New Laws Will Take Effect on September 1
Governor Greg Abbott has now signed all of the NRA-supported legislation which the Texas Legislature sent him during the 2019 session. Thank you to pro-Second Amendment leaders and lawmakers in the House and Senate for their work to ensure passage of these measures. Here is the list of NRA-backed bills which will become law on September 1:
House Bill 121 by Rep. Valoree Swanson (R-Spring) & Sen. Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe) provides a legal defense for License To Carry holders who unknowingly enter establishments with 30.06 or 30.07 signs, as long they promptly leave when verbally informed of the policy.
House Bill 302 by Rep. Dennis Paul (R-Houston) & Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) prohibits “no firearms” clauses in future residential lease agreements and protect tenants’ rights to possess lawfully-owned firearms and ammunition in dwelling units and on manufactured home lots, and to transport their guns directly between their personal vehicles and these locations.
House Bill 1143 by Rep. Cole Hefner (R-Mount Pleasant) & Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) prevents school districts from effectively prohibiting the possession of firearms in private motor vehicles by limiting their authority to regulate the manner in which they are stored in locked cars and trucks -- including by employees.
House Bill 1177 by Rep. Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) & Sen. Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe) protects citizens from being charged with a crime for carrying a handgun without a License To Carry while evacuating from an area during a declared state or local disaster, or while returning to that area, and allows shelters which are otherwise prohibited locations to decide whether to accommodate evacuees with firearms in their possession.
House Bill 1791 by Rep. Matt Krause (R-Fort Worth) & Sen. Pat Fallon (R-Prosper) closes loopholes in the state's "wrongful exclusion" law that cities, counties and state agencies have been using to restrict License To Carry holders in government buildings.
House Bill 2363 by Rep. Cody Harris (R-Palestine) & Sen. Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury) allows foster parents to store firearms in a safe and secure manner while making them more readily accessible for personal protection purposes.
House Bill 3231 by Rep. Travis Clardy (R-Nacogdoches) & Sen. Pat Fallon (R-Prosper) improves and modernizes the state’s firearms preemption law, curbs the ability of municipalities to abuse their zoning authority and circumvent state law to restrict the sale or transfer of firearms and ammunition at the local level, and allows the State Attorney General to recover reasonable expenses incurred when obtaining injunctions against localities which violate the preemption statute.
Senate Bill 535 by Sen. Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels) & Rep. Dan Flynn (R-Van) strikes "churches, synagogues, or other places of worship" from the list of prohibited locations in the Penal Code, clarifying that these places have the same right enjoyed by nearly all other controllers of private property in the state to decide whether to allow License To Carry holders on their premises.
Senate Bill 741 by Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) & Rep. Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) prohibits a property owners' association from including or enforcing a provision in a dedicatory instrument that prohibits, restricts, or has the effect of prohibiting or restricting any person who is otherwise authorized from lawfully possessing, transporting, or storing a firearm.
Senate Bill 772 by Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) & Rep. Drew Springer (R-Muenster) provides civil liability protection to business establishments which choose not to post 30.06/30.07 signs, making them less vulnerable to frivolous lawsuits and giving them an incentive to adopt permissive policies for the carrying of handguns by law-abiding citizens on their premises.
Lastly, there's been a lot of coverage in the media lately about the state's role in promoting gun safety and the following rider that was included in the state budget bill, which was also signed into law by Governor Abbott and which NRA did not oppose:
Statewide Safe Gun Storage Campaign. (Department of Public Safety) $500,000 in fiscal year 2020 and $500,000 in fiscal year 2021 in General Revenue to establish and promote a statewide safe gun storage campaign. The public awareness campaign shall begin no later than September 1, 2020. The public awareness campaign may include online materials, printed materials, public service announcements, or other advertising media. The public awareness campaign may not convey a message that it is unlawful under state law to keep or store a firearm that is loaded or that is readily accessible for self-defense.
NRA supported the award of a $1 million grant from the State of Texas to the National Shooting Sports Foundation for the distribution of Project ChildSafe (https://www.projectchildsafe.org/) firearms safety kits to Texas residents through a network of law enforcement and community partners. We appreciate Governor Abbott's recognition of NSSF's expertise in firearms safety and his effort to bring this proven and effective safety program, which is free of anti-gun rhetoric and bias, to Texas residents.