Dear Texas NRA Member:
There is less than a month left in the 2023 session of the Texas Legislature. Two key pro-Second Amendment bills could soon be considered by the Texas Senate:
House Bill 2837 by Rep. Matt Schaefer (R) prevents financial institutions and their agents from requiring the use of a firearms-specific merchant category code (MCC) to distinguish purchases at a Texas firearms retailer, rather than using a general merchandise retailer code or a sporting goods retailer code. It protects the privacy rights of lawful purchasers of firearms or ammunition by prohibiting the misuse of payment card processing systems to surveil, report or disclose these legal transactions. As you may have heard, gun control advocates successfully pressured activist banks on the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to create a unique MCC for licensed firearms dealers. Now they are pushing lawmakers to require credit card companies to use these MCCs to gather data on and track lawful firearms purchases. Since the federal government is prohibited by law from creating and maintaining a registry of gun owners, they are attempting to outsource this effort to the private financial sector.
House Bill 1760 by Rep. Cole Hefner (R) addresses roving “gun-free” zones created when school activities take place off-campus in public buildings or venues such as the Capitol, zoos and libraries, by limiting restrictions on firearms possession to actual premises owned by and under control of a school, or locations where high school, collegiate, and UIL activities as described in Penal Code Section 46.03 are taking place. Without this important clarification, the “school activities” provision in 46.03 can be misapplied to include any place students are ever present or anywhere "educational activities" are taking place off-campus.
Please contact your State Senators and urge them to SUPPORT HB 2837 and HB 1760!
This week, the Texas House passed a number of pro-Second Amendment bills which now move to the Senate for committee referral and consideration. We will keep you posted as to if and when these measures are scheduled for public hearings:
House Bill 636 by Rep. Jared Patterson (R) codifies a 2018 Attorney General opinion to allow election judges and voting clerks who are issued an LTC to carry handguns in a polling place during early voting and on Election Day.
House Bill 1229 by Rep. Cody Harris (R) prohibits state agencies and child placement agencies from requiring foster parents to provide them specific descriptions or a registry of their lawfully-owned firearms, or to report any newly acquired guns in the household.
House Bill 3137 by Rep. Carrie Isaac (R) restricts municipalities or counties under the state firearms preemption law from requiring firearm owners to obtain liability insurance.
House Bill 4827 by Rep. Terri Leo-Wilson (R) creates definitions of “educational institution” and “school” in the Penal Code to limit the ability of controllers of properties that are not schools to designate themselves as such, claiming that educational activities take place on their premises and therefore firearms are prohibited from those locations.