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Texas: Pro-Second Amendment and Pro-Hunting Legislation On The Move in Austin

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Texas: Pro-Second Amendment and Pro-Hunting Legislation On The Move in Austin

Let Your State Representatives Know: More Work Needs To Be Done!

Senate Overwhelmingly Passes NRA-Supported Right to Hunt & Fish Constitutional Amendment

On Wednesday, by a vote of 27 to 3, the Texas Senate passed Senate Joint Resolution 22, sponsored by state Senator Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe), a proposed amendment to the Texas constitution that establishes an individual right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife in the Lone Star State.  It would ensure that wildlife conservation and management decisions continue to be based on sound science in order to preserve Texas' hunting heritage for generations to come and to protect it against future attacks from well-funded, anti-hunting organizations.  Not only are hunting and fishing deep-rooted in Texas culture, they have a major economic impact on the state.  According to the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, the Lone Star State's hunters and anglers spend $4.1 billion annually and support 65,993 jobs.  To sign up in support of Texas' Right to Hunt and Fish, click hereThe measure now moves to the Texas House for consideration.

House Committee Action on NRA-Backed Bills

Last week, the Texas House Committee on Homeland Security & Public Safety reported out House Bill 910, sponsored by state Representative Larry Phillips (R-Sherman), on a 7 to 2 vote.  HB 910, the House companion bill to Senate Bill 17 already passed by the Senate, removes the requirement that CHLs keep their handguns concealed and gives them the option of carrying them either wholly or partially visible in a belt or shoulder holster.  Texas CHLs have earned this personal protection option that 43 states currently allow after having established a 20-year record of law-abiding, responsible behavior.  Thank you to the sponsor and the following committee members for supporting this measure: state Representatives DeWayne Burns (R-Cleburne), Tony Dale (R-Cedar Park), Will Metcalf (R-Conroe), Joe Moody (D-El Paso), John Wray (R-Waxahachie) and Molly White (R-Belton).   Click here to pledge your support for House Bill 910, open carry in Texas.

This week, the Texas House Committee on Homeland Security & Public Safety also reported out House Bill 937, sponsored by state Representative Allen Fletcher (R-Tomball,) on a 6 to 3 vote.  HB 937, the House companion bill to Senate Bill 11 already passed by the Senate, removes certain restrictions in state law that prohibit law-abiding adult Concealed Handgun Licensees from protecting themselves on college and university campuses.  Thank you to the members of the Committee who voted for HB 937: state Representatives Larry Phillips (R-Sherman), DeWayne Burns (R-Cleburne), Tony Dale (R-Cedar Park, Will Metcalf (R-Conroe), John Wray (R-Waxahachie) and Molly White (R-Belton).  Click here to pledge your support for House Bill 937, campus carry in Texas.

Also this week, the Texas House Committee on Culture, Recreation & Tourism unanimously reported out House Joint Resolution 61, sponsored by state Representative Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin).  HJR 61 is the House companion measure for SJR 22 and, similarly, proposes an amendment to the Texas constitution to establish an individual right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife in the Lone Star State.  

These NRA-backed measures all move to the House Calendars Committee, which will decide IF AND WHEN these bills are considered by the Texas House.  Please contact Calendars Committee members and urge them to quickly set HB 910, HB 937, and HJR 61 for a House floor vote.  Their contact information can be found here

Also, please contact your State Representatives and urge them to support HB 910, HB 937 and HJR 61.  Contact information for House members can be found here.  If you're not sure who your state Representative is, click here.

A number of other pro-Second Amendment bills have also been reported out of the House Homeland Security & Public Safety Committee.  Please thank Chairman Larry Phillips for sponsoring HB 910 and for his strong leadership in advancing these pro-gun measures:

HB 226,sponsored by state Representative Ryan Guillen (D-Rio Grande City), provides much-needed clarity for CHLs by imposing civil fines on state agencies, cities or counties that improperly post 30.06 signs prohibiting licensees from carrying on public property which is not off-limits to them under the Texas Penal Code.  It also gives 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.

HB 284, sponsored by state Representative Drew Springer (R-Gainesville), lowers the minimum caliber handgun training requirement for a CHL from .32 to .22, to afford applicants more flexibility in choosing the type of firearm with which to qualify.

HB 554, also sponsored by Representative Springer, establishes a defense to prosecution for CHLs against a charge of unlawful carrying of a handgun in the secured area of an airport if the CHL immediately exits the screening checkpoint upon notification to do so by security.

HB 1509, sponsored by state Representative Ken Sheets (R-Dallas), allows individuals to carry a handgun without a license on a watercraft, in a vehicle or on premises owned by or under the control of another with the consent of the person in control of the boat, car or property.

HB 1179, sponsored by state Representative Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth), requires that a chief law enforcement officer (CLEO) sign an application for the transfer of any item regulated under the National Firearms Act (NFA) within 15 days if the applicant is not prohibited by law from receiving it.  

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.