Knife Rights indicated that it will be back in two years in an effort to pass knife law preemption in Texas.

“Our hats are off to Knife Rights and in particular the people they recognize as having been instrumental in getting this accomplished,” Gottlieb said. “Kudos go to Rep. Harold Dutton and Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, and Knife Rights volunteer W. Scott Lewis.”

 

 

Texas: Campus Carry Will NOT Be on Special Session Call

 From NRA-ILA 6/12/2013

 Make sure to register your dissatisfaction with important government officials 

 

While transportation, pro-life and juvenile justice issues have been added to the call for the current special session, the NRA has been informed that important Second Amendment issues such as campus carry will NOT be included. While Governor Rick Perry (R) has the authority to add subjects to the call, he does so with input from the Lieutenant Governor (who presides over the state Senate) and the Speaker of the House. Please express your dissatisfaction with the following officials:

Governor Rick Perry:

Main Switchboard [8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CST]
(512) 463-2000
E-mail

Toll-free Information and Referral Hotline [for Texas callers]
(800) 843-5789

Information and Referral and Opinion Hotline [for Austin and out-of-state callers]
(512) 463-1782

Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst
512-463-0001
E-mail

House Speaker Joe Straus
512-463-1000
E-mail

 

Texas Legislature Passes Record Number of Pro-Gun Bills But Key Items Remain as “Unfinished Business”

 From NRA-ILA, 6/5/2013

The Texas Legislature adjourned its regular session on Memorial Day after passing fifteen pro-Second Amendment measures, and was immediately called back into special session by Governor Rick Perry to address the drawing of district lines in which federal and state lawmakers will run for re-election next year.  The Governor can add issue items to the agenda (known as “the call”) as the special session progresses.  It is important that you contact his office and urge him to place the following unfinished pro-Second Amendment business on the call:

• Allowing law-abiding adults with Concealed Handgun Licenses (CHLs) to legally protect themselves in buildings and facilities on college and university campuses.  Senate Bill 9 and House Bill 19 have already been filed on this topic in the special session. 

• Imposing penalties on state agencies, cities and counties which improperly post 30.06 signs prohibiting CHLs from public property that is not off-limits to them under the state’s carry law.  Senate Bill 16 has already been filed on this topic in the special session. 

Information on how to call and send an e-mail to Governor Perry can be found here.

Please also contact your state Senator and Representative, and urge them to work to address these two items during the special session.  Contact information can be found here for your state Senator and here for your state Representative.

The NRA-backed campus personal protection bill, House Bill 972 sponsored by Representative Allen Fletcher (R-Cypress) and Senator Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury), passed in the House and out of Senate committee this year, but Senate Democrats blocked it from coming to the Senate floor for a vote.  Under Senate rules in place during the regular session, a 2/3 vote was necessary to bring any measure up for debate in that legislative chamber – and Democrats control 12 out of 31 seats there.  However, rules can change in the special session, where only a majority vote could be necessary to consider and pass measures that are placed on the call.

For three sessions in a row, opponents of campus carry have used legislative process hurdles and procedural rules unique to Texas to prevent a final vote from taking place on campus personal protection legislation.  During that time, there have been four high-profile shooting and stabbing incidents on or in the immediate vicinity of the campuses of the University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University-College Station and two branches of the Lone Star College System.  The time for action is now!  Even if you are a CHL who never goes onto a college campus, you need to get involved in this fight to remove unnecessary and arbitrary restrictions on where trained and licensed individuals can protect themselves in Texas. 

Another NRA-supported bill, House Bill 508 by state Representative Ryan Guillen (D-Rio Grande City), met an unexpected fate during the last few hours of the regular session.  Originally, this legislation imposed civil fines on state agencies, cities or counties that improperly post 30.06 signs prohibiting CHLs from public property which is not off-limits to them under the Texas Penal Code.  It also gave the Attorney General or local district attorney the ability to sue to collect those civil penalties if the offending agency or political subdivision failed to remove the signs after having been notified of a violation.  This measure intended to provide some much-needed clarity for CHLs, but it became the vehicle for an ill-advised amendment extending special privileges to lawmakers to carry in locations where ordinary CHLs cannot legally protect themselves.  Certain pro-gun lawmakers strongly objected to the hypocrisy of such a proposal as it came before the House during the last day of session.  Unfortunately, the offending amendment could not be separated from the underlying bill at that stage of the process.  As a result, this measure was voted down overwhelmingly.

The state Legislature did pass Senate Bill 1907 by Senator Glenn Hegar (R-Katy) and Representative Tim Kleinschmidt (R-Lexington), which prohibits public and private colleges and universities from adopting or enforcing policies restricting the possession, transportation and storage of any lawfully-owned firearms and ammunition by CHLs in their locked, privately-owned motor vehicles while driving through or parking on campus.  This legislation has been sent to Governor Perry for his signature.

Below are even more pro-Second Amendment measures passed by the state legislature this session:

Senate Bill 17 by Senator Dan Patrick (R-Houston) and Representative Fletcher allows for two employees of a school district or an open-enrollment charter school without security personnel, who are CHLs and authorized by their school board to carry on campus, to participate in a school safety training program developed by the DPS and the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center (ALERRT).  This legislation has been sent to Governor Perry for his signature.

Senate Bill 299 by Senator Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) and Representative Kenneth Sheets (R-Dallas) protects against charges of unlawful carry for the inadvertent or accidental display of a handgun by a Concealed Handgun Licensee. This bill has been signed into law by Governor Rick Perry!

Senate Bill 864 by Senator Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels) and Representative Dan Flynn (R-Van) reduces the minimum number of required classroom training hours for original and renewal Concealed Handgun Licenses from 10-15 to 4-6.  This change would make it far more convenient for CHL applicants to obtain a license to carry and exercise their right to self-defense. This bill has been signed into law by Governor Rick Perry!

Senate Bill 987 by Senator Hegar and Representative Patricia Harless (R-Spring)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.  This legislation has been sent to Governor Perry for his signature.

Senate Bill 1400 by Senator Estes and Representative Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth) protects BB guns and other air guns against most local regulations by including them in the state firearms preemption statute.  This legislation has been sent to Governor Perry for his signature.

Senate Bill 1857 by Senator Estes and Representative Geren directs the Department of Public Safety to establish a process by which qualified concealed handgun instructors may obtain additional certification in school safety.  Successful completion of the advanced training course would allow the instructor to teach these security techniques to employees of school districts or open-enrollment charter schools who hold Concealed Handgun Licenses (CHLs). This legislation has been sent to Governor Perry for his signature.

House Bill 48 by Representative Flynn and Senator Patrick streamlines the process for renewal of a Concealed Handgun License by eliminating the continuing education requirement and handgun proficiency demonstration.  Applicants would still be required to renew their licenses every five years, but they would be provided with an informational form regarding pertinent firearms and deadly force laws, which would have to be signed and turned in with the CHL renewal application.  This legislation has been sent to Governor Perry for his signature.

House Bill 333 by Representative Ryan Guillen (D-Rio Grande City) and Senator Juan Hinojosa (D-McAllen) requires hotels which restrict the possession, storage or transportation of firearms to notify guests of such policies on their websites or when confirming reservations.  This legislation has been sent to Governor Perry for his signature.

House Bill 485 by Representative Sarah Davis (R-Houston) and Senator John Whitmire (D-Houston) reduces fees for original or renewal Concealed Handgun Licenses charged to veterans who are honorably discharged after at least one year of military service, reserve and part-time peace officers, TDCJ correctional officers and members of the Texas Military Forces from $70 to $35, respectively, to $25. This legislation has been sent to Governor Perry for his signature.

House Bill 698 by Representative Drew Springer (R-Muenster) and Senator Estesrequires DPS to establish procedures for the submission of fingerprints by CHL applicants who live in counties with populations of less than 46,000 and do not live within 25 miles of a designated facility capable of processing them digitally or electronically.  Availability of such services continues to be a problem in rural areas, as the state only contracts with one company.  This legislation has been sent to Governor Perry for his signature.

House Bill 1009 by Representative Jason Villalba (R-Dallas) and Senator Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills) creates a new category of law enforcement called a “school marshal.”  In order to become a school marshal, applicants would have to complete an intensive training program developed by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education (TCLEOSE).  However, the program would also be open to any employee of a school district or open-enrollment charter school who has a Concealed Handgun License.  The governing bodies of the institutions would decide whether to appoint marshals to certain schools.  This legislation has been sent to Governor Perry for his signature.

House Bill 1349 by Representative Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio) and Senator Campbell prohibits the Texas Department of Public Safety from requesting or requiring that an applicant’s social security number be disclosed during the process of obtaining an original or renewal Concealed Handgun License. This legislation has been sent to Governor Perry for his signature.

House Bill 1421 by Representative Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) and Senator Estes allows firearms seized by law enforcement in connection with a crime, and not returnable to a rightful owner, to be sold at a public sale to federal firearms licensed dealers rather than be destroyed.  This bill has been signed into law by Governor Rick Perry.

House Bill 3142 by Representative Cecil Bell (R-Magnolia) and Senator Estesrepeals both the requirement that Concealed Handgun License applicants demonstrate proficiency with a specific category of handgun (semi-automatic or non-semi-automatic) and the limitation on CHLs carrying the category of handgun with which they qualified.  This legislation has been sent to Governor Perry for his signature.

Additionally, no gun control legislation passed during the regular session – including proposals that were introduced to restrict private firearm transfers at gun shows, ban standard capacity magazines, gut the state firearms preemption law and require drug testing for CHL applicants.  Thanks for all your e-mails and calls to state lawmakers over the past five months on all of these measures – keep up the pressure on your elected officials to complete their unfinished business on protecting your Second Amendment rights during the current special session!