Lots of Movement on Pro-Gun Legislation at the Texas Capitol Last Week
On Thursday, the Texas Senate voted 25-6 to give final approval to House Bill 302 by Rep. Dennis Paul (R-Houston), NRA-supported legislation that prohibits “no firearms” clauses in residential leases. This will protect tenants’ rights to possess lawfully-owned firearms and ammunition in dwelling units and on manufactured home lots, and to transport their guns between their personal vehicles and those locations. This bill now goes to Governor Greg Abbott for his signature. Thank you to Lt. Governor Dan Patrick for making this issue one of his legislative priorities and to Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) for carrying HB 302 in the Senate!
The Senate also passed two other NRA-backed measures last week:
Senate Bill 117 by Sen. Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe) clarifies the definition of a “school activity” in the Penal Code so that it applies to activities taking place on the grounds of, or in buildings owned by and under the control of, a school or postsecondary educational institution. Without this important clarification, the statute could be interpreted to mean that any location where students are present outside of school grounds or school buildings (i.e., any field trip) could turn that location into a “school-sponsored activity” and trigger a firearm prohibition in the area. SB 117 passed by a vote of 20-10.
Senate Bill 535 by Sen. Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels) strikes "churches, synagogues, or other places of worship" from the list of prohibited locations in the Penal Code. Places of worship are not crime-free zones, as we sadly know in Texas. And current law, as written, only serves to confuse and potentially disarm law-abiding citizens. SB 535 passed by a vote of 23-8.
The Texas House of Representatives also passed more pro-Second Amendment measures last week. Thanks to House leadership for scheduling these bills in advance of this week’s legislative deadline for House bills:
House Bill 3231 by Rep. Travis Clardy (R-Nacogdoches) protects Texas gun owners and firearm retailers by modernizing the state’s existing firearms preemption statutes to ensure more uniform treatment of firearms and ammunition across the state. It brings preemption provisions affecting counties into line with more extensive preemption language that currently applies to municipalities. And it ensures enforcement of these protections by providing adequate legal remedies to private individuals adversely impacted when a municipality or county violates Texas' preemption laws. HB 3231 passed by a vote of 101-40.
House Bill 2363 by Rep. Cody Harris (R-Palestine) replaces the requirement that firearms and ammunition in certain foster homes be stored separately in two different locked locations with a requirement to allow those items to be stored together in the same locked location. HB 2363 passed by a vote of 97-43.
Thank you to NRA members for contacting your state lawmakers in support of these bills! Please contact your lawmakers in support of the above pro-gun bills!