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Texas: Bills Targeting License to Carry Holders Dominate Tomorrow’s House Committee Agenda!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Texas: Bills Targeting License to Carry Holders Dominate Tomorrow’s House Committee Agenda!

Gun Control Groups Are Counting on You to Remain Complacent While Proposals to Restrict Where You Can Carry are Considered by Lawmakers

License To Carry (LTC) holders are among the most law-abiding segment of the population.  They are 21 times less likely to be convicted of a crime than the general public.  Yet the number of bills filed by lawmakers that target where LTCs may lawfully carry has been unprecedented this session.  Now is the time for you to step up and fight for your rights! 

Please click the "take Action" button below to contact committee members and urge them to oppose House Bills 255, 234, 3989 and 899.  If you are able to, please plan to attend Tuesday’s House Committee on Homeland Security & Public Safety hearing at 8:00am in Room E2.014 of the State Capitol in opposition to HB 234, HB 255 & HB 3989.  Note: the committee typically leaves bills pending for at least one week, so if you receive this alert after Tuesday morning, your calls and emails against these measures could still be timely and effective.

You’ll need to sign up in opposition to HB 234, HB 255 and HB 3989 using one of the electronic kiosks located in the hall behind the committee room.  You can elect to provide verbal or written testimony, or just register against the measures without choosing to speak.

HB 255, sponsored by Rep. Raphael Anchia (D-Dallas), was removed from last week’s committee agenda and placed back on this week’s.  It expands the prohibited places that apply to License to Carry (LTC) holders in Penal Code Section 46.035 to include facilities such as golf courses, amphitheaters, auditoriums, theaters, museums, zoos, civic centers and convention centers, provided they are posted off-limits.  HB 255 would essentially repeal portions of SB 273 from 2015 and grant local governmental entities the authority to ban licensees from these same public (taxpayer-owned) properties.  This would include the convention center in downtown Dallas, where NRA's Annual Meeting will be held in 2018.  (Here's a link to a report on passage of SB 273 from 2015; the law it established imposes civil fines on state agencies, cities or counties which improperly post 30.06 to prohibit LTC holders from public property not otherwise off-limits to them in the Penal Code.)

HB 234, also by Rep. Anchia, would gut portions of SB 273 from last session by limiting the law’s 30.06 signage restrictions and fines for improper posting to governmental property that’s occupied only by governmental agencies.  This would exclude any public property occupied by private persons or entities on an occasional or recurring basis.  The taxpayer-owned property that could be impacted and end up off-limits to LTCs is expansive.  Some prime examples include the same venues as those specifically listed in HB 255, where private groups or entities hold short- or long-term contracts with a city or county to use their facilities.  Other examples include gun shows, car shows and rodeos.  This is simply another way of getting to the same spot that HB 255 is aiming for – fewer locations where law-abiding citizens can legally carry firearms and protect themselves.

HB 3989, sponsored by Rep. Eric Johnson (D-Dallas), expands the Penal Code Section 46.035 prohibition on possession of firearms by LTC holders in “amusement parks” by expanding the definition of such venues to include short-term events that offer amusement rides to the public – such as the Texas State Fair.  This could include any parking or loading areas available inside the entry points to such events.  Other venues, such as the Dallas Zoo, have used “loopholes” in the existing definition of “amusement park” to ban law-abiding citizens from carrying firearms on their premises. This is yet another attempt along the lines of HB 255 and HB 234 to create more “gun-free” zones that unfairly target the most law-abiding segment of our population.

Also, urge committee members to VOTE AGAINST HB 899, a measure by Rep. Poncho Nevarez (D-Eagle Pass), which the committee held a public hearing on last week and could vote on at any time.  This measure, being supported by state gun control groups that receive national funding from New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg, guts the 30.06 and 30.07 signage requirements to provide less notice to LTCs on posted private property.

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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.