On Tuesday, March 11, House Bill 875 was amended into House Bill 60 on the House floor. This critical legislation seeks to make many changes to benefit law-abiding gun owners, shooters and sportsmen alike. If enacted, HB 60 would make the following key improvements and changes:
- Removal of fingerprinting for renewal of Weapons Carry Licenses (WCL).
- Prohibiting the state from creating and maintaining a database of WCL holders.
- Creation of an absolute defense for the legal use of deadly force in the face of a violent attack.
- Removal of the sweeping restrictions on legally carrying a firearm with a WCL in churches and bars, leaving this decision to private property owners.
- Lowering the age to obtain a concealed WCL for self-defense from 21 to 18 for active duty military, with specific training.
- Repealing the unnecessary and duplicative state-required license for a firearms dealer, instead requiring only a Federal Firearms License (FFL).
- Prohibiting a ban on firearms in public housing, ensuring that the right to self-defense should not be infringed based on where one calls home.
- Codifying the ability to legally carry, with a WCL, in sterile/non-secure areas of airports.
- Including a provision that would have the state report those persons who have been involuntarily hospitalized or have been adjudicated mentally deficient to the NICS system while also providing an ability for relief through an application process to the court system for the purpose of restoration of rights.
- Stating that under a declared state of emergency, all law-abiding gun owners will not have their Second Amendment rights restricted or infringed by executive authority through Emergency Powers protection.
- Strengthening current firearms preemption statutes through further clarification of the regulatory authority of local governments, excluding firearm discharge ordinances.
HB 875, as originally passed in the House, was heard on Wednesday and Thursday, and passed in the Senate Judiciary Non-Civil Committee on Thursday. Unfortunately, a substitute was adopted in committee that significantly undermines the intent of HB 875 as passed in the House. Accordingly, your NRA is now tirelessly working to support the amended version of HB 60 and will continue to push this legislation in the Senate.
With the 2014 legislative session ending on Thursday, March 20, it is critical that you contact your state Senator and urge him or her to support HB 60 with the amended language from HB 875. Contact information for your state Senator can be found here.