This week, the Texas Senate passed two NRA-backed measures: Senate Bill 299 by state Senator Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls), which protects Texas Concealed Handgun Licensees against charges of unlawful carrying of a handgun if they accidentally or inadvertently display their firearm; and Senate Bill 987 by state Senator Glenn Hegar (R-Katy), which 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. Firearms preemption protects law-abiding gun owners against a patchwork of confusing and conflicting local gun control ordinances across the state. You may recall that the City of Austin and Travis County both recently considered -- and pulled back from -- adopting and imposing restrictions on gun shows which would have likely been outside the scope of their authority to enact, as pointed out by Attorney General Greg Abbott (R). SB 987 would give that office statutory authority to legally intervene in these situations in the future. SB 299 and SB 987 both will now go to the Texas House of Representatives for consideration.
Also, the Senate Criminal Justice Committee unanimously approved Senate Bill 864 by state Senator Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels), another NRA-supported bill which reduces the number of classroom hours required for an initial Concealed Handgun License from 10-15 hours to 4-6 hours. This change would make it far more convenient for CHL applicants to obtain a license to carry and exercise their right to self-defense. SB 864 has been placed on the Senate Local & Uncontested calendar, and final action could be taken on the Senate floor next week.
Note: House Bill 47 by state Representative Dan Flynn (R-Van), the House companion bill to SB 864, was reported by the House Committee on Homeland Security & Public Safety this week with a change to set the minimum number of classroom hours for an original CHL at six. This bill has been sent to the House Calendars Committee, which decides if and when measures are placed on the agenda for consideration on the House floor. That chamber has yet to vote on any pro-Second Amendment legislation this session.