The 2013 session of the Texas Legislature is underway and multiple firearm-related bills have been introduced. Below are some of the highlights so far this session.
House Bill 47 authored by Representative Dan Flynn (R-Van) would lower the current hours required for the initial Concealed Handgun License course from 10 hours to "not less than 4 or more than 6, not to include time on the shooting range." Only 6 states out of 39 require more classroom hours than Texas.
House Bill 508 authored by Representative Ryan Guillen (D-Rio Grande City) would add protections to your right to carry and eliminate confusion by imposing a fine for the improper posting of the PC 30.06 sign at locations not listed as off-limits in statute, excluding private property.
House Bill 698 authored by Representative Drew Springer (R-Muenster) would alleviate the burden on people applying for a CHL by only requiring applicants to submit digital or electronic fingerprints if a facility with the capability to process those fingerprints exists within a 25-mile radius of the applicant’s residence address. This would eliminate CHLs driving hundreds of miles to the closest L-1 printing franchise.
House Bill 700 by Representative George Lavender (R-Texarkana) would allow a person with a Texas concealed handgun license to have the option of carrying concealed or openly holstered. Expect a committee substitute to create a sign for use by private property owners not wishing to restrict those carrying concealed.
Senate Bill 182 and House Bill 972 authored by Senator Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury) and Representative Allen Fletcher (R-Cypress), respectively, would allow adult concealed handgun licensees to protect themselves in buildings and facilities located on the campus of a public college or university. This legislation was previously reported here by the NRA-ILA.
Senate Bill 299 authored by Senator Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) would protect against inadvertent or accidental display of a handgun by a Concealed Handgun Licensee.
This list above highlights only a few of the many pro-gun bills filed in Austin so far this session. Your NRA-ILA will continue to keep you updated on this and all other firearm-related legislation this session. In the meantime, please contact your state Senator and Representative, and encourage them to support all pro-gun legislation. Contact information for your state legislators can be found here.