Governor Rick Perry has signed Senate Bill 321 into law! This NRA-backed bill authored by state Senator Glenn Hegar (R-Katy) and state Representative Tim Kleinschmidt (R-Lexington) prohibits employers from enacting and enforcing bans on employees transporting and storing firearms in their locked, private motor vehicles while parked at work. The act will take effect on September 1, 2011. Click here to view a copy of NRA-ILA's press release on this topic.
SB 321 applies to both public and private employers, as well as all lawfully-owned firearms - not just firearms in the possession of Concealed Handgun Licensees. However, SB 321 does not authorize an employee to possess firearms on any property where such possession is prohibited by state or federal law, and the provisions of the bill do not apply to the following:
- Vehicles owned or leased by the employer and used by the employee for work purposes;
- School districts, open enrollment charter schools, and private schools as defined in Section 22.081, Education Code;
- Property owned or controlled by a person, other than an employer, that is subject to a valid, unexpired oil, gas, or other mineral lease that contains a provision prohibiting the possession of firearms on the property; or
- Property owned or leased by a chemical manufacturer or oil and gas refiner permitted by TCEQ and on which the primary business conducted is the manufacture, use, storage or transportation of hazardous, combustible, or explosive materials; however, employees at these facilities who are CHLs may store firearms (including rifles or shotguns) in their private motor vehicles in parking areas located outside of secured and restricted areas which contain the physical plant, are not open to the public and which are constantly monitored by security personnel.
Governor Perry also signed into law the following NRA-supported measures:
House Bill 25 by state Representative Ryan Guillen (D-Rio Grande City) and state Senator Dan Patrick (R-Houston) will extend the right to carry a handgun to your boat or personal watercraft without needing a Concealed Handgun License – a right which law-abiding Texans currently enjoy in their private motor vehicles. For many, these vessels – especially on weekends in some parts of the state – are, for all practical purposes, an extension of one’s home. It will remain an offense under HB 25 if the handgun is not hidden from plain view, the person in possession is engaged in criminal activity or a member of a criminal street gang, or the person is not eligible to possess the firearm under state or federal law. Effective 9/1/11
House Bill 716 by state Representative Sid Miller (R-Stephenville) and state Senator Troy Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bay) will allow properly-permitted landowners or helicopter owners to contract with third parties to ride on helicopters and take depredating feral hogs and coyotes. This bill will help control the population of these animals and reduce cost to landowners. The Texas Parks & Wildlife Commission will retain authority to ensure that these operations are run in a safe and effective manner. Effective 9/1/11
House Bill 2560 by state Representative Ralph Sheffield (R-Temple) and state Senator Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) will prevent the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services from adopting or enforcing rules restricting a foster parent’s ability to transport a foster child in a private motor vehicle if a handgun is present, as long as the foster parent is a Concealed Handgun Licensee and the handgun is “in the possession and control” of the foster parent. This is intended to mean that the firearm could be stored in the glove box, console or trunk of the vehicle. State agencies should not create disincentives to foster parenting by forcing those individuals to forego their Second Amendment rights! Effective immediately
Senate Bill 766 by state Senator Craig Estes and state Representative Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs) limits the ability of local governments to sue owners or operators of sports shooting ranges, and requires an expert report on whether ranges meet generally-applicable industry standards before a civil action suit can be brought against them. Effective 9/1/11
Please contact Governor Perry’s office to thank him for supporting the Second Amendment this session! The Governor’s office may be reached by phone at 1-800-252-9600 or e-mail by clicking here.